It seems like the perfect solution. Type up a post that says exactly what you want it to, save it, and send it out to anyone that you want to see it. Maybe it's a clever question for the intros. Maybe it's an RP pitch. One document, a little copy/paste action, and boom. Instant post.
There's a problem with that, though, and it's the same reason that you hang up on recorded telemarketers. Before long, the people getting the call realize that the message isn't meant for them
. It may be a little thing - like a mention of their request thread when they haven't posted anything in over a year. It may be something more major, like a plotline that depends heavily on things that are listed in big red letters in their 'Offs'. It may even be something embarrassing - like when they find out that three of their friends got the exact same PM. Or question. Or starting post.
There's another thing that is actively harmful
about copy-paste PMs, and it affects the site as a whole. Many people receive notifications about PMs by email. When a copy-paste PM is sent out, especially to multiple people in a short span of time, the software algorithms at places like Google, MSN and Yahoo register them as identical mailings sent from elliquiy.com. These are the same algorithms that sort all those Nigerian Scam emails and fake Viagra ads into your Spam folder. Flags go up, and notifications from Elliquiy get sorted off as spam or even bounced until we make contact with them and appeal the spam designation.
How to make your experience pasta-free.
Avoiding the copy/paste zone takes a little bit of effort, but more than makes up for it in improving how you relate to other members. Remember that the person you are writing to is a unique individual. There should be a reason (other than 'they have a pulse and a keyboard') that you want to write with them, and why they should want to respond to you.
1) Check their Ons and Offs - really check them.
If you have particular things in common that you want to include in the story, mention them. If a key plot-point of the story is an 'Off' for them, move on.
2) Check their request thread.
If you want to write a gritty wartime RP, and their request thread is full of magic and elves, it's probably best to move on. This isn't entirely hard and fast - you might adjust your request to involve a magic war between elves and orcs. This kind of personalizing also keeps you out of the copy/paste zone.
3) Be honest about what you've read.
If you mention other things they've written on site, be sure you've read that as well instead of just copying down a title from a recent post. It's quite confusing to be complimented on a dominant role just before getting a pitch to play a submissive role, and vice versa. This also saves you from running into the dilemma of saying that you've liked a particular story/plot idea that ends up being full of your
4) Save repeatable text in a post.
Rather than sending a pasted summary of a plot idea, give it a title and put it up in a request thread. Not only does that give you a chance of somebody coming across it while browsing, it also allows you to link it to other people - either in your signature, or in a PM. This improves your chances over sending a single plot idea in a message, as a potential partner may take interest in something that you weren't initially expecting.
5) Keep track of what plots you have pitched to someone.
Sending the same person the same pitch multiple times is unlikely to get you a different answer. It only wastes your time and the recipient's time, and could result in that person blocking you all together.
How to help others and the site.
Too many times, we see situations where a mild annoyance is allowed to build until something cracks - whether it's in the form of a black-list by a mail server, or in the form of an angry response to a message. As Staff, we would much rather give someone the tools to help them become a better requester than see the fallout from people (or mail servers) who have had enough.If you think you have gotten a copy/pasted message:
Staff is more than willing to look into the matter, but if you prefer, you can also politely direct the sender to this thread. If you have been directed to this thread:
For some reason, your message or post missed the mark. The tips above have helped many people find compatible RP partners, whether they are consciously sending copy/pasted messages or not. Give them a try! Refining your search tactics will give you the greatest chance of finding that elusive co-writer for that plot you've been itching to write!
The Staff at Elliquiy.
[If you have any additional tips that you'd like to contribute to this guide, feel free to PM any staff member.]