Dear Marvin.  I’m addicted.  No, wait, it’s more like obsessed.  Okay, okay, I’ve gone completely mental about my reputation points at Car-Seat.Org.  I know it’s supposed to be a fun thing, but I want more.  I NEED more.  OMG I will go postal if even one point is taken away! I need help.  I’ll do anything to get my fix.  How can I get some more?  Will you click me please? PLEASE?

Signed, Crack-Seat.Org Carlie

Hi Carlie!  Yes, Marvin can empathize with you.  Those clever forum people put all sorts of additives in their software to get you hooked.  You could try the forum patch, but those things never work.  Pills have far too many side effects.  Hypnotism?  Forget about it.  Car-Seat Anonymous Group Therapy?  Doesn’t exist.  No, what you NEED is one of Marvin’s plans to focus your weakness into something constructive, and of course Marvin has one with some choice tips for you.  No, Marvin can’t cure you, but he can give you Seven Steps for Raking in Reputation.  It’s a primer on forum etiquette so that you may properly feed your addiction for maximum results!

1) The more posts you have, the more opportunities you have for reputation clicks.  It’s just math!  So, reply early and often.  Be sure to be the first response to every thread.  Jump on them before anyone else gets a chance!  It doesn’t matter if you are wrong or if you are right, as long as you are there!

2) Spell checking.  Forget about it.  You don’t need to look well educated.  You need reputation points.  The worser your grammar, the more “down to earth” you’ll seem.  Besides, proofreading and spellchecking take time, and you need to be spending your time making more posts!

3)  Content.  Who needs it?  Posting proof, links, explanations and detailed opinions is for amateurs.  Just put in enough words to get around the forum software minimums and not much more.  Ram your beliefs down their throats with as few words as possible.  Who needs 10 paragraphs to say that kid should be rear-facing beyond 2 years old!  Just call them irresponsible and a bad parent and move on to the next thread!

4) Variety.  One sentence answers are great, but you want to mix it up a little.  On the other hand, you don’t want to think too much or spend the time composing anything too long.  So, steal it!  Quote press releases in their entirety.  Even better, grab sensational headline stories about gruesome child injury or brutality incidents and post those, too!  I guarantee that will get you NOTICED!  You will be sure to get clicks on them, too!  Cut posts from people at other forums and paste them here, no one will have a clue and you will laugh your way to the reputation point bank!  Putting a warning prefix or comment in your title is extra effort, so skip that.  Besides, you don’t want people to skip your post, so also make sure they go into the public forums for maximum exposure!

5) Begging.   Pride is for reputation newbs.  Post about how your rep is so low!  Post about how you can’t access Swap or a community member forum!  Ask innocently about how to get access, because for some reason even though you have been a member for 2 years and have 3943 posts, you still only have 16 reputation and no access!  Other people in the same boat or just in a good mood will sympathize and click away.

6) Controversy.  Don’t forget about juicy topics.  Politics.  Religion.  Sex.  Circumcision.  Vaccination.  If you’ve been around long enough, you know the hot topics.  You also know the people whose buttons you can press with just a few words.  Nothing like a heated debate and you don’t even need to participate; you only have to get things rolling with some vague implications!  Turns out, at least a few other members share your one-sided view and they’ll happily gang up on those idiots who try to argue otherwise!  So, while your cohorts are clicking you to reputation heaven, those that disagree with you can’t give you negative reputation and you can laugh away as the points add up!

7) Friends.  Court as many as you can with small talk.  Recruit pals from other forums.   Once you get a reputation network, you can all click each other once or twice every day!  It’s a great scheme and a good power base in case you ever run into trouble!

Speaking of trouble, next week Marvin will give some tips on what to do if you do start getting hassled by the evil people that keep the forums running.  They love to go on power trips and abuse their authority to make life miserable for you!  They ARE out to get you, so you best be prepared on how to deal with them!

Marvin’s “What’s Fishy” Advocates Corner:

Nothing fishy about today’s prize.  You guessed it!  Another bag.  But this one is special.  It’s a lovely Orange and Blue diaper bag to match Marvin!  It also celebrates a special occasion that only happens about once every 10 years!  Marvin is so happy he bought this one himself, but he got a great deal at Let’s Go Strolling and his friends there gave Marvin a second one as a promotional giveaway in Part 2 next week!  Marvin’s person bought a great Valco Runabout Tri-Mode stroller there and they were awesome.  So, if you’re shopping for baby gear please visit their website!  Maybe now some other potential sponsors will take notice!

Marvin’s hopes someone who shares his passion will win this one, but he’s happy to see anyone comment with the right answer;-)  He’s also starting it at midnight Marvin time so his morning readers don’t always get the first shot at a prize!  Be the first one to comment on this blog with the right answer and you win!  If you’ve already won a bag from Marvin, you are not eligible for this one, sorry!  One entry per person, if you make more, only the first one counts.  Only one winner this week.  Marvin is the final judge of the winner if there are any ties, technicalities or other unforseen circumstances Marvin forgot to cover with fine print!  Marvin reserves the right to make substitutions, since this item will be shipped directly from the retailer to the winner!

Here’s the question for the prize!  This weekend, Marvin picked his two new favoritenumbers for the decade!  What are they?

As a special bonus, this week’s winner gets a nice reputation click from Marvin himself!

Here’s this week’s prize from Let’s Go Strolling:
(Giveaway Closed)