I'm in direct sales for a living and have seen a fair number of guys come and go through my company. Interestingly, there seem to be one common denominator among the guys who couldn't hack it and fell off the board: Ego.
Ego manifests itself many different ways among each of us and is normal to varying degrees, but when it gets in the way of communicating with another person (customer, in my case, or fellow forum member, in the case of APC), then the person who ends up on the short end of the stick is ALWAYS the one doing the talking. In the case of sales, it means no production. In the case of the internet, it means not being taken seriously.
These are some guidelines that have been very helpful for me, and I try to keep them in mind when wanting to get a point across to someone else.
1.) Nobody likes a know-it-all. No matter how accurate the point that is trying be made might be, if the person across the table from you feels like they are stupid, the wall goes up immediately you're done for the day.
2.) Offer advice out of concern for the other person, not just to hear yourself talk: "How can I help you?"/ "Maybe my experiences can benefit you"/ "I was in your situation once and this is what worked for me"/ "I hear the problem. What do you think the answer is?"
3). People wil not listen to someone they can't relate to. In other words, be real. How credible would it be if I changed my handle from my real name to "Big Bird", and put my location as "Somewhere over the Rainbow", then started telling the whole forum what they didn't know about lighting, fertilizing, or whatever?
If the title of the thread is "My experiences with different types of lighting over planted tanks", I'm going to read it. When it starts saying "should", "don't", and "I don't understand", and the the rest of reads like some sort of analysis of mistakes I'm told I'll make, hitting "back" on the browser is next. Just my 2-cents, which you are free to accept/reject.