I've been learning a ton of things from making threads and blogs for the first time ever... I just wanted to share, since my first blog and my first few threads didn't go so well.
Here's a breakdown of some of the lessons I've learned:
1.) Humility is key! No one likes to read arrogance.
2.) Being right on your first post as a thread author is difficult if you make it long. If you're proposing a comprehensive change to the system, maybe it's best to start smaller and allow the Community to work up to where your mind is already at. Sharing the credit is hard, but for the sake of keeping everyone's attitude toward you positive, it might be for the best.
3.) Edited: It's probably best to not share personal information that isn't related to the topic. If it's something that affects everyone and not just yourself, it might be okay if it serves to make the thread more constructive, but that needs to be your ultimate goal.
4.) Edited: I've been learning a lot of the basics about quoting people and replying, and editing so that your replies always look well-thought out. The part I'm having trouble with now is keeping them brief and to the point. Keeping them constructive doesn't seem to be an issue, but brevity invites more people to read what you say since it requires less effort to do.
5.) Edited: Sometimes a Community simply doesn't want to by a massive change, or by a single person's ideas. This doesn't mean that you can't change the system, it just means you're going to have to try a lot harder and include more people so that you can do the best thing for everyone.
6.) Edited: Blogs are (in general) for opinions, not for the sole purpose of a constructive discussion. It's not expected that all comments on a blog follow a logical argument like it is on a forum. Public forums are for constructive discussion and each comment should have a logical flow and explanation.
These are the basic things I've learned so far... Anyone else have tips? I want to get better at this quickly :D
Edits (Additions from below):
7.) Have a sense of humor - it doesn't hurt to step away from your topic to laugh!
8.) It's tricky, but try your best to recognize sarcasm... Ask if you must o.O
9.) Make simple changes that can hopefully please everyone. Slow down and don't try to do it all at once (goes with #2 very well).
10.) Read the responses you get (extremely) thoroughly - try to respond to as much of them as you possibly can. If you can't respond to everything at that point in time, let them know that you're actively working to address all of their concerns.
11.) Attitude is everything - Stay positive so that other people can, too! (Even in the face of harsh criticism)
12.) If you're noticing a specific user harassing you continually, ask them why. Maybe you can resolve the issue without needing to use administrative anti-harassment tools such as Forum Moderators (who are very busy).
13.) Be consistent with your replies and the way you conduct yourself, but keep a flexible frame of mind on the ideas you're asking for feedback on. Doing this simultaneously will result in less confusion and a more constructive thread.
14.) Know when to call for a large change or make a small one. The quality in the user's end experience is the most important thing.
15.) Taking/Giving Criticism:
i. Never take anything as a personal attack, even when it is personal. If you're going to respond, stay calm and to the point while doing so.
ii. Maintaining an open mind so that you can distinguish constructive criticism from non-constructive criticism. Always assume there is something useful in another person's post until you have read it a few times and cannot find anything.
iii. If need be, be able to agree to disagree amicably. Admit mistakes when you make them, compliment others' when they make useful comments. Never ever respond by commanding the other poster how to behave. If necessary, reference the appropriate resources on forum conduct and link them to allow a source of authority to guide that user back on track.