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“That's what I call it when I whack off to my articles.”
Feature-Bait is an article that is clearly written for the sole purpose of being featured. The length, format, subject-matter, and tone are all indicative of articles that have gotten featured in the past and will continue to get featured in the future. While no feature-bait is ever universally remembered as "great," they are sure to breeze through VFF with a 5-0 vote.
Feature-Bait has been around for as long as people have cared about getting features. Early users had to work a lot less to put together a Feature-Bait, due to lower article standards. Eventually, however, writing a Feature-Bait became a somewhat arduous process, having to perfectly craft your article to be mildly humorous while also not offending anyone's sensibilities.
“Why would I need for people to appreciate something I've written?”
Many notable authors started writing Feature-Baits after writing a few legitimate features, but having no more inspiration to earn one again. Writing Feature-Bait retained popularity as it requires very little creativity, and absolutely no risk-taking. No Feature-Bait ever used an original structure or interesting concept, so it appealed to those who weren't good at creating either. As they were being written, most other users could already presume that these articles would get featured. Frequent use of Work In Progress templates created unenthusiastic anticipation with many thinking, "Ugh, when is this article going to be done so I can apathetically vote 'Yes' at VFF?"
“I only write about things that inspire me.”
One of the key components of any Feature-Bait is a simple subject matter. Many, many articles on Illogicopedia are not encyclopediac in theme, but all Feature-Bait is. Any proper noun works as the subject of Feature-Bait. It helps if the subject is fictional so the author doesn't have to work hard trying to make jokes, but instead can focus on lazily making up lore that resembles creative thought.
Popular themes of Feature-Bait are fictional creatures, wacky places, or general feelings and emotions. A brief description of the article's content should evoke a feeling of "Eh, it's probably okay." Readers should not have to read the article at all to think it's creative. A glance at the title should intrigue them enough to vote it for feature. There are no frills involved with Feature-Bait. What you see is what you get. If an article says it's about Bulimic Unicorns, the reader should get all he or she needs to know from the title.
“Are you sure I didn't write this?”
All Feature-Bait is in a factual tone. Feature-Bait emulates an encyclopedia moreso than any other type of article on the site. It should be written in an above-bored, third-person, purely objective tone with zero jokes coming from the writer/narrator. It should be remarkable how consistent and even the tone is, obfuscating the fact that the tone was boring and unfunny the whole time. All the tone should reveal about the writer is that he or she is good at stringing words together in sentence form. As much creativity goes into the tone of Feature-Bait as an SAT essay.
The only thing absolutely perfect about Feature-Bait is its formatting. All proper links are linkified, all paragraphs are spaced well, and the page is simply pleasing to the eye. This motivates readers who merely glance at the page when it's up for feature to be confident that it's at least a semi-decent article, since very few awful articles are so well-formatted. Every piece of etiquette should be followed, and no edits should have to be made by maintenance users following the article's completion.
“A picture says a thousand words, and a thousand for votes.”
No one should ever complain about a lack of images from Feature-Bait. Every topic should have a mildly relevant image with a mildly relevant caption. No featured image has ever come from Feature-Bait. If it is difficult to find the perfect image, just take an imperfect image and add a caption that makes it a tad more relevant. Most voters will appreciate the presence of images so much that they will ignore what the images actually are.
The only thought-out jokes in any Feature-Bait should be quick one-liners in the form of quotes. They lengthen the article, break up the monotony of text and images, and have a rich history in actually good featured articles in the past.
“See what I mean?”
“Writers of featured articles are 200% more likely to have sex than regular people.”
Feature-Bait has gotten many user into the double-digits in terms of features. It seems that nearly every article of theirs that is nominated for featured is a shoo-in to get featured yet again. Because of this, less and less effort is required for every Feature-Bait an author writes, as voters will feel obligated to ignore it more and more. Occasionally, these authors will feel inspired to write something other than Feature-Bait, but this inspiration leads to various levels of success.
“Why are you quoting me? I didn't write Feature-Bait!”
No one really knows. At some point, it is thought, the small validation from random Internet users that comes with getting an Illogicopedia article featured will no longer provide adequate pleasure to the authors of Feature-Bait. However, no user has stuck around long enough or cared to comment on the subject for anyone to be sure. What is known is that authors can crank out volumes upon volumes of Feature-Bait before getting bored.
Those that don't get Featured
Not all Feature-Bait gets featured, which is just sad. Multiple occurrences of failed Feature-Bait are a guaranteed cause of an Illogicopedia user quitting. Any amateur writer can only take so much failure, especially when he or she wasn't even trying his or her hardest in the first place. Most Feature-Bait does get featured however, and if it doesn't it probably just didn't emulate a good feature well enough.
Is this Feature-Bait?