This is the world of serious internet spaceships.
Being a scout is not a simple task. It requires a lot of information to be relayed between you and the fleet. The scout does not have to be the most experienced player. They do, however, need to pay attention. While a well experienced scout can handle and process and filter information, a less experienced person may not know what is important. This does not mean they can not make quick, clear, clean scouting decisions. Similarly, someone just giving information to another person that is time sensitive can do so in a fast, neat coherent way.
Be Calm: Its easy to get caught up and succumb to tunnel vision. Try to fight it off. Don't start screaming that ships are on grid when they are not. Don't scream about the shuttle landing. "Shuttle jumping to you" works just as well. Hyperactiveness will also cause you to blurt Vindicator instead of Viator.
Critical Information: Critical Information is the information that needs to be focused on when giving intel. These are the things that your fleet need to know right now to make decisions.
- How many?
- Are they flashy or not? (Low Sec Specific Outlaw status = no gateguns in low sec)
- Are they a war target? (War Dec Specific: Shootable in highsec or low sec with no response
- Fleet comp?
Short and Sweet: Don't babble. Don't backtalk. Answer questions. Give relevant information. Proper grammar and form can go out the window. "Drake, Drake, Talos, Stiletto, Daredevil" is fine.
Be Responsive: Answer the questions that you are being asked. Don't blurt out something critical and then forget what the chat window is. Being responsive to questions is important.
Be Accurate: If you have to, look again. I mix up Cyclone and Claymore constantly. Many ship names are similar. CCP hates us and made the Corax to confuse the Thorax. How many fleet commanders have screamed Talos when they meant Naga? (glares) Some words are similar and English an unkind language (I can't comment on the unkindness of other languages well enough).
Use your resources:
Drag and drop is a beautiful thing. Drag those names out of your local window and into the fleet window. Let the other members of the fleet help you by figuring out who the enemy is. (I know wormhole people don't have local.)
If you use this dscan tool then practice how to use it.
Pay Attention: Are you in high sec or not? Is the gate you are sitting on a high sec gate? Is it a null sec gate? Is it a low sec gate? Are they ON the gate or 100k off the gate. Was there just a gatefire? Did local spike?
If you have some time: Lets say you are in a cloaked ship, eyeballing a fleet. You have time to see what is going on. This is the perfect time to use "look at". Different weapon types look different. Autocannons and Artillery look different. Blasters and Rails look different. Missile Launches have their own models A visual scan, when time allows, of the opponent can reveal a wonder of information for the fleet commander to make his decisions off of.
Know the people you are with: If your group has a way of relaying intel, use it. If you are with another group and you do not know their habits keep it simple and clear. Don't try to use habits you don't know and then wind up giving a whole lot of nothing.
Speak up: If you don't know what they want, ask. If something is not working for you, say so. I can be terrible at this. Often times fleetmates become lost and confused.
Don't take offense: If your Fleet Commander snaps at you don't automatically snap back or sulk. Often times when someone is doing multiple tasks something breaks down. For a lot of us, it is the layer of politeness that we coat our communications with. Your FC still loves you (unless hes an asshole and then I ask why fly with him and expect to be treated well if you know hes an asshole?) and needs and wants your information. I once listened to DP screaming thanks to god in between his calls for primary. FCs are people too.
Don't assume: It is sad that our societal habits cause us to mock and ridicule people so easily. They do. Either expect it from your social group or find another one. But if a destination is set don't assume the autopilot avoidance settings. Ask if the route looks strange and tells you it is going to be 100 jumps through high sec.
And if you don't want to scout don't scout. But its not always about scouting. Sometimes we land upon information and we need to relay it to others. Killing people is important. Errything should die in a fire under the glorious pewpew of your fleet. Always trying to give good intel will help to ensure that you give good intel when its vital.