I've made a tutorial for the internet to be used by people new to everything.
What I want to do is explain some things that I've found for myself, and just have a little help for the noobs.
If anyone else has an idea for anything I missed, or think there should be more clarification, or there's a section I put too much in, then tell me, and I'll mess around with it.
I've been around the internet for about 4 years now, and I've learned a lot from trial and error.
Here's some things I've learned, for the beginners out there.
Lesson One: Know the Lingo.
The key to easy use of the internet is knowing how to communicate with others.
Vocab/phrases to know:
Instant messager- A way for 2 internet users to share information with each other using a program that opens a text box for both to input text into.
Chatroom- A place for internet users to share information in a group setting.
Forum- A place where internet users can come to share information. Those that share information on the forum are called "posters" because they "post" the information.
BBCode and HTML- Two coding styles used to modify the way text can appear. HTML is short for "Hyper Text Markup Language" and is used for websites, while BBCode is short for "Bulletin Board Code" and is used more for forums.
Net-iquette- "Net Etiquitte". Rules of proper behaviour while using the Internet. More on this in the next lesson.
Search Engine- A website put together to help users find other sites on the internet. This uses something called Meta Tags that are put into the coding of websites that a search engine will look for. The meta tags are words related to a website that can be used by others to find that website or others like it on a search engine. Say you're looking for a website about weather. You could put in "weather news information" to find a website related to those words.
Netspeach- words or phrases used on the internet. Most of what is in this list is Netspeach. It can sometimes replace letters with other characters that looks similar, such as replacing "S" with "5". Also known as "leetspeak".
Avatar and Signature. Graphics and text used on forums to identify you, other than your Username. An avatar could be a photo of you, or some image you feel represents you, and a signature could be a banner size graphic, a series of links to places you like, or a saying or phrase you feel speaks to you.
1337- pronounced as "Leet". same as "elite". Used as a complement and to express mastery of something. ie:"I am so 1337 at that", "Dude, that's so 1337". and so on.
n00b- pronounced as "Noob". Variation of the word "Newbie". Usually used as an insult, saying that you don't know what you're doing. The opposite of "1337".
|-|4XX0|2- pronounced as "Hack sore" Usually paired with the word "1337". A variation of the word "Hack" or "Hacker".
Filter- a tool used on some boards to block certain words from showing up. Usually used to block swear words, but can be used to change certain words into certain other words, such as the word "banana" into "nanner".
OL and IRL- "Online" and "In Real Life". Used simply to say those two terms. ie: "when will you be OL again today?" and "I just spilled my coffee on myself IRL..."
LOL- "Laughing Out Loud". Probably started in chatrooms to make it easier for people to express a humoured reaction. Why they don't just type "Ha" I'll never know. It also is used sometimes to simply express that something was funny, without having to have actually "Laughed Out Loud".
ROFL, LMAO, and ROFLMAO- "Rolling on floor laughing", Laughing my *** off", and "Rolling on floor, laughing my *** off". Like LOL, used to show you thought something was funny, but you don't actually have had to perform these actions.
GTFO- "Get the f*** out" or "Get the f*** off". Used to show contempt towards another individual, by expressing your wish for them to leave. Can also be used more playfully, as in the statement " No, really? GTFO! LOL!".
STFU- "Shut the f*** up". Similar to "GTFO" in that it is used to express to someone else your wish for them to stop speaking. Can be used playfully as well. Also can be used in conjunction with GTFO to express extreme displeasure. "STFU & GTFO!"
WTF- "What the f***" Used as an exclamation to express stupefied confusion. Also can be used as simply a shortening of those three words to evade certain filters.
OMG- "Oh My God!" An exclamation of suprise or excitement.
..!!1- a string of exclamation points followed by a one. This is a typo caused by people not holding the Shift key long enough. It is sometimes used on purpose, followed by "shift+1" or any random word, like "popcorn", as an attempt at humour by using this obvious typo.
BBQ- Not short for barbeque. It's used more like !!1, in that it's used as a purposeful typo
NSFW- "Not Safe For Work". A warning used when a link is posted that warns of an image or site with R or XXX rated content, or loud annoying noises or music. Basicly, if you're online at work, don't go to this, or you could get fired or repremanded.
own or pwn- basicly means to make someone look stupid. I think it came from the idea that you played with someone's mind, thus "owning" it. The replacement of "O" with "P" came from a typo, then the idea caught on.
'd- a variation of the word ending "-ed". Used the same way, ie: "pwn'd".
Asterisks- "*" mostly used for acting out an action in a post. ie: *runs*, *stares*, *ahem*, or *sob*. Used to modify your post more so you can express yourself better. Can also be used to mark a typo in a chatroom. ie:
With stoop being the typo and stop being the word posted with the asterisk, meaning you meant stop.
Can also be used to mark a part of a post for further explaination at the bottom of the page. Used instead of trailing off on a tangent, thus making a post easier to read and understand.
Lesson Two: "Net-iquette"
Proper behaviour while on the Net is a must.
Here's some rules and guidelines I've learned.
Avatar and Signature size- Avatars should be probably no larger than 150X150. As a general rule, look at the other avatars used by fellow members. If yours stretches the page noticably, it would be best to change it.
This is sometimes debateable, but a Signature shouldn't be larger than 150X600 if it's a banner image.
It's usually agreed upon that the Avatar and Signature shouldn't be offensive or exeedingly distracting.
Grammar and spelling- ....Please for the love of all that you hold dear in this world, STOP AND CHECK YOUR SPELLING!!! The post won't mean much if nobody can figure out what you were trying to say.
This includes using leetspeak, or typing in all lowercase with no punctuation or paragraph breaks.
It can be quite infuriating.
Regarding actual content of messages:
Basic rule of thumb is "Don't be an ***". If it would get you a punch to the face IRL, don't say it OL.
Trolling- Being an *** on purpose because you want to cause trouble. This is usually used by people who don't like a community, so they will join said community to try to break it apart. Trolls want a response, so they can use it to spread more idiocy.
Sarcasm- The use of sarcasm can be hard to express online, because it relies heavily on tone of voice, while the internet is mostly text-based. Using the madeup HTML tag "</sarcasm>" after the part of your post containing sarcasm can make it clear that sarcasm was used.
All Caps- "UNLEASH THE F***ING FURY!!!!!11" A way to express yelling or loud talking, usually meant to draw attention to that part of the post, but just makes people want to kill you instead when you use it for each and every word in your posts. Ever. All the time...Do not use All Caps.
"Internet is Serious Business"- A phrase I hold near and dear to my heart. It basicly means the exact opposite of what it says, meaning that talking to others on the internet shouldn't be taken so seriously.
If you want to have a good internet experience, all you need to do is remember this.
More often than not, someone is just being an *** to be funny, but if they piss off enough people they'll either see it and stop, or they're gonna get banned. Higher blood pressure isn't worth it.
It took me a few years to get this myself, but there is a very interesting dynamic to the internet that you'll just have to get used to.
Getting Started In a Forum: Finding an online community can be tough, but I'm here to try to make it a bit easier. Let's begin.
1)Find a forum. You can use google.com or your prefered search engine to search for places that may have something you'll like.
2)Lurk. Look around. See what things are like. Scope out some users to see what the community is like. Especially look at the New Members section, if they've got one. Here you can see how they treat newcomers. You can see if they ignore the posts or make a big fuss and welcome.
3)Register. If you like what you see, then go and register. This can be different for different sites, but all forums will prompt you to input a Username and password for you to use. The username is what you'll use to identify yourself on the forum. Make it something meaningful to yourself, or something funny that shows some of your personality. If you really can't think of anything at all, then just use your last name and first initial, or something. The password is so nobody else can come on the forum under your name. You'll probably be prompted to input it twice, to make sure you've got it. You'll also need an e-mail address. You may need it to activate your account, and to recieve notifications from forum staff.
4)Organize your profile. Once you've got everything done, go and get your optional information filled in. This can be done from a Profile Page, or a User Control Panel. A profile page will have a long list of text fields and drop-down menus for you to fill out. A user control panel will take you to a seperate page with a list of options. clicking on an option takes you to the page to edit that specific information. It's like a profile page with an extra step. These pages are where you can put in your Avatar, Signature, Hobbies, Occupation and general Location. You can also put in contact information, such as a personal website and Instant Messenger information.
5)Make your introduction. If the forum has an introduction section, then go and post there. Your first post is the one where you tell everybody about yourself. You can say whatever you'd like here. Basicly just say how you came to the site, what you like to do, and let people get a feel for your personality. Also, keep up with your intro, so you can reply to anybody that may come by to welcome you.
And, if you make an intro post, stick around for a while at least. I mean seriously. It's not cool to have somebody make a post and have people welcome them and then they never come back. It's almost as bad as the people that register and never post even once. *glare*
6)Now that you've started posting at this forum, it is imperative that you follow the rules of Netiquitte.
7)Banning. If, for whatever reason, you just plain don't fit in, or are making people angry enough that they're starting to threaten bodily harm, it would be best to leave or to take yourself out of any debates that may be going on so as to not feed the flames. Continued infractions of the rules can result in your banning. If the unpleasantness isn't your fault, still, don't do anything to provoke it.
If you do end up being banned, and you feel it was unjust, do not go to other sites catering to the same community as the forum in question and slander their name. Also, do not go to sites that have absolutely nothing to do with the forum in question, create multiple accounts impersonating staff of the forum in question, and repeatedly harrass any members of that forum who just so happen to be using the same site as you. Also, do not contact staff with messages such as: "My family is in law enforcement." "I will be persuing legal action against your ***-site." "I guarantee you, this will cost you $$$." (It's happened before, and you know who you are.)
I guess that about covers it.
Be calm. Think through your next post. Don't get defensive, they can smell fear. If they attack, roll into a ball. And above all, HAVE FUN!!
The parts in the ending in parentheses are me bitching somebody out that did that stuff. He may or may not still be stalking me, so it's possible he'll read that... Just so everyone knows.