Forum Guide for newbies *Updated Oct 16th 2012*

Things that don't belong anywhere else. (Check first).

Moderators: Moderators General, Prelates, Magistrates

User avatar
Not a mod.
Posts: 5130
Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2006 9:51 am UTC
Location: Lower pork village

Forum Guide for newbies *Updated Oct 16th 2012*

Postby SpitValve » Sun May 06, 2007 1:03 am UTC

That's right, I used the word "newbie". Old schooling it. Because only noobs say "noob".

Update: February 3, 2011
Several old and mostly redundant threads about rules that weren't The Rules have been stripped down, cleaned out and combined here. Perhaps one day you too might find your useful inquiries culled out and allowed live on here in infamy.



Check them out. Generally, don't reply to spam, post the right stuff in the right forum and don't be a dick etc.

Update: July 5, 2010
To slow the spammers down a bit, members with no posts cannot define a signature or PM multiple users. So, if you can't make a sig, that's probably why. Also, the first two posts must be approved by a mod.

Update: October 16th, 2012
Why did my post get deleted as spam? It totally wasn't! And there wasn't even text explaining why!
This is why -

That image represents about three hours in a not too busy but not too dead period. 20 spam messages. If a Mod is quickly scanning over that, and your first post isn't in reply to something and doesn't have completely crystal clear usage of English with near perfect grammar.... the mod is probably going to click "Check All" and "Deny All Checked", disapprove of the lot and not type a reason why. Because it's all spam, right? Except the Mod just made a mistake.

And no, we're not going to click on all of them. "4857 Burberry cheap sneakers Nike buy cheap online cheap" is not something we have to click to verify. We've seen it 10,000 times before. We're going to see it 10,000 more times.


Peeps who can bust yo ass:

The Moderators can edit, delete or sticky posts and threads. The list of them is here. Sometimes mods edit things because you've broken an explicit or implicit rule. Sometimes they do it just because it's funny. Note that every rule in the mod's "code of conduct" has "unless it's funny" appended to it.

The Admins can ban people, create new forums, and basically reshape the universe as they see fit. They are davean, xkcd and Belial. While davean and xkcd (Randall, the creator of the comic) spend most of their time on a higher plane of existence, Belial tends to handle most of the day-to-day forum business. The Prelates can also ban and perform some other minor user administration. Magistrates are moderators tied to specific areas of the fora. Bananas are an excellent snack that are high in potassium.
Moderators Emeritus are those moderators who are no longer active on the fora, though they may return to their former rank at any time they choose.

Want to see the above in multiple redundant posts in a separate thread? Check here.


How to access the notification system:
Okay, there have been some recent improvements upon the fora, thanks to davean, and one of them is a new notification system. Instead of getting e-mails only for threads you subscribe to, you can also get notified through Jabber (or Gtalk - which is a branding of Jabber done by Google)! There are just a few things you need to do to get started:

First, you need to make sure you have an account – the easy ways of doing this is having a Gmail account or using one of the public servers listed here. If you don’t have one, feel free to PM me (thefiddler) with your e-mail address (I currently have something around 150 invites, and I am sure other people would be willing to send some out, too, should I run out).

Secondly, download/install one of:
Gtalk, off of this website.
Pidgin from here
Trillian needs to be the "Pro" version.
iChat (comes with OS X)

(a list of clients can be found at the jabber website client software list)

You'll need to add to your buddy list. This is done by "Add buddy" in pidgin or by "inviting" them with GTalk. To Invite them in GTalk type their name in the box at the bottom of the window and press enter; follow the dialog boxes.

After all of this is done, log into the fora. At the top right hand corner (Left in ProSilver), you’ll see a link titled “User Control Panel” – click on it.

Click on “Profile” and enter your Jabber (or Gmail branded Jabber) account under “Jabber”. Click “Submit” and then go to “Board Preferences”.

Under “Notification Preferences”, click “Jabber Only” if you wish to only receive them via Jabber/GTalk or “Both” if you wish to receive them via Gtalk and e-mail. While you are here you may also want to enable "Notify me on new private messages" . Again, click “submit”.

If you like to follow the topics you post in by default, click on “Edit Posting Defaults”. Click “Yes” next to “Notify me upon replies by default”. Hit “submit”.

You can subscribe, now, to any fora or thread and receive notifications upon reply! To Subscribe, go down to the very bottom of the page and click "Subscribe topic"/"Subscribe forum" on the bottom bar below "Who is online".

If you are just setting this up and want to make sure it works or get experienced with how it works, I would suggest taking a trip over to the test posting topic; people are posting in it fairly quickly and we'll be leaving it open for a while at least so people can play around with this.

If this doesn't work, message (through your client!) and try again.

Yes, the current format is long. davean will fix this soon.

Other additions to the notification system

Yes, it has to be Jabber. Jabber is an open protocol. The others are propriety. This sort of application is what you get when you don't use a closed protocol. I'm sorry, if you don't like that, tell your local Instant Messaging provider to publish an open spec and allow interoperation.

How To Search Effectively:
Okay, we know that some of you struggle with the search feature, and you've tried to do searches only to find that there are zillions of threads and no hope of ever finding out if there's a thread for exactly what you want. For those unfamiliar with the search function, or who just want the most effective way to find out if your thread idea is original or not, this kid pictured below is going to help you out immensely.

HowToSearch(cropped).jpg (62.41 KiB) Viewed 133696 times

The premise of each thread is stated by the original poster, and they are very likely going to use the same keywords you'd use if you were heading off to start a new thread about the same thing. Searching the first post is going to give you a concise list of original posts and the thread titles that will contain the keywords you've searched for, and it's a much more managable way to skim through the posts and determine if your thread has been done before. If you're still having issues determining if your thread has been done before, by all means message a moderator. Most of us have been around for a long time and there's a chance that we can remember if there were already threads and remember something contained within them that will enable us to narrow the field.


Some people don't know how to use all the crazy tags and things. So here's a preliminary guide:

phpBB will automatically convert URLs into links if they look like links. Unfortunately, something like this: ... ew+zealand
edit: the above link may no longer work, I cut it in half randomly to save the page width from being broken, but you should still get the point

is just plain ugly and too damn long!!!. So what you do is type something like

Code: Select all

[url=,+wellington,+new+zealand]This[/url] is down the road from me

to get something like this.

The general form is

Code: Select all


You can upload images using the Upload Attachment feature at the bottom of the posting window. Use the "Browse" button to locate an image file on your computer, then click the "Add the File" button; file comments are optional. Note that many types of files can be attached, including some audio, video, and document files. Uploaded attachments will be listed in the "Attachments" drop-down menu. If you want the attachment to appear anywhere other than the bottom of the post, use the "Place Inline" button. This feature can be used to hide large images that might make the thread difficult to read otherwise.

Code: Select all


To hotlink an image from another site, do

Code: Select all


Hotlinking is discouraged as a general practice. It steals bandwidth from unrelated sites (such as and images can be changed (aka "goatse-ed"). Either use file attachments, or an image hosting site like imageshack or photobucket, etc.

You can also put the image in a link, e.g.

Code: Select all


which comes out as

And this is what we recommend for new posts in the Individual Comic Discussion pages.

Use the "Quote" button at the bottom of a message to automatically copy a messages content into a reply window, enclosed in "Quote" tags. You can manually use these tag as follows:

Code: Select all

[quote]That's what she said.[/quote]
[quote="Your Mom"]That's what I said.[/quote]

Appears as:
That's what she said.

Your Mom wrote:That's what I said.

Please trim quoted text to use only the relavent portions. It is not necessary to insert line breaks after the closing quote tag. The tag includes line breaks and adding additional ones makes the post unnecessarily long.


The syntax is:

Code: Select all

[spoiler][Stuff you want hidden in a spoiler box][/spoiler]

Images, links, quotes and what not all work inside. Layered spoilers don't work.

Other Useful Stuff:

:arrow: Posts in Forum games and Free as in Destitute do not count towards your post count.

:arrow: Custom titles (the words some users have under their avatars pictures) are assigned only at the whim of Admins and Prelates. Don't ask for one, as that is the fastest way to never get one.

:arrow: Double posting, posting duplicate threads and needlessly reviving long dead threads (necromancy or necro'ing) are all frowned upon.
Last edited by SpitValve on Tue Aug 14, 2007 7:21 am UTC, edited 13 times in total.

User avatar
Dr. Banana
Dr. Banana
Posts: 3521
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2007 6:51 am UTC
Location: Ontario, Canada


Postby Gordon » Wed Aug 15, 2007 12:42 am UTC

Foreword by Hermaj II (May the first rest in oblivion.)

Guys, we have been noticing that there are bunches of threads being started about the same sort of topics, like exciting and mysterious things about your body and how you all can't talk to ladies. These are the sorts of things that should be (and in fact have been) covered together in previous threads. In order to stop same basic topics cropping up over and over again, we'd like you to use the threads listed below to talk about popular issues. Please make sure you do check this list out, because as of now, new threads started about these topics are likely to be locked or deleted at moderator discretion. More will be added to the list as we think of them or as we see need arise. If you have any more suggestions, or any essays about marmots, please PM me(as in hermaj, Gordon's cool with pm's too). Definitely Not RG, people.

Now, here are the instructions on how to post a new thread.

Step 1. After deciding that whatever it is in your head is just too good for Fleeting/Random Thoughts, use the Search Feature. There are some lovely tips on using the search feature here. But please.. search. And don't just search once. Search multiple times using variations on the name to see if you can find something. The forum has been around for three years now - the odds are pretty high that there already is a topic for whatever it is you want to discuss. And search the entire forum - yes, your unicycle question won't be in Movies, but it may be in Fit Club.

Step 2.
IF YOU FIND A TOPIC THAT MATCHES EXACTLY - just reply to the thread. Assuming whatever you have to say has more meat to it than "I agree", resurrect a two year old thread with your response.
IF YOU FIND A TOPIC THAT'S KINDA CLOSE - for example, you want to talk about Unicycle riding and can only find threads about bicycling, PM the moderator(s) of the particular subforum. If the subforum does not have an attached moderator, PM a currently online moderator with your question on whether or not it'll fit, and you should get an answer in a relatively short amount of time - yes, you may have to wait a bit but it is a forum. The ideas aren't going anywhere anytime soon.
IF YOU CANNOT FIND ANYTHING MATCHING THAT TOPIC Congratulations! You've managed to be original! Go ahead and post your topic. Just keep in mind that if it turns out you're wrong (and we have people with damn good memories here) we'll point and laugh at you. Or just merge the threads together. Or lock the thread with a link to the old one. One of those two last ones - we won't actually point and laugh at you.

Here is a work in progress of threads that come up fairly frequently. Please read through this list and see if it is represented.

XKCD or XKCD related stuff that you see around the place
Other Webcomics you read
Remixing XKCD/Making XKCD (slightly) Worse

Introduce Yourself
Discuss your Username
Discuss your Signature
Show us your Face
Show the rest of you (Love, Sex & Relationships Thread. This is your warning)
Strange Things About Your body
Strange Things About The Rest of You
Your Voice
Your Handwriting
Your Education Level
Your Age
Your BirthdateNew Feature - Add your birthday to your profile to be highlighted on the front page!
Discuss your tattoos
And any other body modifications
How fucked up your sleep is
Where are you From?
My Town/State/Province/Country is cool

Epic threads of epicness:
Girls (Lady Issues)
Boys (Gentleman Issues)
Confessional Thread
Rant Thread
Random Interweb Games
Today I Learned
Random things that don't really need their own thread - This actually applies to 90% of the crap posted in General. It really doesn't need it's own thread. Want to show us something cool? Want to make a quick joke? Do it here.

Other popular subjects:
Something good that happened
Something bad that happened
Something weird that happened
Everyone hates working Retail
Computer Desktop Wallpaper
Annoying Misconceptions Thread
Science Misconceptions
Talk about Commercials and other Advertisements
Facebook XKCD group

Common Questions
Can I Have a Custom Title? (No)
What is this FaiD Thing?

Games and movies and things

Picture Pwnage!
and post your youtube things here

Hall of Fame

These are the types of conversation we hold up as great examples of what life in xkcdia should be like:

Electric eels and rolling potatoes
Raptors in real life
Harmonics of soup

Hall of Shame

Things that have been discussed and do not need to be discussed again... every possible explanation/answer has been written, so if you are wondering about any of these things, read the whole thread and then Never Speak Of It Again.

0.999... = 1
What is 0/0 equal to?
The aeroplane on a treadmill puzzle. There's a good writeup here for the answer.
Any variant on the Monty Hall / 3 Door problem. Again Wikipedia knows all.

Site Forums/Issues - The place to discuss anything and everything related to the running of the website and the forums. But not the store. Seriously, not the store. E-mail for store-related questions and issues.
Yes I know it's visible on the main page, so why are you people posting this in General still?

Retired Threads:
Introduction Thread I
Intro Thread 2.0
Post Your Face V1.0

Other suggestions? PM SecondTalon, as he is the last known person interested in maintaining this thread.
Last edited by Azrael on Fri Feb 04, 2011 12:58 pm UTC, edited 5 times in total.
Reason: Moving day!
Meaux_Pas wrote:
RealGrouchy wrote:I still remember the time when Gordon left. I still wake up in the middle of the night crying and screaming his name.
I do that too, but for an entirely different reason.
RealGrouchy wrote:
Gordon wrote:How long have I been asleep?!
Our daughter is in high school now.

User avatar
Witch (?)
Posts: 2478
Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2006 8:26 pm UTC

Re: IF YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT MARMOTS...(**updated Aug 27**)

Postby rachel » Tue Oct 23, 2007 2:11 pm UTC

Everyone! There is a Fleeting Thoughts thread for a reason. Please feel free to use it at your leisure. It's frustrating to see threads created on subjects that really did *not* need their own thread.
Mighty Jalapeno wrote:I played "porn" against my sister last night.
Meaux_Pas wrote:So in otherwords, it's like the best cake ever, covered in bees.


User avatar
Our Fora-father
Posts: 3328
Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2006 2:09 pm UTC
Location: Louisville, KY

If you don't understand the rules ...

Postby TheTankengine » Wed Jan 30, 2008 5:38 pm UTC

DO NOT quote for truth, great justice or teh lulz without expanding on your point and providing some amount of additional commentary.

DO NOT double post. If you have two things to say, just say them. You CAN AND SHOULD edit your posts.

DO NOT post a new thread without first checking to see if one has already been created. It's called search.

DO NOT call people names or insult them. It's bad form and unacceptable. I do not care what your opinion of a particular group is, there is no need for name calling whatsoever.

DO NOT be annoying/a douchenozzle. If you think you are being one of these things, you probably are. STOP.
be centered
be compassionate
be interesting

User avatar
Posts: 6139
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2006 10:37 am UTC
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: Attention newbies and others that don't follow The Rules

Postby hermaj » Tue Feb 05, 2008 3:43 am UTC

Before you double post to bump: Please consider if it's really necessary. Threads die for a reason, so only post to bump if there is a good reason for doing so. Basic guideline: If you've got something like a thread in Your Art and Links and you've created more art to share, or if it's a continuous thread like the Something on YouTube thread and you have found another video or link or whatever to post a decent amount of time after your previous post, or if it's a meet-up thread and there is new information pertaining to the meet-up that you need to share, it would be acceptable to double-post in these cases. Most other times, the edit button would be preferred. Just try to use your discretion, and if you're not sure PM a mod.

Necro'ing: You can bump an old thread if you have something worthwhile and substantial to add. Example of a good necro: Say there was a thread in N&A six months back on an issue and you want to discuss new things that have recently arisen in the media regarding that issue. Excellent! You can go and post in that old thread. Examples of a bad necro are when you just want to post to say x poster is awesome, or express something already expressed in the thread, or heaven forbid simply "lol". Bumping for lulz is not cool. The older the thread is, the more seriously you need to consider whether or not it is worth bumping.

Reporting: The official exciting big rules have even been updated to include stuff on how you should be using the report feature, for those who haven't noticed. Posting after some dude who has created a duplicate thread saying "Hey, dude, you've created a duplicate thread!" isn't helpful for us. We don't always see it - we just see some thread getting replies, which is nothing special. If you report it and put a link to the duplicate thread in your post, we can see that and we can sort it out.

Witch Elf Feline
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 8:46 am UTC

Forum Guide for newbies 2

Postby Witch Elf Feline » Tue Apr 20, 2010 1:13 pm UTC

Wouldn't a simple policy of anyone posting links to porn will be banned with no questions asked?

User avatar
Posts: 26528
Joined: Sat May 05, 2007 2:10 pm UTC
Location: Louisville, Kentucky, USA, Mars. HA!

Re: Forum Guide for newbies

Postby SecondTalon » Wed Jun 30, 2010 8:25 pm UTC

There's also the argument about what is and isn't porn. [Insert hilarious porn website name here] is obviously porn. Because I just defined it as such. But take a blurry image in which a topless woman is covering her breasts with sheer cloth - it's art, right? Most people would understand it as such, even if it's not exactly what most would call a Safe For Work image, it's still not porn.

So where's the line in between? I assure you that whatever you think the line is, I can find you someone on the mod staff that disagrees and thinks it needs to be harsher or more lax. We can probably all agree on a bottom end (HA HA!) but that may just invite Envelope Pushing*.

And I hate Envelope Pushing.

*Envelope Pushing: as defined by SecondTalon : The act of a small child, usually age 3, when confronted with a clearly defined "Acceptable" and clearly defined "Unacceptable" activity (ie - Practicing swinging a baseball bat / Smacking Daddy in the kneecaps with said bat), will then begin to perform acts that draw in closer and closer to the unacceptable activity. This is also a favorite activity of the forum trolls who consider themselves subtle to, in this case, start posting pictures of orgies while arguing with the mod staff that they didn't know they couldn't because someone else posted an image in which you can see a nipple if you turn your head and squint a little.

So yeah, drawing a line in the sand is seen by most people as "Anything beyond this is completely forbidden, and it's probably best to not really hang out near here"... but for a small minority, it's an invitation to run up right to the line and waggle arms and legs while balancing with most of their body on the forbidden side with both feet technically still on the "good" side.

See Also : Every annoying sibling playing the "I'm not touching yooooouuu!" game. The problem isn't the touch, the problem is being annoying.
heuristically_alone wrote:I want to write a DnD campaign and play it by myself and DM it myself.
heuristically_alone wrote:I have been informed that this is called writing a book.

User avatar
Posts: 6491
Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2007 1:16 am UTC
Location: Boston

Re: Forum Guide for newbies

Postby Azrael » Fri Feb 04, 2011 1:59 am UTC

I have merged several threads (Forum Guide for newbies / IF YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT MARMOTS / Attention newbies and others that don't follow the rules / Read this before posting new threads) into this much smaller compilation of what I deemed to be worthwhile.

It's not perfect, much of the content is quite old and I make no guarantees regarding it's quality. The effort was undertaken to reduce the number of Sticky or Announcement threads cluttering up the top of your screen that no one ever reads anyhow.

If you have generic questions about the rules, this is a good place to ask. However, it is not a good place for general discussions of any kind.

User avatar
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2012 5:42 am UTC
Location: California

Re: Forum Guide for newbies

Postby Wiffle » Fri Jul 06, 2012 6:24 am UTC

How long do posts have to be approved by mods?

User avatar
Posts: 26528
Joined: Sat May 05, 2007 2:10 pm UTC
Location: Louisville, Kentucky, USA, Mars. HA!

Re: Forum Guide for newbies

Postby SecondTalon » Fri Jul 06, 2012 6:09 pm UTC

Ninth line in the first post.

Spitvalve (not a mod) wrote:Also, the first two posts must be approved by a mod.

Unless you're asking when that policy will be removed. And the answer to that is.... probably a couple of weeks after every forum spammer has been forcibly evicted from the planet.
heuristically_alone wrote:I want to write a DnD campaign and play it by myself and DM it myself.
heuristically_alone wrote:I have been informed that this is called writing a book.

Return to “General”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 33 guests