I've noticed in my brief time here at Dtoid that the overlap between community mediums is actually quite minimal. There are those who prefer the forums, whether it is because they are gracefully manned by a beautiful team of hot sexy individuals
or because they're full of hypnotoad
and partial nudity
- the forums tend to attract a crowd that is extremely eclectic. The cblogs are similar - I've noticed the writing styles vary incredibly and the subjects and content are, overall, extremely impressive - especially for a [mostly] self-regulated, community-driven collection of writings.
Then there is IRC. For those of you who are not necessarily familiar with the term IRC, it refers to Internet Relay Chat
- probably one of the oldest, and in my opinion, most effective, methods of live chat online, period. It's that little tab
up there next to reddit that you've probably not fingered yet, even though you're sort of bicurious about it. I'll admit, the link
is sort of intimidating. It asks you if you trust a certificate and then mentions something about being gang raped, and suddenly you're thrown head first into a room of scrolling text that may or may not make your eyes bleed.
But it doesn't have to be painful. The transition to group chat from something like forums or cblog comments isn't as difficult as it might seem. The keys to survival, and not being gang raped, as it were, are simple:
Tip #1: Ride the motherfucking wave, bitches.
Comments and forums give you time to read, time to catch up - you load a blog/thread and even if there are pages and pages of catching up to do, you can scroll back and read at your leisure. IRC tends to be intimidating because of how quickly it moves - everyone is talking at once and new lines of chat are popping up at alarming rates - just let it sort of wash over you. STAY CALM.
Tip #2: Git 'er dun.
Okay, I'm not saying you should be a fucking noob, but if you don't know how to do something, FIND OUT. And BE PATIENT- just because you can't keep up yet and your question scrolls off the screen in record time doesn't mean we haven't seen it. Pasting your question over and over will not get it answered, it'll get you raped by a hot bearded guy from texas. Remember how we wanted to AVOID gang rape? Wait your turn, have the decency to read a summary,
and then take it slow. Pick a username you'll like, because we'll probably end up calling you whatever you choose first. Your cblog/forum nickname is absolutely best, as a lot of us overlap between community mediums - so we might already know you. Or you can just type "/nick bushofghostsishot" and I doubt anyone will argue with you ever again. I'm pretty fucking infallible.
Tip #3: Lube up good.
Don't try to take it all in at once. Not everything said in chat is relevant to your interests. In fact, 90% of what happens in IRC is *irrelevant* - which is mostly the point. It's sort of like a community pool where everyone has tourette syndrome and no one cares if anyone is listening. Set yourself up with key words that your eyeballs look for in the sea of text.
Tip #4: Get insensitive.
Once you get good at all this you can start using an irc client other than java
(check out Pew's wicked guide
), and program in some key words that ping you - so that irc can be running in the background harmlessly until someone says something you actually care about. Until then, practice not worrying or caring too much if you miss something. At the very worst, someone will private message you with a direct question if they feel like they're being ignored.
Tip #5: Use the Schwartz.
If it's mostly random and only 10% relevant, what USE is IRC? *It's LIVE.*
IRC is where we organise our spur of the moment activities - drunk UNO, Castle Crashers parties, Skype
shows - if you're not familiar with Skype and/or Stickam, and you have a mic and/or webcam, go check it out. IRC is where you get to honestly MEET your fellow dtoiders. It's where we get to *know* each other best - for better or for worse, in sickness and in...who am I kidding, we're all pretty sick in the heads. I'm online most nights, even if I'm doing something else - it's just nice to have other dtoiders around. We're all usually messing about with our own stuff, but we're always happy to see each other. And I can only imagine it's going to make meeting you suckers at PAX/other events just that much more exciting. The power of the internet is a great power - harness that hot tramp and ride her with us.
You know you waaaaaaaaanna. Hey, sometimes the chicks even show their boobs. If that's not a motivator, then sometimes Coonskin shows his boobs, and Wilbo shows his codpiece. If THAT isn't a motivator, you're not fucking HUMAN.
xoxo - see you there!