support sponsors
 
 
 
 


 
Site Navigation



Forum Links




BuffyGuide.com — The Complete Buffy Episode Guide
Forums
User Manual



Other Information
---

This section of the User Manual covers various other issues:

User Statuses
Episode Review Threads
Spambot Protection for Your Public Email Address
How to Link to a Post
How to Suggest a Post for Archiving
Survey (BOQ) Templates
Common Terms
Spell Checker
Webwasher

---
User Statuses

User status denotes what "powers" a user has. You can see a user's status in the User List and the Who's Online page, and you can see each forum's moderators in the Forum Information pages.

  • Administrator — Administrators have complete control over the entire forum system. The webmaster (Jamie Marie) is the only current administrator. Administrators' usernames are purple, and are marked with a Administrator flag.

  • Moderator — Moderators have the ability to edit messages on the boards that they moderate, approve posts in the Fanfic Forum, move threads, etc. The moderators for our forums are bettie, Boo, Del, Kinitawowi, and Soupytwist. Moderators' usernames are green, and are marked with Moderator flags.

  • User — A User is a registered user who can post messages in all forums.

  • Guest — A Guest is an unregistered user (or a user who has not logged in) who can read messages, but can only post in some forums.

Back to Top
---
Episode Review Threads

Every week (when there is a new episode), we post a sticky thread for reviews of the newest Buffy and Angel episodes. There is one post for Buffy in the US, one for Angel in the US, and one for both shows in the UK (because they are behind the US). This avoids a messy array of very similar posts clogging up the thread list, and allows everyone to easily post, find, and read the reviews in one place. The threads are eventually moved to the Archive board. When you've seen the latest episode and want to comment on it or review it, you must do so in the designated thread. The thread(s) for the most recent episode(s) can be found "stuck" at or near the top of the post list in the Watcher's Diary, with a subject such as "(US/CAN) General thoughts and ratings for Buffy 4.18, Dirty Girls." Remember to read the rules outlined in the first post of the thread, and use appropriate spoiler tags. (Wonder why? See here.)

You should only start a separate thread if 1) You have a comment/question/theory on a specific aspect of the episode, and 2) No one else has already started a thread on the same topic.

Back to Top
---
Spambot Protection for Your Public Email Address

(Note: Your private administrative address is never subject to risk from spambots; only the administrator and moderators can see it. The discussion below relates to your public address, if you choose to enter one into your public profile. Also note that the spambot avoidance techniques described below only apply to the "Public Email Address" field of your profile. If you enter your email address anywhere else (in your bio, in a post, etc.), it will not be protected.)

A primary method by which spammers get email addresses is the use of software known as "email harvesters" or "spambots". (More information at Spambot Beware.) These spambots crawl the web (and newsgroups) looking for email addresses. If your email address is on a webpage somewhere, it can get picked up by spambots unless the site webmaster does something to the address to hide it from spambots. The address shown in your BuffyGuide forum profile (if you enter one at all, that is) is manipulated so that it is extremely unlikely that a spambot could pick it up. First, we use JavaScript to hide the address from spambots. A human being viewing the webpage with a JavaScript-enabled browser sees a normal email address, which can be clicked on to open an email using their email client (looks like this). But spambots are not intelligent enough to use JavaScript, nor are they ever likely to (it would be a huge waste of their resources, as the great majority of JavaScript in use on the web is not hiding email addresses), so they just see some meaningless code. But of course, a few users have JavaScript disabled, so for those users, the email address is obfuscated in a table and with an image substituting for the test "@" symbol (looks like this when you view it, and like this if you highlight it, e.g. to copy it). Spambots cannot (and will not likely ever be able to) read images, and also can't render the information in the table correctly. To a spambot, the information in that table reads: username type the 'at' symbol and remove any spaces domainname.com. A spambot just passes right over this — it doesn't even know that it is a dissected email address, let alone how to put it together. (Remember, spambots can't actually read words on a page, they just scan for chunks of text that are in a recognizable email format.)

Obviously anything you put in your profile can be read by a human being, but spammers very rarely go out and pick up email addresses with their own eyes and hands — it's a waste of time when there are much easier and faster ways to pick up millions of addresses. So if you want to put your email address in your profile so that people can email you, you can do so with very little fear of a spambot picking it up and spamming you.

Of course, there are other ways that you can end up receiving spam (here is a list of common ways spammers get addresses). Some can't really be avoided, but some can. One big culprit is companies/websites that share their list of member/customer addresses. You should, whenever possible, avoid giving your email address to a company/website that you don't trust. (BuffyGuide.com will NOT share your address — see our Privacy Policy.) Of course, sometimes you need to, or you're not sure if they're trustworthy, or a site you thought was trustworthy actually isn't. To combat this problem, you can use disposable email addresses (DEAs). You can do this yourself if you own your own domain name, or you can use a free or lowcost service like SpamGourmet or Spamex. Basically, you create a different email address for each person/site you need to give your address to, and have them all forward to your real address. For example, you use CompanyC@somespamservice.com only for your dealings with CompanyC. If you start getting spam at that address, you A) know that CompanyC sold you out, and B) can disable that email address without affecting your real address. (To explore this concept further, check out the aforementioned services, or the Google search results here and here.)

In case you're curious about our other methods of fighting spam/spammers... we also make use of robots.txt (though most spambots ignore it), htaccess, and spam poison.

Back to Top
---
How to Link to a Post

At some point, you may wish to link to another post in a thread of your own. This works just like linking to any other webpage. Here's how:

  1. First, find it. You can use the Search function, or you can look for it in the post list of the forum that the post is in.

  2. Once you've found it, you can do one of two things:

    • From the post list, threaded mode (if it's a reply), or the search results, hover your mouse over the link to the correct post and right click. In Internet Explorer, select 'Copy Shortcut.' In Netscape, select 'Copy Link Location.' OR

    • Go to the post itself, so that you're viewing the exact post you want to link to. Copy the URL from the location bar of your browser (highlight it with your mouse, then hit 'Ctrl' and 'C' on your keyboard, or right click and select 'Copy').

  3. Now that you've got the link location, paste it into your message between the URL markup tags, in the spot where you wish to place the link - like this:

    [url=PASTE THE EXACT, FULL URL HERE] Type the text you want users to see here, such as "My other fanfic" [/url]

    For example:

    Please view [url=http://www.buffyguide.com/cgi-bin/wwwthreads/showthreaded.pl?Cat=&Board=test&Number=537394543&page=0&view=collapsed&sb=5] this post [/url].
    results in:

    Please view this post.

    Note: You do not have to include the full URL — all you really need is everything up to and including the post number. So, using the sample URL from above, you could remove everything after the post number, resulting in:

    Please view [url=http://www.buffyguide.com/cgi-bin/wwwthreads/showthreaded.pl?Cat=&Board=test&Number=537394543] this post [/url].

    However, be very careful to include the FULL post number — if you accidentally delete any of the digits, your link won't work.

Whenever you have a link in your post, it's recommended that you preview it and click on the link to make sure it's correct (it will open in a new window, so you won't lose your post).

Back to Top
---
How to Suggest a Post for Archiving

Some threads from the Watcher's Diary are "kept" for archiving and moved into the Archives forum after six months of inactivity. (After six months with no new posts in it, a thread in the WD is either archived or deleted irretrievably.) The idea is that some of the "best" or most interesting/active/memorable/useful posts from the Watcher's Diary are archived there — posts that people may want to look back at later, or that could be interesting for newbies. The moderators and admin keep their eyes out for threads that they think should be archived, and some threads are always kept for archiving (such as the weekly sticky review threads). If you see a thread that you think should be kept for archiving, please use the following procedure:

  1. First, go to the FIRST post in the thread (the parent post), and look in the post header section. If you see
    — Kept —
    beneath the subject, this means that the thread is already kept for archiving. Do nothing.

  2. If it's not already kept, go to the Help Forum and enter the sticky post at the top of the post list titled "Suggested threads for archiving go HERE." READ THE GUIDELINES IN THIS POST. Then reply to the post and make your suggestion. At the very least, you MUST supply the full post subject and the username it was posted by. Better yet, give us a link (see above for help with linking to a post).

  3. A moderator or admin will check it out, and if appropriate, mark it as "kept."

  4. The thread will remain in the WD for the time being. Threads are not expired (irretrievably deleted) or archived until they've been inactive for six months.

  5. After six months of inactivity, when the thread would otherwise be expired (deleted), its "kept" status will instead cause it to be moved into the Archives board.
Back to Top
---
Survey (BOQ) Templates

Surveys are quite popular here, in which one posts a bunch of questions, and a bunch of people answer them. To make the whole business easier to read and follow, you're strongly encouraged to use templates in your surveys. This way, people replying to your thread can copy your template into their post, and the questions will already have bold tags (or what have you) around them for easier reading.

The simple way to do this is to simply click one of the template buttons in the markup box above where you type in your post. The {{b}}text{{/b}} button will give you a template for making questions bold, and the {{b}}{{green}}text{{/green}}{{/b}} button will give you a template for making questions bold and green. Simply click the button, and then type your question in place of the word "text."

Alternatively, you can make templates for any type of markup. The way to do this is to use two squiggly brackets wherever you would normally use a single straight bracket. For our example, we'll just assume that you want to make all of your questions bold. You'll type:

{{b}} Which was your favorite Smurf? {{/b}}


Users viewing your post will see:

[b] Which was your favorite Smurf? [/b]


They'll copy that directly into their post, and users viewing their posts will then see:

Which was your favorite Smurf?

Another example, using two markup codes, with the goal of making survey question appear in bold, purple text:

{{purple}} {{b}} Which was your favorite Care Bear? {{/b}} {{/purple}}


Users will see:

[purple] [b] Which was your favorite Care Bear? [/b] [/purple]


Which, when they copy and paste in their post, will result in:

Which was your favorite Care Bear?

Back to Top
---
Common Terms

You may see terms used in the forums that you aren't familiar with. A few of them:

OT: Off Topic (in this case, off the topic of Buffy/Angel).
BOQ: "Bunch of Questions," otherwise known as a survey.
PM: Private Message.
ME: Mutant Enemy, Joss Whedon's production company — in other words, the Powers That Be that control the Buffyverse.
JM: Either the webmaster, Jamie Marie, or James Marsters, the actor who plays Spike — you'll have to identify via the context of the post. wink
Sticky Post or Sticky Thread A thread which has been made "sticky" so that it stays at the top of the post list.
Forum / Board / Message Board: All are pretty much synonyms for the conversational facilities you see here. If you see "forums," it probably refers to the community as a whole. If you see "forum" (singular) or "board," it probably refers to one forum in particular (i.e. The Watcher's Diary, the Fanfic Forum).
Back to Top
---
About the Spell Checker

For what it is, the forum spell checker is a good tool. However, it's not the same as the spell checker in, say, Microsoft Word. Basically, there's a huge list of words. When you spell check, the program looks to see if each of your words is in that list. If not, it tells you the word is spelled incorrectly. In some cases, this may not be true — the list doesn't contain every possible word known to man, especially in the case of slang or names.

Also, the list doesn't contain possessive versions of every word, or even most words, so it will think many words with apostrophes are wrong. It's not the most superb spell checker in the world, but it does the job - it catches misspelled words. Sure, it might be possible to have a tremendously intelligent spell checker with a tremendously huge dictionary, but it would be too hard on the server anyway, so we wouldn't be able to use it.

Back to Top
---
Webwasher

If you use Webwasher, you will not be able to post messages. This is NOT intentional, and we don't know why, but you'll have to turn it off in order to post.

Back to Top
---
Previous
Back to Contents
 
 
---


Disclaimer & CopyrightsPrivacy Policy