Everything is Oll Korrect!

An eclectic bibliophile's journal…

Tag: forums

How to Claim a Landmark Post

A while back, I wrote this little article on how to claim a landmark post in a message board. It was intended for users of the Megatokyo forums, “Story Discussions” in particular, but since it can apply to most other boards and it was located in a somewhat obscure place, I’m moving it here, with a few minor changes.

Corrections and suggestions are welcome.

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{Cue obnoxious tutorial mode music}

A common ritual on the Megatokyo Forums, and many other boards, for that matter, is owning landmark posts. This simply means that a particular person has the honor of having, for example, a forum’s thousandth post, an individual’s 500th post, or something else of that nature. This page is concerned with the second example, and there are three methods by which one may “claim” a post:

First, a person receives ownership if he is quoted in the landmark. For example, if MajorGeneral quotes Todd P. in his 500th post, Todd receives that post. If Major also quotes Pokeball, then both Pokeball and Todd receive partial ownership. This is the oldest and most widely accepted method of receiving ownership of a post.

Second, a person may give his landmark to someone as a gift. For example, if WyndyDay reaches her 500th post she has the option of giving it to a particular person or putting it up for grabs. The first simply involves saying either within or shortly after the landmark that it’s given to a particular person, perhaps a friend or as an exchange for a favor. By the second option, whoever asks for the landmark first receives ownership. If two people claim it, the person who posted first receives it, unless he decides to be nice and let the second person have it. Disputes are settled by the poster of the landmark. This method is newer and less accepted than the first, and should generally be used only if nobody is quoted in the landmark, or if the person who is quoted doesn’t care about such things.

Third, a landmark may be given to someone in advance of its posting. If Palad1n notices that he is approaching post number 500, he may offer it to whomever he wishes. This is the newest and least accepted method, and takes some of the fun out of it. Do this, and _Ocelot will hunt you like a wumpus, so don’t do it, foo’.

Finally, what constitutes a landmark post? A few things:

First, posts that are multiples of 100. Special value is given to posts that are multiples of 500 and 1,000. As one would expect, higher numbered posts are the most valued.

Second, posts that have numbers in some way considered cool. For example, posts allowing a change in title, post number 12,345, or 1337, etc. This isn’t an exact science, though – any number could be considered a landmark for almost any reason, but it’s best to be conservative.

Third, multiples of smaller numbers. In a small forum, or if a person is not prolific, one may consider a multiple of 50 or even 25 a landmark. Again, be conservative about this – past post 200 or so, it’s best to stop considering these multiples to be landmarks.

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Note: This information is based primarily on personal observation, but also with comments from Izuko and SpyderGreywolf over at MT.…

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Online Masks and Faces

Wearing your mask right now?

For a class I recently read the short story “The Moon Moth,” by Jack Vance. Part of the premise of the story is that everyone on the planet the story takes place on wears a mask at all times. The masks serve to inform others of one’s social status, as well as one’s personality and current mood. So, a renowned craftsman would wear a different mask than a young craftsman, and both wear different masks than a slave or prince. These masks are tremendously important in this world, and are the primary means of determining how to address someone.

This sounds outlandish, and though my professor drew an analogy to the type of car one chooses to drive, there’s really no parallel in the real world. However, the concept reminded me of the avatars used on online forums.

As in “The Moon Moth,” a person has total control over his appearance in an online environment (or at least in the types of environments considered here). I’ve discussed the significance of one’s screen name before, but the avatar is just as important. After one has been visiting a forum for a while, it’s common to identify others by their avatar more than by their name, not unlike in the real world, where one first recognizes others by their face. Except, unlike one’s bare face (barring, say, battle-scars) one can use an avatar as self-expression.

Probably the most common form of self-expression via avatars is an indication of one’s interests. If I were to use the above image as an avatar, I’d clue in others that I’m at least interested in comics and animation in general, those who recognize Rei (the female character) could also assume I specifically like Neon Genesis Evangelion, and those who are really nerdy (yeah, like me…) and recognized this specific image could also infer that I’m a fan of Kiyohiko Azuma. Of course, the text in the image can also say something about me, though usually an avatar is a little more subtle than that.

For example, I change my avatar on forums I frequent depending on what topics I’m involved with at the moment (I post infrequently enough, though, that I’m often only involved with a few threads at a time). When posting a musical parody (note: this links to a Megatokyo fanwork), for instance, I generally use this image of John Lennon’s ear:

Alternatively, on other forums, such as Civfanatics, where I’m more laid back, I’ll use an appropriate image (this particular avi is taken from the webcomic Attack of the Amazing Flying Spud):

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