dKos FlagWelcome, New Users, to The Daily Kos.  This Diary is intended to help you orient yourself to the site and ask questions about how to use it.

In the Body you will find some links intended to get you participating more effectively.  Also in the Body this week is a review of Search.

After that you can ask me any question you want.  I don't know all the answers so if you stump me, you do.  I invite those wiser than I to contribute and correct (or raise a ruckus, just don't scare people).

No permission slips needed, join us at the deep end of the pool for adult swim.

Hello Devil.  Welcome to Hell.

If your user id (hover your mouse over your name in any comment, look at the status bar in the bottom of your browser) is larger than 192129 you probably haven't had to opportunity to participate in one of my Welcome New Users diaries.

That would be 1337 of you more or less.

There are 13 of them that I consider the New Users Guide and I encourage you to take a look at the table of contents at least so you can see what kind of information is already available.

But don't panic, I'm always happy to review.

Search Review

So I saw a diary today that made me revisit my old work- Searches.  It's the same one as in my Blogroll.

I've written about Searches as recently as May 16th of this year, but there have been 29 671 new users since then and not everybody clicks through on the links or looks at the FAQ (hint, it will change color when you do, at least here).

Please read the linked material if you are confused, I'll not review most of it unless requested.

jotter has added a new help page called Quick Search Tips right next to the Search: box that you enter your search query in.  He provides examples of many different types of searches.  This is a different page from the more comprehensive How does the search work?

My Blogroll contains some interesting searches most of which need to be updated anyway so I'll use them as practical examples.  For you to get the same utility from them you should bookmark them.  I'll also add a few new and interesting  ones.


Blogroll Searches

The Magic Bullet I retain out of sentiment, it was the best way to look at dKos EVAH!  The modern equivalent depends on your setting your user preferences correctly.

Go to your Page, select the My Profile tab.  You will be in Account Info, you need to select the Display Prefs button.

Change Front page stories: to 50.  Push the 'Save All Changes' button.

Now click on the Front Page Diaries button, the one just above dKosopedia and Search and underneath your Page.

Some change huh?  ó-ò

Most of the other techniques I'll demonstrate won't be that complicated.

The Window of Time

An ageless classic, able to capture days of diaries at a time under the heaviest traffic!

High Impact Diaries still works just fine.

Old Top Comments with is an example of one that needs to be updated.  The problem with it is that |sid=("2007") ...| should be |sid=("2008") ...|.

This search demonstrates some standard techniques-

Results: are set to 50.  From: 1 Day To: Now, gives you a rolling 24 hours.  If you wanted a more accurate duplicate of a 'Top Comments with Restrictions' list you'd pop in a real 'sid' (story id) with the date in question (for example, |sid=("2008/10/24") ...|) and you have to make sure the From: and To: fields have values that include the date you're searching for (I usually use 2 days to avoid problems with 24 hour boundries, this is longer because I don't want the diary to go obsolete quickly).

Let's look at the restrictions-

|... not (... )|

Here we're using the logical 'NOT' operator to exclude results we don't want to see, in this case results that are tip jars (|... cid=1 ... |, comment id is the first comment) 'OR' that have selected text in the Subject: line (|... or subject=(kitten or pony or ponies or pootie or puppy or tip or cheer or jeer or "c&j" or "c and j" or "See and Jay") ...|).

I hope I made the nesting clear, were I jotter I might have added a few more parentheses and relied less on order of evaluation.  The last part of the excluded subjects also illustrates the use of quote marks to group search phrases that include white space and special characters.

So that's how you do google type searches.  Leave out the 'subject=' if you want to find content AND subject.

Old Top Comments without is a trivial fix by comparison.

We are also Find:ing Comments rather than anything else.  You can easly find recent diaries on a particular subject by a simple search like this (|sid=("2008") "todd"|).  You'll note that we changed to Sort by: 'Time' as well as Find:ing 'Stories and Diaries'.

There are 53 stories today.  Out of 748 (those numbers are going to roll around due to the From: To:, but you can just as easily isolate a date using 'sid' as we did above.

Perhaps you snoot all but the freshest virgin diaries?

You pervert.

There's lots of fun to be had in Sort by: 'Time' as I attempt in Old Hot Comments (now fixed) and Old Hot Diaries (likewise).

If you're vain you'll want to set up a mirror like ek's Top Comments and Comments that need ♥.

These illustrate the |author=""| operator for isolating an author as well as the |nrec=| operator and some of the other variations of the Sort by: feature.

The rest of my Blogroll entries are tags or single diaries I think particularly interesting to the student of how dKos works.  Most of them are fairly up to date despite their age, but some things have changed.

Originally posted to The Stars Hollow Gazette on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 08:03 PM PDT.

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