Skip to main content

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a community guide?
How do I post a comment?
How do I post a diary?
How do you embed a link?
How do you create that cool gray quote box?
What is SCLM?
How do you pronounce "Kos"?
What is a "trusted user"?
What are the comment viewing options?
Troubleshooting: I can't post a diary or comment!
Troubleshooting: Troubles logging in
Diary Guidelines

Is there a community guide?
The closest thing to a community guide is this diary entry by Pastordan. That diary entry inspired the creation of a forum on the dKosopedia that will eventually blossom (we all hope) into a new community manual.

How do I post a comment?
You have to register with the site to post comments. New users must then wait 24 hours to post a comment. The clock starts running after the initial login. This is to prevent abuse of the diaries by trolls (people who post inflammatory articles just to get an inflamed response).

To post a comment: find the comment you wish to respond to, then click on "Post a comment" near the bottom of the comment. This will open a new comment box. Put a title for your comment in the title box (many people put "asdf" or "aoeu" as a subtle protest against having to put in a title comment). Put the body of your comment in the large box. Use any html formatting you want to.

How do you post a diary?
You have to register with the site to post comments or diaries. New users must then wait one week to post a diary. This is to prevent abuse of the diaries by trolls (people who post inflammatory articles just to get an inflamed response).

If you want to post a diary, first think about whether your thoughts are a good fit for a diary topic. Diaries are coming in at nearly 200 a day these days, many of them widely judged to not be worth the effort. Somebody recently opined that you shouldn't put up a diary unless you'd put about an hour's time into writing it. That may be excessive. But you should be prepared to put in a little more time than a few minutes to make a quality diary entry. If what you want to post isn't worth that kind of time, consider a comment on an open thread or somebody else's diary on the same or similar topic.

Second, due to the volume of diaries on the same topic, please look at the list recently posted diaries, at the Diary Search page, to see if there's one on your topic. Please do not post a diary if your topic was covered within the last twenty diaries.

With those two caveats in mind, onward to how to post a diary:

  1. find the orange box on the right side of the main page titled with your username
  2. click on the "new diary entry" link
  3. when you get to the diary page, read the rules! They were all put there for a reason.
  4. In particular: if you reference a story, include an embedded link (See "How do you embed a link?" below.)
  5. Give you diary a snappy but appropriate title so that people know what they're getting. A deliberately misleading title is uncool. In addition, a title like "Look at this", "Must read", or "How long has this been going on?" is not very helpful.
  6. Put an introductory paragraph in the "Intro Entry" box. This is the only diary text that will appear on the main diaries page.
  7. Put the bulk of your entry, including any graphs or pictures, in the "Extended Entry" box.
  8. If you want to post a poll, put the poll question in the title box and the available responses in the answers box. It's usually better to limit the responses to four to avoid splintering the votes too severely, unless it's just for fun. Also, you're more likely to get more readers for your diary if you include a poll AND if you include "poll" in your diary title.
How do you embed a link?
Embedding a link:

<a href="http://www.dailykos.com">Daily Kos</a>

This will get you: Daily Kos

How do you create that cool gray quote box?
Creating a gray quote box:

<div class="blockquote">Text to go in quotebox</div>

What is SCLM?
This refers to the "So Called Liberal Media", an epithet for our mainstream media which many people claim is liberally biased. Most people at Daily Kos see the media as either corporate entities seeking whatever story is easiest to find, or outright shills for the Bush administration. The term was adapted from Eric Alterman's book "What Liberal Media?", an expose of just how rightwing the mainstream media has become. You can read explanations of this acronym and other commonly used acronyms on Daily Kos at the list of political expression on dKosopedia.

How do you pronounce "Kos"?
"Kos" is from the second half of my name, "Markos". It rhymes with "morose".

What is a "trusted user"?
This site uses a system called "Mojo" to try to keep the comments as high-signal as possible. All users can rate all comments, except their own, between 1 and 5. When your comments are rated by others, those ratings are combined into a weighted average -- newer comments count more than older ones -- called your "Mojo". This, roughly, represents the rating we could expect your next comment to receive based on your past comments. Users who have a mojo greater than a certain minimum and who have posted a sufficient number of comments are considered "trusted" users, and have the added capability to rate comments below the normal minimum rating. If enough of a user's comments are rated below 1, that user becomes "untrusted", which means that respected members of the community have repeatedly indicated that your input is offensive, content-free, or merely intended to annoy others.

What are the comment viewing options?
At the bottom of each story, you can set how you view the comments about the story. You have several options that allow you to make it easier to read and follow a discussion: Display: Minimal, Flat (default), Threaded, Nested and Dynamic. Of the 4, minimal just shows the comment names in a nested format. The other three show more information. Flat and Nested show ALL the body of the comments, in either a flat format, or a nested format. Threaded shows the comments in a nested format, with any comments that are replies to other comments in a minimal format. In addition, dynamic mode allows you to expand and collapse comment and threads without refreshing the entire page. Try them and see what works best for you. Rate: This is whether you want to be able to rate comments. We recommend that you leave this on and rate comments. Feedback is always a good thing. Once you have made your changes, click the set button and watch them come into effect. We recommend you try several different settings. Fiddle around and see what works best for you.

Troubleshooting: I can't post a diary or comment!
You have to register with the site to post comments or diaries. New users must then wait 24 hours to post a comment, and one week to post a diary.

Troubleshooting: Troubles logging in
99 percent of the time, login problems can be traced to cookies. You must have cookies turned on. Scoop uses them to remember your user preferences, display preferences, and comment preferences. If you have cookies on, and it still doesn't seem to work, then it might be a cookie logjam. You might have an old, non-working cookie lying around which prevents the setting of a working one.

First try going to www.dailykos.com/logout and then try logging in again.

If that doesn't work, try pulling up the cookie manager or file on your browser and look for any cookie that mentions dailykos.com. Delete any you find, restart the browser, and give it another try.

If it *still* doesn't work, then try turning on cookie notification/approval and first seeing if it tries to set a cookie on login, and if so copy down what exactly is in the cookie, and send it in to me kos@dailykos.com so I can see if there's something wrong with what the site is sending out.

Diary Guidelines
    Some Basic Fundamentals
    Section 1, the "Title"
    Section 2, the "Main Entry"
    Section 3, the "Extended Entry"
    Section 4, the "Poll"
    The Diary Listing
Some Basic Fundamentals

First and foremost, and I don't think this can be reiterated enough, a 1 or 2 line entry does NOT a diary make. And another thing - only TWO diary entries per day!

  • Got a poll or other link you'd like people to see? Use the open threads, that's what they're for.
  • If your entire entry shows up on the diary pages, that's not a proper diary entry - that's what the open threads are for.
  • Got a "breaking story" but got no details but you're going to burst if you don't mention it within the next 30 seconds? Use the open threads, or wait until you have more details to chronical for a proper diary entry. Alternatively, you could could stop in the IRC channel (#dailykos on efnet) and bounce ideas off folks there.
Some "soft rules"about writing diary entries...
  • Before writing a new diary entry, check out the "Recommended Diaries" on the main page. If it's a major issue (most recently Sinclair, Jon Stewart, and "Mary F**ing Cheney"), chances are there's an existing thread there that you can tack your new info on.
  • Use the search function to see if what you're about to write has already been posted.
  • Once you've written your diary, scroll through the most recent 4-5 pages or so of diary entries to see if someone's posted the same thing in the interim. It's amazing how many diary entries that are almost identical get posted within about 15 minutes of each other. If they have, don't post yours. If you have some added info that they've omitted, add it as a comment to theirs. Lately, there's been an average of 25+ pages of diary entries in a 12 hour period - that's over 300 entries! One could honestly argue that at least 25% (often more) of them are 100% redundant.
Now for the actual mechanics of a diary entry.

Section 1, the "Title"


One would hope that this is fairly self-explanitory - this is where your title goes ;o)
(back to top)



Section 2, the "Main Entry"


This is what folks will see as they scroll through the diary pages. Keep in mind that this should just be an "introduction, or "teaser", or "lead-in". Think of the start of your local news - they give you a quick headline at the top of the broadcast, and then go indepth once they get into the program.
If you have a ton of info in this section - stop! If your entire diary entry is in the section- stop! Go back and pare it down to or a line or three - one paragraph at most. This section is only there to get peoples' attentions and get them to the rest of your entry. People shouldn't have to hit the PageDown button on their keyboards 23 times, or even once for that matter, to get to the next entry.
It also might be a good idea to keep pictures out of this section - not everyone has highspeed internet access and the more pictures there are, the longer things take to load. Let's be a little more sympathetic to our dial-up friends!
(back to top)



Section 3, the "Extended Entry"


Once someone clicks to read your diary entry, this is what they'll see on the page after the "Main Entry". Consider this the "meat and potatoes", if you will. The section above is what gets their attention, this part is where you say what you've got to say. This part can be as long as you want - including lists, links, pictures, quoted paragraphs, etc.
If you have little or nothing to put in this section, consider making a post to one of the open threads instead of a diary entry.
(back to top)



Section 4, the "Poll"


Here you can ask the community a question and offer a multiple choice list of answers. This part is 100% optional. Hopefully, it's also fairly self-explanitory.
(back to top)



The Diary Listing

Once you hit the PREVIEW button about 300 times and still miss 23 spelling errors, you're ready to hit the SUBMIT button. Here's what a diary entry should look like on the diary pages:

If yours is a lot more than this, consider going back and editing it.
(back to top)



That's it!
It's not too difficult to make a viable and efficient diary entry. I hope this is to help out the folks that might be a bit confused with what to do, and perhaps help everyone be able to make better use of Daily Kos.
Cheers!

...Rob

--------------

Parts stolen from Kuro5hin. Revised on 8.8.2004 by Daily Kos reader tmo.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

  • Recommended (131)
  • Community (66)
  • Elections (25)
  • Environment (24)
  • Media (23)
  • Culture (22)
  • Civil Rights (22)
  • Trans-Pacific Partnership (21)
  • Science (21)
  • Law (21)
  • Josh Duggar (20)
  • Labor (19)
  • Ireland (17)
  • Marriage Equality (17)
  • Economy (17)
  • Bernie Sanders (16)
  • Climate Change (15)
  • Hillary Clinton (15)
  • Rescued (15)
  • 2016 (15)
  • Click here for the mobile view of the site