Skip to main content

This is officially my Old Tyme FAQ and Jamboree, or my guide to all readers, Commenters and posters on DailyKos, the website where you are right now :)

It's not official, it's not endorsed and everything you are about to read comes from me.  Some or all of it you may know about, other things may be new.  Feel free to disagree or add anything you like!

First of all, welcome to DailyKos!  It's the number one political website on the planet and its strength and appeal comes from you, the reader, Commenter and Diary writer.  It's hosted by our godfather, Markos, and we are all his guests here.  Welcome aboard!

What's a FAQ? - Some people will tell you this is a stupid question, but it's not.  As your teacher might've told you once, there are no stupid questions.  FAQ means "Frequently Asked Questions".  There is a small official FAQ which you can and should read here.  It explains a lot of important things.  If you haven't read the official FAQ yet, please make it your first stop!

"Main Page" - This website comes in two sections.  The first is what is commonly called the "front page", which is the page that loads when you go to http://www.dailykos.com in your web browser.  The people who write Stories that appear there are known as "front page posters" and are handpicked by Markos himself.  You can get there anytime from another DailyKos page by clicking on "Home" in the upper righthand corner of your screen.

You can see an opening paragraph or two there and then click "There's more" to read the rest of the Story.  You can add your own Comment but only after you register.  If you want to make DailyKos a truly interactive experience, you have to register.  It'll give you the power to add Comments of your own (within 24 hours) and write your own Diaries (within a week).

Please don't worry that your email or other information will be sold.  I've been here for a long time and never had a single problem with this.  

Open Thread - On the front page you will see a "Story" called "Open Thread".  This is the perfect forum for you to write a Comment about anything under the sun - especially if it's just a simple link to an article on another website.  

What's a Comment? - A Comment is a short message that you yourself add to an existing article, whether "Main Page" or "Diary".  Once you're a registered user, just click on words "Add a Comment" at the bottom of either the Story or all the other Comments.  

If you're reading a Story and you add a Comment, the page will refresh and you'll lose your place.  There are two easy choices of what to do - one is wait until you're done reading the Story and then adding your Comment then.  The other is to use the right button on your mouse and click on "Add A Comment" so that it opens in a new window.  Then you can add your Comment and not lose your place in the first window!

Diaries - The other half of the website are the Diaries.  These are Stories, articles if you will, written by people just like yourself - the "ordinary" registered visitors to this site.  There are rules about Diaries that you can find in the official FAQ.  The word "Diary" makes it sound like you should be talking about what you had for breakfast or something, but it's just a DailyKos-ism meaning an article/post written by a (registered) user of the website.

What's a Story? - A "Story", for the purpose of this FAQ, means either an article written on the Front Page, the Open Comment "thread" or else a Diary.  They all function the same in terms of how to add Comments and Rate Comments.

What's a Poll? - A poll can be added to the end of any Story where votes are tabulated based on a selection of choices decided upon by the User who wrote the Story

What Can I Write About? - Hmmm... now that's a good question.  First of course, please observe the rules (two Diaries a day, etc) which you can find in the official FAQ.  If you follow the rules, pretty much everything you want to write about is ok!

Now you have to understand that DailyKos is a "community".  Many people have been here a long time and are quite attached to this place.  There are certain "ethics" or "morals" about what is or is not ok to write Diaries and Comments about.  

Here are some of the more or less "acceptable" things people write about:

  • Breaking News - although most people online have access to CNN and other "instant news" websites, sometimes people write about ongoing issues which they think the community at large would be interested in
  • Analysis of Political Issues - anything from specific bills to what politicians are doing to policies to Congressional hearings - this is a politically-oriented website!
  • Personal Stories of Political Involvement - this could be anything from what you did or saw on election day to a Story about what Congressperson you called or a petition you signed
  • Analysis of News - sometimes what the SCLM (see the official FAQ!) doesn't do a good job of covering news items and more in-depth analysis is warranted
  • General Interest - this can be almost anything really - one user (PastorDan) often covers religious issues which a lot of people find quite interesting and worthwhile to read
  • Humor - because this is a community, sometimes we need to take a break from the serious stuff and "let our hair down"
  • Diaries About Diaries - deserves its own category because its so prevalent.  Whether writing a Diary Commenting about another Diary, a Diary about how Diaries should (or shouldn't) be written or a Diary about Diaries about Diaries - these are part and parcel of what the DailyKos community is about
  • Diaries About The Community - definitely deserves its own category - this is where the users come together to discuss issues facing the entire community - what's working and what's not - and what needs to be done (or not done)
  • Diaries Analyzing Diaries - a rather new category, it refers to Diaries which analyze Diaries written by other users, whether which one is the most Recommended or what good Diaries were written in the preceding week which you might've missed
  • Cheers and Jeers - there is one specific user, Bill in Portland Maine, who writes a daily Diary called "Cheers and Jeers".  It's an subset of the DailyKos culture and one of the most popular Diaries for a lot of people
  • Cursing Diaries - sometimes people need to blow off steam and write Diaries to invite people to curse and use foul language.  These aren't for everyone, but some people greatly value them

Here are some of the more or less "unacceptable" things people write about, but probably shouldn't:

  • Duplicate Diaries (esp. "Breaking News") - sometimes people see something important developing in the news and want to write a Diary about it - the only problem is that someone else has already posted on it.  Do yourself and everyone else a favor and delete a Diary if someone else has already written about it
  • "Goodbye Cruel World" Diaries - as in any community, people get attached to the place and when they feel they are no longer as welcomed or loved as they used to be, they write a long farewell Diary.  Then after dozens of Comments saying "don't go, we love you" the Diary writer stays
  • All Hat, No Cattle Diaries - no matter how important an issue or article is, sometimes people quote a source and then add little to nothing themselves.  There are appropriate venues for linking to valuable articles (esp. in the Open Thread) if you don't have anything to add yourself about the topic
  • Full Quote Diaries - under standard internet "etiquette" and the law in most countries, quoting an entire article from another source is usually prohibited.  Make sure you quote just part of an article or another website and put a link (see official FAQ!) for readers to click on to read it in its entirety
  • Personal Attacks - if you really feel offended by someone, send them an email! Nobody really wants to read hateful screed about another user here - we're all here to be friends (or at least colleagues)
  • Advertising - If you are writing Diaries (or Comments) simply to link to your own website or product, it might be time to buy advertising on DailyKos

Guidelines For Diaries - Besides the above section, here are a few hints and tips to write Diaries that other people will appreciate:

  • Put any and all images (see below) in the "Extended Copy" section of the Diary!
  • Don't pad the "Main Entry" box with filler... either write something substantive or else don't write the Diary at all!
  • Try and make the title of your Diary a simple sentence that describes what you're writing about...

Images

Yes, you can add images (pictures) to your Diary or Comments... the html code is rather simple:

< img src="imagelocation" > (minus the spaces)

If you find an image/picture on another website and use it on DailyKos, the original host of the image has to "deliver" the image everytime a user on DailyKos sees it.  This can be quite expensive as it uses up "bandwidth".  The best thing for you to do if you want to include a picture in your Comment or Diary is to "host" the image yourself.  Try going to Google and finding a server that will host images for little to no cost.

Trusted User

This is a generally vague term, although it is explained in the Official FAQ.  Somehow, some way, when you write enough Comments that get enough positive ratings, you are awarded (or cursed, as some people call it) the power of being a "Trusted User" of DailyKos.  You now have the power to rate people with a "0" and also to see "hidden Comments".  How you can become a Trusted User is a secret formula that nobody but Markos knows.

Contrary to some people's opinion, being a Trusted User (or not) is not a life or death situation!  It's really more of an added responsibility for those who have contributed to the community itself.  If you gain Trusted User (TU) status but then lose it, take a deep breath! It's ok, you will return to TU status soon enough.  It doesn't mean you're a bad person or that Santa will fill your stockings will coal next year.

How Can I Tell If I'm A Trusted User? - The simplest way to determine this is to look at the little box at the top right-hand side of your screen.  If you see an option that says "Hidden Comments" you are a Trusted User.  Or if you are rating a Comment on a Diary or Front Page Story and see "0 - Super Troll", you are a Trusted User.  If not, you're not :)

Tip Jar - A long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away... there were a lot fewer users here on DailyKos.  A person would write a Diary and get maybe just three or four Comments, even though the Diary might've been read by 20 to 30 people.  People started to add a Comment to their own diary and called it a "Tip Jar" where people could add a rating to that particular Comment, so the person would get "mojo".  

Some people on DailyKos feel that "Tip Jars" are crass and do not give "mojo" to them.  Others feel like it's a way to reward a person for writing a Diary they liked when the reader doesn't have the time or inclination to add a Comment saying so.  It's the dealer's choice here, really.

What is "Mojo"? - Well according to a dictionary, its an African word meaning "magical power".  Here on DailyKos it refers to the combined total of ratings people get for Comments.  The higher rated your Comments are, the more "mojo" you have.  Your combined total "mojo" score is impossible to know though - the only indication is whether or not you're a "Trusted User".

Comment Ratings - This is a huge issue within the DailyKos community, and it essentially boils down to two different things.  Whenever you see a Comment (and you are a registered user), you can "rate" that person's Comment.  You can rate it between a 1 and a 4 (or a 0 and a 4 if you are a Trusted User).  But the rating of Comments serves two purposes:

  • Troll Vaccination - A "troll" is an old internet term which means someone who writes deliberately inflammatory things to upset people.  Sometimes however people write crass or uncalled for things, and these are considered "troll" Comments (or Diaries).  If the combined Ratings for a Comment falls below 1.0, then the Comment is "hidden" from non-Trusted User users.  This is to keep people from hijacking this website.
  • Mojo - The way people Rate your Comment often is an indication of how they feel about either you, what you said, or the issue in general.  Sometimes this is an orgy of positive energy, with people giving you a high rating (4) or sometimes people get vindictive and give you a low rating (0 or 1) because they don't like you personally.

There is a lot of debate on when, how and for what reason to award people either high or low ratings.  I'll leave this up to the Community to develop a standard on this issue.

Rating Comments Is Confusing - It is, especially when you see it for the first time.  The easiest way to do it is to rate a Comment after you read it.  Then keep ratings Comments until you are done with the Story.  Then when you're completely done handing out Ratings, click on one of the "Rate All" gray boxes.

When you click on "Rate All", the screen refreshes and you will lose your placemark where you are.  The easiest way to escape this is to hit "Rate All" when you're completely done reading the Story.

Replying to Comments - When you see someone write a Comment and want to respond to that particular Comment, click on "Reply to This" under the Comment.  As in adding a "fresh" Comment, you'll be taken to a new page altogether and you'll lose your place back in the Story.  The easiest thing to do is use the right button on your mouse when you click on "Reply to This" so it opens in another window.  Then you can return to the first window and not lose your place!

What's A User Number? - People sometimes like to look and see another person's User Number (also called UID).  Your user number is assigned to you sequentially based on when you registered at DailyKos, so the higher the number the more recently you've arrived here.  Sometimes people like to think that a lower user number awards some kind of special status - that's not true!  It just means they've been here for a while so they might be more familiar with how things operate around here.  Besides our host Markos, we are all equal here.

How Do I Find My User Number or Someone Else's? - Several methods are available.  One is to hold your mouse over a person's name (only works for Comments) and you might see a number in the lower lefthand corner of your browser.  For other people this does not work, whether it's a setting for your browser or something else.

Another easy way to find someone's User Number is to click the right button of your mouse on someone's name (again, only in Comments) and open that in another window.  Then you will see their user ID number.

I Wrote a Diary/Comment And Nobody Liked It - Well believe it or not, this is more common than you think.  Over 200 Diaries are written every day on DailyKos and they can't all be equally appreciated, visited and Commented upon.  Sometimes the hard work you do will go unnoticed or relatively unnoticed.  That's just part of the system!

Usually though, more people read your Diary/Comment than you realize.  They just may have not chosen to either reply to it or else give you "mojo" for it.  If you're writing to receive the applause and appreciation of others, you're heading down a dangerous path.  The best reason to write for DailyKos is because it's good for you to do so and because you think others will appreciate it.

If you're feeling like your Diaries or Comments aren't getting enough attention, then please start your own blog!

I will tell you however that people who write high-quality Comments and Diaries do end up getting noticed and appreciated for the most part - it just takes a while.  Be patient.  Again if you need to be the star of the show, start your own blog!

What's the Recommended Diaries List? - Once you're a registered user, you have the option to Recommend a Diary you like by clicking on the grey box entitled "Recommend This Diary".  This option is only available for a limited amount of time and once its expired you will see "The period of time to recommend this diary has expired."

The Diaries that have received the most Recommendations in a certain amount of time make the "Recommended Diaries" list which you can see from either the Main Page or the Diaries page.  These are not necessarily the best written Diaries on DailyKos, only the most popular.

Diaries Keep Disappearing So Quickly! - As I said, over 200 are written a day.  That is why a prudent and careful Diarist knows that every Diary published on DailyKos pushes another Diary further down on the list.  

You can change it so that up to the 50 most recent Diaries are visible to you by changing the number at the bottom of the "Recent Diaries" list on either the Main Page or the Diaries page.  

How Do I Know if a Diary on a Certain Subject Has Been Written? - Excellent question!  You have to take advantage of DailyKos' "powerful" searching feature.

One way is to go to the bottom of the "Recent Diaries" list and type in a word where it says "Search Diaries" then click on "Go".

The other way is a a little more complicated but more powerful.  First go to the Main Page or the Diaries Page and look for the three green squares at the top.  One will say "Home", one will say "Soj's Page" (actually your username's page) and the other will say "Diaries".  Click on the one that says "Username's Page".

After that page loads, click on "Comments".  Then you will find yourself at a more powerful search engine, where you can search for Authors, Comments By, Comments, Diaries, Diaries By, Polls, Stories and Users.

  • Authors - Refers to searching for Stories written by "Main Page" writers only
  • Comments - Refers to searching for text within a Comment, not necessarily written "by" a certain person
  • Comments By - Refers to searching for Comments by a certain User
  • Diaries - Refers to searching for text within a Diary
  • Diaries By - Refers to searching for Diaries by a certain User
  • Polls - Refers to searching for text inside a Poll
  • Stories - Refers to finding text within a Main Page Story only

Searching Hints - If you're not finding what you're looking for using the second method of Searching, try clicking either the box marked "As Phrase" and/or the box marked "Search Archive"

Who Determines What/Who Is Acceptable Here? - Ultimately that resides with our host, Markos.  Feel assured however that the community itself will usually let you know when you are "in bounds" of what is commonly expected.  There are no other real hard and fast rules.

A Story Is Taking Forever to Load On My Screen - This happens, especially when there are more than a few hundred Comments.  There's nothing you can really do about it except buy a faster, more powerful computer or else skip Stories which have a lot of Comments.

What's This "Display: Threaded, Minimal, Nested, Flat, Flat Unthreaded, Dynamic Threaded, Dynamic Minimum" Business? - DailyKos uses a powerful software program called "Scoop" which lets you choose how Comments are displayed on your screen.  Believe it or not, how you see the Comments organized is not necessarily how another person sees them!

Refer to the official FAQ for more information.

What's This "Rate? Yes, No, Hide" Business? - You can choose whether or not you wish to Rate Comments by clicking on either "Yes" (I want to Rate) or "No" (I don't want to Rate).  If you click on "Hide" you will not see the Ratings other people have given.

How Do I Found Out How People Rated My Comment? - First go to the Comment you wrote then click on the Rating beside it.  This will tell you who Rated you and what Rating they gave you.

How Do I Find Out Who Recommended My Diary? - Go to your Diary and then click on the box that says (using poor grammar) "Who's Recommended This Diary?"

I'm Addicted to DailyKos Now.. Help! - First, know that you're not the only one and that help is all around you!  Admit your weakness and ask for guidance from a Higher Power.  Then tell your boss so that h/she makes sure you spend more time actually working than reading Diaries on DailyKos.  If you are logging on from home, please consult a loved one and admit to them you are powerless over your addiction.

What Else Do I Need To Know? - Plenty! But the most important thing is make every visit to DailyKos a rewarding one.  If you're finding yourself increasingly frustrated, it might be time to turn off the computer and go take a long walk in the fresh air of the real world.  Pet your dog.  Kiss your cat.  Eat a homecooked meal.  Take a nap.  Go volunteer at a nursing home or soup kitchen.  Then come back here if you feel ready.

Why Do You Sign Every Comment and Diary With the Word "Pax"? - Excellent question... I do so because I am an advocate for peace and "pax" is the Latin word for that.  

Pax

Originally posted to Soj on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 10:59 AM PST.

Tags

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Nice (3.50)
    Thanks for putting the time into a very useful diary/faq/jamboree -- especially for new users.  When do we sing Kumbaya?
  •  Thanks for this (3.50)
    This is very useful and it would be great if it was linked in the FAQ section.

    I would like to put in a plug for Firefox.

    If you're reading a Story and you add a Comment, the page will refresh and you'll lose your place.  There are two easy choices of what to do - one is wait until you're done reading the Story and then adding your Comment then.  The other is to use the right button on your mouse and click on "Add A Comment" so that it opens in a new window.  Then you can add your Comment and not lose your place in the first window!

    This doesn't happen with Firefox.  It returns you to your last position on the thread even after posting a comment or rating comments.

    "That was for my refund. What the hell is Party of Five?"

    by sgilman on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 11:27:29 AM PST

    •  Second this (3.00)
      I love Firefox!  Magnificent browser.

      I can write a comment and then resume reading where I left off.  Haven't tried it with ratings, though.

      Thanks for this, Soj. I have been wondering what pax means.

      By the way, I enjoy your blog. Great work.

      •  Correction (none)
        It doesn't work with comment ratings, but you can still just rate all the comments as you read and hit Rate All when finished.

        "That was for my refund. What the hell is Party of Five?"

        by sgilman on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 12:21:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Third (none)
        Firefox rocks. Plus, it's not subject to the viruses and spyware that plague Internet Explorer. And if, like me, you spend time in several different operating system environments, Firefox works the same in Windows, Macintosh, and Unix-ish systems like Linux.

        Use Firefox. Your computer will thank you.

        I've figured out how to know what the Republicans are up to. Just listen to what they accuse the Democrats of doing. -- Me

        by Our Man In Redmond on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 03:52:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Please please link! (none)
      This helps a lot, but it would be even better if it gets linked to the official guidelines - I can't remember all this forever.
  •  Sorry (3.90)
    but it's not a jamboree until someone dances around with a tambourine.

    More seriously, thank you for this.  You should drop kos a note, since he's been working on a revised FAQ (he says).  You may also want to include the link to the trusted user guidelines that no one can really find anymore.

    Nicely done, as usual.

    These people looked deep within my soul and assigned me a number based on the order in which I joined. -- Homer Simpson

    by folkbum on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 11:43:12 AM PST

    •  Part 2 to this series (3.95)
      will include "What to Post When You're Drunk/High" and "The Myth That Old-Timers, Including Soj, Are "More Special" Than Other Users" :)

      I wonder when I get my special "cane" for being an old timer... :)

      Thanks folkbum and everyone else who makes this such a special place!

      Pax

      Night and day, you can find me Flogging the Simian

      by Soj on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 11:52:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I can't wait for part two (3.50)
        I hope I can adopt your protocols for what to post...

        Myths are great, too.  Especially when they are deserved. Of course the the cult of hero worship should be stamped out, and probably gets annoying (I wouldn't know </sniff>) but such is the souflee (sic) of Superiority.  

        Surely it is more savory than humble pie?

        if Marisacat is out there I'd like to apologize for the sucrose; its just after all the vinegar this seemed a good place for syrup.

        PS- Soj, how about a mention of the recipe diaries?

        Emancipate yourself from Mental Slavery, No one but ourselves can free our Minds.

        by TustonDAZ on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 12:23:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, recipes (none)
          Recipes are often posted in response to a trollish comment or diary in place of, or in addition to, troll-rating.  

          Caution: some recipes may encourage inebriation.

          "We cannot let terriers and rogue nations hold this nation hostile. - W, 09/09/00

          by Bob Love on Mon Mar 21, 2005 at 12:09:10 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Soj (none)
        There is no getting around it. You are more special. This is an awesome guide.
        Thanks for doing it.

        Well, Watson, we seem to have fallen upon evil days. -- Sherlock Holmes.

        by Carnacki on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 01:23:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Here's that special "cane" for you (none)
        Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

        I was going to get you a nicer one, but this just seemed more useful. Kind of like the "Bat Cane™"

        Seriously though Soj, this is a great list and could not have been better timed.

        "A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." - Mark Twain

        by SeattleLiberal on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 02:53:39 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  soj is more special than the rest of us (3.71)
        No myth.

        "Sometimes a noble fight lost achieves more than a pragmatic compromise." -paraphrase of pyrrho

        by Armando on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 02:54:56 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Cheers! (3.00)
        Great work. This is not only an excellent faq for the Kos, it's a real artifact of online community interaction. What with all the growing pains of late, it's great timing too.

        Well done, I say. Hopefully one of the regs will get it in front of The Establishment (joke) and it will get a permalink.

        Politics is the art of controlling your environment. Participate! (outlandishjosh.com)

        by Outlandish Josh on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 05:41:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Soj (3.66)
        I 4 you very much
  •  I think info on how to limit (3.50)
    img width is helpful as well [img src="http:// gif " width="250"] change [ ] to <> and remove the spaces in the sample url Also, no hotlinking to small blogs, sites, organizations other than your own. There are free photo viewing sites - use on of these. Hotlinking from small sites can be very costly and is a form of stealing.

    Today's comment: Confessions of rad-liberal

    visit dailydraftdispatch.org

    by Liberation Learning on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 12:00:40 PM PST

    •  I'm also thinking (3.50)
      that meta-diarists should all be taught the ASCII character code so that you don't have to do what you just did (that whole "replace [ and ] with < and >") or what soj did ("remove the spaces").

      The sequence ampersand-l-t-semicolon or &lt; produces a "less-than" symbol, which begins all the tags.  Replacing the first left angle in any demonstration tag with that sequence (&lt;) gives you <, and that's enough to fool the browser so as not to turn it into a real link.

      These people looked deep within my soul and assigned me a number based on the order in which I joined. -- Homer Simpson

      by folkbum on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 12:07:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  In defense of photos (3.83)

      I use a lot of photos in my diaries.  Here's the most recent:
      http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/1/9/125432/0632

      Soj is correct that images can greatly add to bandwidth -- because some images are very large in terms of file size. But they don't have to.

      I pop each photo into Photoshop, and reduce the size of the image as much as I can without losing the detail.  This reduces the file size too.

      Then I host each photo at ImageShack.us -- a great service that I see a lot of people here use.

      Also:  ImageShack provides the correct IMG TAG for you to use.  So you can just copy, and paste, their tag.  Also, ImageShack measures the size of the image for you so all that is included in the IMG tag.  

      If you don't have Photoshop, you can download many other programs, including PaintShopPro.  

      Susan in Port Angeles (my cat)

      by SusanHu on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 12:44:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Also remember (3.71)
        that when "hotlinking" the person you are stealing the image from has total control of that file and can switch the image at will to something inappropriate.  I believe this happened here not too long ago.  

        Today, I discovered some winger stealing an image off my blog and I switched the url to one of those "Fox News: Keeping you stupid 24/7" icons, which are now displayed in the comments section across wingdom.  

        Don't be duped by mean people like me across the aisle.

      •  your photo use is the best I've seen (none)
        really add to the text
      •  I think soj's main point on the photos (none)
        was to keep them below the fold. This gives people on dial-up the opportunity to not open them if their computer is too slow.  If they are above the fold and show up in the diary section it can be agonizing.

        "A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." - Mark Twain

        by SeattleLiberal on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 03:53:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Although yours is small enough (none)
          That it is probably O.K.

          "A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." - Mark Twain

          by SeattleLiberal on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 03:54:24 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks for clarifying ... (none)

            that was my point. That they don't need to be large if one just runs them through an image app.

            My computer is kind of old and there are many threads -- especially where people plop huge image files in the comments section -- that I just can't open.  It's a bummer.

            Susan in Port Angeles (my cat)

            by SusanHu on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 04:08:02 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  You should explain why (none)
      Small blogs, pictures and the like are often either subject to caps on how much information they can serve up in a day, or their owners have to pay for bandwidth used, or both. Linking to these sites is usually a no-no, because it either costs people money, or renders their site unavailable, or both. This is called the Slashdot Effect, because it was first noticed in connection with the geek blog Slashdot. While you can't slashdot large sites like the Washington Post, it's fairly easy to do with small-time operators. Just don't do it.

      You might also want to mention Imageshack, found at http://www.imageshack.us . It's a free image hosting service, so that when you find that perfect puppy picture for Cheers and Jeers, you can put it up and not destroy someone else's website. Just click the link above; usage of the site is self-explanatory. Don't worry about it getting slashdotted. It's meant to be used with eBay and similar large auction sites. It can take the traffic.

      I've figured out how to know what the Republicans are up to. Just listen to what they accuse the Democrats of doing. -- Me

      by Our Man In Redmond on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 03:59:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is helpful and kind. (4.00)
    I really appreciate your generosity and the work you put into this.  Thank you.

    It is always brave to say what everyone thinks. -George Duhamel

    by Alna Dem on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 12:01:33 PM PST

  •  Thank You Soj.. (4.00)
    You are a God or Godess...not sure which, as the debate continues. Love your writing, you are one of 3 that I subscribe to. Keep up the amazing work. I still have the pictures of the kids you posted in my mind, and there they shall be for a long time to come.

    educate 'em when they're young

    by Chamonix on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 12:16:18 PM PST

  •  Many thanks (4.00)
    This is the kind of work that everyone always agrees needs to get done and nobody ever does. Thanks for stepping up and doing it. This is a huge contribution to the entire community.

    "I still think politics is about who's getting screwed and who's doing the screwing." -Molly Ivins

    by hono lulu on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 12:24:02 PM PST

  •  Ratings and comments comments (4.00)
    Thanks Soj

    As a relative newbie (long time lurker, recent poster) I would add just two notes to your excellent synopsis:

    One, if you interrupt your ratings to add a comment, and neglect to hit rate all first, all your ratings disappear.  I learned this the hard way in C&J, as GWB would say 'adding all those 4s is hard work!'

    Two, please set margins, especially for pictures, so they don't spread comment text out so far that it doesnt wrap properly. (Maybe someone could post a reply explaining how to do this.)  Keeping the wrap is really helpful for subsequent readers.

    •  Point two addressed already-thanks! (none)
    •  Need to Click "Rate All" to Rate Any? (none)
      Something I'm not clear about:  If I do not click a "Rate All" button before I close a page, do my ratings go unrecorded?

      I'm thinking the answer must be yes, but that's usually the precise thing I do just as the trouble begins...

      Thanks so much for all of these clear and useful instructions, everyone (and especially Soj)!

      --Eleri

      "The key to security is public information." -- Margaret Chase Smith

      by Drawn4Quarters on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 05:45:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Unfortunately (none)
        the answer is "yes".  You must click "Rate All" at least once to record your ratings.

        Pax

        Night and day, you can find me Flogging the Simian

        by Soj on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 05:55:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Then I shall (none)
          T'is a small effort and I was only afraid that giving one 4 and clicking "Rate All" might spread it around in an unseemly fashion.  People DO get pregnant from touching doorknobs, you know.  Even with just their hands.  

          (It's true.  I read it on a Freeper blog.)

          "The key to security is public information." -- Margaret Chase Smith

          by Drawn4Quarters on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 07:29:15 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent work. (4.00)
    It would be nice to expand "Cursing diaries" to "Rants and Cursing diaries", although they are usually the same thing. :)

    It would also be a godsend to expand the description of the displays.  For instance, I just found the "threaded dynamic" feature and absolutely adore it since I can rate and the rating comes up immediately without having to "rate all" at the end. No more loss of ratings because I forgot to open another window to comment.  BTW, uber-mojo to you for pointing this little trick (right-click comment)out; what a time and mental health savings.

    A++++  Should be promoted to front page and linked to faqs.

    Although I haven't seen it as much lately, it's also important for new members to realize there are a myriad of established personalities and relationships when they come in.  If you see someone drop an f-bomb on someone else it doesn't immediately warrant a troll rating. There are a lot of friendships here and before you take someone to task it's best just to sit back and see if you might have only stumbled on a friendly game of profane banter instead of an actual flame war. Words on the screen can't transmit the emotion behind them. Get to know the place and people before handing out judgements.

     

    The toughest part of being on a diet is shutting up about it. Gerald Nachman

    by mentaldebris on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 01:21:21 PM PST

  •  additional notes (none)
    Great work Soj...

    Can I suggest a couple of additions?  

    1. For the "it takes forever for a story to load..." problem... there is another solution.  You can change your preferences so that comments are threaded, or other abbreviated views, which help a great deal.  As an aside, you can also change your preferences so that highly-rated comments are on the top, which just happens to be something I really like.

    2. For your rating comments section, I really like to emphasize that people should NEVER troll-rate an opinion unless it's either clearly insulting or offensive, even if it's uncomfortable to you as a political opinion.  This is really important for the site to function effectively, I think.
  •  Some diary content suggestions: (4.00)
    1. If a politician does something good and you write about it in a diary, include contact information so that we can participate in some positive reinforcement.  If a politician does something bad and you write about it in a diary, include contact information so that we can properly eviscerate him/her.  Praise and complaints here won't get to where they should go if the only thing we do is talk about it here.  Also consider adding local media contacts to a news diary.  Some local TV stations will read reader comments on the air.  LTEs are also a helpful way of getting out a viewpoint via newspapers.  LTE sections are well-read.  

    2. Break up diaries into a couple of paragraphs.  This makes it easier to read.
  •  Perfect... (4.00)
    Soj, you are a brilliant writer.  Over the weekend, I read your Jack Idema series from beginning to end (I had never looked at them before), and it is better than any movie script I have ever seen.  You can make even the arcane rules and regs of dKos into a compelling, amusing tale.  

    (For Part Two, how about an item on "sucking up to popular longtime posters for mojo?")

    (Insert Democrat Here) for President in 2008!

    by teenagedallasdeaniac on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 02:53:10 PM PST

  •  Thank you, thank you, thank you! (none)
    As a relative newbie and not the most computer-literate soul on the planet, I am truly grateful for this. You've answered some questions I didn't even know how to ask. And since I can't absorb all this right now, when I know my darlin' is waiting impatiently for me to get finished with dKos, already, so he can use the puter, I'm going to put this on my hotlist for the indefinite future... any chance of eventually getting this info folded into the official FAQ?

    As long as I count the votes, what are you going to do about it? - William Marcy Tweed

    by sidnora on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 02:59:28 PM PST

  •  One problem... (none)
    Then tell your boss so that h/she makes sure you spend more time actually working than reading Diaries on DailyKos.

    Might be a dangerous move if your boss is a Freeper!  Follow this advice with extreme caution. :-)

    Terrific diary Soj, Kos should definately look at incorporating this into the official site info.

    "I find your lack of faith... disturbing." -- Lord Vader

    by Ten Buddhas on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 03:10:34 PM PST

  •  The most important thing! (none)
    ahem
  •  Excellent work (4.00)
    both by Soj and by all the commenters. This is a useful reference, and I'd like to see something like it incorporated into the main FAQ.

    I'd just add one more thing: When you post a diary, or a comment, always preview it before you post. Make sure you spelled everything right. Check any URLs you posted. Diaries can be edited, but once you hit that "Post" button, a comment is forever.

    You might also want to read your comment carefully before you post, to make sure it says what you want to say. I often find myself writing replies to comments, looking at the reply, and then not sending the comment. Sometimes it's therapeutic to rant in the privacy of your own browser window, but I can't count the times that I've been annoyed by a comment, written a rebuttal, looked at the rebuttal, and finally decided it wasn't going to add anything to the discussion, so I abandoned it. Better to remain silent and let others judge you a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt, I guess.

    I've figured out how to know what the Republicans are up to. Just listen to what they accuse the Democrats of doing. -- Me

    by Our Man In Redmond on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 04:06:19 PM PST

    •  Excellent advice! (none)
      I always write my comments in notepad and paste them into the comment box. After I've screened them for bitchiness first. :-P

      Great work, Soj!  I learned a lot. Especially about the Trusted User status.  

      "Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them." - H.H. The 14th Dalai Lama

      by Mariposa on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 08:02:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  They should permalink this (none)
    within the faq. Great job

    The Democratic party needs to adopt its own moral and values principles (clawed) My other Drunken ravings

    by cdreid on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 04:30:01 PM PST

  •  Yup (none)
    Terrific info and advice no matter how long one's been around.

    I admit that I break the 'no pictures above the fold' etiquette in my daily diary,but I hope that by adding the parenthetical (photo) to the title I give fair warning.

    Folks, please let me know if this is not enough, and I'll move things around.

    Maybe another idea to expand upon could be something along the lines of "You know you're addicted to dKos when..."

    I mean, I think I might have a small problem, but maybe not. How can I be sure? ;^)

    Oh, and maybe a word or two on those pithy little italicized comments so many people use as footers. What's up with that?

    Peace out, RubDMC

    "Fuck with tha muthufuckas tea, and the shit be on." The 3rd Duchess of Kent, upon hearing of the Boston Tea Party (TDS)

  •  Zero Rating Abuse (none)
    Maybe you should have an FAQ for errant TUs.  Look at the first 3 comments in this diary to illustrate what I'm talking about.  Why would someone supertroll those comments?   Supertroll ratings are for Supertrolls, not to be used as a crusade against the 'f' word, not to be used as muzzle to dissent or spirited (but valuable) arguement, not to be pepper spray for the PC police and certainly not used to further your own personal vendetta against web browsers and campfire songs that you dislike!  If you dislike what someone says, have some courage and reply.  Save the zeros for frucking freepers.
  •  One question (none)
    I may be a TU with an ID number in the 200s but I still haven't figured out how to make those cool grey quote box thingees.
    •  Easy (none)
      <div class="blockquote">Quoted text.</div>

      gets you

      Quoted text.

      That is actually in the real FAQ, I believe.

      These people looked deep within my soul and assigned me a number based on the order in which I joined. -- Homer Simpson

      by folkbum on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 05:15:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Pleasure to read (4.00)
    Soj:

    Reading this reminded me of what a really quality writer/craftsperson you are.  The substantive and investigative diaries you post indicate this in spades of course, but to write this kind of rather dry and functional but nonetheless important FAQ (or any other kind of technical writing) is another skill altogether.  And you are quite the artisan.

    As someone who works hard at the latter without much success, I can really appreciate your work.  You even made me forget I was reading an FAQ.

    Salut

    In a democratic society some are guilty, but all are responsible. -Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

    by a gilas girl on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 05:56:34 PM PST

  •  "Goodbye Cruel World" Diaries (none)

    :-)) Great classification!

    I always enjoy those diaries for some peculiar reason.

  •  just a quick question (none)
    (using poor grammar) "Who's Recommended This Diary?"

    "Who's" isn't the proper contraction for "Who has"?   I thought that Who's works for both "Who is" and "Who has"-- am I wrong?  

  •  Great job (none)
    I'll get this into the FAQ as some sort of "A new user's guide to Daily Kos". Thanks!
  •  Soj is (slightly) less than perffect! (none)
    So all I need to do to rake in a dozen fours is to thank/worship Soj?  LOL!  I praise and adore thee, oh immutable and benificent Soj-being!

    One flaw left here in Soj-heaven: "How Do I Found Out How People Rated My Comment?" contains a grammatological fcukup; please to krect it.

    "We cannot let terriers and rogue nations hold this nation hostile. - W, 09/09/00

    by Bob Love on Mon Mar 21, 2005 at 12:14:32 PM PST

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site