unofficial guide to AO and netiquette
Ok this has been done several time in the past I know but every so often I think people need a little reminder so as i had some spare time I thought why not.
Now in the past these types of texts have been centered squarly on AO but this one I am going to attempt to make a little broader and try to cover the idea of Netiquette in more depth.
Ok so some of you may well be asking now what is netiquette? Netiquette stands for network etiquette - as hopefully most of you will know etiquette is the term for the ways in which we behave in order to conform to what is regarded as polite and socialable behaviour. So in other words netiquette is the rules for behaving in a polite and sociable way online.
Now netiquette in itself is a fairly large subject one that I don't think needs to be explained in every aspect as many do not relate to the forum enviroment. But if you would like to read more there is a very exstensive write up of it at the netiquette homepage
So how does netiquette apply to Ao and other msg boards? Well many of the rules are much the same as in real life. They are also quite straight forward and are more comon sense than anything else. Some examples:
Shouting : In real life you would not shout your questions at anyone unless seriously angered - nor do we conduct everyday conversations in a rasied voice. Nor do we do this online. Now you may be asking how do i shout thro text? Simple by typing ALL IN CAPS
This is one breach of netiquette I really dislike as it actually seems in my head as if the person is really shouting >_< and should be avoided unless over one or two choice words to highlight key elements.
Lurking : This is an advisable practice. You wouldn't rush into a group of people you didn't know and start talking about the first thing that came into your head in real life so why do it here? Lurking is were you watch msg boards without actually posting. You read posts & get the feel of the place before jumping in and asking questions/posting replies. This helps you to figure out what kind of place it is - what types of questions are asked....what subjects are to be avoided etc.
FAQ's : Can you imagine if a super market clerk got asked over and over how to make a microwave dinner, when the instructions are clearly printed on the side of the box? He/she would get seriously annoyed. Well a msg forum is kinda the same. Most (99%) of forums will have some kind of FAQ (frequently asked questions) these are here so that members just coming to the site don't have to ask the same questions over and over.
Ao takes this one step further with....
The AO member FAQ
A note to newbies
these are just but a few of the top quality FAQ's and guidelines that will not only help new-commers get a feel for the site but also answer alot of the questions they may have.
Also the is now a section on the main page -
what antionline is
what antionline is not
(if you cant see it you will need to log out as it does not appear when logged in)
all people visiting the site for the first time should ensure they read this so that they know a little bit more about what the site and its members are about.
Flamming : Flamming is basically ridiculing someone else - this can sometimes be a fun practice but more often than not can lead to flame wars where threads lose there original topic and it just spirals down.
This too should be treated the same way as you would address the situation in real life. The vast majority of the time if you have a problem with someone you will not confront them about it in public but usualy in private where you can discuss the issue without everyone else getting involved. This is much the same as in AO and other msg boards...thats what the PM (private msg) button is for.
Also AO has an additional system the AP (anti-points) system - this can be used to show approval or disapproval of a post. Although the ap's given are not private (you can see what each person has recieved for each thread) the reason you give with it is.
Status Jumping : Ok I dunno if this is the proper term for it so will explain what i mean....
New guy arrives at office been with company a week and is already telling you how to do your job. Now the points he makes may be valid but you are still going to feel some resentment. This is usualy caused not by the actual point being made but how it is communicated.
eg: That shouldn't be done that way! You should do it this way.
The words in red are terms that will almsost always get a negative response in real life and online.
A better way to phrase it would be....
Perhaps another way of doing it would be to.....
this is a less aggresive way of addressing the issue. The inclusion of the perhaps shows the person that you have taken on board their way of doing things and instead of dismissing them altogether you are offering another solution.
These same princaples can be applied to msg boards. The senior members have spent alot of time and effort gettin the status they have and many of them...myself included can not help but feel a little resentment towards new-comers who arrive thinking they know better. These kind of reactions tho can easily be avoided by simply phrasing your questions carefully.
Quoting : As you may have seen used Ao (along with a great many msg boards) gives you the option of quoting someone elses post by placing what they said within [.quote] tags.
when used correctly these can really add to a post and highlight the areas that you wish to address but try and be precise when using them. No-one wants to have to scoll thro someones post again that you have quoted only to find a 'I agree' or such msg at the bottom.
When someone is having a discussion with you in real life you don't repeat back to them everything they have said you may however say something like
I know what you mean about xxxxxxx. I think that......
in this way you highlight the element of the conversation you wish to make further comments on without going back over all that was said.
RTFM : Read The F*cking Manual ..... this kind of response usualy comes when someone has asked a stupid question or one that is answered elsewhere. Now the phrasing may not always be the same - infact most of the time on AO it maybe just one word google Now if you dont know what google is its an online search engine....but there are upteen tutorials that go into what google is and how to use it. Such as
Unravling google & Use the power of search engines both by d00dz_Attackin
Google also has its own help seaction : Google help
By looking for the answers yourself you may avoid negative reactions from other members.
Ao also offers a search option....
this allows you to search previous posts to see if your question has already been answered elsewhere....this also applies when posting news etc as someone may have beated you to it.
Ok I've covered some of the basics now am going to move onto mmore AO specific ones...
Ok one of the most talked about topics and one that has caused quite alot of disagreements and annoyance in AO is antipoints......still unsure of what they are?
explination by allenb1963 in Ennis's Antionline member FAQ
xmaddness also had this to say about them in the same post
AntiPoints Explained by allenb1963
Q: Once I'm able to assign AntiPoints, how do I do it?
A: Each post has an "Assign Positive or Negative AntiPoints to This Post" link located in the upper left corner of the post which opens an assignment box. AntiPoints of a positive nature should only be assigned to posts that are worthy in that they provide a correct answer to a question, provide useful and relavent information, or make a valid point that you STRONGLY agree with. Negative AntiPoints are used for posts that provide misleading information, request information that can be used for illegal purposes, are derogatory or insulting in nature, or make a point that you STRONGLY disagree with.
As you rise through the ranks of AO and increase your number of AntiPoints, the impact of your assignments increases as well. As that influence grows, so should the sense of responsibility you use to assign those points. Forming alliances in order to enhance your position or defile someone else's AP status is a practice that is frowned upon and dealt with severely when discovered. You are strongly urged to avoid such behaviour.
When you assign points, you will notice an area where you are allowed to put in comments. Please attempt to use this area in a constructive manner and refrain from name calling and profanity. There will be cases where you may receive comments of this nature, but please remember that the bad behaviour of others does not excuse us from acting in a civilized manner.
Ok so you have an idea what they are now? good
Why do I have a message saying I'm going to be banned?
You have acquired to many negative antipoints and this is your warning. You still have a chance to redeem yourself though. Just stop posting meaningless one-liner messages like "I agree", or "Good post!" and stop asking how to hack stuff.
Ok back to what I was saying ap posts in general are frowned upon. In the past (before you could see who gave you the points, when they were anonamous) there was a spree of posts from people annoyed at recieving negs - these posts only earned them more negs as people had begun to get annoyed at some people constantly bitchin about their ap's
If you do a search for antipoints you recieve 165 results. Ok so some of these threads will be legitamate questions which have not been adressed before - but in my experience 90% of ap posts are answered already in one of the FAQ's
AP Aliances : hopefully these will not be such a problem now that you can actually see who is giving the ap's but in the past this lead to some high profile bannings. An ap aliance is were members band together to give people neg aps or to increase each others status and is highly frowned upon....if you are caught you will be banned. Is it really worth it?
Another major no-no in AO is asking how to hack/crack someone elses system/computer/software etc this includes but is not limited to asking about
- Asking how to hack hotmail
- Asking where to get warez
- Asking about pirated music/games
- Asking about how to crack other people's passwords
- Asking others to hack for you
- Asking about how to use script kiddie tools (eg subseven)
now this does not mean that these topics are completly of limits - sometimes questions about the likes of subseven are legitamite
someone may want to know how subseven (or any other SK tool) works so to better protect themselves for it. But asking something like....
How do you use subseven? will see the thread very quickly neg'd until it is suicidal
where as asking....
How is subseven used to attack a machine is a perfectly valid question
Keep your friends close and your enemies close
it is a well known fact in security communities that in order to protect your system you must know how it would be attacked so asking questions in the above format is acceptable and will prolly recieve a better response.
But there is no way of phrasing How do I hack hotmail to make it acceptable....
Anyone who has been here any length of time has heard them all....
and the list goes on - there are always variations that pop-up but mostly they are of the same format.
I think my g/f is cheating on me how can i see her email?
I have forgotten my password and really need to view some emails from work.
Someone has hacked my hotmail account and changed my password how can i hack it to change it back?
One smaller issue in the AO forums is posting threads in the wrong forum...AO has alot of different forums for dealing with different topics
- AntiOnline: How Do I? or What Is?
- Site Suggestions
- Oops! A Bug!
- AntiOnline Newsletter
- Roll Call
- AntiOnline's General Chit Chat
- Tech Humor
- The Tutorials Forum
- Newbie Security Questions
- AntiVirus Discussions
- IDS & Scanner Discussions
- Firewall & Honeypot Discussions
- Microsoft Security Discussions
- *nix Security Discussions
- Mac Security Discussions
- Network Security Discussions
- Computer Forensics
- Web Security
- Cryptography, Steganography, etc.
- Programming Security
- Product / Book Reviews
- Miscellaneous Security Discussions
- Training/Conference Reviews
- Web Development
- AntiOnline Addicts
- AntiOnline's "Front Page News & Views"
As you can see there are quite a few different forums.....now don't panic if you do by accidently post in the wrong one - it happens and usualy the moderator for that forum will just move it for you to the correct one but what is not tolerated is posting in the wrong one on purpose simply to get your post on the main page. I havn't seen this happen too much yet but in the past when JP stopped the likes of General ChitChat from appearing on the main page some people were psoting things in the complete wrong forum just so it would make the main page. This kind of behaviour is not tolerated and you may find it recieves a very negative response.
One thing you can be assured to be caught out at on AO is plagerism
this is the copying of someone elses work and claiming it as your own - its fine to quote other people or the points they have made but always quote your sources. Even if you have rewritten it yourslef still link to the original. If you can't link to original (if you recieve it in an email say) then say so.
Ok well thats all thats came to mind right away and i think is enough to get started on ;)
I'll just finsh up with some common terms used on AO (and in other places) and in this post.
- AO - Antionline
- Script Kiddie (SK) - A person who thinks they are l337 just because they can use other peoples progs like sub7
- l337 (elite, leet, etc) - Elite...someone who knows their stuff ^_^
- AP's - Antipoints
- Negs - AP's given out to show disaproval with a post
- Pos (greenies) - AP's given out to show approval of a post
- suicidal - the stage a thread reaches when it has recieved so many negs it has closed automaticaly
- ban - when someones nick is no longer allowed to access site. Can be due to recieving too may neg AP's or disregard of AO rules (such as forming aliances)
- nick (s/n, handle) - the name by which a person is known on AO
- avatar (av) - graphic used to represent person, shown below their name on posts
- moderator - member in charge of a certain forum. They ensure that posts are in correct forum or close posts which are crap basically ;)
- lammer - someone who asks 'how to hack hotmail' etc
- kiddie chat (lamer speak, sk talk etc) - the annoying habit of using numbers and symbols instead of letters eg: \/3 50 l337. l00|< 47 \/Y l337 l4|\/||\/|3|2 5D34|<
sometimes used by members for comical value ^_^
- newbie (n00b newb) - someone who has just joined (outside of AO can be applied to anyone who is new at something)
Hopefully this will help a few people get to grips with AO and how to get along in it.
I dont want to scare anyone off AO is a great place to learn and a good community as well with alot of helpfull members and a mass of usefull material....
so take a look around, get a feel for it & then come on in pull up a chair but always always always remember the first round is yours ;)