OK have seen alot of people as always going "Read the FAQ" but it was pointed out that it is not the easiest thing to find so here is a list of some of threads etc that maybe of help before posting to ensure you get the best response.
The site FAQ FAQ = Frequently Asked Questions
A note to Newbies - by allenb1963
AO member FAQ - by Ennis
Unofficial guide to Ao & netiquette - valhallen
Icon/Avatar Resource - GreekGoddess
Tutorials Forum Index - Negative
Ultimate Newbie FAQ - Ennis
Tutorial forum collection - Multiple peps
there ya go - have a wee read through those and it should set you on the right path here at AO - many of the questions you might have after joining will be covered in the above threads.