Still here? Then you might not have the best understanding of how to use the Board. That, or you're here for kicks. Either way, no need to fear, experienced Boarders are here, with this handy FAQ and some funny jokes.
First Things First
The very first thing to ask yourself, you, the newbie, is "How did I get here?" Said question referring to the Board, not your existence in the universe and not this particular wiki article, since you likely got here through a link on the Board.
If you got here through the Board, you've probably already seen and read the PPC Constitution there. If you have not read it, do so now, and come back to this page after you are done there.
Have you done that? Good.
Let's move on to the next part.
Posting on the Board
Given you've wound up here, you probably have already made at least one post. Nonetheless, let's go over how the Board works.
At the top of the Board, you'll find the option to make an account or log in to an existing account.
Below that is our welcome message and a list of useful links. Please take note of them if you haven't yet.
Below that, you'll find the New Post button (it's green) and several view tabs. By default, the PPC Board uses a thread system, but it also has a "Subforum view" and options to sort by tag and timestamp. If you're in subforum mode and want to switch back to thread mode, you can do so by selecting "Sort by date."
Only twenty-five topics may be displayed on the page in thread mode or in a subforum, and each new topic bumps an old one off into the ether. It is for this reason that "multiple posting," that is posting more than one new thread in a row, is frowned upon on the Board, as it means that a convoluted discussion or intriguing topic has been shunted from display. Some things, like introducing yourself, asking for Permission, or posting a new story, do deserve their own threads, but not everything does. Before you start a new one, please check to see if there is already a thread for talking about badfic, or discussing character creation, or asking questions, or anything else that you can guess comes up a whole lot.
On the subject of questions: we like them, especially if you've already checked the wiki for an answer and not found it. Please ask lots of questions. The best place to do this is in your original introductory thread. Don't be worried that it will get lost in the bewildering array of posts in that topic; oldbies keep a close eye on most threads and someone will usually pick up questions and answer them for you. Don't, however, post a series of questions in individual threads, for the reasons given above.
Your First Post
The current incarnation of the Board requires being logged in to post. This helps us cut down on attention from spam and trolls.
To start a new topic, click the green "New Post" button at the top of the Board. To reply to an existing post, click on the post, then click the "Reply" button at the bottom of it.
On the New Post/Reply screen, put a post title in the Subject space, type your message in the big Body space, and select any relevant tags (such as "Introduction"). Your Author name will be filled in automatically, but you may enter something else for the purpose of a role-play where you are writing as a character. You may also check a box to receive e-mail notifications when someone replies to your post.
As you have been told in the Constitution, when writing your post, make an effort towards good spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and grammar. Modern browsers such as Firefox come with a built-in spellchecker, which is very handy. Be extra-careful if you choose to post from a smartphone. Autocomplete may twist your words. Beware!
Remember to click "Preview" and make sure everything looks the way you want it before you hit "Create Post," especially if you're using Markdown or HTML formatting. Unclosed formatting tags can really mess up a thread.
Your post body can be formatted in either Markdown or a subset of HTML. If you need a cheat sheet, please see our formatting guide here.
Subject lines can only be formatted with HTML. Only do this sparingly.
If you want to use characters that have functions in Markdown, like * or ^, you'll have to "escape" them by placing a backslash in front of them. For instance, the classic anime smiley (
^_^) should be typed like so:
If you embed an image, please include alternate text, which is used by screen readers or when the image cannot be displayed, and a width in pixels to scale down large images:
<img src="imagename.url" alt="Image description" width="300"/>
Yes, we know it's old-fashioned, but we like our traditions, and a threaded forum is one of them. If you aren't used to it, we hope this explanation helps.
Topics and replies appear in chronological order. New topics appear at the top of the page. Replies to the original post appear in an indented list below it, with the newest replies at the top. Subsequent replies are further indented beneath the post they answer. The conversation thus appears as a line of links stretching diagonally down and across the page, and this line is known as a "thread."
When a thread is more than twenty-four hours old, new replies to it (made within the last twenty-four hours) receive a grey circle icon at the end to make them easier to spot. If a post has been edited, it receives a blue square icon.
Common Questions About the Board (and Boarders)
Now, some common questions about the Board and Boarders.
Does X hate me? They keep correcting everything I say.
This shouldn't really worry you too much. The PPC strives towards accuracy as much as it can, and SPaG errors make a lot of us twitch in our boots. You should use the Board's Preview function to minimize errors and edit anything really bad, but have no fear, everyone will accept the occasional typo in a post.
Boarders may also sometimes correct you on facts you might have mentioned. If you think you're right, go ahead and provide evidence, but remember that this is a friendly forum and that descent into flaming is Not Allowed.
No one has replied to my post. Are you guys ignoring me?
This likely isn't the case. Many of us are students and sometimes get busy with exams and such; others of us are adults and sometimes get busy with jobs and families. We don't always have energy left for hobbies. If you're patient, you will probably get replies when people have time and functioning brain cells.
However, it is possible that your post didn't elicit a response for other reasons. Perhaps it was too off-topic or niche. Perhaps there simply wasn't enough information to engage with. For instance, if you want to talk about a particular fic, it's a good idea to explain a little about it and include a link so people can check it out themselves if they want to. Post that go "I think I found a badfic in X fandom" and don't say anything about it just aren't very interesting.
If you're getting total silence on everything you post, then, well, yeah, we might be ignoring you. Consider taking a step back to familiarize yourself with community etiquette for post frequency and topicality before you try again. It might help to engage with other people's posts more, too.
I just asked for Permission and got rejected. Why?
- Main article: Permission
The Permission Giver who responds to your request should tell you why, but usually it will be for any of several reasons:
- You are too shiny brand new. Being active in the community and participating through answering questions, getting involved in discussions, and joining in regular PPC shenanigans for a time will help us recognize you and help you become part of the community, which is important if you want Permission.
- You don't show enough knowledge of how the PPC works. If what you have in there is contrary to how the PPC is set up, either in the spirit of things or the canon itself (such as it is), you very likely won't get Permission. If all your questions so far could have been answered by checking the wiki or reading a few missions, that also does not instill us with confidence.
- Your writing is bad. If your writing has urple prose, a complete lack of understanding of how sentence construction works in English, or especially poor spelling or grammar, you will very likely not get Permission.
- You don't play nice with others. You will not get Permission if, contrary to the spirit of the PPC and our Constitution, you are a complete jerkwad.
However, you can always take the time to improve on the issue(s) and try again later.
What's with all the weird swearwords?
- Main article: Creative Curses
Given that we like to keep the Board at a young-people-friendly PG-13 rating, we tend to cling to words and phrases we like for substitute swearwords. They might come from a particular canon or from fandom. A brief list of these, and where they came from, may be found in the main article.
I've found lots of badfic! Now what?
Your attention to duty does you credit. You should bring this stuff to the attention of the Board, of course, but try to do so by either adding it to a current thread on the topic of badfic or putting it all in one post. Multiple new threads with only one badfic in each is Bad (see above on why multiple posting is bad). Yes, we are a badfic-sporking association, but the Board is also where we have our fun and our downtime, and thus having it taken up with badfic notification is a tad depressing at times.
When you make your post on the Board, please put the name of the fandom in your subject line—it makes it much easier to get the attention of someone who might want to take it on. Also, please provide a link to the fic and tell us a little bit about it. Why is it bad? What bits made you laugh, or groan, or reach for the spork?
You can also put badfic you find on the Unclaimed Badfic page of the wiki; you should put Title, Link, and the Summary that the author wrote (resisting the urge to correct any mistakes in it). If something is NSFW or NSFB, you should also note that. Do resist the urge to add everything you find, though. Not all badfic is good mission material, so only add ones you think someone would have fun sporking.
Okay, but what is NSFW/NSFB?
These are warnings that the following link contains things that are likely to get you into trouble at work/school; NSFW stands for Not Safe For Work. NSFB is insanity taken to such a level that you yourself may suffer mental injury from reading it; it stands for Not Safe For Brain. NSFB links are usually, though not always, NSFW as well. Lots of people read and post on the Board at work or school during lunchtime, and it's best to warn them if you're linking to something that may potentially get them in trouble if someone reads over their shoulders.
What's a blacklist/BL?
- Main article: Blacklist
BL stands for blacklist. It refers to a list of items that some Boarders find triggering. Please warn for any blacklisted subject before you discuss it. You may also want to use the Board's spoiler feature to hide and warn for brief mentions of blacklisted subjects.
Whoever gave you that link ought not to have. In the PPC we label some stories Legendary Badfic. These are invariably NSFB and highly disturbing. Some Boarders occasionally think it amusing to give links to these stories to newbies and then watch the emotional fallout. Don't be tempted, and don't read until you've hung around for a month or so and learnt a bit more about why we label things Legendary.
Hey, everyone's RPing! Can I join in?
If you have Permission, then jump in with right good will!
If you don't have Permission, don't fret. Most RPs are considered only semi-canon and don't require it, and you may participate with any agent characters you've been thinking up; don't bung up an RP thread with OOC posts asking to be allowed to play. However, having participated in an RP thread does not mean you automatically have Permission, and you must still ask for that separately.
Permission may be required to join an RP intended to be 100% in-continuity, but this doesn't happen very often. When it does, the person who starts the RP will specify that in the opening post, so just check first.
What's a plover and why have I been given one?
It's a type of wading bird. They're cute. They belong to the family Charadriidae, if that's any help, and generally eat molluscs and things that burrow into sand. More information can be found here.
I have a lot of questions that aren't here! What now?
We have a few other FAQs and generally educational articles around the wiki. Here are some of them:
- The FAQ: For Newbies contains more questions about the world of the PPC that we write about.
- The Mission Writing Guide contains mission-specific questions.
- The Permission article includes a FAQ for questions about—you guessed it—Permission.
For questions about the wiki, try these:
- The Wiki Rules page is a guide our etiquette and style. Please read this before making any edits.
- Help:Wikitext will help you learn to use wiki markup in Source Mode, which is often useful if Visual Mode isn't quite behaving or you need to do something it doesn't allow.
- When you have Permission and you're ready to add your characters, see the article How to Make a Character Page first.
- When you've got missions to post, use the Posting New Mission Reports article as a handy checklist.
As stated above, you're always welcome to ask questions on the Board. But for the love of cheese, don't flood the Board! Every topic posted pushes another off, so if you have several questions, ask them all at once! In one post. Thanks!