How To Survive The Neoboards
So, you think you’re ready to surf the Neoboards, huh? Are you sure? Because it’s dangerous. Insanely dangerous. Well, not really, but wouldn’t it be cool if it were dangerous? Then you could brag to all your friends about how many times you nearly died or exactly where that big bruise on your body is located. But let’s get back to the purpose of this article.
You may be thinking, That loomi7 is so crazy (which I agree with). Chatting on the Neoboards is no big deal (which I disagree with). There are certain things about the Neoboards that every good Neopian should know. (The bad ones should know it, too, but we don’t talk about them.)
Of course, it’s always important to follow the rules of Neopets itself. You’ve worked hard for your items and Neopets. Wouldn’t it be a shame to be in trouble for doing something that you didn’t know was wrong? So, my first piece of advice is to read the Neo Rules. You should already know by now that you should follow the rules, and so I’m moving on to the other six things you should know.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is using chatspeak. Don’t know what chatspeak is? Here’s an example I’ve seen way too many times: LyKe ZoMg!!!!111!! I @M 5Oooo 1337! I tOtaLlY PWN!!!1118761!! Using numbers and random capitalization is a big no-no. Most people on the Neoboards will stay away from you if you talk like that. They may even call you a noob. (More on that in Number 2.) The truth is that it makes you look like one. Of course, there are certain groups and boards that completely accept that language, so if you plan on frequenting those boards, feel free to use chatspeak.
A few other things need to be mentioned in this category. For instance, correct grammar and spelling should always be used. Everyone makes mistakes, so don’t worry about making a few typos. But when people have no idea what you’re saying, that’s not a good thing. And we can’t forget about people who speak other languages. They may try to translate what you say, only to have it come out like this: I ate my shoe for tree thanks grandma wears a purple toothpick. Does that make any sense to you? No? Then how can someone else understand it?
A brief note about smilies: They are often useful in making a joke or getting a point across. A few smilies now and then spice up your post, but be careful about using too many. If your entire post is made up of smilies, GET HELP!!! I suggest seeing a counselor. Perhaps a psychiatrist. Hey, they helped me. I’m perfectly normal! 8D
No one likes getting insulted by someone they don’t know. Heck, most people don’t like to be insulted at all. To avoid any fights or all-out wars, treat people nicely. I find it helpful to follow the Golden Rule. You know, that thing everyone is always trying to pound into your head? In case you can’t remember it, here it is in plain black and white: treat others the way you would like to be treated. That means no name-calling or insulting. If you want respect, you need to earn it.
But Loomi, you say, a lot of people don’t follow that rule. Why should I be nice when someone is calling me names? Well, first off, call me Lu – everyone does. And second, if someone jumped off a bridge, would you do it, too? Well, would you? Me personally, it would depend on the height of the bridge. Anything over four feet in the air is overkill. But back to the point I’m trying to make. Let’s say that you’re chatting with a friend on a board, and suddenly this person - let’s call them Meany666 (imaginative, aren’t I?) – starts calling you a noob. (I told you we’d talk more about this. Didn’t believe me, did you?) What are you supposed to do? Typing mean things back isn’t going to solve anything. It’ll just make it worse. Politely ask them to stop. If they don’t, I find it best to simply ignore the person. If you show them that it doesn’t bother you (even if it does, they don’t have to know that), they’ll most likely leave you alone. Meany666 is probably just looking for someone to annoy. Once the fight is dropped, don’t bring it up again. It’ll just start another fight and make you look like a jerk. And if they keep insulting you, it’s considered harassment, and the best thing you can do is report Meany666.
What? you say. Why is font on this list? People shouldn’t judge others by their font! You are absolutely right about that. But the fact is, first impressions stick with you. Having an extremely bright yellow font may seem like a great idea at first, but it makes it extremely difficult to read. Large font comes off as bold and arrogant, while a small size is hard to read also. I’m not saying you shouldn’t have fun with your signature and font. By all means, have a blast. But at least take the time to think about how it will look to others. If people have trouble reading what you say, they won’t bother to.
Signatures are awesome things. Here’s where you get to tell the world exactly who you are. I’ll give you a few examples. Someone that displays the siggy, “*may spontaneously combust*”, gives you the impression that this person likes to have fun and can at times be silly. You probably will want to talk to someone like that. But if it says, “The world is a dark place. Run away.”, it doesn’t exactly inspire happiness, does it? So be sure that you say exactly what you mean. Supporting your favorite team in the Altador Cup or your favorite Neoband is perfectly fine. Lots of people do that. But take the time to make sure that you’re not insulting anyone with your words. If you don’t know why you should, you probably skipped Number Two, didn’t you? (I’m watching you, bub.)
First off, make sure that you’re on the right board. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen people bragging about their cool new avatar on the Altador Cup Board. Or someone trying to convince everyone of the merits of asparagus on the Stock Board. (Seriously, who was that guy?) There are probably over a million people out there who will pounce on you (not literally) if you don’t stay on topic. If you want to stay on everyone’s good side, only make a topic that has something to do with the board that you’re on. Also, if you see a topic that is offensive, do not reply to that person. Not even to tell them off. It only bumps their topic and allows more people to see it.
Chain letters. If you’ve been on this site for longer than three days, you’ve probably figured out that if you “Copy and paste this into ten different topics”, you’re not going to get ten different paint brushes. Again, don’t bother scolding. I recommend nicely telling the person that it doesn’t work. It’s probably a newbie who thinks they’ve discovered the secret to the universe. Simply tell them – politely – that it won’t work. People will respect you for being a respectful person.
5) Making Friends
Be friendly. I cannot stress this point enough. This is the most important rule for the Neoboards. If you were friendly, you wouldn’t want to annoy someone with chatspeak or a blinding font; you wouldn’t say rude things to them or interrupt their conversations with pointless spam. If you remember anything about this article, remember this: Be friendly. In fact, I should have put this as Number One. It is that important.
We’ve all seen newbies who hop into a random board they’ve never been on, and ask, “Wanna be my friend?” I’m sure you are shocked to know that this method of making friends usually doesn’t work. (You’re shocked, aren’t you.) My advice: find a group, guild, or team to join. If you share a common interest with someone, you’ll most likely become friends with them. I met nearly all of my best Neofriends on a board simply because I was on a certain team for the Altador Cup. But back to you. When you see that awesomely cool person with the hilarious siggy and your favorite avatar, don’t ask to be their friend right away. Get to know them. Make them laugh. Have a deep conversation about whether Tyrannian Dung Cheese is better than Gooey Snot Cheese. Once you’ve spent time talking to them, they’ll want to be your friend, too.
And don’t judge people right away. But Lu, you say. Weren’t you just talking about first impressions and stuff? Yes, I was. I’m glad you paid attention. But if you remember (or you have to look back at that section. Go ahead. I’ll wait), I was talking about the impressions your font makes. Don’t immediately categorize someone as Always Sad if the first thing you see them type is, “Man, this day really stinks.” Maybe their pet fish just died, or perhaps they accidentally ran into a wall seven times in one minute and then fell down the same flight of stairs twelve times. (I think you’ll agree that that makes for a pretty bad day.) Get to know the person before deciding if you want to be their friend.
6) Joining an Established Group
Chances are, you probably know a group, club, or team that you wouldn’t mind joining. You’ve probably even lurked on a few of their boards. And you were probably overwhelmed by the speed of the boards and the seemingly-incomprehensible chat that went on within it. Trust me, it’s not impossible to keep up with. It just seems like it.
The first few posts of a new board are used to display the rules, so go ahead and take the time to read and follow them. Everyone may just ignore you if you blatantly disregard the rules.
To begin with, lurking (watching the board, but not posting) is a good way to get familiar with the regulars and the ways of that particular group. Once you can easily identify the regulars, go ahead and introduce yourself. Get acquainted with the people you’ve been observing and join in the conversation. It may be difficult at first to keep up with everyone who’s been on the board for what seems like forever, but don’t worry. You get used to the insanity. (If your group is anything like mine, there is going to be insanity. And probably lots of it.)
It’s always a good idea to get on the good side of the regulars. If they accept you, almost everyone will. You’ll most likely get a nickname. It may have something to do with your username or personality. Or it may have nothing to do with anything. It doesn’t really matter. It just means that you’ve been accepted and you’re now one of them. Being a regular yourself depends on how often you get on the boards and how often you talk to others. Add to the conversation, but if you don’t have anything to add, you don’t need to say anything at all. Don’t say something just for the sake of saying it. Boring posts do not make you look good. They make you look boring. (Obviously.)
Are you finished yet? you say as you fall asleep on your keyboard. Actually, I am finished. And hopefully now you can survive the Neoboards. Because we all know how dangerous they can be. I didn’t get this scar on my wrist from wrestling with my Lupe, you know. Well, actually I did. But I’m sticking to my version of the truth: I got this scar back in Year 5 when I had to fight my way through a pack of mutant Grarrls just to get to the Neoboards on a dark, stormy night...
Disclaimer: This article was written solely and entirely by loomi7. Any copying of this article will be met with harsh punishment. Loomi7 reserves the right to hit you with a fish and/or tell her mommy.