It has come to my attention that many people, for whatever reason (a lack of brain cells and surplus of watching MTV perhaps), don’t know how to correctly go about the deviantART forums. Whether the said deviant doesn’t know about the forums beyond the Deviants Forum; couldn’t tell you what the word “etiquette” means if it kicked them in the ass; or just cannot find that silly, little “Reply” link, there is always someone out there having trouble with the forums which will always result in a flame. As hilarious and entertaining the flames may be, it is something that could be easily be avoided. However, the deviant must be willing to learn if they are going to ever grow to become an accepted member of the forums. So, to help prevent this, I have put together an easy (unless you’re that dense) guide to the forums.
1. Gather knowledge
This step is a must if you wish to avoid being flamed or just looking like a dumbass. By reading this guide, you’ve taken a first step in acquiring what is needed. Give yourself a big pat on the back.
A. Lurk before you post
By lurking you will begin to know what is acceptable in the forums and what isn’t. If you see someone getting praised for a detailed post explaining their opinion on an issue, then you should take a mental note that the mentioned post is an excellent way to avoid being flamed.
The same could be said about bad posts. For example, when someone says something along the lines of, “omfg u r t3h gayz dy plz!!11" chances are that the post will be rated a zero or a one... Followed by the deviant being fairly charred.
Also, the deviant will be told that a statement such as “omfg u r t3h gayz dy plz!!11" is not tolerated at deviantART and promptly flamed. It would be a good idea to remember that calling someone gay in a negative manner and telling them to die is not a good idea.
Also, be sure to notice how anybody with a little of respect and courtesy will type. Chances are the deviant types with decent grammar and their typos are at a minimum. Treat the forums like you would like an English term paper. If you want people to read your posts, don’t type like a ninny. If your post is long, use paragraphs and don’t make it a big block of text. Nobody likes big blocks of text, so use punctuation, spell to the best of your abilities (dictionaries are excellent), and brush up on your grammar skills.
B. Read the etiquette
I'm going to make this as clear as possible--READ THE ETIQUETTE. If you want to go about your forum posting in an intelligent and care-free way, learn the etiquette. It may look like it could be a long read which I know would definitely discourage a lot of people from reading it. However, if you're going to be burning time online anyways, just take 10 minutes of out your idly doing nothing time and read it, or at the very least skim through it. The etiquette is basically just having manners, but some people don't understand that telling someone to kill themself isn't exactly encouraged on the forums. Whether you have excellent control over what you say, or if you're a heartless, bitter bitch, I would recommend reading the etiquette.
C. Accompany yourself with the forum descriptions and the idea of different sections
Things are misplaced here on the deviantART forums. A lot. People seem to miss the fact that their scroll bar doesn't just stop once they reach the Deviants Forum. Also, they are under the impression that "General" means "you can post whatever you want despite the fact that we have other sections that are eleventy billion times more appropriate for your topic." Trust me, it doesn't. It means "ask your question here if there isn't any other forum that is more suitable for it and if it doesn't break policy ." Often, people will think that it means, "How is everyone tonight?" will be a good question to ask in the forums." They are wrong, don't listen to them. They forget that the forums aren't a chatroom, and that there are, indeed, chatrooms and the shoutbox.
Doing this will also prevent future instances of posting topics in the wrong forum which will lead to flaming. Some people will be nice about it, and others will burn you to a crisp. If you don't want to have to be the victim of the latter, then just get things right the first time. It doesn't take an effing genius to do.
I won't bother going over the forum descriptions. I'll spoon feed information, but not shovel feed.
D. Be able to identify the forum box link function thingies
This will probably be the simplest step for anybody and can be learned in seconds; most of it is common sense.
"Reply" - Most would think that this would be really damn easy. However, new-comers will mistake deviantART's forums for the standard, pain the ass, hard to follow .php and think its a free-for-all... Some how. Use the reply button, people, I can't stress that enough.
Also, I should mention that it should be utterly im-fucking-possible to not reply correctly when you have been replied to. When someone replies to a post you made in the forums, you recieve a message in your message center. You click on the link that will take you to the reply someone made, you are taken directly to their reply. Unless you click "Top" it shouldn't be a problem. However, by clicking "Top" you are acknowledging that you are aware of the fact that there are other links in the lower row of the forum box, thus, making you look like a fool.
"Parent" - "Parent" is probably the least understood of the links which is understandable due to the considerable vagueness of the name. However, it is referring to the post that was being replied to.
Say there is a thread, the starter of the thread will be known as Deviant A. Deviant B submitted a reply to Deviant A's thread. Deviant C would like to express his utmost agreement with Deviant B. A few days later Deviant B reads that Deviant C agrees with him, but cannot remember what he had said. Deviant B would then click "Parent" and can read what he had said. If he would want to thank Deviant C for agreeing wtih him, he would either click the back button on his browser or click "Reply" in Deviant C's post. Simple, yes? It should be.
"Top" - Clicking "Top" will take you to the top of the thread and will show all of the replies to the said thread.
"#(somebignumberhere)" - This can be found in the subject line of a forum post. Clicking this will make the person's reply a link of its own. Need to show an admin something blatantly racist or show a friend something funny/stupid? Click the #(yayfornumbers) link in the subject line of the post. Then do the standard copy and paste to where it is needed. Don't know how to do that? Unplug your computer. Voila.
Deviants name and avatar - If you are browsing the forums and come across someone and you want to visit their page, all you have to do is click on their avatar or click on their name. Their avatar will be found in the upper-right hand corner of the post, and their name in the upper-left.
"deviantART Forum:" - This is found above every thread. Clicking this will take you to a list of all the various forums.
(forum title) - Every thread is in one of thirty-four (NOTE: this is not including "special" forums such as Subscribers, Seniors, and Staff) forums on deviantART. Each of these forums have their own titles such as Complaints, Status, Music, etc. Following the deviantART Forum: link at the top of every thread you will find a link that has a forum title. This is a link that will take you to the said forum.
For example, if you are reading a thread in the Sports forum. You have already replied to a thread that you wanted to reply to and you now want to return to the Sports forum. By clicking the "Sports:" link at the top of the thread you just replied to, you will return to the list of threads in Sports.
2. Start posting
Now that you have a good idea of how the forums work through researching and bearing witness via lurking, you are ready to start posting in the forums.
A. Take things one step at a time
As you go about posting, keep in mind the things that you read earlier. Creating a new thread isn't suggested at this stage in the game unless you really feel that you are asking a worthwhile question that promotes decent discussion. I would recommend that you save that kind of thing once you are more familiar with the forums. You know, just so you can see what topics are good for discussion and which topics have been done to death.
B. Stay optimistic, you!
I would also like to encourage you to keep a positive outlook on the forums. Sometimes, things can get a little out of hand and you might be on the short end of a flame. Don't let this discourage you from staying in the deviantART forums. Most of the forum regulars are good people, trust me on this one, they are. They can be harsh from time to time, but don't let it get to you.
C. Keep away from the blundering morons
Along with this, there will be people out there that will try to give you the impression that the forum regulars/whores are fat-ass nerds that sit in their parents' basements all day waiting on the prowl to point out a grammar error. Let me be the first to say that this is (as far as I am concerned) is not true at all. The deviants that say things like that have probably screwed up one too many times and got flamed so instead of handling the situation like an adult, they will cry and throw childish insults. Don't listen to these people. They're idiots and nobody likes an idiot.
D. Play nice
If you're going to expect respect from your fellow deviants, you are going to have to give something in return. In other words, treat others you want to be treated. I know you have heard this saying all your life, but it holds a lot of truth. If you are going to be an asshole to everybody, don't expect people to like you. Nobody likes a bitchy douche bag, so just treat everybody with the same respect you want them to give you and everything should work out fine.
3. Have fun!
The forums on deviantART are a great place to make new friends; I know this from personal experience. There are lots of interesting individuals that love to spend time on the forums and want you to share the same experience that they do. So have fun with it! That's what the forums are there for. They are there for your enjoyment and so you interact with the community. Use them for just that and have a blast with it.