This is an extremely basic round-up of things newbies should know. Most of these topics will be addressed later, at greater length, in individual posts. I created this list based on responses to my posts asking what people think newbies need to know, and it includes the things that were mentioned most often.
In other words, I didn't make this up all by myself, and if you disagree with anything here, well, the majority of the people who responded to me seem to think this is how it should be. Arguing with me about it will get you nowhere. :)
The Basic Do/Don't Post
- Read the FAQ.
No, seriously. Read the FAQ. I know it's dry and I know it's boring, but if you read it, you will know approximately one million times more about how LJ works than 99% of the people around you.
- Use cut tags.
Things that should go behind an LJ cut include spoilers, quizzes, memes, big images, embedded videos, longer pieces of fan fiction, and any images or stories that are not worksafe. When in doubt, cut tag. How do you make a cut tag? <*lj-cut text="your text here"> (remove the *)
- Don't steal icons.
Some people make icons and post them for use by others. There are even some journals and communities for this express purpose. That does not mean every icon on LJ is up for grabs. Taking icons makes people mad, and if you're here to make friends, pissing people off tends to start things off on the wrong foot.
- Read the community rules before posting.
Do they want the subject line a certain way? When do you cut tag? What's considered off topic? All things you should know *before* you post. Read the user info. And if you think something might be off-topic? It is.
- Comment if you download.
Not that anyone on LiveJournal would ever offer movies, music, screencaptures, scans or television episodes for sharing...but if they did, it's nice to comment and let them know you're downloading what they're sharing. Some people would rather not be bothered with all the comments, and will specifically mention there is no need to comment. Otherwise, it's a good idea to comment.
- Read the FAQ.
Yes, this one.
- Don't go in blind.
Check out someone's LJ posts and/or userinfo before rushing into a discussion so you don't bash their fandom/OTP/favorite actor/preferred breed of cat.
- Don't hotlink.
Hotlinking is bad and you shouldn't do it. If you don't know what it is and why it's wrong, read this. If you need a place to host pics, try http://photobucket.com or use LJ's picture feature.
- Protect yourself.
Think carefully about how much you want everyone on the internet to know about you. More people will read your journal than you realize, thanks to friendsfriends, Google, communities, etc. Think twice before disclosing your real name, where you work, or your exact geographic location in your journal.
- Don't repost flocked entries.
Copy/pasting someone else's locked journal entry into your LJ where people other than those intended by the original poster can read it is wrong. Don't do it.
- Read the FAQ.
Still right here.
- Know how to reply to a comment and reply to a post.
"Post a new comment" allows you to reply to the original post. "Reply to this" allows you to reply *to another comment in the post*. This is a tough one for lots of newbies. If you want to direct your comment toward the person who owns the LJ (the original poster, or OP) you should "Post a new comment." If you want to respond to a comment already in the post, you should click "Reply to this" under the comment.
- Don't be a whiner/flouncer.
Whining in your journal about being defriended by someone, or making a big public deal out of defriending someone, is bad form and makes you look like an ass. Posting a big huffy entry about how you're leaving LJ (with or without subsequent deletion of your journal) also makes you look like an ass.
- Don't sign your posts/comments.
If you share a journal with another person, then yes, we need to know which of you it is. If you don't, then typing your name at the bottom of every post and comment makes you look like a n00b.
- Codes you should know.
(Remove the * to make these work!)
devildoll = <*lj user="devildoll">
Italics = <*i>Italics</i>
Bold = <*b>Bold</b>
Small = <*small>Small</small>
An LJ cut with custom text = <*lj-cut text="this is my cut text">
Close an LJ cut = <*/lj-cut>
- Read the FAQ. It's waiting for you.