DailyKos FAQ 2
Archival version Please make all revisions to the live version, DailyKos_FAQ
- How do I put text in a nifty grey box? See #Block_Quoting
- How do I make text bold or italic? See #Auto_Format
- How do I include a picture? See #Pictures_and_images
- How do I find my user ID number? See #UID_numbers
- Why did my 'Frist!' comment disappear? See #First_comments
- Why are people yelling at me for posting a link to my diary? See #Diary_pimping
This FAQ file is intended as an introduction to the daily kos website and community. It includes an overview of the site, a guide to reading and posting diaries and comments, and answers to some frequently asked questions.
What is daily kos?
Who is kos?
"Kos" is the US-Army/screen nickname of the founder of Daily Kos, Markos Alberto Moulitsas Zúniga. (See also the in-progress dkospedia entry Markos Moulitsas Zúniga, and the Wikipedia pages Kos and Markos Moulitsas Zúniga.)
What is the purpose of this site?
(Condensed from this diary written by kos in late 2004)
This is a Democratic blog, a partisan blog. One that recognizes that Democrats run from left to right on the ideological spectrum, and yet we're all still in this fight together. We happily embrace centrists like NDN's Simon Rosenberg and Howard Dean, conservatives like Martin Frost and Brad Carson, and liberals like John Kerry and Barack Obama. Liberal? Yeah, we're around here and we're proud. But it's not a liberal blog. It's a Democratic blog with one goal in mind: electoral victory. And since we haven't gotten any of that from the current crew, we're one more thing: a reform blog. The battle for the party is not an ideological battle. It's one between establishment and anti-establishment factions. And as I've said a million times, the status quo is untenable
Who posts here?
The quick answer is "anyone who wants to". There are a wide variety of people writing diaries and comments on dkos. They include elected politicians, candidates hoping to become elected politicians, experts in a range of fields, and active bloggers from around the net. The vast majority of writers, however, are ordinary citizens interested in talking about and participating in the political process. The majority of people posting here fall on the liberal side of the US political spectrum, however people of conservative views are welcome to come and debate. If you are polite, you will be treated politely. Unfortunately, there are some people who post comments or diaries with the sole purpose of provoking others. These people are called trolls. Some tips and techniques for dealing with trolls are described below.
Is that post really from Somebody Famous?
Fairly often, there are diaries that claim to be authored by Senators, Representatives, and other people in the news. The site administrators make every effort to ensure that posts claiming to come from a Senator really do originate from that Senator rather than a prankster or dirty trickster. To date, there are no known cases of anybody impersonating a Representative or other noteworthy person. However, it is better to be safe than sorry; if in doubt, ask, especially if the person is a candidate looking for funds. In addition, it should be noted that diaries that are listed as being by a particular elected official are sometimes written by someone on the staff, rather than by the official themselves.
Often, people refer to UID, or User ID, numbers. Every registered user has an ID number; these are assigned sequentially in order of registration. To find a UID, either yours or someone else's, find a comment written by that author. At the bottom of the comment, there are two links, one with the name of the author and the other with the date and time of the comment. The one with the author name contains the UID. For example, a comment by kos will have a link that looks like http://www.dailykos.com/user/uid:3, indicating that kos has UID 3. At the time of this writing, there are nearly 80,000 registered IDs.
How can I post here?
First, you need to create an account. The registration link is in the menu of links, or you can click here. Choose a username, fill in the rest of the fields, and send in the form. After a 24 hour waiting period, you will be allowed to post comments. After a 1 week waiting period, you will be allowed to post diaries. These waiting periods are intended to discourage "drive-by" trolling.
Parts of daily kos
This section of the FAQ gives an overview of the different components of the dkos environment. More detailed information on these components is given in the next section on Contributing to daily kos.
The front page
The first thing that you see when loading Daily Kos is the front page. Most of the stories on the front page are written either by kos or by a small set of people designated by kos as front page posters. Currently, there are approximately half a dozen front page posters at any given time, serving one-year terms.
Most of the action takes place inside of diaries. These are written by users, and then read and commented on by other users. Diaries can be found in three places. Most diaries appear in the Recent Diary list on the right-hand side of the screen. By default, this shows the last 20 diaries that have been posted; this can be reset as high as 50 diaries using the field at the bottom of the list. People reading diaries can recommend them (see below). If a diary receives enough recommendations, it will automatically be promoted to the Recommended Diary list, which sits above the Recent Diary list. Recommended diaries tend to attract a wider audience and more comments than most diaries. The length of time that a diary spends on the Recommended list depends on how many users recommend it; it can vary from a few minutes to more than one full day. Diaries moving to the Recommended list is a democratic process; the diaries on the list are the ones that recieved the most "votes" to be there. The third, and most prominent, place to find diaries is the front page of the site. These are the articles that are seen when going to www.dailykos.com. Front-page stories have two sources. First are diary entries written by kos, or by one of the half-dozen or so people that kos has given front-page privileges to. In addition to writing their own diaries, kos and the other front-pagers often promote interesting diaries from the Recent list to the front page. These promotions are at the discretion of the front-pagers, unlike the voting process which governs promotion to the Recommended list.
Inside diaries, users can post comments. Generally, these comments are in response to something in the diary, or are responding to other comments. Next to the title of each comment are two numbers inside a set of parentheses. These numbers give the rating of the comment. The first number shows how many users have rated the comment and the second shows the average rating. Ratings vary from 0 to 4, and are covered in more detail below.
Every user has a User Page. There is a link to this page in the menu sidebar. The User Page contains a collection of links gathering all of the diaries and all of the comments written by that user. The 'My Profile' tab on that page is the place to change all of your preferences.
The hotlist, found under the Tools sidebar, is a place to store links to diaries that you want to refer back to. Next to the title of every diary is a ; clicking this icon will add that diary to your hotlist for future reference. Clicking the 'Subscribe' link next to a diary author's name will automatically add future diaries by that author to your hotlist. Once you have subscribed to a diary or diarist, the icon will change to a . Click this to remove the story from your hotlist. Comments that are replies to any of your comments are automatically added to your hotlist.
All diaries posted to dkos are tagged. Tags are keywords that the diary author and/or readers add to identify the subject(s) of the diary. This allows people to easily find all of the diaries that deal with a specific subject. The complete list of tags is called the Tag Cloud. By default, it is sorted by number of diaries that use each tag, but this can be changed to alphabetical sorting in the Interfaces section of the 'My Profile' portion of the User Page.
The dkosopedia is a reference work associated with daily kos. It is modelled after Wikipedia and contains a large amount of information on a wide variety of topics. Anyone can register at dkosopedia and add/edit articles. Note that registration at dkosopedia is seperate from registration at daily kos, though most people register using the same user name.
On the right side of the page, there is a column of advertisements. The cost of maintaining a large internet site such as dkos is signficant; the great majority of this cost is covered by the sale of advertisements. Advertisements can be turned off by purchasing a subscription; subscribing currently costs $4/month or $40/year.
Contributing to daily kos
Registration and posting privileges
To do anything beyond simply reading diaries and comments, it is necessary to become a registered user, as described above. When you first register, there is a one day waiting period, after which you can write comments. After one week, you can write diaries, recommend other people's diaries, and rate comments. Posting and other activities are privileges granted by kos, who owns this site. Sufficiently obnoxious behavior, at his discretion, can result in banning.
Once you've been registered for at least one day, you can post comments inside diaries. To post a comment to the diary itself, click on the 'Post a Comment' link immediately beneath the diary text or at the very bottom of the page. To post a comment that replies to a comment, click the 'Reply To This' link underneath the comment text. Either way, you will be taken to the New Comment screen. Choose a Subject (a title for your comment), and write what you want. If you use any sort of formatting commands or embedded links (see below), you should hit the Preview button to make sure everything is correct. Then hit Post. The first thing to remember when writing a comment is that it is going to be read by other people. Personal attacks are strongly discouraged. If you disagree with what someone is saying, express your disagreement, but don't go directly after the other person. Because tone of voice and facial expressions are lost in online discussions, it's easy for something to be taken the wrong way. Flame wars do nobody any good.
On many sites, such as Atrios, it is a tradition for the first commenter on a new thread to post a message of 'First' or similar. That tradition is not followed on dkos. Posting a 'First' message here is likely to get you troll-rated (see Rating Comments below) and/or yelled at.
People sometimes post comments urging people to read some other diary. This practice is known as "diary pimping". It is a legitimate thing to do under two circumstances. Firstly, when the subjects of the two diaries are closely related. Secondly, pimping is accepted in open threads, generic storyless diaries posted to the front page at regular intervals. Pimping in random diaries (or, especially, diaries on the Recommended list) will likely result in the comments being troll-rated.
Writing a diary is, in principle, quite simple. Click the 'New Diary Entry' link in the Tools sidebar, pick a title, write some text, choose a tag or two, and hit 'Submit'. Well, OK, maybe there's a bit more to it than that. For starters, The Rules, as posted by kos on Jan 3, 2006:
- All users are limited by the system to one diary per calendar day.
- New users cannot post diaries for one week after an account has been created.
- "Intro" box for new diaries has a three paragraph limit. If you exceed that limit, use the "Extended Body" box for the remainder of your diary.
- Diaries should be substantive. A good guideline is that if you don't have at least three solid paragraphs to write about your subject, you should probably post a comment in an open thread, or in a recent diary or front-page post that covers a topic relevant to what you wish to write about.
- Copying and pasting complete copyrighted articles without permission from the copyright holder is absolutely prohibited by both this site's policies and copyright laws. Copyright infringement can expose both you and the site's owners to financial liability. Just don't do it. And if you see someone else doing it, please politely ask them to edit their diary accordingly. This is a bannable offense.
- Limited copying within the bounds of the doctrine of "fair use" is permitted. A reasonable rule-of-thumb is that copying three paragraphs from a normal-length news article or editorial is acceptable. (This, however, is not a safe-harbor. If even three paragraphs seems like "too much," then copy less or nothing at all.) For more on fair use, please visit this site.
- When you quote material that is not your own, please provide a link whenever possible. Also, use the blockquote tags to set off the copied material so that your writing is distinct from the material you are copying. For more on HTML tags, see the #Formatting section.
- Hotlinking images without permission is prohibited. Hotlinking means using the [img src] tag to display an image on a diary which is hosted on someone else's server. Hotlinking, especially on a site as popular as this one, can cost people real money in bandwidth costs. It's essentially stealing. If we get complaints from sites about images being hotlisted, we will consider that as possible grounds for banning.
- Duplicative diaries are prohibited. Please scan the recent diaries and front-page posts before starting to compose your own diary. This rule operates on a sliding scale. A repeat diary with minimal analysis or originality (particularly on "breaking news" items) is prohibited. Such diaries are subject to deletion without notice. But if you write on a recently-covered subject and provide original analysis or research, that is acceptable and in fact welcome.
- If you receive a reasonable request from a fellow Kossack to delete your diary (i.e., your diary is duplicative as per above), please do so.
- Cross-posting from your own blog is welcome. Remember, though, that you can only write one diary a day at Daily Kos.
- Diarists are strongly encouraged to back up all assertions with facts (and preferably links to supporting materials) whenever possible. Use reputable sources whenever possible. If you can't find a reputable source that supports your position, then perhaps reconsider writing your diary.
- As a corollary, diarists should always make it clear when they are expressing an opinion - please do not assert opinions as facts, as this tends to be needlessly inflammatory.
- Diaries which engage in wild speculation without any proof are strongly discouraged. Repeatedly posting diaries consisting largely or entirely of wild speculation is an abuse of site policy. Bear in mind that that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
- Diaries which contain hateful or defamatory writing are prohibited.
- Diaries which are deliberately designed to inflame are prohibited.
- Deliberately inflammatory titles, or titles which contain attacks, are prohibited. Also, while this site doesn't prohibit profanity, please think very carefully before using any curse words in a diary title.
- "Calling out" other site users by name in diary titles is prohibited. Diaries which "call out" another by name tend to needlessly inflame. If you feel compelled to address another user's comments or diaries in a diary of your own, please do so cautiously. Avoid ad hominems and stick with substantive, constructive criticism only.
- Some topics which tend to make for poor diaries: Breaking news. Something you just saw on a TV show. Something currently on the front page of a major news site (eg, New York Times). Something currently on the front page of a major blog (eg, Atrios).
- What makes for a good diary: Anything which showcases original research or original analysis. Political calls to action with substantive information on how to get involved. News (plus analysis) on interesting/relevant topics that are not widely discussed.
- Diaries on contested Democratic primaries: Be positive. Make an affirmative case for your favored candidate. If you do criticize a Democratic candidate, don't make ad hominem attacks - stick to substantive criticisms, and back them up with hard evidence. Be very cautious if you go after a fellow Democrat. Odds are, that candidate will have supporters on this site. Reasonable people will accept reasonable criticism - unfair criticism will only needlessly inflame. And remember, deliberately inflammatory diaries are prohibited.
- "Open Thread" diaries: Diaries designed to serve as "open threads" for discussion on major, breaking events (such as a speech or hearing) are permissible. Please provide links to information about the events (such as news articles or webcasts) in such diaries. Do not post duplicate diary open threads unless an earlier open thread exceeds 150 comments.
- When writing a diary on a political race, prefixing the title is always helpful. For example: FL-Gov (Florida governor's race), NY-Sen (New York senate race), CA-25 (California's 25th congressional district race).
- Do not use ALL CAPS or exclamation marks !!! in diary titles.
- Do not put "Please Recommend" or similar language in diary titles.
- Please read an entire diary before hitting "Recommend." Recommending based on just the first few paragraphs or the author's name is strongly discouraged.
These rules are mostly common sense and courtesy. There are a lot of diaries posted here; keeping up is like trying to drink from a firehose. Adhering to these rules helps cut down on duplicate and low-content diaries, and makes everyone's life easier. Please follow The Rules.
A diary can include a poll. To create a poll, fill in the fields at the bottom of the New Diary screen. You need to specify a question, and at least 2 answers.
After posting a diary, its author can alter the contents by clicking on the Edit Diary link. This can be useful for adding new information to the content of the diary; diarists often include useful or insightful comments into the text of the diary. If you do this, be sure to give credit to the commenter. Polls cannot be edited (though you can add a poll to a diary that didn't already have one). Once you have made the changes/additions that you want, click the Update button to save the changes.
There are some times when you will want to delete a diary. To do so, click on the 'Edit Diary' link next to the diary title. Down at the bottom of the edit screen, there are a set of buttons and a checkbox labelled 'Confirm Deletion'. Select the checkbox, and then click the 'Delete' button. If you don't select the checkbox, the 'Delete' button won't work; this is to protect against accidental deletion.
When should diaries be deleted? If there are two (or more) near-identical diaries on the same subject, people will request that all but one be deleted. This often happens when a news story breaks, and several diaries are posted consisting of a link to the story and a few quotes from the AP wire. Please consider deletion if your diary isn't the first diary to break the news. Front-page posters will sometimes delete diaries if there are too many covering exactly the same content. Additionally, sometimes diary authors just have second thoughts about posting a particular diary. Don't delete a diary just because a discussion in the comments has gone off in some direction you don't like.
Controversial Diary Topics
Diaries on certain topics are likely to generate angry responses. Most of these topics fall under the general heading of "conspiracy theories", i.e. "JFK was killed by Martians". The rule for posting such diaries is "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence". The more extreme the claim, the higher the burden of proof that commenters will demand. If you can't provide evidence to back up your claim, it is best not to post the diary. This guideline also applies to recommending extraordinary-claims diaries. If a diary makes an extreme claim with little or no evidence to back up that claim, it shouldn't be recommended, no matter what that claim is.
Comments and diaries are both written using HTML, which stands for Hyper-Text Markup Language, the basic "language" or set of invisible instructions that your browser software uses to format all the text, images, and other data in a way that makes sense for viewing. On dKos sometimes people use a very few simple HTML formatting tags to spiff up their posts. But please know that you need not do anything other than type in your ideas to be able to post. The default formatting of the site will make sure you look pretty good. If you want to embed a hyperlink to somewhere, you enclose the link in square brackets:
[http://www.dailykos.com Daily Kos]
A shortcut to link to dkosopedia pages is to enclose the name of the page in double curly brackets with 'dk' in front:
Most additional HTML formatting spiffiness for dKos posts can be accomplished using "Auto Format Mode," the default writing mode here, so you don't have to be an HTML formatting expert to add a little shine to your prose. Think of Auto Format Mode as little cheater characters or shortcuts so you don't have to remember a bunch of HTML tags. Some of the things you can do in Auto Format mode include:
- Bold text, by putting an asterisk on either side of the text you wish to bold, like *bold text*.
- Italicized text, by using the underscore character: _italicized text_
- Lists, by putting a * or a - followed by a space at the beginning of each line in your list. And if you get really wordy, like this list entry, notice that the indentation is automatic when the entry drops to the next line,
- and starts over again when you create a new line with a carriage return and a new * or - character.
Numbered lists are created similarly. Use a numeral at the beginning of each line, followed by a space.
- Numbering each line like this
- produces a numbered list
- and periods after the numbers
- are optional.
There are a few other common effects you'll see here that do require actual HTML tags. A tag is always preceded by its tagname enclosed in <brackets>, then the text you wish to format, then a closing tag, which is the same as the tagname but preceded by a forward slash "/", also enclosed in brackets. Like this:
- underline is made by <u>underline</u>
strike out textis created by <s>strike out text</s>
Finally, remember that Preview Is Your Friend. Before you post a comment or a diary, you will want to hit the Preview button before posting it. This will save you LOTS of embarrassment. Trust me, a person who has been shamed many times by many "oopses" that could have been avoided if I had previewed my otherwise brilliant post first.
A common sight in diaries is some text set off from the main body by a grey box. To create this effect, called a 'blockquote', you type
Sometimes, AutoFormat is too smart for its own good, doing things to your comment that you would prefer it didn't. For example, if you try to use the '<' character, AutoFormat will try to turn that into some sort of HTML command, probably not what you want. The way around this is to use the '\' character to tell AutoFormat to leave the next character alone. To get a '<', type '\<'. Similarly, to get a '[', type '\['. To get a backslash, type '\\'.
Users of the Firefox broswer can download an extension which provides access to many of the formatting shortcuts in a convenient right-button menu.
Pictures and images
Another common thing to do is put an image into a diary or comment. Before you do this, please stop and think for a moment. Pictures require much more in the way of network resources than text. Big pictures make life difficult for people without fast net connections. Keep your pictures small, and only use them when it really adds something to the point you want to make. That said, the first step is to put the image on the web somewhere. There are many free or cheap services that will "host" your images for you. Two popular ones are http://www.photobucket.com and http://www.imageshack.us . Then, you need to link to it. When you put the picture on the web, it will have a URL (supplied by the hosting service). To put the picture in a diary or comment, you need to put the URL inside what is called an 'IMG tag' like this:
Many images have a large number of pixels, which makes them very big in browser windows, which screws up the nice margins of the diaries. To get around this, you can specify a "width" field when you are putting in an image. Using the same image as an example,
<img src="http:://www.dkosopedia.com/images/6/67/Elephant-new3.jpg" width=100>
A width of 500 is about the maximum that can be accomodated without causing problems. A picture can be placed alongside text by using an "align" field: <img src="http:://www.dkosopedia.com/images/6/67/Elephant-new3.jpg" width=100 align=right>
The image is on the right of the window, and the text is in the left column. Eventually, once there is enough text to extend below the image, the text expands to fill the entire width. Images can be placed on the other side of the page by using "align=left" instead.
Image sizing and hotlinking
Unlike text, images require a significant amount of network bandwidth to transmit. To minimize the impact of images, there are two things to keep in mind: don't hotlink images, and keep the file size small. A hotlink is when you find an image somewhere on the web and plug its URL directly into a IMG tag. When you do this, every time your diary or comment is loaded, that external site has to supply a copy of the image. With the sort of traffic that dkos gets, that can amount to a significant load (and cost) to the host site. If you want to use an image, proper behavior is to upload a copy of the image to a hosting service such as photobucket, and to include a link to the original site. That way, the original site gets credit for the image, but doesn't have to bear the bandwidth load. Note also that many images are copyrighted; copying without permission is a violation of copyright law.
For images under your control (photos that you took, for instance), you can reduce the bandwidth load on everyone by decreasing the file size as much as possible before uploading to the web. Try to keep image sizes below 50 kilobytes; below 20 is better. Dropping the resolution to 640x480 in an image editor and saving as a jpeg with a low quality setting (high compression setting) will help a lot in reducing file sizes.
Almost all diaries can be recommended; the exceptions are those that are posted directly to the front page. To recommend a diary, click on it, and then click on the 'Recommend' button on the right side of the window. Diaries can only be recommended in the first 24 hours after posting. When should you recommend a diary? Very simply, recommend a diary if you think other dkos users should read it. That may mean that the diary is covering a breaking news story, or it has an insightful bit of analysis, or even is an extremely funny bit of humor. Note that diaries can have much more content in the comments than in the main text; it is perfectly legitimate to recommend a diary because of an interesting discussion in the comments. Don't recommend a diary simply because of who the author is.
Any registered user can rate comments in a diary. For regular users, comments can be rated from 1 to 4; trusted users (see below) can rate comments from 0 to 4. Higher ratings are better. The number of ratings that your comments gather, and their average value, determines your comment mojo. Mojo is used primarily for determining whether a user has trusted user status. So, when is each rating appropriate? Much virtual ink has been wasted in arguments, but the following is generally accepted:
- (trusted users only) Troll posts. Comments whose only purpose is to disrupt the discussion. Do not troll-rate posts simply because you disagree with what the commenter is saying.
- Unproductive posts. Comments that are insulting or abusive, but don't rise to the level of outright trollishness. As with the zero, giving somebody a 1 simply because you disagree is an abuse of the rating system.
- Marginal comment. Very rarely bestowed.
- Good comment. Usually a shorthand for 'I agree'
- Excellent comment. Also usually a shorthand for 'I agree', or also 'good job'. Most ratings given out tend to be 4s.
Note that there isn't a rating for 'I disagree'. If you disagree with something in a comment, post a reply saying so (and why). Because diaries can't be rated, many diary authors post a comment with the Subject of 'Tip Jar' or similar. This is intended as a place to give mojo for the diary; if you feel that the diary was worthwhile, it's a nice gesture to leave a 4 in the tip jar.
All diaries written on dkos have tags. Tags are keywords that identify subject(s) discussed in the diary. The diary author must choose at least one tag for the diary to be posted. After the diary is posted, any user can add tags to the diary; trusted users (see below) can remove or edit tags. The complete list of tags can be found in the tag cloud. By clicking on a tag, you get a list of all diaries that contain that tag; this makes it easy to find diaries on a particular subject. Some guidelines for choosing tags:
- Use combinations of simple tags rather than inventing complex ones. For instance, use tags CIA, LEAK and INVESTIGATION, instead of CIA-LEAK-INVESTIGATION.
- Try to think of what tags people might use to search for something and use those. For example, PLAME, KARL ROVE, PATRICK FITZGERALD, BOB NOVAK, TREASON, OUTING, OPERATIVE might all be good tags for an entry on the Valerie Plame outing.
- Try to re-use existing tags.
- Keep it simple. Don't use tags that are redundant.
- For election blogging, add the year, state and office. So the Colorado governor's race in 2006 is tagged: "2006, governor, Colorado". Also add the dKos style abbreviation of the race (two digit state abbreviation and race). So a governor's race would be "CA-Gov", a Senate race "CA-Sen", and a congressional race would be "CA-06".
- Stop with the "cutesy" tags. This is a tool to help organize content, not show how clever you are with keywords like "HUNTERRIFIC" to express how great Hunter's diary was.
- '/' characters are not allowed in tags, and will be converted to '-'.
- When using a person's name as a tag, use both their first and last name. If there is an ambiguity, include middle initials. For example, don't use the Bush tag; use either the George W. Bush tag or the George H. W. Bush tag depending on whether the diary refers to the current President or his father.
- When posting a diary that is primarily about, or in reaction to, a story from a conventional media outlet, include the name of the outlet, e.g. New York Times. This will help cut down on the number of repetitive diaries covering the same "breaking" story.
If a user gathers enough comment mojo, they become a Trusted User. The exact amount of mojo required, and any other requirements, are not publicly known to prevent people from gaming the system. Trusted Users have a few additional privileges compared to regular users. A regular user can rate comments from 1 to 4; a TU can also give out 0, or Troll, ratings. If a comment gets enough troll ratings, it becomes hidden to regular users (also see the trolls section below). TUs can, if they wish, see the hidden comments. TUs thus have the responsbility of deciding whether comments should be hidden or not. In addition, TUs can edit and remove tags from diaries; regular users can only add new tags. There are two easy ways to tell if you are a TU. First is to look at the Tools sidebar; if there is an entry reading 'Hidden Comments', you are a TU. The other way is to try to rate a comment; if the menu includes '0' as a choice, you are trusted.
Dealing with trolls
Trolling is a sad reality of internet life. Most trolls tend to be blatant, posting comments or diaries that are clearly intended to provoke an angry response. Other trollish messages are posted simply to disrupt the conversation in a diary. Directly replying to the content of a trollish message is usually a waste of time; trolls tend not to be interested in actual debate. There are two methods in wide use to help keep the community as troll-free as possible. The first is troll-rating comments. Trusted Users (see above) can give comments a rating of zero. If a comment has been rated by two or more users, and if the average rating is less than one, then that comment (and all replies to it) are automatically hidden. Hidden comments and their responses can only be seen by Trusted Users. Unfortunately, there is no similar mechanism for hiding trollish diaries. Instead of writing detailed rebuttals of whatever claims or argument the troll is making, the standard response to a troll diary is to post comments containing recipes for tasty dishes. Plenty of examples can be found in the Troll Diary tag. An entire cookbook of recipes has been collected and is being sold as a fundraiser.
Ongoing diary series
There are several regular or semi-regular diary series that are posted. Most of these series have dedicated tags; for those that don't, the link goes either to a tag (which also have other diaries not in the series) or to the author's diary page.
- Cheers & Jeers is the self-described "kiddie pool" of daily kos, written by Bill in Portland Maine with a daily dose of snarky humor. Reader participation is always welcome.
- High Impact diaries, produced by jotter, is a daily diary listing the most-recommended and most-commented of the previous day's diaries.
- Iraq War Grief Daily Witness, produced daily by RubDMC, is a series dedicated to all who suffer because of war and other disasters.
- Saturday Morning Garden Blogging is a weekly diary by Frankenoid.
- Got a Happy Story is a weekly (Friday evening) series by Carnacki.
- WYFP is a Saturday-evening series by Elizabeth D.
- Frameshop by Jeffrey Feldman is a recurring series on how to reframe various issues.
- Brothers and Sisters by pastordan is a weekly sermon.
- Countdown to $100 Oil by Jerome a Paris is a series investigating the coming of peak oil and the effects this will have on the global economy.
- Sunday Talk is posted by Al Rodgers, late Saturday evening. It provides a summary of the week's media coverage and a preview of the Sunday morning political talk shows.
- Science Friday is a science-themed story posted to the front page every Friday by DarkSyde.
- Teacher's Lounge provides a collegial atmosphere and a venue for intelligent discussion on the topics of education, teaching and learning. Posted Saturday mornings by rserven.
Links to other resources
Some useful dkos diaries
Getting on the Recommended list, by Jerome a Paris
Naked dKos How to examine your history, by ek hornbeck
Speed Reading dKos All the news that fits, by ek hornbeck
dKos Censorship? How things disappear, by ek hornbeck
The Little Search Engine that Could Searchs, by ek hornbeck
Daily Kos 101: The Basics A graphical introduction to several of the site features, by theleftknew
Common terms and acronyms
n/t no text. Used by commenters when the entirety of the comment is the title
asdf The opposite of n/t, this comment title means "I don't have a title, read the text".
SCLM So-Called Liberal Media. Many people think that the idea of a "liberal media" is a myth.
UID User ID. Assigned sequentially in order of registration. Lower UIDs mean a person has been registered at dkos for a longer period of time.
GBCW GoodBye Cruel World. A type of diary where a user announces that they are through with dkos and are leaving for all time. Posting a GBCW diary is usually not a good idea; they tend to be greeted with ridicule. This diary (big download) is considered to be the Platonic ideal of GBCW diaries.