This post contains (Spoilers)

This is a very important issue on message boards. Many of the things people discuss there are movies, books, and video games. Sometimes you are even visited by movie studios that want to do a bit of market research on a particular movie that you saw. What if you never watched this movie, played this video game, or read this book?

Well…the customary thing to do when posting a topic about something that could ruin the experience of the people who have not yet had a chance to see a movire or play a video game is to mark the topic in the title with the word (spoilers??), **spoilers**, etc. This let’s them know that you only want people that have already been informed of the plots to respond and that if people have not yet viewed or read this information they should pass the thread by so that they do not get the story ruined.

On the other hand…when someone is trying to get the banstick pulled on them they will deliberately start topics with misleading titles so that they can bust out some massive spoilers and ruin everyone’s day. Some are even bad enough just to post spoilers in the topic title. Others think it is funny just to throw a spoiler in the middle of a topic that has nothing to do with what they are saying.

Examples of good posters:

Topic: Se7en(spoilers)
First post: Isn’t that crazy how his wife’s head was in the box at the end?

Topic: Who is Sin? **spoilers!**
First post: ^topic
Second Post: Jecht

Some examples of bad posters:

Topic Title: I hate school
First post: Snape Killed Dembledore

Topic Title: My dad walked in on me ummm…
First post: Bruce Willis is really dead in The Sixth Sense

For the Win and Loss! (FTW and FTL)

People seem to be unfamiliar with some common internet terms, and for some reason the FTW and FTL are a couple I’ve seen asked about regularly. The term “For the Win” comes from that silly little game show that has celebrities sitting in a big tower of Xs and O’s called Celebrity Squares. The contestants are supposed to answer whether or not they believe the celebrities explanation about something and if they are right they get themselves that square. It is marked by an X or O based on whatever they have been assigned. The goal is to win with a tic-tac-toe line by figuring out enough celeb mumbo jumbo to win the square.

Once a player has 2 X’s or O’s in a line and has an open spot to get the 3rd they will say something like “I’ll take Alf For the Win!”. If they guess right they do win. Yippie!

So that term has been taken into the internet lingo library and just shortened to “FTW”. Obviously it evolved to add on “FTL” which means For the Loss.

Some examples:

Poster 1: I just bought a new car.
Poster 2: Cars FTW!

Poster 1: I just bought a coat rack from Powell Furniture online.
Poster 2: Coat racks FTW.

Poster 1: I just ate some lard.
Poster 2: Lard FTL.

Poster 1: I am a rich kid.
Poster 2: Bragging about your money FTL.

My favorite Message Boards and Forums

I’ve had this blog up for a few months now and it is about the people that hang out on various message boards/forums and Survival on the Interwebs. Since this is what it is about I thought I would share with you a couple of the boards that I frequent most regularly and let you see where I get a lot of the ideas I put on here. I have 2 sites that I visit frequently that don’t follow the traditional Terms of Service (TOS) that you see on most pansy forums. Sure those forums are needed, but you get hassled a lot on them.

The first is a place that doesn’t allow censorship. BoredReader is somewhere you can go to speak your mind about all the idiots on the net you run into. It is a flame site that will let you actually speak your mind with out having to worry much about rules. No it isn’t a flamer site, it is a flame site to talk shit about morons. The members won’t necessarily let you get away with being a whiny bitch either and will call you out for weak posts.

The other site I like actually has some rules that you have to abide by and moderators that are a bit of a power tripping bunch, but the posters are pretty good. If you are a gamer and haven’t hear of GameFaqs you either live under a rock, or you are one of those people that just quits playing games when you get stuck because you are too lazy to find out how to get past that point. They have a message board and FAQs library for practically every video game ever made.

The board that I like best though is the Current Events board. It isn’t really about current events although it is there from time to time, but more of a place where people are there to troll. It is just a funny board to me I guess. Everyone there calls themselves CEMen. There is kind of a sister board there called Random Insanity that the 2 seem to like to troll back and forth, but that board is pure crap IMO.

There are other places out there that are way screwed up that I visit, but I don’t really want you to know about them…lol

The Art of Trolling

Trolling is what happens when you go onto message boards, or any sort of forum where you can leave comments and just try to stir the pot. A troll is someone who has too much time on their hands and likes to screw with people. I have actually thought of getting business cards with my title being “Troll” before since it is so much fun.

There are several ways to be a good troll. You can take many different angles, but ultimately the most important aspect to it is that you can piss as many people off as possible to the point that they can’t even just ignore you anymore. No this isn’t just going somewhere and spamming with a bunch of topics, or just posting the same thing over and over again. That is a method, but a fairly weak one. That is more aptly referred to as bombing.

Trolling on the other hand is well played jabs at other posters. Ones that will get other posters to even jump in and gang up on you. Trolls are attention whores really. Only difference between talking about themselves like most beauty queens and post whores do is that they intentionally try to piss you off instead of just being too stupid to realize that no one cares what they have to say.

So…how exactly do you be a troll? Not everyone is cut out for it. Most can do what the little annoying spammer does with out a problem by bombing boards with the same crap over and over, but it takes a bit of a bullshitter to get some staying power. You do want to make people that don’t believe the Internet is Serious Business chuckle over your antics. You are there not only to annoy, but also entertain. You may also take the stance that will get others to mock you. This doesn’t piss anyone off usually, but you still waste a lot of their time with your stupidity.

If I were to go trolling on a random board somewhere I would have to give it a bit of a once over. Read a few topics and see what people there really care about. What kind of people are posting there, what their interests are, and pick a topic that will enrage them, but not necessarily get me banned right away. After all I want to come out with some sort of satisfaction by inciting as much hatred towards me as possible by the other community members. I don’t care if my stance is right or wrong. As long as it is different from everyone else there I can get them to jump on the drama train.

You can go after this a few ways. For the novice troll you can simply just take an opposing view to generally accepted ideals of society. You can act like a racist, talk about blowing up poor countries and taking their oil, or even just take a stance as a Bible Beater with no resources. These are all things that will get you mocked and hated by other users. It is up to you to make them keep mocking you with your stupidity. Those are simple solutions to your trolling. Just being an all out ignorant fool.

What takes a bit of skill is just to be able to go into any topic and change the conversation into something totally ridiculous. You pick out a post that to you is kind of silly. Maybe someone says:

“Today I was reading this book about blah blah blah, and I blah blah blah…”

You don’t care and neither does anyone else, although they will say they do. Say something little just to get everyone to start thinking you are a jerk like:

“Nobody cares.”

Now you are on your way. You have not only told the truth in most instances, but message board posters seem to have the uncanny ability to fly off the handle at any little comment that shouldn’t be there , or is sort of rude. It ruins the normalcy of the thread. A normal person wouldn’t be so rude so when someone sees a comment like that they too become a troll and start to talk shit to you. Keep it simple to start. You just want others to direct your trolling.

It’s like sales in a way. The best salesmen out there don’t talk all the time. They listen and utilize what someone else says to them to come up with an answer, or a pitch to their problem. It is exactly the same way with trolling. The other posters are who keep it rolling. You just have to incite it with a very little comment. Then the gloves are off and you have all the fuel you need to keep it rolling. One pissed off poster and this could turn into the worst thread that board has ever seen.

I really like to wake up the Internet Tough Guy on boards. If you can pull that guy out of the shadows you have made a serious impact. There is nothing better in trolling than to get someone so upset that they actually resort to telling you they will physically harm you.

Many people see trolling as a bad thing, but think about this. Community posters never unite more than when a troll is present. Those that take online forums far too seriously tend to get that feeling that they are better than you, and well they probably are since you are being an ass pretty much. You give these people a feeling of accomplishment. You are doing a great service to the group overall no matter what anyone says. They have a sense of belonging. Since you have such whacked out ideas that defy common sense people have to be right when they argue with you. They get out some frustrations when ultimately you get the banstick and earn their eBadges. You get to laugh like a little girl the whole time you troll. Win-win situation for everyone I must say.

Google is Your Friend

It amazes me at the amount of questions you see on message boards that are so simple to find with a simple internet search. People ask things that any moron who can even write a post should be able to find in seconds on Google. Not specific stuff to the boards, but things that are so obvious that they don’t even deserve an answer. Do these people need to be called out? Yes. The answer to these stupid questions should always be:

“Google is your friend.”

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