FAQquity-FAQ…don’t talk back!

The Official Failblog FAQ:

Welcome to FailBlog!

Since you’re here, you undoubtedly have something in common with the rest of us FailBloggers: you enjoy the company of clever friends, like to have fun and be silly, and feel good making others smile and laugh. Whether you’re new to the community or a frequent contributor (see “the regulars”), you may scratch your head at times and wish that some of the mysteries of the FailBlog universe were explained. Fear not! We have answers to many of your questions.

“What is Failblog?”

Failblog is a blog that showcases photographs and videos of HIGH-larious moments of FAIL, people being PWNED, and…ever so occasionally…a particularly snork-worthy WIN. As with most blogs, each post has a comment section…that’s where we come in, the failpeeps that comprise the Failblog community.

The Failblog comment sections are home to a group of friends who enjoy hanging out together and joking around. Generally speaking, the gang is very friendly and welcoming to newbies (also called noobs). Most people will do fine when they first enter conversations on the blog. It helps to lurk (reading without posting) for a time before making that first comment. That said, there is much canon and convention, so it would take a lot of lurking to uncover it all. The Failpeeps site is here to help, so read the Etiquette Guide, become familiar with the Epic Fails, and never correct someone for using a word found in the Dicitionary. Relax, join the club, and most importantly: have fun.

“How do I submit a Fail?”

See the “Send in the Failboat” link at the top of every Failblog page? Click it…that will give you all the information you need to submit pictures and videos, including how to use the uploader to caption your images. If you pray to the FailBlog Powers That Be, you may make it to the voting page (see the “Vote” link at the top of Failblog pages). The voting process can take a long time, but if you are very lucky your submission may make it to the main blog. Failblog gets a lot of submissions, so don’t feel bad if yours is shot down and never heard from again. Don’t be bitter, even when the umptooth phallic fail makes it to the front page. Don’t look back; it’s just a trickle of trucks under the bridge.

“Why isn’t anybody talking about the Fail?”

Wait a minute! The posted video shows a person falling off a bike, why are people talking about Peruvian pan flutes and pizza toppings?!

Well, usually there is only so much one can say about a particular image or video. It might look something like this:
“Wow, that must have hurt.”
“Yes. Perhaps he needed stitches. What kind of bike was that?”
“A Trek, I think.”
“No, no. I had the same model of bike. I got it at WalMart!”

After a while, this gets boring…in fact, it gets boring real fast! The fails are usually obvious and self-explanatory, though some can be puzzling at times. For the majority of the regulars, it doesn’t matter whether the fail is fully explained.

Not all of the fails will immediately strike you as funny. You may even suspect that some of the fails were tampered with to make them appear humo(u)rous. You may even have to stretch your 1magination to see any silliness. You are strongly encouraged to suspend disbelief and go with any interpretation that would be funny if true…if you point out why the fail isn’t funny, you’ll find yourself enrolled in Humo(u)r 101. Creative interpretation of the fail is fun, and this mental exercise is one of the reasons why the discussions appear to have little to do with the posted picture or video.

The fail is but a launching point. The conversations will go every-which-way! Feel free to talk about the fail if you want, but also feel free to talk about other subjects that tangentially relate to anything being discussed (see Etiquette Guide warning about hijacking of threads, killing pun-runs, etc.). If you are only interested in explanations for the fail, you are going to be frustrated by the comments. Don’t complain…we don’t care. We’re serious! :[

“How do I bold and italicize text?”

I’m sorry, if we told you that we’d have to kill you. Well…OK, just this once, but don’t tell anybody else. Basic HTML markup works just fine. Just enclose the formatting tags inside angle brackets (< and >).

Bold: To <b> boldly </b> go where no one has gone before.
Italics: What? Fox News is <i>slanted</i>?? (Substitute “CNN” for “Fox News” if that makes you feel better.)
Strikeout: I read <strike>Hustler</strike> Shakespeare in my spare time.
There are more markup tags, but that’s enough to get you going. Please note that only rudimentary markup is permitted, and what is permitted mostly pertains to formatting text…It is not possible to embed images in comments.

“How do I get one of those nifty custom avatars?”

An avatar is that tiny little picture that appears next to your comment. If you don’t select one of your choosing, Failblog will assign one for you. Auto-generated avatars are constructed of geometric shapes and patterns. Whether it has been selected for you or if it’s one of your choosing, your avatar is linked to the email address used during comment submission. Custom avatars help you to stand out and make it easier for your friends to find you.

To create a custom avatar, go to Gravatar (http://www.gravatar.com/) and establish an account. Follow the instructions found there. You will need to provide a valid email address. Afterward, when you post on Failblog, be sure to use the same email address that you linked to your Gravatar image. By creating a Gravatar account, others know you are using a real email address and not just any fake address typed into the “add comment” form. While legitimate email addresses are easily created, it does take some effort, and therefore custom avatars signal to blog denizens that you intend to hang around awhile. Ordinary trolls won’t bother creating a Gravatar account, so by doing so your avatar gains a bit of gravitas.

Once you are finished on Gravatar it may take 15 minutes or more for your new avatar to show up on Failblog. Be patient. Your browser has a cached copy of your previous avatar and probably won’t show the new avatar immediately. Force your browser to look for new images by flushing the browser cache. All comments using the old avatar will change to the new avatar, so there is absolutely no need to repeatedly make “test” comments while waiting for the new avatar to appear.

“Others are remarking about details in avatars that I can’t make out. Am I going blind?”

It is possible to enlarge the size of an avatar. First, view the avatar in its own browser tab. For most browsers and operating systems, this is accomplished by right-clicking on the avatar and choosing the appropriate action. Next, examine the URL of the tab containing the avatar and notice the long hex string that uniquely identifies the image. Following the ID there is a size declaration that reads “s=32”. Lastly, delete the “s=32” part and the picture will change to its default size. Most people prefer to add a “0” on the end to change the declaration to “s=320”. This action forces an enlargement whether the image has sufficient resolution to support it or not.

“Why does my comment say ‘Comment Awaiting Moderation’?”

FailBlog uses a not-so-intelligent filter that is not-so-affectionately referred to as the Blogmonster. Your comment will show the following warning when it has been caught in the filter: Comment awaiting moderation. Please note that when a comment shows this message other failpeeps won’t see it—only you can see the comment stubbed into place amongst the other comments. When this happens to you (and it will), please do not reply to your moderated comment as a confusing nesting failure occurs and will persist until the fate of the moderated comment is determined. A moderated comment will either escape the Blogmonster and make it to the blog or it will be eaten. The Blogmonster is hungry for comments containing offensive language, so you will have difficulty talking about that Hitchcock movie you saw last night while drinking cocktails with your friends. Comments containing links are almost always moderated (see FAQ on linking to other web pages). Strangely, the use of the word “imagine” is the number one reason for a comment to be caught in moderation. The exact sequence that sets off the filter is “imag”. “Imagine” comments are usually released eventually, thereby creating a double-post as most failpeeps prefer not to wait and will repost their comment after making a slight alteration…1magine that!

“How do I link to another web page?”

Links can be included in the comment body or in the header. The “add comment” form has a “Website” field…place the URL for the web page you want to link to there and your name will serve as a link to that site. It is customary to call attention to new links by writing “clickie” in the comment body. Evil people will post links to malicious sites or objectionable material, so be careful when clicking on links from strangers. Some failpeeps have a NO CLICKIE policy outside of their trusted friends.

Links placed in the comment body almost always get moderated. To avoid this, failpeeps will alter the URL so it will not be recognized as a link and rely on the reader to “fix” the broken URL after pasting it into their browser’s address area.

“OK, I just misspelled ‘ungulates’ and some jerk corrected me. Why are you guys so anal-retentive about spelling?”

Failpeeps appreciate good grammar and spelling, especially when it comes to ungulates. You don’t need to be perfect, of course, none of us are. But good grammar, spelling, punctuation and capitalization show that you put some thought, care, and effort into your post. The blog is full of clever posts that delight because of their slight nuance of phrase and idiomatic expression. Demonstrating a baseline of language proficiency is essential if you want others to recognize your wit. If you are not fluent in the language you are using, just say so.

“I do not understand a fail. Will I be ridiculed if I ask about it?”

It depends. Chances are good that if you earnestly inquire about the fail you will get helpful, straightforward replies. The answer to your question may arrive as a humo(u)rous hint that requires you to think. Perhaps your inquiry will elicit a smart-alecky answer or two…don’t take it personally. If you complain about the fail, however, you will likely be ridiculed–severely, at length–unless the failpeeps detect that you are trolling.

“I would like join in, but I’m a little intimidated—I don’t understand some of the conversations. What should I do to fit in?”

Very few failpeeps understand all of the conversations taking place. We’re a global community, and our diversity brings regional idioms and references into our wordplay. While English is the predominant language of expression on the blog, it is not the primary language for everyone. Language issues are a common cause of confusion and misunderstanding, so while perusing the comments or making comments yourself, please keep in mind that the person who responds may be fluent in Urdu, Swahili, Korean or Dutch, but not necessarily English. Be polite! Xenophobic remarks will be considered trollish and may be admonished with extreme prejudice (and heat).

You may even have difficulty understanding failpeeps that live in your neck of the woods. Don’t panic, there is a reason! We have a lot of running jokes and tend to make obscure references to previous fails and conversations, literature, movies, television, and pop culture. Resist the temptation to jump into conversations that are unclear to you. Some of the recurring fail references will make sense if you visit the Epic Fails section of this site. Here you will find our favorite fails…a source of running jokes that have taken on a life of their own.

“Why is everyone mad at me?”

If you are new, chances are you’ve committed a faux pas. See Etiquette for helpful dos and don’ts. It should go without saying…don’t be hateful. People come to Failblog to laugh and be with friends. Be thoughtful in your humo(u)r; take time to work phrasing to avoid insult and misunderstanding.

If you spout racist, bigoted, or intolerant speech, expect to be called on it. You are as free to express your opinion as others are to express theirs. If you are intentionally hurtful or disruptive, expect to be ignored altogether and possibly banished from the blog by the lightning bolt-wielding moderators. If you post a few dozen comments but don’t actually say anything interesting, funny, or even mildly noteworthy, expect people to get a little irked. If someone labels you a troll, consult the Troll Identification Page to determine just what kind of troll you might be, then correct your behavio(u)r! Most blog members are willing to forgive and forget if you prove you have seen the evil of your ways.

“What’s with all the squeezes? Are you making orange juice?”

A *squeeze* is an affectionate greeting for a good friend…it’s a hug. It all started with The Moomin and Dragon and…well, it’s a long story. If you are new to the blog, be aware that giving out *squeezes* is like running around hugging strangers in public. Some may welcome it, some may not. A *squeeze* can vary in significance depending on the participants and context. If you aren’t sure, ask before squeezing someone. If you are “squoze” first consider yourself invited to return the gesture if you want.

Violating another failpeep’s personal space without being absolutely certain your actions will be met with acceptance is considered rude and possibly offensive and will be dealt with accordingly. Role playing as a cuddly creature will not give you further license…be considerate of others.

“I was told not to feed the trolls. What did I do wrong?”

Trolls thrive on attention. They are deliberately abusive and annoying in the hopes that they will attract attention and irritate others. This practice provides a tiny sense of self-worth to the trolls’ pitiful existence. The best choice of action is to ignore them. Resist replying directly to a troll post; skip those comments and reply around them to continue the thread. Truly offensive trolls will be banned from the blog and have their posts removed by an admin. Learn to identify trolls on the Troll Identification Page.

“Why can’t I use lolspeak?”

OHAI! I can haz Failz? Kthxbai! Many of the posters on other ICHC sites use “lolspeak”. Lolspeak is welcome on some sites, but the failpeeps politely request that lolspeak be left at the door when you come in to play. There are always exceptions, of course, but they are few and far between.

“How do I make those little smiley things?”
1. 🙂 = colon and right parenthesis
2. 😉 = semicolon and right parenthesis
3. 😦 = colon and left parentesis
4. 😥 = colon cry colon
5. 😆 = colon lol colon
6. 😕 = colon ??? colon
7. 😀 = colon and D
8. 😛 = colon and P
9 :mrgreen: = colon and the word mrgeen and another colon

“Why the heck are all these stupid advertisements cluttering up my Failblog page??”

Because you don’t have AdBlock Plus. Go get it. Go…right now! We’ll wait. http://adblockplus.org/en/ for Firefox and http://download.cnet.com/Adblock-Plus-for-IE/3000-12512_4-10690444.html For IE.

Why is everyone celebrating and congratulating one specific person, and what does “Powered By” mean?

At the end of every video, the PTB add a comment made in one of the comment threads and state that the video is “powered by” that person. When the commenter is someone who is well known on the blog, the Regulars celebrate that person and his/her comment. It is considered quite an honor to power a fail, and there has been some friendly competition between regulars to see who can get the most “powered bys” on the blog.

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15 responses to “FAQquity-FAQ…don’t talk back!

  1. Is there going to be a link to this page on Failblog?

  2. Just add the some links to sites will prevent your post from showing up. I tried to link a fun game/video and it ate 7 posts. So I deleted the url reference and it worked again.

  3. Umm… it’s entirely possible I don’t know where to look, but where is the Etiquette Guide?

  4. aaaah now i know why i can’t say enigami the right way around… sorry for keep asking in the blog, but i didn’t know about this fail-faq-blog. still wondering why 1mag is moderated though (i’m not a native speaker, is this why i don’t get it?)

    • lottofee, my guess would be that porn stuff often uses ‘imag’ instead of ‘image’ in order to bypass filters.

  5. *ska-weezies*
    FailPeepery Forever!

  6. What is this I don’t even-

  7. This actually helped me lmao.

  8. fuzz on the concept

    It appears it has been awhile since anyone’s posted new material to this site. Nevertheless, I’ll offer a tip regarding privacy in connection with WordPress’ institution (or imposition) of “Hovercards” this week.

    Like many, I went to Gravatar a couple years ago simply to get an icon to associate with my Failblog comments. I did not intend nor expect to have the name I used to log into Gravatar also be publicized some day. (Your login name WordPress makes into your de facto “Display Name”, and that name also appears as part of the website “tag” at the bottom of the page that opens when someone clicks on your Hovercard.)

    My guess is that a number of failpeeps may not realize that those Gravatar usernames are readily available from your Hovercard and can be used to figure out stuff about you. (I’m no stalker, but as a quick test I was able to find the age, location, a first and last name, a Myspace account, and the first and last name of a friend of a failpeep, from four different Failblog users in a matter of minutes yesterday, by simply Googling the nicknames that show up from their hovercards.)

    It appears the Cheezburger websites have now blocked hovercards (though I’ve yet to receive confirmation from the PTB there about their policy, viz. whether that is to be the case permanently). Your hovercards on this failpeeps site, though, are not currently blocked.

    IF YOU WANT TO KEEP YOUR AVATAR BUT WISH TO BLOCK YOUR HOVERCARD (& GRAVATAR PROFILE INFORMATION) FROM OTHERS Gravatar has now agreed to allow you to do that. They will essentially “delete” your Gravatar account, so no one can see it, while allowing your avatar to continue to appear with your online posts (both past and future posts).

    To make that happen, the instruction is to send an email to support@gravatar.com , from the email system that is associated with your Gravatar account, telling them you want to close your profile down, and keep your avatar. When they do that, as long as you haven’t removed your avatar from your Gravatar account, your Gravatar account will appear “deleted” to others, and no hovercard will appear with your online comments posted from that “closed down” account.

    (My present comment here will be a test of that …)

    • fuzz on the concept

      (Test confirmed — “hovering” over my icon here now, I see it’s treated the same as a “quilt” — no hovercard is shown for it.)

  9. You can also just edit your Gravatar profile to add or remove whatever info you like. Go to: http://en.gravatar.com/profiles/edit#about-you

    If prompted to log in, use whatever your “avatar” e-mail address is. Password is either your WordPress profile password (if any) or else whatever you requested when you joined Gravatar. Use the “forgot password?” thingy if need be.

    You can also get here from your WordPress profile if you have one:
    http://dashboard.wordpress.com/wp-admin/admin.php?page=grofiles-editor.
    Screenshot of this: http://content.screencast.com/users/LCB/folders/Jing/media/bf42cd45-bfd0-4aab-919a-cf29515b4e53/2010-10-09_1751.png

    • fuzz on the concept

      As a further FYI, for some, just editing your Gravatar profile will not be enough, for the following reason. On sites where hovercards appear (I see they’re now blocked here, too), when folks click on your hovercard, that will take them to a webpage with your profile info. And even if you’ve edited out stuff from that profile, the NAME of that page appears at the bottom; the name of the page will be something like, “http://gravatar.com/fuzzfuzz”.

      You cannot edit that last bit (in this example, the “/fuzzfuzz” part), and that bit will be whatever name you originally used to set up your Gravatar account. I, like a good many others, had originally used a nickname that I’d also used elsewhere for other things, and from the latter it’s easy to find IRL information about me.

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