User:Sycamore/Sycamore's Newbie Guide
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“This is a guide for the unfortunate people who have been adopted by Sycamore”
- ~ Captain Obvious on the limitations of humour/humor in in-jokes
Ok, so you’ve been adopted, but you’ll probably have a few questions – I’ve knocked this up as it’s a nice easy way of going about things without having to answer the same questions over and over. I also find that I prefer to have some idea of what I’m doing and then to just wade in there.
Hopefully this guide will do that. Remember this is not a substitute for coming asking for help or if you just want to say hi:)
edit Starting articles
Articles are strictly speaking what we’re about, however Uncyclopedia is a fairly inhospitable place to write them (it's mad I know!). You’re first efforts will not really reflect the potential you have a as writer, you’re still a noob so expect not to be a Thinker, Modus or Mhaille just yet:)
Often articles get deleted as they are often too short or incomplete to sit with the bulk of the work on here –and are either tagged or simply deleted on sight. The aim of most who help out on the maintenance aspect is to give a fair chance for new writers and to respect the work that’s been done, as mentioned before we are our articles. Always remember that even if your article is deleted (or Huffed as is said here) you can always ask the admin who did it to restore the article in your userspace. Nothing is ever lost on wiki.
The general encouragement is just to start articles in your userspace like this = User:Sycamore/Battleship Potemkin – when I was done I can either move it to Battleship Potemkin, or it (the tab at the top) to whatever location is appropriate. Doing it this way keeps it out of the way and allows you a fair chance of completing it, and producing the best piece of work possible.
edit General tips on articles
- Avoid randomness, keep reference to reality. Try and keep it smart and funny, the majority of users are above eighteen, and some are considerably more (I’m 23 just in case you were wondering)
- Make it nice, remember gold isn’t pretty it’s covered in mud and rock, it needs lots of polishing to make it ‘gold’ - this takes time and effort.
- Length – many debate this, but the ideal Uncyc article is usually somewhere 1000 – 2000 words. We’re about humour, and we’re on the Internet, people want to read stuff easily and also have a laugh - that’s kind of hard with a full essay length article.
- It's an idea to try and not do something that has been done to death before (on here and elsewhere), in-jokes, Bands, Jesus, etc.
Although there is no hard and fast way of formatting, as many of our articles are very much concept pieces or are namespace (IE UnBooks) it is generally agreed that going for a wikipedic look is a good idea – we are a parody of the popular online encyclopedia - and that’s the foundation on what we're built upon.
Obviously then it’s a good idea to look at wikipedia, remember however that our articles are not academic resources, they don’t need lists, excessive referencing – or lots of templates. Try to remember that although being able to fool someone that they are on wikipedia is good; a lot of users will have been here for a while and will be reading your article on humour terms a lot more closely.
Obviously your best English is strongly recommended, however remember that being fairly snappy is a good idea, being fairly journalistic is good, finding angles for parody is a major aspect of writing for the site - keep an angle on your topic. As an example, I wrote Walpurgis Night as a parody of religion that merged with the festival so a clear angle as well as a more expansive topic is covered and parodied.
Images remain a moot topic, some often have smaller images that stagger down a very short page, and this is in my opinion inauthentic. If an article is quite large then it does accord with wikipedia formatting. I usually say align right based on what I’ve learned and stolen from better contributors. The recommend sizing is 250px as its large enough for the caption gags to have some impact on the page.
edit Uploading/formatting images
- First, upload the pic to Uncyc's spacious and luxuriously appointed server.
- Images go in like this
- Full size [[Image:Buddha232.jpg]]
- With a caption (XXXpx is the displayed image width in pixels} [[Image:Image:Buddha232.jpg|thumb|XXXpx|caption]]
- Right (or left. Center too.) [[Image:Buddha232.jpg|100px|right]]
- You can add more than one option, for instance: [[Image:Buddha232.jpg|right|thumb|100px|Love me. For truly I am an adorable Bodhisattva.]]
- Hopefully this explains images remember to avoid porn content and never upload shock images or anything like that.
- Do read the actual beginner's guide
- Do take part I competitions like PLS – there a re great way to get noticed and writing against the time can produce some great work.
- Do Take part in the community, especially VFH, Peeing, Proofread and VFD
- Do write articles, don’t be afraid of Category:Rewrite
- Do think of UN:ABF and HTBFANJS when you edit – they are the bedrock of Uncyclopedia.
- Do be nice and polite
- Do be nosy and find out what everything is, check out IRC where you can talk to uncyclopedians (warning: They are a foul mouthed lot, so be prepared)
- Do and most importantly have fun
edit Things to avoid
- Avoid adding smaller edits to articles you see me editing lots of articles, but I’m a bit of a pro now. Quotespam or adding to trivia sections is a big no no.
- Avoid Welcoming committee, this has two purposes, one is a limited form of help for new users; the other is to climb up a list of supposed popularity and seniority. Without going into too much detail it seems to bring out the worst in people with ocd spamming efforts.
- Avoid reverting – it's a bad practice. Make it the golden law never to revert an admin. I have only reverted an administrator once, and I explained beforehand. Do not get into flamewars or stuff like that – inevitably some poor admin has to clear it all up - Try and talk it out sensibly.
- Avoid people with or doing anything that resembles 'campaign' like behaviour – or trying to use issues (or worse still create them) and putting yourself as the solution in order to gain approval. It's frankly is a blight upon the wiki, avoid the political aspects.
- Avoid not having fun – as soon as it becomes a chore, take a break or something.
- This is a comedy website, nothing is taken too seriously.
- We won't bite your head off for asking a question.
- If at first you don't succeed, try try again.
- The best guide to sigs is here, bare in mind that simple is good - highly advanced with lots about awards you get is a little off-putting, for example I could call myself on a sig:
Good luck and see you around,