Introduction to 2ch-style boards (1)

1 Name: Anonymous : 2019-04-13 15:21 ID:h5/9F9yU [Del]

A 2ch-style board is a particular type of web-based message board, featuring anonymity, a "floating" layout with a thread index on the main page, and the ability to "sage" threads, replying to them without bumping them to the front of the index.

The board type gets its name from 2channel, an immensely popular Japanese forum site and the first of its kind. Due to their origins, English-language boards of this style are often associated with Japanophiles, but you do not need to be one to appreciate the effectiveness of the 2ch-style board design.

When you post a message on a 2ch-style board, you are typically prompted for a name, a link (or email address), a subject (if you are starting a new thread), and of course, the body of your message.

You should know that the name and link/email fields are both optional. In fact, many users recommend not using them. (This is an important part of the philosophy of 2ch-style boards. The point is to focus on the idea, not the person.)

If you do use the name field, you can use tripcodes, which are a way of confirming your identity. What you do is enter a name of the form "name#secretword", which shows up like "name!tripcode", where tripcode is a string of meaningless characters, derived from the secret word. It is possible to determine the secret word using a brute force attack, so tripcodes don't provide great security. They are mostly just a gimmick.

On many boards there is also an "ID" that appears with a post, derived from the author's IP address. It is mostly anonymous, though it allows someone posting repeatedly in the same thread with the same IP address to be identified. You can sometimes make the ID go away by entering a link/email.

In the body of the post itself there are two conventions you can universally use. One is that just posting a URL ("http://something") makes a link. The second is that you can link to another post in the thread with ">>number". For instance, >>1 refers to the first post in the topic. This can be used with ranges -- >>3-5 for posts 3 to 5 -- and lists -- >>4,9,27 for posts 4, 9, and 27.

Beyond that, some boards also offer further markup options. For example, boards using the Kareha software allow WakabaMark, described here: http://wakaba.c3.cx/docs/docs.html#WakabaMark

Another important thing to know is how you can "sage" a thread. This means adding a new post to a thread without bumping it to the front of the index. It is done for several reasons, like because the new post isn't important enough to "age" (bump) the thread for, out of disgust with the post to which one is replying, or to avoid trolls finding the thread at the front of the index and targeting it.

You should at least have an inkling about the philosophy behind 2ch-style boards if you intend to participate regularly in one. As one person wrote, "Refer to everyone and everything impersonally. The >>number equals the idea and the idea equals the >>number. There is no 'who', only 'what'." This view is common, although not universally shared.

For more information, see:

http://wakaba.c3.cx/shii/shiichan - An explanation of why 2ch-style boards are better than forums requiring registration (phpBB, etc.). Written as an advertisement for a now discontinued piece of software, this article still makes a convincing argument.
http://wakaba.c3.cx/ - The website of Kareha, a popular 2ch-style board script, and Wakaba, an imageboard script based on similar principles.
http://www.4-ch.net/ - English-language 2ch-style boards about general topics.

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