Leatherhead II: Greetings, readers of Scary-Crayon. I am Leatherhead, a former pet alligator who was cruelly flushed down the toilet and later taken in by the Utroms, who accidentally mutated into the intelligent creature I am today. Because I share my name with another mutant alligator (nice guy, but not too bright), it's easy to get confused -- you'd think that the Utroms could've come up with something better than "Leatherhead", given that they're so technologically advanced and practically immortal... but I digress. To avoid such confusion, you may call me Leatherhead II.
Super Donatello: And I'm SUPER Donatello, as seen in the TMNT anime! But even super, I'm still Don, the Turtles' resident technogeek. So when I'm not busting wacky poses and daring giant dinosaur mech things to blast me with fireballs at point blank range, I like to kick back and surf the web -- but that can be a problem with all of the inconsiderate and/or ignorant folks mucking up the experience for the rest of us. So that's why, today, Leatherhead and I are going to lay down some basic netiquette rules! None of the usual "dOn'T tYpE lIkE tHiS iN cHaTrOoMs" type rules, though -- we're mainly going to be talking about e-mail netiquette. SO. Care to start us off, Leatherhead?
Leatherhead II: I appreciate the offer, Donatello, but I think you should be the one to lay down the first netiquette rule. Admittedly, I don't use the computer too much -- look at these hands of mine! It's like typing with delicious severed big toes tied to my fingers. Err... I mean... it's like typing with sausages tied to my fingers. I don't know anything about severed toes or their sweeeeeet, succulent taste. Nothing at all.
Super Donatello: Uh... okay, then. Before we take a look at some actual e-mails to see where they went wrong, there is something Wes wanted me to mention concerning link exchanges. His view? They're stupid and we don't do them here at SC. Though we appreciate the heads up to let us know who enjoys our stuff enough to link it, you never have to ask if you can link to Scary-Crayon -- just do it! (Unless it's a particular article that tickles your fancy, though, please link to the splash page.) And if you've got a site you'd like us to check out, just send us the URL! Time's short these days, and it may take us a while to get to it, but we'd be happy to look it over. However, when you send an e-mail message along the lines of, "I'll link u if u link me," that's just fucking rude, as if we're not so hungry for links that we'll link anyone just to promote our own site. If we like your shit, we'll link you; if we don't, we won't -- it's as simple as that.
Except it's not really that simple, because we may not link you even if we like your site. For example, if you've got a great site about a musician we happen to like, we probably wouldn't link you because the subject matter has very little to do with the content on SC. Or your site may be a great little site, but a link to it would be more appropriate for a blog post or an article mention than a graphic link on the main page. Or we may not have gotten around to updating our links yet. We really like tOkKa over at terrible2z.com, but even he doesn't have a link yet. YET. Anyway, you get the idea. Basically, we link who we want to link, and it's got nothing to do with whether they link us back or not. For your part, link us if you like us. Okay? Thanks!
Leatherhead II: Well said, Donatello. Well said. On to the inbox, then! I wonder what horrors lie within...?
Leatherhead II: Okay, I'm going to field this one. First of all, I find it very offensive that this e-mail was sent from a domain called handbag.com. Don't you know that some handbags are made of alligators?!?!? Granted, Mr. Doe couldn't have known that a mutant alligator would end up reading this e-mail, but still -- the point is that you should try not to offend the recipient before he/she even begins reading the content of the message. If you know a woman who's had several miscarriages and is suffering from an emotional breakdown as a result, it's probably not a good idea to e-mail her from firstname.lastname@example.org.
Secondly, while I don't think it's entirely necessary to spellcheck your e-mails -- I wouldn't bite your scrumptious toes off for a couple of typos -- you should at least fucking try to make sure your message is, for the most part, spelled correctly. Take the time to learn some grammar rules. Commas have spaces after them, jackass.
And finally, with reference to the above e-mail, don't send fucking nonsense scam e-mails!!! I love how this one begins -- like Diogenes, our Mr. Doe is in search of an honest and trustworthy person -- and a Godly one as well! Apparently we fit the bill, but if so, why the hell would we be interested in making a deal like this? Aside from stupidity, this one appeals to greed, as Mr. Doe has supposedly "resolved to give [the dumbass stupid enough to enter into this deal] 15% of the total sum," which just happens to be THIRTY-FIVE MILLION DOLLARS. I regret that I lack the articulation to do the requisite Dr. Evil pinky-to-my-mouth gesture. Anyway, Mr. Doe, don't fucking hold your breath waiting for our reply. And oops! I guess your e-mail isn't so confidential anymore. NEXT!
Super Donatello: What the...? WHAT THE FUCK???Er... Don, do you read German?
Super Donatello: NEIN!!!!!!!!!!!
Leatherhead II: Well! I suppose the lesson to be learned from this example is: Don't send people e-mails written in languages they don't fucking understand! It's common sense, really... Eh...? Don, what are you doing?
Super Donatello: I must know what this e-mail says.
Leatherhead II: It's probably just some stupid spam. C'mon, let's move onto the next one.
Super Donatello: I MUST KNOW!!!!!
Leatherhead II: See what you've done, Mister Postman? Now Don's gone into SUPER obsessive mode. He won't rest until he's learned German, just so he can translate that single stupid line that probably doesn't mean anything important. THANKS A LOT, email@example.com!!!
Super Donatello: ...
Leatherhead II: Don...?
Super Donatello: Okay, I went to Dictionary.com's Translator... and now I'm even more confused. "Their E-Mail on firstname.lastname@example.org contains bad files and for this reason was not set." What the hell does that mean? Whose e-mail? What does it mean to "set" an e-mail, and what does that have to do with this weird German message being sent to us? And what's with the odd way it rolls off the tongue when read aloud? Is it in some kind of strange meter? Perhaps, owing to its irregular pattern, it's the meter that isn't set? Observe:
Their E-Mail / on info / at franz dot / c h con tains bad / files and for / this rea son / was not set.
Leatherhead II: Ummm... yeah. Next e-mail, if you please.
Super Donatello: Wow, this is really stupid. This guy's soliciting legal advice from people he doesn't even know... and not only that, but from random people who may or may not know a thing about giving legal advice to begin with! It's interesting that he talks about the attorneys in fucking Rushlimbaughville "frittering [this fucking moron's] time away" when he's spending his time oh-so-constructively by spamming total strangers with worthless yet slightly entertaining crap! And hey, did that mention of "fritters" make anyone else hungry for a...
Leatherhead II: Mouth-watering batch of cornmeal-coated deep-fried toddler toes??? ... Nope, can't say that it did.
Super Donatello: ... Aaaanyway, this guy wants info to help him get over this hurdle, eh? Here's my advice then, jackass: DON'T SEND E-MAILS TO RANDOM PEOPLE SOLICITING INFORMATION THEY MOST LIKELY DON'T HAVE, ESPECIALLY IF IT'S ABOUT IMPORTANT SHIT. Also, if there really is a town called Rushlimbaughville and you really do live there, shoot yourself in the face for being dumb enough to move to a town named for that irritating lardass. But make sure you have a drink first! The e-mail continues...
Super Donatello: Hey, Leatherhead?
Leatherhead II: 'Sup, Don?
Super Donatello: Just wondering... do you live in Missouri?
Leatherhead II: Umm... nope. Do you?
Super Donatello: Nope.
Leatherhead II: Glad we got that settled, then.
Super Donatello: Yep.
Leatherhead II: Yep.
Super Donatello: I hope this guy continues to suffer.
Super Donatello: Holy shit! ... I hope I win a million dollars... RIGHT NOW! Heh heh... just kidding... but damn, it sure seems like his suffrage increased by quite a bit.
Leatherhead II: Uh, Don, doesn't "suffrage" mean "the right to vote"?
Super Donatello: IT SURE DOES!!! Remember, kids, that election's coming up pretty soon. Are you registered?
Leatherhead II: Nice save. By the way, who are you voting for?
Super Donatello: Save? That was totally intentional. And I'm voting for Nader, of course!
Leatherhead II: Is that so? Any particular reason?
Super Donatello: Well, he is the GREEN party candidate! Ho ho ho!
Leatherhead II: ... That was really awful, Don.
Super Donatello: Indeed! Awful, just like these wretched e-mails we've been analyzing for this article. See? It all comes full circle. And that last segment yields us our final piece of netiquette advice: If you spam people, you'll end up with Diabetes and other mental and physical conditions. And then you'll track down obscure cases where guys had trees fall on their legs and somehow developed hereditary diseases as a result. Also, you'll really half-ass your paperwork and turn that shit in at the last minute, even though you had five years to do so. In short, you'll fucking suck.
Leatherhead II: So I guess that's it then, eh Don? Is there anything else you want to add?
Super Donatello: Not that I can think of... but hey, while we're here, why don't we check the Scary-Crayon stats?
Leatherhead II: Sounds like a plan. I wonder how many unique visits we got today?
Super Donatello: Ohhh, godDAMN it!!! You fucking BASTARDS!!! I just... AAAAARGH!!!
Leatherhead II: There there, Don. It can't be that bad. What's up?
Super Donatello: Oh bloody hell, Leatherhead... I can't bring myself to say it. Why not look for yourself...?
Leatherhead II: ... I have no words for this.
Super Donatello: Okay, folks at home, it's time for another netiquette rule. Say you're browsing the web, and you come across an image that you think would look really cool on your site, for whatever reason. And hey, so long as you're not stealing someone's original artwork, I guess there's nothing wrong with that. Now, apparently there's a "Google" rule that folks tend to employ -- that if an image shows up in a Google search, it's okay to steal it. Personally, I think that's crap. Not everyone knows to put up a "robots.txt" file, and even when people do have 'em set up to keep Google's imagebot away their images can still show up on Google (assuming we did everything right, because SC images sure as shit appear). But depending on the kind of image it is, and the kind of site you're running, it's still a good idea to credit the place where the image came from. There have been a few times when we've seen some sweet images on other sites and upon asking the webmaster where it came from, the person will say, "Dunno -- got it off Google!" And then we go and look and it turns out to be something that someone put a lot of effort into. So fuck that rule.
Leatherhead II: But moreover, say you come across an image that you think would be perfect as your avatar or in your signature on some forum. Or in your livejournal, etc. And let's assume that it's one of those images that it'd be okay to take. Damnit, whatever you do, do not link the image from its original location! When you do that, you steal bandwidth from the site where you found it, since that person's bandwidth is now being used to display an image on your page. And bandwidth is money, people. But sadly, this has been going on since SC opened. So why are we so fucking upset now? Well, it's getting worse. Recently, some jackass hotlinked one of SC's images on the Penny Arcade forums, and suffice it to say that our bandwidth exceeded its monthly allowance, thus costing us additional cash out of our pocket. Now, we do like Penny Arcade (note that we've linked them on the main page, even though they've never even heard of us -- by the way, congrats on the newborn, Gabe!), and if that bandwidth had come from a legitimate link on the site, and PA users were actually reading SC articles, we'd be more than happy to pay for the excess traffic (though hopefully someone would help us out with a donation...). But as much bandwidth as we lose and as cluttered as our log files are due to this illicit linking of images, sometimes we regret ever reviewing the blasted TMNT anime. Yes, it gets that bad.
Leatherhead II: So now, assuming this redirect script works right, everyone who tries to hotlink an image from SC will be rewarded with a closeup of shitty cow anus, not to mention bearing witness to a Turtle floundering in cow shit and possessing the knowledge that this was entirely preventable. OH, THE GUILT! But seriously, stop stealing images and bandwidth. If you want to display an image, at the very least, upload the image to your own webspace and serve it from there. Don't have your own space? There are tons of free image hosts you could use -- for example, we've heard good things about Photobucket. There are others. Run a Google search, for crying out loud! Hell, I'm sure the engine will be glad to have someone searching for something other than porn. And remember -- think of the Turtles.
Leatherhead II: And hey, speaking of the Turtles, what are you doing over there, Don?
Super Donatello: Fuck this shit, dude. I'm done. This article is done. I'm watching TV now.
Leatherhead II: Well... okay, then. Is anything good on?
Super Donatello: Nope. Just stickers on the wall. But that's why I have... imagination.
Leatherhead II: Oh, just like you imagine that Nader has a chance in hell of winning the Presidency?
Super Donatello: No, like I imagine I'll go SUPER on your scaly ass if you don't shut up and let me pretend I'm starring in an "adult" film with Jubilee. Yeah, I've got your snikt right here, baby...
Leatherhead II: Fuck, man... I have to sleep on that couch. :(
BONUS ETIQUETTE HAIKU!!!
When you have a friend staying in your living room, don't jizz on the couch.
Just click the image above! Simple, no? ;)