NEW ULTIMATE GUIDE

Chatterbox: Chirp at Cricket

NEW ULTIMATE GUIDE

NEW ULTIMATE GUIDE

 

Many people have seen the old Ultimate Guide to the CB, which I believe is highly useful for new or returning CBers. However, the old thread has 19 pages of comments, all full of useful information hidden amidst lots of “top” comments.

This version has all the information from the previous Ultimate Guide, AND the information from the comments, AND several new additions! It’s rather long, so I’m going to post it in multiple segments.

This guide is roughly organized in order of importance for new CBers, so if you don’t have a lot of time or don’t feel like reading through all of this, you can read as far in as you’d like, and you’ll probably get the most important information.

Glossary

Admin (noun): The amazebubble people that run CB, post all are comments, and make this all possible! Three cheers to Admins!

AE (noun, abbreviation): Alter ego. An alternate name or personality that some CBers have and post as for a little fun or a different way of expressing themselves. They often post in bold, italics, or bold italics. Ex: Shifting Sands, Devil Owl, Puck. Note: AEs should be used in moderation and only on threads where it is appropriate.

CAPTCHA (noun): The little spam box at the bottom of a page when you submit a post or a comment. Some people name theirs and post what they see. Ex: Sir Galahad, Meox, Fruity. Fun fact: CAPTCHAs used to be four letters; now they are five!

CAPTCHAE (noun): A crossbreed between AEs and CAPTCHAs. They usually have a side having something to do with a CAPTCHA (like being able to transform into a common CAPTCHA form, like a cat), but are smart as an AE and can speak in normal letters AND Captcha. The only known CAPTCHAEs are Chilly and Hallia, and their owners have made a frequent point of asking them to stay that way (as the only ones) due to originality.

CB (noun, abbreviation): Chatterbox!

CBer (noun): Anyone who goes on CB. Ex: Ella Starburst, Jwyn, Agent Winter.

CB Reunion (noun, event): An event when past CBers come back and visit. The last reunion was on February 14, 2019. The vague plan is to have one every four years, so the next reunion would be February 14, 2023.

CBer Story (noun, activity): A story in which one person writes a story in which CBers are characters. Usually the writer will ask for applications to be in the story. 

Charrie (noun, shorthand): Character, often used in a RP. Ex: "Anyway, here are my charries." 

Chatterbox Rancor (noun): A virtual beast made up by CBer Shoshannah Lily, to explain why threads or comments sometimes just don't post. Basically, giving a virus a name and putting a collar on it. (I haven’t actually used this term before, but I’ve heard it around, and it was in the comments of the old Ultimate Guide, so I thought I’d include it!)

Charrie Sheet (noun): A sheet in a RP that one uses to introduce/create one's charrie. 

Impersonator (noun): Someone who posts as another CBer, often saying that they’re leaving. There have been multiple instances of impersonators on the CB, often leading to conflicts, hurt feelings, and general dismay. Don’t impersonate someone. We mean it.

OC (noun, abbreviation): Original Character. Any character that you invent, especially from a story or comic, and generally not including AEs or characters from RPs.

OP (noun, abbreviation): Over-powered or over-powering. When a character in a RP is super-powerful and it's not fun for other people to RP with them because they sort of can do anything and take over the RP. One example of an OP character could be in an Element RP. The OP charrie could have water, ice, frost, and be able to read minds. Sometimes it's easy to get carried away and not realize your charrie is a bit OP. The others in the RP can gently remind you.

RP (noun, abbreviation): Roleplay. A story in which multiple CBers participate. Each participant has a character which they create based on the topic and then everyone works together and writes a communal story from the perspective of their respective character. Usually written in first person, but it's not a requirement. Earliest known establishment: Dmboogie, 2009.

SI (noun, abbreviation, activity): Secret Identity. A game in which every player takes on a name usually based on a theme (for example, in a Food SI one might be Fried Chicken) and then tries to guess who others are and avoid being guessed. 

Ski Lodge (noun, activity): A type of CB story in which there is a secret murderer and all other participants die. Participants guess the murderer as the story goes on. Commonly written under an alias for added spookiness. The originals took place in ski lodges, but they do not have to.

Solo Write (noun, activity): A newer term for CB story. Basically, one person writes a story using characters submitted by other CBers.

Thread (noun): A page on the CB, listed in the areas of the CB.

Topping (verb): Because of a glitch in the system, the first comment on a new thread sends the thread to the back pages. To find it quickly, go to the section where you posted the post (e.g. CaC, Inkwell, etc) then sort the "Submitted by" column to most recent by clicking on the actual words "Submitted by" (usually twice is enough). To send the new thread back to the front pages, wait until the first comment appears, then make a second comment.  This is called topping a post. Anyone can top a post by making the second comment on the post. If the second comment is made before the first comment is visible, the post remains in the back pages. Additionally, if a thread has slid off the first page, people will post under the name “Top” to bring it back to the front. Contrary to popular belief, THE ADMINS CANNOT TOP A THREAD; they have no control over the topping algorithm. Some people have special topping names. Ex: Clovertop, Toppers Inc.

FAQ

Who’s Top? Top isn’t actually a CBer! Anyone can post under the name Top, or a topping name like Toppers Inc, to try to move a thread back to the front pages. See “topping,” above.

How do you post a new thread? Or a new comment? In each area of the CB, there is a box in the upper left corner that says “Click here to talk ___.” This will post a new thread. If you’d like to post a comment on an existing thread, scroll to the bottom of the original text of the thread, right above where it says “back to the ___,” and click “Add new comment.” You can also reply to other peoples’ comments: just go to the bottom of their comment and click “Reply.”

How can you avoid having a “...” instead of a title of your new thread? Although there’s no way to guarantee avoiding the dreaded ellipses, there are a few common tips for avoiding it: A) When you begin a post, don't press enter and then start writing. In other words, if there is an extra space before your text it is almost certainly not going to have a title: the computer will look at the first line, see a blank line, and as a result put nothing as the title. B) Don't start with an emoji. The computer will most likely not know how to render it as the title. C) Perhaps you shouldn't write the first line of your post in bold or italics. Doing so has worked many times for CBers, but if you are cursed by the "..." it may have something to do with your particular computer not understanding how to analyze such text.

How can you find an old thread or search the CB? If you know what the thread is called or what was discussed there, you can type the following into your search engine of choice: “site:cricketmagkids.com/chatterbox <thread name or keywords>”

That’s all for this segment, but I’ll post more as soon as this thread shows up!

submitted by Kitten, she/her/hers
(July 2, 2020 - 1:43 pm)

(Ugh, I ended up with a ...? Whyyyy?)

Areas of CB

This Month: A center to talk about things from this month's issue of Cricket! (If you don't get Cricket, this one might not make sense.) Did you like the cover art? Want to know more about one particular author? Fangirling that you got into the Letterbox? This Month's the place for that! Lately, This Month has also hosted Floof Industries’ Monthly Check-Up, or MCU, and discussions for collaborative ski lodges and other semi-secret projects.

Chirp at Cricket (CaC): Supposed to be used for talking to Cricket, Ladybug, and all those other bugs. But nowadays we CBers fill it with silly games, sillier announcements, and other awesome and useful things! (Like this thread!)

Blab about Books (BaB): Well, the name sort of speaks for itself, doesn't it? Do you love books? (Who doesn't!) Come on down to BaB and chat, play trivias, and fangirl over y'all's fictional crushes!

Down to Earth (DtE): A place to talk about things in the world around you, like the presidential election, school, global warming, and anything else! You can also stuff it to bursting with the like of CaC's fare! Plus, a great place for surveys, chatting about NaNo (National Novel Writing Month), and announcements.

Puddings Place (PP): Those of you who read Cricket will know that Pudding is a theatre-loving firefly. Thereby her area is for anything and everything theatrical! Looking for audition tips? Loved that musical you just saw? PP is the place for you! It’s also a great place for poetry, art, and Ski Lodges.

Inkwell: The writing center! Looking for RPs? Solo writes? Need advice on a story? Stuck with writer's block? This area is full to bursting with creative people! The busiest place on CB!

Kyngdom: Kyngdom is hard to explain... to find out about it, check out the Kyngdom Academy thread, linked below.

Basic CB Etiquette

1. Use proper grammar and spelling at all times. 

2. Be respectful of the Admins! Try not to post long strings of “top” comments or multiple long comments in succession.

3. Be respectful of other CBers! For example, imagine you’re in a poetry or writing or art contest, and the person who’s supposed to judge is a few days behind on their judging. You can post gentle reminders, like “Hey, ___, I think you were supposed to judge yesterday.” However, try to avoid rude comments like “HEY ___ WHY HAVEN’T YOU JUDGED YET?”

4. There are two ways to reply to a thread. You can either click "Add New Comment" or "Reply." Generally, you should only use “reply” if you are replying to a specific person, complimenting them, or adding onto their thoughts. If you’re addressing large groups of people, adding a new thought, or pretty much anything else, click “Add New Comment.”

Roleplay etiquette:

1. If you join a RP, make sure to post frequently. If you absolutely are too busy, say you are dropping out and don't just drift away and assume nobody will care.

2. Obey the rules of the RP maker. Ex: If they say "no magical powers," do not make a charrie that has magical powers.

3. Avoid god-modding. This is when one "uses” another person's charrie. Obviously a little bit is necessary so that there can be dialogue and plot, but do not make huge decisions or events on behalf of another's charrie.

4. When you post, write a sufficient amount. "I fell off the stairs and broke my leg." is NOT an acceptable post. 

5. Okay, this is really important. (New CBers, pay attention.) Do not join a RP that has already started unless the maker says it's OK. If a RP is nine pages in, on page 39 of the Inkwell, and from 2012, don't join it!

6. Never forget about a roleplay you're in. Especially not one you've made. :)

Activities on the CB

ACG: Alphabet Category Game. The first person posts something that starts with A, the next person with B, and so on. Each word has to fit into a certain category.

Ask Admins: CBers ask Admins questions (often pertaining to Blue Moon Ice cream). Earliest known establishment: Susy, 2011.

Castle: A disturbingly complex thread where a CBer makes up and describes a setting (any setting) under a name that matches the setting, like Forest Maker or Tavern Keeper. Other CBers sort of make up a story taking place in that setting (basically RPing, but you don't have to fill out any sheets) while guessing the identity of the person who made the thread. Earliest known establishment: Spiffycat, 2019

Catch the Cookie: An activity wherein CBers steal a cookie from one another through various means of trickery, magic, distraction, and more. In the original threads, whoever had the cookie at a certain date won and was able to keep the cookie. However, some variants have no end date. These threads usually take the form of a short RP, except with CBers and AEs instead of newly created characters.

CBer Ball: Basically where all CBers get invited to a ball, and many people talk about the clothing they’re going to wear.

CBer Picturing: An activity in which CBers picture each other. May include written or drawn picturings.

CB Masquerade: A cross between a Ball, a RP, and a SI. CBers (and on certain threads, AEs) attend under a pseudonym and describe what type of mask they are wearing. They are intended to go at a slower pace than a SI, with the CBers or AEs questioning each other before guessing, but they can be at whatever pace the creator and participants wish.

Happiness Challenge: A thread in which you challenge yourself to post one or more things on this thread each day that make you happy--anything at all! In the end, you end up with a wonderfully happy thread. Earliest known establishment: September, 2017

Hink Pinks: A game in which one CBer posts a riddle, and another CBer has to answer it with a two-word synonym that rhymes. Both of the two words have to have the same number of syllables. Earliest known establishment: Silly Rabbit, 2016.

RR: Round Robin. Like a RP, multiple people work together on a story. However, more like a standard book, everyone takes turns writing "chapters", not necessarily from different POVs. For example, CBer A might write: Jane fell into the pit. Then, CBer B might continue: In the pit was a giant snake. Usually, the posts are longer than this; they are of no specified length.

Word game: A game in which one CBer posts a word, and another CBer posts the word that they immediately think of when reading the aforementioned word. Earliest known establishment: Eris, 2015. 

Helpful Links

Old Ultimate Guide thread: http://www.cricketmagkids.com/chatterbox/chirpatcricket/node/204967 

Clarification on rules for posting: http://www.cricketmagkids.com/chatterbox/chirpatcricket/node/409578 

All the reunion threads (see CB Reunion): http://www.cricketmagkids.com/chatterbox/downtoearth/node/401395 

Kyngdom Academy (see Kyngdom): http://www.cricketmagkids.com/chatterbox/inkwell/node/404640 

10th anniversary CB video: http://www.cricketmagkids.com/chatterbox/chirpatcricket/node/373078

First Castle thread (see Castle): http://www.cricketmagkids.com/chatterbox/inkwell/node/398819 

First RP (see RP): http://www.cricketmagkids.com/chatterbox/inkwell/node/9828 

First Happiness Challenge (see Happiness Challenge): http://www.cricketmagkids.com/chatterbox/downtoearth/node/328189 

That’s the end of this section! I have one last section to post, but it’s shorter and less “useful” than the first two.

submitted by Kitten, she/her/hers
(July 2, 2020 - 5:25 pm)

Comments from the Old Thread that I Didn’t Include (and why)

History of the “wars” and conflicts on the CB: There was a ton of discussion about the wars, mostly on pages 1, 4, and 6 of the old Ultimate Guide. I didn’t include this information for two reasons: first, most of the current and future CBers haven’t experienced these wars, and I think we should let the past live in the past; and second, because it would have taken up too much space, and this guide was already rather long.

Impersonator wars/conflicts: See above. The whole thing is very confusing, but basically several people were impersonated, in several different incidents, and lots of people were hurt. As I said above, don’t impersonate people. We mean it. (Icy and Owlgirl had a helpful explanation on page 7 of the old Ultimate Guide.)

Diversity war: See above. If you’re curious, a list of informative threads about the diversity war can be found on page 6 of the old Ultimate Guide. There’s also a list of informative threads about a second diversity war (?!) on page 10 of the old Ultimate Guide.

Soapbox: See above. This had to do with several of the wars/conflicts, which is why it isn’t included. However, in case there ever is another conflict, it might be useful or interesting to know about it; you can find Icy’s comment about it on page 6 of the old Ultimate Guide.

More activities established by CBers: Rose bud posted a list of activities established by CBers on page 2 of the old Ultimate Guide, of which I only included the ones that seemed most relevant and common. Nonetheless, if you are curious, you’re welcome to go find her list.

Abigail's Suggested-And-Totally-Unofficial Alter Ego Guidelines 

(Posted on the old thread by Owlgirl, in response to a discussion about the AE war… or the second AE war? I’m not entirely sure.)

Alter Ego: An alternate personality one sometimes reverts to usually to show a different side of oneself; i.e. sarcasm, nastiness, insanity.

a. Amount of AEs should be from one through three (1-3) per person. Recommended amount is 2.

b. Take time to develop your AEs. Create slowly. They're more fun to write for if they are developed and human. (On a similar subject, avoid OPness.)

c. Use common sense on which threads to bring your AEs onto. The subject is usually a good indicator, and the tone of the writing.

d. Read AE posts and get information about existing AEs prior to making one.

e. Be unique! Try to make your AE singled, separate, and memorable from the rest.

f. If you do not want AEs on a certain thread that you created, state it clearly.

Okay, guys, this is the actual end! Feel free to add any terms, tips, or anything else that I missed.

submitted by Kitten, she/her/hers
(July 2, 2020 - 7:14 pm)

'Often pertaining to Blue Moon Ice Cream.' Yeah, wow, you're right...

submitted by Cosme Nadia
(July 2, 2020 - 8:47 pm)

I copied the following from Mahriel’s thread explaining her new idea, Hotels.

A hotel is, well, a hotel. Like a Ski Lodge, it is (mainly) set in hotels, (though someoene may throw in the occasional motel or appartment, or resort) Ever heard of a dime novel? They were highly sensationalized stories that sold for a dime back in the early ninteen hundreds, suspensful mysteries and thrilling adventures abounded, and that is where I got this idea. Set in the 1920s, the time of the mafia and all those black and white detective movies, a hotel is a solo write in which the author is the detective, and all of the participants are the guests and employees of the hotel. It is centered around a mystery. It can be in a fancy hotel or a shabby one, use your imagination. In a fancy one, perhaps a baronesses jewels are stolen, or in a shabby one, perhaps a guest is murdered, (these are just ideas, and minimize the gore please) The detective can be a hired one, or one who is staying there and offers to help, or just someone who has an interest in detective work. one of the guests or employees is the thief/murderer/whatever they did, and he/she must be found before they get away (they can have an accomplice or accomplices)

submitted by Peregrine, age Many moons, The Aerie
(July 3, 2020 - 11:53 am)

Admins don't have control over the tops? Wow, then who does?

Thanks for making a new version of this by the way. I'm not exactly a new CBer, but it's always good to refresh CBer's memory about Chatterbox rules!! 

submitted by aqua, the Person
(July 4, 2020 - 9:47 am)

There’s some sort of algorithm that controls the order of the threads; I don’t know how it works, and I don’t know if the Admins do, either. It’s rather mysterious. :)

Neither Admin nor Webmaster control or understand it! The order has a mind of its own.

Admin

submitted by Kitten, she/her/hers
(July 4, 2020 - 1:32 pm)

So I have been noticing a lot of random posts or questions around the CB, especially in Inkwell. These posts clog the Inkwell and push down RPs, stories, etc. I am sure that this is unintentional, but for future reference, if you have a quick question, Chirp at Cricket is the best place to put it.

submitted by Mahriel, Graza
(July 6, 2020 - 1:31 pm)

Kitten! Thanks so much for taking the time to do this! Something to add is that sometimes if you want to change something you wrote, or it posted twice for some reason, you can ask the Admins to change it and/or delete the extra one. 

PS. Please be polite to admins! They do a lot for the CB. Thank you admins! 

@Admin, I don't know if this is even possible, but could you rename this thread "The New Ultimate Guide?" I know this isn't my thread, so maybe Kitten has to ask, I just think it would be helpful, like more people might realize it's a guide. If you can't or Kitten needs to ask or something like that, just ignore this comment. Thanks! 

I already tried, but it didn't work. Sorry!

Admin

submitted by Luminescence, age XI, California
(July 6, 2020 - 3:16 pm)

Fixed it! Should be visible now.

submitted by Admin
(July 14, 2020 - 4:07 pm)

Everyone, let us strive to keep this thread topped!! It is super important!! Toppity top top!!!

submitted by Tophin, age Nudge!, Poke!
(July 9, 2020 - 10:28 am)

One more thing I'd like to add: DO NOT PRESS SUBMIT MORE THAN ONCE. If you do by accident something will come up and say "Your comment has been created," and "Invalid CAPTCHA token." This means that your comment posted once, and if you put in another CAPTCHA answer, it will post again. So yes. If by any chance your comment does post twice, you can ask an Admin to delete one, like I said above.  

submitted by Luminescence, age XI, California
(July 13, 2020 - 12:12 pm)

I posted this in response to a question on the art thread, but I figured it might be helpful here as well:

Indigo Feather's Guide to Uploading Art/Photos: 

1. In the comment submission form there is a box titled "My Art", located between the content box and the CAPTCHA box. Within it, there are two buttons: "Choose File", and "Upload". First you should tap/click the "Choose File" button. If you are on a computer it should open your files. If you are on mobile, it will present the option of taking a photo or browsing your photos.

2. Select or take the desired file/photo and tap/click any "Select/Choose/Done" buttons if necessary. Your desired image should appear in a very tiny icon where the "Choose File" button used to be, and it should say "1 file selected" beside it.

3. After assuring you have the correct file selected (this may be difficult, considering the icon is very tiny, or that it might appear blank, which is also normal), you want to tap/click the "Upload" button in the bottom left corner of the "My Art" box. Although I've seen that many people do, I've found typing in the CAPTCHA at this point is not necessary.

4. Once you do this there will be 1-2 messages at the top, one chiding you for not answering the CAPTCHA correctly, one informing you that the resolution of the image was adjusted for the CB. Neither should concern you. The "My Art" box will now display a large white square and a text box. I assume the square is supposed to be a preview of the photo, but it always shows up blank for me. You can now enter the (optional) title/comment/secret message/rollover text in the new text box.

5. Enter the CAPTCHA and submit as normal. The photo will appear in the post under whatever you wrote in the content box. It may appear sideways or upside down, but this is also normal. 

 

Things to note:

- You cannot insert a photo in a post 

- You can only post one photo file per comment 

 

Please add to this if I missed anything.

submitted by Jwyn, age 15, Also Indigo Feather
(July 14, 2020 - 9:50 am)

Thank you, Admin, for making the title show up! I really appreciate it!

Also, I know this was my thread and I perhaps should have included this already, but I have a piece of etiquette to add:

When making a new thread, try to make the first line be an applicable title, like "Art Contest" or "Fantasy RP," not "EVERYONE CLICK HERE IMPORTANT" or "So, I was thinking..." This will make it much easier for other people to see what the thread is about and find it later on. Also, you should generally avoid making titles all caps, as this fills up the screen and makes it look like EVERYONE IS SHOUTING! (See?)

Thanks!

submitted by Kitten, she/her
(July 14, 2020 - 8:41 pm)

Top

submitted by Top, age Top, Top
(July 20, 2020 - 2:06 pm)
submitted by Top, age Top, Top
(July 26, 2020 - 3:33 pm)