Black Hat World Tips and Tricks on how to take full advantage of the forum Top Navigation Bar Home You can click here to quickly go to Black Hat World's (BHW) home. User CP By going into your User CP you will be faced with a left menu and several options you can choose from. You can choose "List Subscriptions" on the left menu to show your subscribed threads. You can click on the check box right next to "Notification" (top right hand side) to select all threads. Now, come back down to the "Select Threads" popup menu. Here you can choose to move, delete your subscriptions, choose the frequency with which you receive them in your email or simply not receive them at all. This could be useful because after some time on the forum you'll be posting in a lot of threads. With the standard definitions, the users will receive daily updates of all the threads they posted in because they're automatically subscribed to them. Use this to choose which threads to receive notifications of, or not to receive them at all. You can also choose to create folders to put your subscribed threads in them if you like to have that sort of organization. Probably a bit overkill though. If you have someone you'd like to add to your contacts click "Contacts". You can also choose to ignore someone by choosing "edit Ignore List" on the menu. There's a bunch of other options to choose from and they are pretty self-explanatory. Notice how you have access to your own Personal Notepad. This is also where the threads you're subscribed to will show up, along with any reputation points you might have. Stats This is one of the sections I'd like to check from time to time. By clicking on Stats you can check out other people's stats on the forum such as their activity level, join date and post count. Here is the top 25 as of September 19, 2008. Rules and FAQ Next on the list we have the Rules and the FAQ. You can spend some time reading them to have a feel for the forum, and also read the Black Hat World - Beginners Guide for a more condensed version. Members List If you want to check some member(s) you can go type in his or her name in the search box, or if you don't remember their username you can always go to the Members List and see if you can find them. You can search them alphabetically, by letter, username, posts, reputation and avatar. You'll likely find some interesting usernames. Donate Right in the middle of the screen you can see the Donate link which you can choose to press to make your donation. New Posts You can read all the New Posts since you last visited. This is good for someone who wants to be up to date with everything but bear in mind that they can probably be several hundred long. Better to pick those new that you can find some interest in. Search When you click on the Search link on the top navigation bar you get a quick menu like this: You can also access the full search screen by opening it in another tab or window. The full search menu looks like this: There is a number of things you can do and they are pretty self-explanatory. The search engine on Black Hat World is very good, I suggest you use it whenever you have something you'd like to search on. You can also use the search inside each sub-forum and inside of every thread. Quick Links Next to the search you have the Quick Links. These are shortcuts to some of the most usually requested actions by the users. Logout And finally next to it, there's the Log Out link which you can use to logout from Black Hat World. Posting, and you When posting you can choose to use BBCode to better format your post. Don't worry, it's much easier than it sounds. BBCode stands for Bulletin Board Code and, among many things, formats the text to make it appear in italic, just like I did now. Here is a short series of examples of how you can use BBCode to quickly format a post. For a more detailed guide on BBCode visit the following url: Code: http://www.phpbb.com/community/faq.php?mode=bbcode You don't need to do anything by hand. When making a post you have several tools available on the top of the text box. To use most of them you will simply need to click and drag through the words you want edited and then choose the several text formatting options available. You can insert pics in the post by using the IMG tags and making URLs clickable (BHW forum already does that for you). Speaking of which, try not to post links to outside locations of BHW, this is because the sites will check and see that they are receiving visitors through the link you posted, which is from BHW, and that brings unwanted attention to this forum. When you want to post links in this fashion use the CODE tags, like I did in the above paragraph. Highlight the URL or text you want to envelop and choose the CODE tag. After some time you'll probably find yourself writing it all by hand. By having the URLs inside a CODE tag, you have to copy&paste the url, which is extra work, but the other websites won't be able to see that the visitors are coming from BHW, instead all they see is a blank referer, because you copied and pasted it directly into your browser, therefore, having no referer (I can almost feel the a-ha moments). I recommend not doing it with images either. You're spending the bandwith from another site, and the bill tracks it here. Save an image in .jpeg (for photos) or .png (for everything else, it is superior to .gif - trust me) and upload it to an image hosting site like image*shack or tiny*pic. When making a topic or a post you can also choose to use a bunch of smileys, trackbacks or an icon for your thread or post. Sometimes it can contribute to make a thread standout a bit with the appropriate icon. In every topic you'll go, the first post will have a series of options displayed. These are pretty self-explanatory. Here's another little trick. When you want to make a post and link back to a specific post on any given thread, and you really want to give people the link for that post and for the thread, so people can see the exact post you want them to see, you just copy and paste the regular link for that thread and then, on the post you want people to see, you check the number before the pound (#), and paste that number after the topic link. For example here is a thread about cheap sources of traffic. The post I'm showing you is number 17, so, #17. http://www.blackhatworld.com/blackhat-seo/black-hat-seo/21456-findology-traffic-emporium-buyhitscheap-review.html#17 Without the #17 it just shows you the first post of that topic as standard. You could also just go to the thread and click on the #17 of that post. That will isolate the post from the thread so people don't know the posts above or below. You could use either one depending on how you'd like to show the post. http://www.blackhatworld.com/blackhat-seo/228704-post17.html Tracking back posts and ideas You may stumble upon a great thread and you may later on not find the thread you previously read and you can't quite seem to remember some of the main keywords to look for it through search. Take the time to make sure you can track it back when needed. There are 2 ways you could track back posts and ideas. The thank you method You could use the thank you button to thank a post in order to be able to quickly track it back. To find the posts you thanked click on your username on the right upper corner to go to your profile. Click "Statistics" and then "Find all posts thanked by *Username*". Username>Statistics>Find all posts thanked by Username. The screenshot method You can take a screenshot of an interesting post or idea. I personally use Sn@g It for this. Sn@g It allows you to take screenshots in various different ways. The ones I use most frequently are taking a screenshot of a region, for a post; or a screenshot of the whole page for a thread. Sn@g It automatically saves the screenshot in a temporary viewing folder in the Sn@g It Editor. You'll have stored a bunch of money making posts and threads you would otherwise forget. To take a screenshot with Sn@g It you need to have it running. Just choose the kind of screenshot you want to make and press "PrtScn" on the page you want the screenshot taken. The Rep System As discussed in the Black Hat World - Beginners Guide you can and should use the thank you button to acknowledge other people's posts. Another way of doing it would be to add to his or her reputation. When you are repping someone by choosing "I approve" put your comment there of why did you like their post, and optionally, end by signing with your username. I usually do: This make it easier for other people to know who have repped them. They may feel curious about the user and thank him back on a later occasion. Its called Karma. If you want to neg someone by choosing "I disapprove" you could also put your username there but be aware that a vindictive person can go miles and beyond to get back to you. Downloading and uploading Use your common sense when downloading something from BHW. See how many posts does the uploader has. Has he registered recently? What is he sharing? Sometimes there are users who register on the forum and post a file or a series of files that may contain some sort of malware. One of these was a cracked version of SE*Nuke posted by a user with 0 posts. Some other users who downloaded it did not get any virus check on their respective anti-virus but one user eventually caught a password stealer in the cracked .exe of that application. This would steal all of the passwords saved on your computer. Not a thing you would like. Moral of the story here is to use some common sense and always check it through an anti-virus or two, even for my own uploads, although I do check all of mine through Nod*32 and Anti*Malware before I share anything on the forum. When uploading use [GET] tags followed by the title of the product you want to share. With the [GET] tags someone browsing in the "Home" page of BHW would see it and recognize it as a download, otherwise it might go unnoticed. In the past, you had to scramble your text with other words so as not to attract attention from the original creators. For example, one of the uploads I shared was titled: [GET] Drag0n Naturally Spe@king v.10. Essential Clix and the admins of the site have worked on this and the Downloads section of the forum is no longer indexed by search engines so there's no need to scramble the titles like people used to. However, you should always put information, demo or download links inside the CODE tags - refer to the Posting, and you section. Another thing you should not do is upload anything that is not marketing, seo or money making related. I'm guilty of this in the past, so don't do it. Read This is not a Warez forum, please don't treat it like one for more information. Miscellaneous Tips and Tricks Main forums tips Clicking any of the round icons will make that forum or sub-forum marked as read. You can click on the minus sign to collapse and the plus sign to expand a forum or sub-forum. You can also collapse or expand the left menu. If you click on "Mark Forums Read" all the forums will be read, and if you click on "View Forum Leaders", you'll go to another screen showing the users by status. Who is online On the Main Forums, by scrolling down you can see who is online, and the usernames of those who are celebrating their birthday at that day. This is a good way to see how many people are on BHW at any given time. You'll notice that sometimes the forum has more users than at other times of the day. There are usually as many registered members as guests, and it usually is a blob of yellow mixed with several blues, some whites and a couple of a selected few other colours. And here's a tip, if you click on the question mark next to the users displayed you'll go to another screen where you can check who is reading what and you can sort them by username, last activity and location. Great way to play Mr. Detective. User profiles You can click on any user profile to show some quick options: you can view the user's profile, send him a private message (PM), find all of his posts, and add him to your contacts list. On any given profile you'll see information regarding that user. Here you can see the user's about me, his statistics, his friends and his contact info. You can send him a message or add him to your contacts or ignore list, see how many visits did this profile had and who has visited it recently. You can send a message to the administrators here and visit other sections of the forum. And if you pay close attention you'll see that Essential Clix has a profile picture that is different from his forum avatar. To change your profile picture, if available to you, you need to go to your User CP and click Edit Profile Picture. Also, on the left low corner you can change forum skins: standard is BlackHat World, the other one is HaRRo. Breadcrumbs Thinking about pigeons? Breadcrumbs is an efficient navigation technique that allows the users to better navigate through sections of a website. This means that you can track where you are at all times. As you go inside the forums and sub-forums just look up at the top left corner of the navigation and you'll see where you are. They're called breadcrumbs from the Hansel and Gretel fairy tale by the Brothers Grimmm. Both are taken away from the village in hopes of them not being able to come back but Hansel leaves a trail of breadcrumbs behind to show their way back home. Makes sense huh? Sorting posts Threads are displayed by time, but on every sub-forum you can choose to display them by other stats shown below. You'll also know who moderates that specific section. Here you can also do a quick jump to other sections of the forum. Add Link If you notice it, at the bottom of the forum there's the "Add Your Link" link. This is a free directory with different categories where you can reciprocally exchange links with BHW Forum. Below are the Terms of Service. Welcoming other people Occasionally, you may want to take a moment and go to the Introductions section on the forum to welcome some users. As you may be aware Introductions is one of the sections where post count does not increase. You can read Black Hat World - Beginners Guide for more information. I sometimes welcome users whom have 0 replies in the topic they opened, just to make them feel more welcomed to the forum. FIM And that's it. I enjoyed writing this guide, I hope you have enjoyed reading it. I'm positive you'll also be able to use these tips on other boards out there. Here's to a better forum usage, tchim tchim. P.S.: I'm attaching this whole post in it's raw form with all the BBCode in it, so you can have a look at it. It's wise of you, if you're making a long post such as this one, to build up your post and constantly save it in Notepad, Word, or any other text processor. P.S.S.: If you by any chance have an .iso, .mdf, .mds or any other image file and you do not know how to run it, you will need software like Alc0hol 120% or Da3mon Tools to run it. Like stated, these are not to be shared on Black Hat World, but if you need them, contact me and I may be able to get them.