The Welcome page will have introduced you to the basics of h2g2. You should now know how to:
- Read our pages,
- Talk to other people, and
- Write a basic 'Entry'.
This page looks at how you can apply your new-found skills and make the most of the site.
What Can I Read?
The Front Page acts as a gateway to new and interesting content on h2g2. Meanwhile, every single Entry on h2g2 can be found using the Search function.
- The Edited Guide
A central part of h2g2 is its Edited Entries. These factual Entries are so-called because they adhere to the Editorial Guidelines, pass through a process known as Peer Review, and are carefully sub-edited by volunteers.
New Edited Entries appear every weekday on the Front Page, and you can see a list of recently-featured Edited Entries on the h2g2 Month page. You can also use the Browse, Index and Search functions to look for Edited Entries that might interest you.
- The Alternative Guide
To balance the Edited Guide, h2g2 also features a great variety of alternative writing. The UnderGuide specialises in fiction and anything else that isn't suitable for the Edited Guide.
There's also the h2g2 Post, h2g2's fortnightly magazine packed with columns, articles, cartoons, poems and fiction.
Where Can I Talk?
While there are too many conversation centres on h2g2 to list here, some central hubs of activity deserve a mention:
Ask h2g2 is a place where you can ask any question you like and have a go at answering the questions of other Researchers.
The Forum is more suitable if you're looking to have a serious debate.
How Do I...? is the place to go if you want to ask other Researchers how to do something.
Science Explained is a place for asking those tricky questions about the way the world is.
The Quite Interesting Society is the place to go for fans of the quiz show, QI.
The Games Room is exactly what it sounds like - a place for playing games with other Researchers.
Miscellaneous Chat is for conversations without any specific purpose.
Every page has a list of the most recent conversations. If you want to be notified of every new conversation on a certain page, there's a link just below the list of conversations that reads 'Click here to be notified of new Conversations about this Guide Entry'. There's also a link that allows you to stop being notified.
You can also talk to a specific h2g2 Researcher by going to their Personal Space and clicking 'Leave A Message' (you can reach a Researcher's Personal Space by clicking on their name in a conversation). If you get on well with someone and want to be notified of any journal conversations they start, why not add them as a friend? (Every Researcher has a 'journal', a blog where they can start conversations about their day-to-day life - for more details, see h2g2 FAQ - Your Journal).
What Can I Write?
You can write anything you want, provided it doesn't break the House Rules. Note that when writing an Entry you can choose to use Plain Text (easy) or GuideML (more difficult). For more information on writing for the Guide, see Learning to Write on h2g2.
If you want to write for a specific purpose, both the Edited Guide and the Alternative Guide are looking for well-written Entries. Both have their own rules, which you are encouraged to read before submitting an Entry.
If you want your Entry to be considered for the Edited Guide, you should head over to Peer Review. Before you submit an Entry to Peer Review you should have a look at the Editorial Guidelines and the English Usage Guidelines.
If you want your Entry to be considered for the Alternative Guide, you should head over to the Alternative Writing Workshop. Note that work submitted should not be suitable for the Edited Guide (that is, after all, the whole point of it being the Alternative Guide) but should still adhere to the House Rules.
Your Personal Space
Your Personal Space is your own page on h2g2 where all your stuff is kept. You can reach it by clicking on the 'My Space' link that's always there while you're logged in. You should have already written your 'introduction' - if not, click here (or click 'Edit Page' while on your Personal Space) and add a few words about yourself - nothing too personal.
Your Personal Space is only there to help you keep track of things and will be quite empty at first, but don't be put off. Once you've started doing all the things mentioned above, your Personal Space will fill up in no time.
There's also a 'My Preferences' link that's always there while you're logged in. You can use it to change your nickname on h2g2, which at first will be the same as the name you use to log in. You can also change the 'skin' that you use to view the site - the default is 'Brunel', but you can also select 'Alabaster' or 'Classic Goo'.
This Is All Too Easy
For more ways to get involved, see Contributing to the Guide. If you're looking for help on a specific issue, try the h2g2 FAQ.
Otherwise, stop reading Help Pages and get exploring!