h2g2 in a nutshell

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42 ~ The meaning of life, the universe and everything

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The following is a brief A ~ Z guide of h2g2


  • ACEs (Assistant Community Editors) ~ volunteers Researchers who welcome and offer helpful links and advice to new Researchers.

  • ACEd ~ a term referring to being welcomed by an ACE. Also called welcomed or greeted.

  • Alternative Writing Workshop (AWW) ~ one of the places, the other being The Post, where you can submit fiction or Poetry.

  • Aviators ~ The Aviators are a motley bunch of Researchers dedicated to providing audio and audio-visual content for h2g2. Some of us are musicians, some film-makers, others have nice voices. Together we aim to complement h2g2 content with our collaborations.


  • Backlog ~ older postings of a conversation thread, which can run to many pages.

  • Blob ~ any picture/graphic that appears on h2g2, not including the smileys.


  • Clubs and Societies ~ a variety of clubs, associations and societies any Researcher can join.

  • Community Artists ~ volunteer Researchers who create graphics for the Edited Guide, The Post and community groups. They also create the Smileys.

  • Curators ~ specially selected volunteer Researchers who help the Editors correct errors and broken links in Edited Entries.


  • Default ~ automated original setting that can be manually changed. (h2g2's default skin is Brunel)

  • DNA ~ (Douglas Noel Adams 1952 - 2001) ~ well known author and founder of h2g2.


  • Edited Guide (EG) ~ a collection of articles that have gone through the Editorial process and are known as Edited Entries.

  • Edited Guide Writing Workshop (WW or EGWW) ~ where you can submit fact based entries that are not ready enough to submit to Peer Review for help and advice to complete them.

  • Editors ~ employed staff; also known as Italics (due to their names appearing in italic), the powers that be (TPTB) and the team.

  • Edit page ~ a link located on your Personal Space for adding an introduction.

  • Elton h2g2's Ham(p)ster ~ Elton is in charge of keeping the h2g2 engines running, and when the site stalls or crashes, Elton gets the blame.

  • Elvised ~ a term used for a Researcher who hasn't posted for more than two months. From the saying 'Elvis has left the building'. Most likely to be seen in Peer Review.

  • Entries ~ articles written by the h2g2 Community; people like you and me. (This page is an entry)


  • Flame War ~ an online argument between two or more Researchers.

  • Flea Market (FM) ~ where you can adopt partially written Entries, abandoned by Elvised Researchers.

  • The Forum ~ the place for serious discussions and debates.

  • Front Page (FP) ~ the front page or home page of h2g2.

  • FrontPage Archive ~ unofficial page of listings of Edited Entries that have appeared on the Front Page since 1999.


  • Glossary ~ Official h2g2 Glossary; has some words not included here. (Some of the information on this page has been copied from the Glossary)

  • Guide Entry ~ another term for an Entry.

  • GuideML (GML) ~ the mark up language of the Guide, based on XML.

  • Guru ~ volunteer Researchers who have a wide knowledge of GuideML and can advise with GuideML problems. There are also many non-Gurus who can offer advice.




  • Journal ~ an online public diary located on every Researcher's Personal Space. (often known as a blog elsewhere) Journal postings will show on the Personal Spaces of those on the Researchers Friends List.

  • h2Jargon ~ a more in depth information page, which includes abbreviations and acronyms.



  • Lurkers ~ Researchers who read other peoples conversation posts, but don't post to them.


  • Moderators ~ external staff who review complaints made by Researchers to see if the content breaks the House Rules.

  • Month ~ the newest Edited Entries that have been on the Front Page in the last month.


  • Named Entries ~ where you can find out how to do nifty links for use in conversations and journals in plain text.

  • Nighthoover ~ a Researcher who posted to ask how to cancel his/her h2g2 account. Due to the question and of the catchy nickname he/she became a hootoo legend.


  • Who's Online ~ shows who is online on h2g2 & the BBC message boards. Who's Online ~ shows who is online on h2g2 only.


  • Peer Review (PR) ~ the first stage in the Editorial process where you can submit fact based entries, which are then reviewed by Scouts and other Researchers.

  • The Post ~ h2g2's bi-weekly newspaper.

  • Post or Posting ~ a message in a conversation thread.

  • Personal Space(PS) ~ an individual Researcher's home page.

  • The h2g2 Photographers ~ A voluntary run group, established in September 2006, who work with the Editors to produce photos for Edited Entries.

  • Picture Library ~ contains blobs available for use with GuideML.

  • Plain Text ~ the text in conversations, journals and the default text of Personal Spaces and Entries.


  • Frequently Asked Questions ~ Questions and answers about almost every aspect of hootoo.


  • Researcher ~ a member of the online community who helps to build the h2g2 Guide. That's you, me and everyone registered with h2g2.

  • Researcher Code ~ seen on some Personal Spaces; a cult thing based on the original Geek Code. (If you're not familiar with the Geek Code, you may find the Researcher Code confusing)


  • SEx - Science Explained Forum ~ not to be confused with sex, is the place for discovering everything you ever wanted to know about Science.

  • Scout ~ volunteer Researchers who review and advise on entries in Peer review, Edited Entry Writing Workshop and Update Forum, along with non-Scouts. Scouts pick the Entries in Peer Review when they are ready to begin the editing process to the Front Page.

  • Simpost/Simulpost ~ two or more people posting at the same time to a conversation thread.

  • Skins ~ different backgrounds that changes the layout and the functionality of h2g2.

  • Smileys ~ small icons available to use in Plain Text or GuideML. View all our Smileys on one page.

  • Sock puppet ~ a Researcher who registers in another name to boost their ego; either by agreeing with themselves, encouraging others to agree with them, or by arguing with themselves, either way, they win.

  • Statistics ~ Most recent posts and Entries on h2g2.

  • Sub Editor ~ volunteer Researchers who edit and correct entries according to the style of the Guide, after they have been picked (recommended) by a Scout, and accepted by the Editors.


  • Thingites ~ a cult group of Researchers campaigning to rename the days of the week.

  • Thread ~ a collection of postings which form a Conversation.

  • The Towers ~ nickname for the office the Editors work in.

  • Typo ~ a typing error.


  • The UnderGuide ~ a voluntary run section of hootoo which specialises in fiction, poetry and personal experiences.

  • The h2g2 University ~ where Researchers can write groups of entries for the Edited Guide on specific subjects.

  • U Number ~ Researcher number located in the right-hand column under 'Researcher Data' on your Personal Space. When typed in Plain Text, with a U in front, it transforms into a link to your PS.

  • Update Forum ~ where new information is added to out of date Edited Entries.


  • VIEWER Tag ~ a GuideML tag which allows the viewer, and only the viewer to see their own username on a page.

  • Volunteers ~ Researchers who give up their time to help with different aspects of hootoo. As well as the official volunteers, there are those who help with The Post and the Underguide.



  • X ~ can be used to remove a Guide Entry submitted to one of the writing forums. (Peer Review, Edited Guide Writing Workshop, Alternative Wriing Workshop)


  • Yikes ~ to click the Complaints button and make an official complaint about a Post, Entry, Journal or Personal Space which breaks the House Rules.


If you have any questions about any of the above it is suggested that you either ask on the relevant entry, or on the ACES' Home Page.

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