Pimping Your Personal Space.

2 Conversations

So you joined h2g2 and discovered that not only are we all beetling around adding to the increasingly accurately named Guide to life, the universe and everything,1 but we all enjoy talking about life, the universe and everything and are pretty fascinating people all round.2

Now that we’ve moved to a brave new land, let’s get to know each other even better.

Let’s, in fact, talk Personal Spaces.

What to write?

Now by and large we like our anonymity here. Or perhaps we just prefer silly names. So you might not find very many concrete facts about your fellow researchers. Or then again, you might.

But we want to know something about each other.

Often people write about how they found h2g2. This isn’t always anything to do with Douglas Adams and the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. Of course, sometimes it is.

How you came to choose your name is often a good talking point.

Outside interests are another good place to start. Ten to one somebody here shares one of yours.3

We also like to list our interests on h2g2 as well. In fact, browsing researchers' pages can be a good way of finding a new hang out. Go and ask Pierce the Pirate or Lanzababy what the Blood of the Zaphodistas is all about to see if you fancy dipping your toes in. Asteroid Lil will be happy to explain the Atelier to you and invite you over for a cup of tea.

Another great h2g2 institution is the Thingites. I’m not sure I can recommend that you try to find out what that’s all about, but if you must then Magwich is waiting for your questions. Finally, Count Zero has any number of intriguing links on his page under Places to Get Lost. Ask him or 2legs about the significance of the 'cancel' thread and why at regular intervals some hootooers are liable to say ‘lettuce spray’.

You can also find out from deb what this is all about: (-6+9)x(7+2+5) = 42 . Or ask Geggs or, appropriately, Merely a Number why they have similar equations on their Personal Spaces.

In fact, any h2g2 researcher would be happy to chat to you, so don’t feel obliged to stick to these people. And if you have been here soooooo looooooong that you know them all, why not make it your mission to seek out someone new and see what they have on their space that stumps you?

How do I do it?

Now in your time here, you will probably have seen that some people’s pages are pretty nifty. Pictures, footnotes, flying smileys, bells, whistles and the kitchen sink. If you want to have all that and more, then you’ll have to start using Guide ML to ‘code’ your page. There’s advice about Guide ML here but for the sorts of things that people get up to on their PS, this is an excellent series of workshops.

There’s nothing like seeing it in action though, and when you visit any of the pages on h2g2, you can change the U to testuserpage and the A to test in URLs so you can see what code people have used on their pages.4 But if you get stuck any of the following people will be willing to help out. Go and see what they’ve done and drop them a line if you need help doing it too!

Minichessmouse has eschewed the drab blacks and greys of the rest of h2g2’s text and has festooned her space with colours. And if you go to her page you’ll also have the disconcerting experience of seeing your name up in lights. Likewise, HonestIago. Do they know you are watching them? How do they do it?

Computers with eyes on

Magwich and Lanzababy can help you to embed pictures. And if you want to footnote your text, Geggs and Malabarista can help you out.

Many researchers like to sprinkle some of our excellent smileys around, but others have gone one step further and those little emoticons are now flying. Malabarista and Lil can explain how, and how to turn that into rolling text banners as well.

Icy North and Malabarista can talk you through adding boxes with colours and links. And if you really want your page to be all singing and dancing, try Bel.

However, it’s up to you. You don't have to do anything like this. Surprise us!

But given that some of us haven’t updated in, well, in quite some time, why don't we all take the opportunity to spring clean for the noohootoo even if we are not strictly noo ourselves?

Once you’ve spruced up your page, drop us a line here and let us come and admire it!

At the end of the month, November 30th, we choose some of our favourites to feature on a semi-permanent guide to Personal Spaces for newcomers.5 Make sure you have biscuits.


1If you joined ten years ago, I really hope you really have discovered this by now. It's not all smiley congas you know.2Sometimes it is smiley congas all round, of course.3*Waves hand up and down the links to researchers on this page* Lots of interest there!4Thanks to BrownFurby for this tip. And check out her page. Dancing sheep! Artistic boxes! Sooty! She's happy to help with them all.5You can opt out of this bit, but still take part in the challenge, of course!

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