Skip to comments.What is Free Republic? How does it work? What's in it for ME? [Practical advice for beginners.]
Posted on 05/21/2003 1:33:29 AM PDT by RonDog
I have been asked by a group of politically active "not-yet-FReepers" (at my local NRA chapter) to explain to them (in forty-five minutes or less) how to use this extraordinary forum.
They would like for me to tell them:
I of course have MY OWN ideas about this place, but what do YOU tell people who have never been here before?What (exactly) **is** Free Republic?
How does it work?
Why can it do for ME?
How do YOU use this forum?Perhaps the BEST way to demonstrate the power of Free Republic is to post a thread, and ask for YOUR advice.
Why do YOU visit here?
What advice can YOU give to "newbies" here?
What say YOU, my fellow FReepers?
I had to take off my clothes, stand in front of the monitor and sing "I'm A Little Teapot".
At least....that's what Pardek told me.
So was I....
It was not so much admitting that I was short and stout.
Nor having to show my handle.
But when even Alamo-Girl joined Deb with "Show us your spout!"
I started blubbering like Edmund Muskie.
But I got over it... :o)
. See also:
Kids today have got it easy.
Back in the old days, intiation was much tougher.
I had to take off my clothes, stand in front of the monitor and sing "I'm A Little Teapot"
A. What (exactly) is Free Republic?1. Free Republic is a conservative Internet news forum.
It is a place where conservative activists (known as "Freepers") can:- FIND news and information,Some folks also use this forum to build relationships, argue about religion, and share their own unique brand of political (and NON-political) humor, but these are SECONDARY benefits of this forum, IMHO.
- COMMENT on that news and information,
- PROMOTE future activism, and
- DOCUMENT past activism, in words and images.
IMHO ="In My Humble Opinion" one of many common abbreviations.
2. Free Republic is HUGE.
Finding what you want is like getting a drink from a fire hydrant.
Since it was created in 1996, over 100,000 people have registered to post here, and every day, there are over TEN THOUSAND individual articles and replies posted here.
Our reputation and INFLUENCE on the Internet, in Washington, D.C., and on talk radio is ENORMOUS. Even in the mainstream media, we are rapidly becoming a major force for conservative thought and ACTIVISM.
3. Free Republic is PUBLIC.
Within reason, just about ANY idiot can post here, and many do. :o)
:o) is an "emoticon" used to communicate EMOTION, such as a smile.
- 1 -B. How does Free Republic work?
- 2 -
1. Free Republic is a (moderated) public forum.
There is a group of trusted (but anonymous) volunteers on FR who are known collectively as the "Admin Moderator" - to enforce the rules:- NO profanity, NO racism, and NO personal attacks.The moderators have the power to delete ANYTHING posted here - from a single reply to an entire thread, and can punish repeat offenders by restricting their posting privileges, or even BANNING them from ever posting here again.
- NO full text from the Los Angeles Times/Washington Post.
(We are also self-policing, so ANYONE who finds an offensive post can hit the "Abuse" button, and ask to have it removed.)
Beyond that, YOU get to be your own editor here, rather than having to depend upon the judgment of some left-wing "agenda journalist" at CNN or the New York Times to tell you what is "newsworthy" and what is not.
YOU decide what to read here, and what to ignore.
Similarly, while you can exercise your God-given First Amendment right to free speech, others can exercise THEIR God-given right to ignore you.
2. Free Republic is an "electronic bulletin board."
The basic structure works like this:Someone posts an "article" - ideally a news story that they found somewhere on the Internet.Imagine that you are sitting on a bridge looking down on a river of information flowing past you. The "articles" are like tug boats, and the "replies" are a series of barges strung together in single file behind them.
Others then post their "replies" to that article - to form a "thread" of related ideas and images.
Some of the articles have more than one HUNDRED replies, and some articles (particularly on "breaking news" stories) can get over a THOUSAND replies, but the average "thread" gets less than fifty replies.
- 3 -
C. How do I participate on Free Republic?1. Here is what you need to get started:Internet access You can use your own computer, or ask to use one owned by your family, or friends. Or try one available at your local public library.2. YOU always choose your own "comfort level."
E-mail account You may already have one provided by your ISP (like AOL) or you can apply for a FREE e-mail account from Microsofts www.hotmail.com
Screen Name To maintain your privacy, everyone who posts on Free Republic is required to choose a "screen name."
Use your imagination. You can pick a macho name like the Top Gun fighter pilots, "Maverick" or "The Iceman."
Or you can use your old CB radio handle, like "Rubber Duck."
Or you can even use your REAL name, if you like. :o)LURK Read the "Latest Posts" or ANYTHING you like, anonymously.
SEARCH One of the MOST POWERFUL ways for registered members to search Free Republic is to click on "My Comments." (You will need to be "logged on" with your screen name.)
This will display ALL of the replies that have been posted From: you or To: you, either as an individual, or in a group.
Alternatively, you can search individual thread titles for words and phrases that could be of interest to you, like "NRA" or "Assault Weapon Ban."
GET "pinged" You can ask to be notified by some of the old-timers about threads that they think may be of interest to you. They will then post a "reply" to you on those threads, which you will see when you click on "My Comments."
This feature is like having your own electronic newspaper "clipping service."
A variation on this method is to check out threads already marked by someone in a special interest group like the "bang_list" for Second Amendment threads.
POST When you are ready, you can post YOUR OWN thoughts and opinions, but be prepared to DEFEND yourself from "flames" and "disruptors."
And remember that ANYONE on the Internet can read what you post including your MOTHER, your NEIGHBORS and your CHILDREN, so be professional.
E-MAIL a link When you find a thread that may be of interest to your friends, you can send them an e-mail with a link that will take them directly to that thread.
The other is if we keep it archived correctly and factually future generations could and will benefit form the reading and musings of how people thought during our generation.
The best times I've had on FR are those where we get together for current events, specifically live threads on election nights etc. Those experiences are priceless.
Same to YOU! :-)