How do you do the Dope?

The Straight Dope that is. Do you have a routine for checking forums? Do you subscribe to threads? Do you often search for terms that interest you? What are your thoughts on “vanity searches”? What method works best for you?

Personally, I’ve only ever subscribed to a few threads ever. I usually stay confined to IMHO, MPSIMS, CAfe Society and GQ, I can’t even remember that last time I visited the Pit. If I see an interesting thread I’ll hover first to get the gist, and if it looks interesting I right click and open it in a new tab. When I get to the threads I’ve already seen in that forum, I start checking out the tabbed threads and either posting or just closing them.

My preferred method for finding posts I’ve contributed in is to do an advanced search on my username across all forums. I don’t consider that as being a vanity search since I’m only looking for threads I’ve recently replied to. Every once in a great while I will search for my name as a keyword to see if it has been mentioned somewhere. It almost never is, outside of a few of the threads I have been active in. I consider this to be a “vanity search”.

I rarely use the “find all posts by this user” even for my own name, because I’m usually more interested in the thread itself rather than one person’s posts across all threads.

What else? I use the forum jump at the lower right beneath every forum to switch forums, but I sometimes click on the Straight Dope Message Board link in the upper left and choose a forum from there.

I’m sure there are a ton of features I could be using to maximize the experience, I just may not know about them. So how do you guys do it?

I really hope this doesn’t get exiled to ATMB where it will wither and die. It’s not about policy, just opinions and techniques on usage, right? :smiley:

I never use the new posts search function thing.

I browse the forums specifically, in order: Cafe Society, Game Room, IMHO, MPSIMS, GQ. Then I start over if there are a lot of new posts. BBQ Pit gets skimmed. Everywhere else I try very hard to avoid.

When the vBulletin Editor (or whatever its name was) plug-in was available for Firefox, I actually used it to block ATMB and the Pit from showing up.

As for subscribing, I will subscribe to threads I start that are asking for help or assistance with something. Also, I have a lot of the “classic” threads subscribed to because it keeps them nice and saved for easy future access.

Good idea! I never thought of that. I’d love to know what some of those are for you. Sharing is of course entirely optional. Is “I burning your dog” one of them? There have been countless threads here that can be near lethal with their humor level.

I mainly look at GQ, IMHO and MPSIMS, in pretty much that order; I’ll also occasionally give a look at Cecil’s columns and others if I see a recent post that looks interesting (as displayed on the main page under “Last Post”). As for threads I have recently posted in or am following, I’ll just scroll through the subforum index and read them (which works well unless you don’t visit that often; the last 2 days are shown on the first page, I rarely if ever look at previous pages). I also do this while logged out, for the most part, logging in to post (yes, I know you can set it to stay logged in, which also gives you some features not available when logged out).

Yes of course you may know which classic threads I have saved.

I just ate 3 mushrooms.

The horror of blimps.

The Telemarketer Speaks. I Respond.

14k of g in a f p d (saved mostly so I could know the exact sequence of letters)
Would you shoot child and kill your child in this situation?

These are from before I signed up, but I’ve been lurking since about 2004.

I read ATMB first, followed by the Pit (thus getting the drama out of the way first), then MPSIMS, IMHO, sometimes Cafe Society, then GQ. I might occasionally look at the thread titles in Great Debates, but almost never read anything in there because I’m allergic to arguing.

If I’ve already read the Dope once that day, or it’s the weekend, I might hit New Posts instead. I’ve subscribed to a couple of threads where I was interested in knowing the outcome, but I usually won’t go back to a thread I’ve read already to see new posts, and if a thread is long I rarely read it all. I have a short atten…OOO, squirrel!

I read the new messages in ATMB, GQ, IMHO, and MPSIMS.
I subscribe to threads I start, or feel like I have a stake in.

I’m interested in the cooking part of CS, but not the movies and TV shows… I spend enough time reading the forums I find very interesting that I don’t spend much time in CS. I’m more likely to read it from work, where I’m not logged in and not tracking what threads I’ve actually read. As a result, I rarely participate in CS threads.

This exactly, for me too. I occasionally peek inside GD, but never stay too long.

I always use “New Posts”. There’s always something worth reading in all the forums(except for one :wink: ) even if I don’t join in.

I always use the “User CP” thing to look at my subscribed threads. If I’m bored of the ones I’m subscribed to, I go through the forums, usually starting with the Pit.

Another one that uses New Posts everytime I come here, Headline looks interesting I open it.

I do two searches. First, I search for threads I’ve already posted in to keep up on threads I’m involved in. Then I do a New Posts search to see what interesting threads have been started.

I compose a brilliant post then look for an interesting thread to put it in.


With one finger poking the keyboard and a painful squint.

I ALWAYS know I’ve either been Warned or Banned.

Doesn’t matter what thread I’ve posted in or what thread (God help me) I’ve started, the next day I know I’ve either been called out as stoopit/just wrong/or not pretty. Pretty harsh for a pretentious feminist tree-hugger.

So I’ll just sit over here in the corner chewing my bark (that I got myself!) until one of you miscreants forces me to speak up.

That’s why I always start in the Pit.

I’ve set my Options to subscribe me to any thread I post in.
I’ve set my User CP as my SDMB bookmark in my browser, so the first thing I see when I come here is any new activity in threads I’ve posted in. After checking out those subscribed threads, I just browse around the forums.

I didn’t know about the User CP/subscribed threads page for a long time until I saw mention of it in some thread a few years ago. It makes it so much easier to keep up with the discussions I’m following.

OK. I looked up and noticed that mittu was still posting recently. Did he ever provided an answer?

Everyday browsing: GQ, CS, IMHO, MPSIMS, BBQ, in that order. Then if I have time, I’ll go back and hit Game Room, then ATMB, GD, Elections. I never go into Comments, SD Chicago, Marketplace, or The Barn House.

I’ve never subscribed to a thread. I occasionally will hit my own “statistics” page if I’ve lost track of threads I’ve participated in, and for searches I go to Google rather than use the crappy vBulletin search utility.

I go to the following fora in this order and skim the titles for something interesting: Cafe Society, IMHO, MPSIMS. Maybe once every 2-3 weeks I’ll peek into the Pit and GQ. If I’ve commented in any of the threads, when I get through MPSIMS I’ll go back to them, again starting in CS and take a quicker run through for any responses. I think I’ve only been into GD once or twice.

If I’ve been away for a few days, I’ll find a thread that I posted in, click on my name and go to “Find all posts”, just to see if there’s anything new I’ve missed. I don’t like looking through the lists of threads too hard for one that I’ve been to.

Oh, and I sign in and out every time I return rather than staying logged in. I do this because I check on an incognito tab from work.

I auto-subscribe to every thread I post in. Then I’m all about the User CP and my subscription list if I feel like going back further. New Posts is handy because I generally only browse The Pit, GD and Elections … and ATMB to see who’s butthurt this week.

Threads like this are why I peek at the Pit. Comedy gold!