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A Brief Introduction to TPU
How to become a successful member of TPU
We try not to maintain a 'pecking order' at TPU. However, there are still certain people you can ask for help about the site or whatever. Firstly, Psion was the one who wrote this site, and although he probably never will exercise it, he has the deciding say on most things. Secondly, there are the Administrators/Moderators, who are identified by the '@' symbol infront of their name in the forums. They can help you with most things to do with the site, and you will find that they are around most of the time. You can also see the Membership Statistics which will often tell you how active a user is. Finally, with almost 2000 registered users, there are plenty of people to answer your questions!
The TPU forums try to be as relaxed as possible, and like the rest of the organisation, it features very few written rules. The forums are currently as forums should be, without much flaming, spamming or criticism. We try to maintain them so that anyone can feel free to ask a question or state their opinion without fear of ridicule.
With this in mind, there are a few things you should remember when posting. Firstly, has your message already been answered? Check the Quick Start Guides on the front page. People have gone to the trouble of writing them, so use them! Secondly, try not to directly contradict people. As wrong as someone may be, contradiction often leads to flaming, so try to express things as opinions and arguments, not statements. Thirdly, respect the other people using the board. This means everyone, administrators (the people with '@' infront of their name) right through to new users. Finally, remember that we are all learning. Don't try and ridicule someone for asking a silly question, or for their choice of programming language or OS.
Private messages can be very useful for sending information which applies only to a specific user, but is still related to TPU. The Private Message system is much like normal email, and therefore normal common sense politeness things apply.
Teen Programmers Unite consists of more than just the website. While the website is probably the most common way of accessing TPU, there is also #TPU, the IRC Channel.
You are strongly encouraged to come and visit if you are new to TPU. Your visit doesn't have to be in the least bit programming-related. #TPU is most commonly just used for chatting and socializing with those who have common interests.
After being around TPU for a while, you may start to feel that you want to contribute in some way. For starters, try answering questions in the forums. The more active users we have, the better the site becomes! You could also try writing an article or quickstart guide, these are written in a special format described here. If you have a good idea, either post it in the suggestions forum, or implement it yourself (it is much more likely to get done that way). Ask an administrator if you're unsure how to implement an idea.