Hello, if you are reading this hopefully you have just joined T-I (or are awaiting your 10% status), and are trying to make sense of everything. While I may not be the most qualified to speak on the intricacies of being a T-I member, I do feel that I am an expert on being new here (seeing as how I have only been a member for a few weeks), and that gives me a perspective many veterans don't have.
Okay, so the introduction out of the way, lets get started:
If you are still waiting for your introduction to be accepted:
I am assuming you have read the rules, and that is great, but there are some things the rules/faqs don't cover: Likes=/=rep=/=igiver. Rep helps you advance in rank, while igiver is important because it shows how much you have contributed to other members. You need a balanced mix of both rep and igiver if you want to get invited to the best trackers. Just recently I was given an invite to WFLS over another member, even though they had applied before me. The inviter said that because our stats were similar, he used igiver as the tie-breaker.
If you want to start earning igiver, but don't have access to invites, you can alway give away Karma (on sites that allow it). http://www.torrent-invites.com/bonus...ne-2012-a.html is a list of every tracker that lets you giver Karma, and the amount you will need in order to get igiver.
As far as rep is concerned, I highly recommend reading the following two articles:
You want rep? Win the attention of the community...
How to earn your rep and be an asset to the community.
[oh, and it turns out that you can view your rep by clicking on the "settings" button. Thanks Bongjebong]
The last thing I would suggest doing while waiting for your intro to be approved is to get yourself a good IRC client. Not only does this site have an active IRC channel, but most trackers you will join will want you to communicate to staff through IRC. You have quite a few options for clients:
- mIRC / Hexchat for Windows
- Limechat / Colloquy for OS X
- XChat / KVIrc for Linux
- Chatzilla add-on for Firefox
Once you get your client installed, I recommend checking out A_J's thread: [unlimited]ZNC For T-I IRC.
Finally, there are a few basic things you are going to need to know about making IRC work, so I have included links to basic tutorials:
Identifying and Registering with NickServ on T-I IRC
How to join us in IRC with "mIRC" Win/Mac
IRC Command List
So your intro was approved, what now?
Well, congrats on joining the site, you have become a member of one of the most active, and welcoming, communities on the web. In fact, there are many things about this site that will keep you around long after you have got all the invites you will need.
I am going to give you a step-by-step list of what you should do immediately after joining the site (these won't apply to everyone, so just read the steps that do):
1. The very first thing you should do is go to Free Seedboxes and apply for all the seedbox trials* you qualify for. A seedbox will make your life so much easier, and will help you not only get into, but quickly move up the ranks, of the top trackers. There are multiple benefits to having a seedbox, but the most important are: Cloud storage, and high speeds. You no longer have to worry about filling up your hard drive, or tying up all your bandwidth just to stay even on certain trackers. From my personal experience I went from uploading about 5gb/week at best on my home connection, to about 1TB/week on my seedbox.
*If you are given a trial, and decide not to purchase the seedbox, please show respect for company and at the bare minimum do a site review for them. Also, please don't abuse the trial system and move trial to trial trying to avoid paying for a seedbox, not only will this cause problems with your trackers (who will be suspicious about all the IP address changes), but it prevents others from getting trials they legitimately may need.
2. If you aren't already a member of a private tracker, I recommend going here Open Trackers and finding an open tracker to join. You will need ratio proofs in order to qualify for most good trackers, and these are great places to start.
2a. I would avoid demonoid. While it is a popular tracker, many invite givers will specifically ask for non-demonoid ratio proofs. Its okay to have a demonoid account, just don't rely on it as your main tracker when applying.
2b. Make sure you know how to edit your proofs properly. You wouldn't believe how many post I see where mods have to delete proofs because they aren't edited correctly. It waste their time, and yours. Do it right the first time and you won't have anything to worry about.
3. Now that you have some ratio proofs, you need to get into a "good" tracker, that gives you both a lot of access but is easy to seed on. I HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend IPT as your first tracker. Not only is IPT respected, but maintaining a ratio is about as easy as it gets, you actually have to try if you want to mess up your ratio there. IPT is a general tracker, so you will find a little bit of everything to whet your appetite. IPTorrents (IPT) Review
3a. TL is also a very popular, easy to seed, tracker.
So you have built up a good ratio on some popular general trackers, what else is there?
Now the fun truly begins. Once you have 2-3 general trackers you can use as ratio proofs, you can finally do what you came here to do: join some top tier, specialized trackers. Most of these trackers are considered hard-to-seed, so they make terrible trackers for beginners; however, the benefits outweigh the cost. What I recommend is keeping yourself limited to about 5-6 trackers (no more than 10), because anymore than that is really overkill. You should have 2 general, and 3-4 specific trackers that way you can access all the content you will ever need, without having to worry about juggling a ton of sites.
How do you choose which trackers to join? Well, first I recommend writing out a list (or do it in your head, whatever) of what you really are interested in/want out of a tracker. Do you like obscure music? comic books? horror movies? midget dog wrestling? There are trackers for everyone's taste. After you know what material you want, I recommend reading reviews to familiarize yourself with the trackers, so you can pick the ones that suit your taste. There are a lot of differences between What and waffles, as are there between CHDbits and PTP, knowing those differences will help you narrow down the trackers you need. Don't ever hesitate to ask questions. This site is very community orientated, so people here are very open to helping others (although if someone does offer you help, respect their time and give them rep for it. A "like" is nice, but is mostly pointless).
Last, but not least, GIVE BACK.
Make no mistake, this is a community site first. The invites you got came from people that were selfless enough to offer them to you without asking anything in return. Pay them back by being an active member in the community. No matter what your talents, there is something you can offer. Take your time to answer help forums, give away invites/bonuses yourself, write reviews, and if there is absolutely nothing else you can offer, donate money to the site (the servers that run this site aren't free you know).
Well, thank you for reading this, I hope this helps you get started with T-I. If you ever want to talk comic books, feel free to PM me.
PS-If anyone out there feels like they have something to add or contribute to this, please do so. I know there are many important things I might not have mentioned, so, regardless of who you are, or how long you have been a member, don't hesitate to add to this.
Special thanks to @Opt1k4l for helping improve the IRC section of this guide