The term "az" originated from an internet message board, belonging to the official website of Scottish band Travis. The meaning of the word reflects the characteristics of one such message board member “mr.az”. The implications of one peforming an “az” is described in the “How to be an az” section (see below).
- You must first join a forum, and make yourself known.
- You must post several times a day and, if possible, start conversations with another member which results in long and pointless threads. You are performing this correctly if people start to complain about your excess in posts.
- To reinforce the annoyance factor in the excess of posting, choose two or three topics and talk about them again and again. Examples of these include cars, Greenday, and war. Repetition is a crucial aspect in becoming a good “az”.
- Make sure that every other sentence you write is partially or completely incomprehensible. This can be achieved by misspelling or poor use of grammar.
- In about 6 months, you will notice the forum split into two groups – people that passionately hate you and tease you (usually the larger of the two groups), and people who sympathise with you and try to protect you from the abuse. Note that the latter group is useful when attempting to start another long conversation thread (by this point, you should be trying to get one of these in every few days). At any point when you feel the abuse is getting strong (such abuse typically comes from one forum member in particular), you must continue on to the next step.
- Declare that you are leaving the board and will never come back. This is attempted to be done dramatically, but in reality, if you have performed the previous steps correctly, few people should actually care. You may even get the occasional “he’ll be back” comment at this point – which is irony, considering the next step.
- Return to the message board. This should be done within a week of declaring you have left. Expect sarcastic comments and more abuse from other members of the message board.
- Declare that you are really leaving. This should be put forward as convincingly as possible. Try to include a passionate, but as always somewhat incomprehensible, list in your post of why you are leaving.
- Return to the message board. At this point, only the most dedicated followers of yours will bother with you.
- Congratulations, you have become a true az! Continue with more posts about your chosen subjects (Cars, war etc). By now you should have easily past your 10,000th post. Just remember to keep being aggravating every so often, as well as unpredictable, and you’ll be the best az in the business!
Bonus Steps – warning, for hardcore az’s only. May result in forum banning
- After being an az for so long, you may need a boost to help gain more attention. This can be done with the introduction of bad language and aggressive posts. Include such post titles as "F*** you stupid people!" so that others are forced to notice you. Continue your attacks against all board members, adding "jeje" or "lol" at the end of your speeches, so as to confuse people in regards to how serious you really are. Try to worsen your grammar if at all possible, so that people understand you are insulting them, but cannot deduce why.
- The pinnacle of being an az is to gain all the attention you possibly can. The Az spam stunt (also known as “Spaz”) can achieve this to a great degree, but continues to increase your chance of ban. Spazzing simply comprises of creating multiple posts as close to simultaneously as possible. Try to fill up the entire page if possible. This is often seen as the very cheapest and more obvious way to gain the notice of your fellow messageboard members, but will almost always work on a large scale. Use the techniques described in bonus stage 1 to respond to all complaints.
What to do if Banned
More recent research suggests that being banned from a messageboard is by no means the end, or even much of a hindrance to, your Az-ing. Create a new username – creating a new email address is essential because your old email is associated with your old username – and enter different or limited information about yourself on your forum profile, such as the country you are from. You should start posting, but do not draw attention to yourself for the first couple of months. Possibly introduce yourself briefly, and reply to other messages with “lol” and “jeje” every so often, so as to establish yourself as a relatively regular member, without particularly being noticed.
After this biding of time, start putting in subtle hints as to who you really are in your posts. This is done by talking about the same things and topics associated with your previous Az user, which may be cars, or war, or particular bands. If nobody recognises this connection, it’s time to slacken the subtlety. Pick a topic, preferably a political one with lots of potential, and create posts on it. Copy and paste related articles (the larger the better), with your own short and simplified personal response either at the end of the post, or in the post title. Do this to the point of spazzing. Boardies will become increasingly frustrated with this, as you are repeating points over and over, as well as flooding the forum. If possible, it is useful to have an associate who helps you with your spamming. You may be able to manipulate a person to help you do such things if they agree with your political stance on the topics at hand. Remember to emphasise the passion and emotion in your topics by adding "¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡" frequently at the end of posts or post titles.
Hence, at this stage, you find yourself back into Az territory, and in a stronger position that you previously were in many ways. If people try to reason with you, by trying to explain that repeating your chosen topic will achieve nothing, simply reply be repeating your political stance on the chosen topic. Remember, simplicity and repetition is what makes a good Az. Such qualities will lead to much frustration amongst messageboard members, and it is the provocation of anger and frustration that is always the prime objective of an Az. After a short period of time, you may feel the need to create additional usernames to add to the confusion. The time it takes for people to realise your true identity should decrease drastically (sometimes a matter of minutes), yet this does not matter in the least, as it only intensifies your annoyance factor.
How to spot an az
Once signed up to the message board, an az will promptly start posting messages on a very regular basis. Look out for such trademarks as not being able to understand what he says in many of his posts. Keep an eye on his post tally. If it is increasing at an alarming rate, you are almost definitely looking at a potential az. Your suspicions should be confirmed if he declares he is leaving the forum, does so, and then returns. This return is typically seen in 2-3 working days.