There are a multitude of Chan sites that exist; the most notable is 4chan. 8chan (now 8kun), 9chan and 16chan exist as well. There are other Chans we do not discuss, primarily for the reason that these are Japanese or focus entirely upon the useless form of data known as anime. Notwithstanding these few, all Chan sites share the same underlying feel and function. In this article, we provide to the reader a basic introduction to using Chan sites.
The below paragraphs contain links to outside websites and sources of data; we maintain that the individual must verify the links therein.
Below are provided links to the four Chan sites we will focus on for the purpose of data hoarding. All of these sites are mentioned in DHitMA: Libraries and Aggregators of Data. We must remind the reader that the Chan sites are mostly unregulated in speech, with the exception that off-topic posts in specific boards may be deleted or moved to an appropriate board. Also, we implore the reader to ignore the large amount of boards focused upon sexual content, for surely no data or knowledge worth hoarding may be found within. There are many, many other Chan sites; here we list some of the most common English-speaking ones. Check https://eldritchdata.neocities.org/Lists/ChanList.html (https://archive.is/Npzwl) for a complete list.
Popular Chan Sites
Finding Old Chan Posts
4chan is by far the most popular and well-known Chan site. 4chan's /pol/, /g/, /lit/, /mu/, /fit/ and /k/ boards may be of use to the data hoarder, though there are many others, and each board surely contains data of interest to someone. Each Chan site is composed of a number of boards. 8kun and 9chan both can possess an unlimited number of boards, each one being created and moderated by individuals. 4chan and 16chan have a set number of boards. The Chan sites may or may not be appropriate for finding new data, as much can be done with what is described in DHitMA: Libraries and Aggregators of Data, but the reader may find use in Chan sites for a place of open discussion on a number of topics. Additionally, individuals who have been storing obscure or otherwise non-extant literature may be found, and can be requested to provide some files, which is exactly what 8kun's /pdfs/ board is for.
Within each board can exist, at any given time, a certain number of threads. Threads are generated by users and possess a title and post image/video. Anyone may reply to any thread. Each post (including the thread's initial post) is given a post ID (it is a multi-digit number). Threads responded to get "bumped" within their board, and moved to the top. If a thread receives no replies for some time, or hits the upper limit of replies, it is deleted from the board and moved to the board's archive. Threads may be "stickied" by moderators, and will never be deleted unless un-stickied. 4chan only allows one image/video per post, however 8kun, 9chan and 16chan allow a reply to attach multiple files, and even non-image/non-video files (like PDFs).
There is an entire culture that exists within Chan sites: it is not the intent of this essay to delineate such. Many terms and phrases will be entirely unfamiliar to a new user; however, after a month or so of use, one will become familiar with Chan culture. This is not altogether necessary, because these sites can be used plainly as a means for data gathering.
Below are some tips for using Chan sites that may help the reader along: