Account Creation Guide for Online Convention Software

Introduction to Discord

From 4 October 2023 until 23:59 31 October 2023, we will be hosting a Discord server for Octocon members to enjoy. For privacy reasons, we will delete the entire server after the closing date. You do not need to use a camera or microphone on Discord if you do not wish to. 

Discord is available in web browsers, as desktop software, and as a mobile app. You can use whichever works for you, and it will sync across platforms. You will need to register an account. Please note that Discord has a minimum age requirement of 13 years old. We will not put young children’s programming on Discord, but guardians can create an account in order to keep informed of the schedule and announcements.

To register an account: 

  1. Go to 
  2. Fill in the information requested. Remember that other Discord users can see the username you choose. If you decide you want a different username later, you can change it
    • The most common issue with joining our Discord server is making a mistake in your e-mail address when registering an account (such as .con instead of .com!)
  3. Complete the Captcha.
  4. Check the e-mail account you registered with to verify your account. You do not have to do phone verification nor add a phone number to your account. However, do not use a proxy or VPN to sign-up, as this will trigger a flag on the account to require phone verification.

Please keep screen readers in mind when creating a Discord username and server display name. Emotes, punctuation, and unicode fonts and special characters will potentially all be read to visually impaired Discord users, or not read at all. For example, even a simple name like “+Rose ❤️” could be read out as “plus rose red heart” or “rose red heart” or “plus rose red heart emoticon”, depending on the screen reader. Try reading the name aloud to yourself including all the characters and unicode you have used, reading anything in special unicode fonts with the actual labels and not just as visually presented. If you use the Unicode italic font rather than italic markdown or tags, none of the characters in that font will be read at all, or they will be read as “mathematical letter” individually.

To join a Discord voice programme item: 

  1. Left-click the “User Settings” cogwheel icon in the bottom left of your Discord window. 
  2. Left-click “voice and video” in the left side bar. 
  3. Run the Mic test and check your settings. If everything is working correctly, left-click the “X” in the top right corner, or type “Esc”. 
  4. Left-click on the voice channel for the programme item.
    1. You may be asked to grant Discord additional permissions. Agree to give it these permissions.
    2. If you don’t wish to speak, left-click the microphone icon in the bottom left to mute yourself.

Introduction to Zoom

Panelists and some volunteers will be using Zoom, and some programme items will take place on Zoom rather than being live streamed on YouTube. You do not need an account to use Zoom, unless you want to customize your profile (this includes options to set pronouns or change profile image). Note that you do not need to go on camera to use Zoom even if you are on a panel. Please also note that despite hiding names, Zoom often makes them reappear, so make sure the name you are using on Zoom is one you are comfortable having appear online. 

Zoom is available in web browsers, as desktop software, and as a mobile app on Android and iOS. You can use whichever one works best for you.

To join a Zoom call: 

  • In a web browser, simply left-click the provided link from Discord or your e-mail. You may be asked permission to use your microphone and camera. You do not have to download Zoom when asked.
  • In the desktop client, you can either left-click the provided link from Discord or your e-mail. This will open the link in your browser with a prompt to open it in the Zoom client. Agree to do so. You may then be asked permission to use your microphone and camera. 
  • In the app, tap the provided link in Discord or e-mail. This will open the Zoom app automatically, and request your name (if not logged into an account) and permissions for camera and microphone. Please agree to these, and the app will take you to the meeting.
  • There’s also a video tutorial available from Zoom Support if you prefer. 
  • If you are a participant, you may receive both a link and a meeting ID via e-mail. You can of course choose to go to Zoom on any platform, left-click or tap “Join”, and input the meeting ID.

If you have a weak connection or older device: 

We recommend participants who are unsure of their internet connection, or find that their device is providing a laggy or low quality result, to use to test their connection speed. This site works on any device with a web browser, and there are also Android and iOS apps available if you prefer. If your results are a download speed below 10 mb/s or an upload speed below 3 mb/s, or you’re simply dissatisfied with your quality, you may want to try the following: 

Poor connection speed options
  • If the speedtest result is significantly different from your expectations based on the tier of service you’re paying for, reset your router. If that doesn’t sort the problem, you may want to call your internet provider to yell at them, but if it’s already the convention weekend, you’ll probably just want to go down the rest of the list instead. 
  • Ethernet (plugged in) is always faster and more stable than any other connection. If that’s not an option, wi-fi is generally better than a mobile (cell) network, although there are exceptions depending on your local carriers. Likewise, a Bluetooth connection will generally have significant lag on video conferencing. If your webcam and/or mic have wired options, these will be preferable to wireless, and if you must use wireless, a wi-fi connection will usually be a bit faster than Bluetooth.
  • If you are on wi-fi, change rooms to get a stronger connection to your router. 
  • Make sure no other devices are using your network at the same time. Turn off or disconnect other laptops, cell phones, video game consoles, smart home devices, etc. 
  • Turn off other software or apps that use the internet on your device, including automatic cloud backups and updates. For Windows 10 users, you may need to tell Windows that your connection is metered (even if it isn’t). 
  • Set Zoom to SD video rather than HD. 
  • Turn off any virtual backgrounds and filters in Zoom. 
  • Make sure the chat box is closed in Zoom (unless you are the moderator or host!)
  • You may wish to mute yourself when not speaking, as Zoom will dedicate bandwidth to the audio upload even if you’re not speaking. However, this is not ideal as you might then forget to unmute yourself, especially on a high energy panel. Use your best judgment! 
  • As a last resort, turn off your webcam entirely. We have a guide for panelists who are not using webcams, and it has many options for panelists with very poor internet connections. 

If your connection is good, but you are still seeing quality or lag issues, try the following: 

Older device options

Introduction to YouTube

Panels both at the Gibson Hotel and exclusively online will be livestreamed to YouTube and accessible via the Member Portal. Many items will be available immediately for replay and will continue to be available via the Member Portal.

You do not need an account to watch our panels on YouTube. You will need a Google account to join the chat on YouTube.

To register an account:

You don’t need a Gmail account to create a Google Account. You can use your non-Gmail email address to create one instead.

  • Go to the Google Account sign in page.
  • Click Create account.
  • Enter your name.
  • In the “Username” field, enter a username.
  • Enter and confirm your password.
    • Tip: When you enter your password on mobile, the first letter isn’t case sensitive.
  • Click Next.
    • Optional: Add and verify a phone number for your account.
  • Click Next.

To use an existing email address instead:

  • Go to the Google Account Sign In page.
  • Click Create account.
  • Enter your name.
  • Click Use my current email address instead.
  • Enter your current email address.
  • Click Next.
  • Verify your email address with the code sent to your existing email.
  • Click Verify.