Getting an account is easy, and you don't have to pay for it.
In order to sign up, you will need a valid email address. Your temporary password will be sent to this address, so make certain that you enter it correctly. You will also need to think of a suitable user name. This name will be attached to every comment you make and every story you post. It is your identity as far as the site is concerned, so it's a good idea to think of one which you can live with.
When you're ready to sign up, mosey on over to [the "New Account" page], or click the "Make a new account" link, which is above the Log-In form in the panel on the right-hand side of the page. The instructions there are self-explanatory.
Enter your email address and desired username in the form fields on the page, and click the "Create Account!" button.
After clicking the button to sign-up for an account, you will be sent an email. This email will contain your temporary password. (It usually arrives almost immediately but, if it doesn't, wait a few minutes before panicing, as email often gets delayed in the network.) Return to the site, enter your chosen username and new password into the Log-In form on the right-hand side, and click "Log In".
Important: Please make sure that you have cookies enabled in your browser or you will not be able to log-in. If, at any point, you can manage to log-in, but don't seem to be able to stay logged-in, this will be because of your cookie settings. Please change them as needed.
When you login for the first time you will be taken to the preferences page. Here you can set a new password for your new account. The password that is emailed to you is random and difficult to remember. You will be able to set a new one here, as well as fill in other parts of your preferences.
Once you have logged in you will see on the right-hand side of the page, a brand new menu instead of the Log-In box which was there previously. This contains other preference options where you can set what order comments are displayed in, and lots of other options.