QuakeWorld is the "new" way to play Quake over the Internet. I still get email from people who have never played in QW and have no idea what is is, so I'm taking the time to write the short version here.
QuakeWorld is a "front end" program which you run to play Quake. The QW program will connect you to the QW server on the Internet you want to play on, and it will automatically run your Quake on your hard drive. Regular quake is limited to 16 players, QW is enhanced to 32 players and has "latency reduction" built into it through "prediction." LAN play is smoother, but if you have a good line ot hte Interent QW can be just as good. With the 32 players QW can be much better. If you are still playing Quake over a modem with one-on-one games I weap for you. To get more information on QuakeWorld, and to download the current files you need to play, check out Planet Quake and QuakeWorld.NET.
QuakeWorld makes skins pretty easy. You simply hit the ~ key next to the 1 to drop down the console. At the console type skin whatever.pcx and you will put on the skin you name with the command.
The skin must be in your /quake/qw/skins/ directory. If you don't have the skins directory under qw, then make it. And only players who also have that skin in their skins directory will see you wearing it. Everyone else sees the default Quake guy. If you want your friends to see your skin, email it to them so they can put a copy in thier skins directories.
If you've not downloaded a skin pack yet, you should go and get the basic pack of Quake skins (1.4MB). Unzip then into that skins directory. And then go get the latest Quake World Skin Pack (#5) (6MB). Everyone that plays with skins has the packs, and you'll want to get yours in the next pack if you want it on the servers so everyone gets it and see's you wearing it.
The QuakeWorld guys prefer that you name your skin with an 8.3 filename. For a clan skin the first eight characters of your clan name should be the name of the skin. Since all skins are PCX files, they should be .pcx
Send an email to email@example.com with the subject line
In the email have this exact information:
Don't put a big signature or any other funky info, just keep it to the facts, that's all they need.
The packs do not come out on any regular basis. As of this writing the pack I have linked to above is months old. When they have a good mass of skins they'll zip them up and release them. A number of skin sites have thier own packs of "the best skins" available for download to get the good skins out to people. I don't do this at this time. I have a nice collection of some of the best skins people have made, but I don't have time to deal with the issues of making a pack. Go by my links page to see some of the other good sites and find out if one of them can help you out.