A newbie's opinion of the SDMB

Just an observation from a newbie: I think a lot of people here in the SDMB are great and give good advice. In fact, most threads seeking advice end up sounding like 40 voices in unison because they’re all dead-on right. Other times, people here dole out much-needed criticism when the situation is warranted.

However, I also feel that it’s difficult to get involved in the so-called SDMB community without knowing anybody here. I feel like an outsider. There’s a core of posters here who obviously get along well with each other, and breaking this core seems like a task akin to gaining acceptance from the in-crowd at a high school. It’s not that the in-crowd hates you; they’re just indifferent.

Maybe this is all in my head. I’m not writing this to gain sympathy, mind you. Please, no, Aww, poor Clucky, responses. I just wonder if other newbies feel the same way, and if people might stop posting here for that reason.

Or, am I totally out of line broaching this subject with only two weeks of experience here?

It’s true that a lot of people around here seem to get along quite well. It can be a little intimidating when you first start posting. I believe that the majority of posters here get to know each other from repeated posting and from the chat room (which I keep meaning to visit more often).

I dunno. I lurked for a while, trying to get a feel for the place, and then jumped in with both feet and started posting whenever I had the time and inclination. I’ve become acquainted with several posters IRL, and my SO also posts here.

I say to just give it some time.

Well, you’re a bit premature, to say the least. People need time to get to know you. Just remember to read a lot more than you post. It’s not the number of posts you have, but the quality of them (says the administrator with fewer than a thousand posts (on this MB) to her name).

You’ve only been here 2 weeks ehhh? Give it time I’ve been here since mid November and people are just starting to know me somewhat. Don’t worry about trying to break into certain groups of people just make friends with someone that posts things that you agree with and you like. You know everyone was a newbie here once in there life, heck I’m still a newbie and I post quite regularly. Oh and just one more thing don’t run up your post count with meaningless monkey-poo posts that is just annoying, not saying that you did that just you know don’t do it in the future :wink:

I find that if you post a good question or a meaningful IMHO/MPSIMS thread it doesn’t matter how new or unknown you are you still get responses.

OK, this is probably a dumb question and it should be in the About This Board forum, but since you mentioned it, where is this chat room? And the mysterious People Pages I always hear about?

I’ve basically just started posting here within the lastm month. I’ve been reading the dope for a couple years, bu thave been involved in the message boards. This is a tight community, but its a friendly one. The best way to feel comfortable here is to earn respect. You do this by posting intelligently, and don;t back down from somethign you feel strongly about, but yet also don’t be afraid to accept good advice or a better argument. There are some extremly intelligent people that wonder these boards. You will know these people when they post to your messages. I know a few here, but not many. Tiki God is probably the one I know the best, but thats mayeb because I grew up with him…but hey now that he posts on the straight dope I’ll actually talk to him…lol…just kidding clif. Give it time, you’ll come to know more as you go along. You already have several that have posted to your board…keep an eye on some of these people and you may make some friends. you’ll know me by my horrible typing, just ask Tiki. So sit back and read and enjoy yourself, and most importantly…learn something

DeskMonkey, it seems as if the chat room is something along the lines of #straighdope on Undernet. As for the people pages (yeah, it was a while before I figured out where this was too), it’s at http://www.geocities.com/sdpeoplepages.

And Clucky take it from a quasi-newbie, people will get to know you. Just post to the threads that interest you - and no matter how esoteric your interests, you’ll find something - and you’ll make friends sooner or later. If nothing else, I’m at the point where Inquisitive Question Mark expects me to poke my head into any and all anime threads (and I always do). :slight_smile:

Oh and Tiki, so far I only know you as the guy who had sex on the 50 yard line, but that’s a start, no? :smiley:

i feel exactly the same way clucky. (and yes i think it is taboo not to capitalize on here but that is how i’ve always done informal stuff) i’ve gone so far as to start a reply post then chicken out before sending them. so i guess i’m mostly a lurker. i find that i look for specific peoples posts because i like their writing styles and thought processes. hang in there – we can learn together.

i too (like desk monkey) would like to know where the chat room and people pages are…

I’m not a newbie, but I have a very low post count compared to many people here…I could justify it by saying “I post quality rather than quantity” but we all know that’s
just a cheap excuse :); I really just don’t visit the SDMB enough.

I can relate about “not being ‘in’.” It’s funny, I’ve been here so long, and I can recognize names as being from the SDMB, but often I find a poster saying “Everyone by now should know this about me” and I’ll have no idea what they’re talking about. And, though I’ve been here for a long time and might be considered one of those “quality over
quantity” people (think smarter not harder, be more proactively productive, think outside the box, we must reinitialize our positive quality attitude…wow, company pep
slogans are a dime a dozen, aren’t they?) I doubt any regular poster here even recognizes my name.

And I still don’t understand what “Hi Opal” is about, or where it got started. Can anyone clue me in?

I mostly blame this on the fact that I’m 15 years old; I can’t relate to most of the posters, and I can’t post from school, and whatnot.

(BTW, I don’t have the URL for the People Pages, but the chat room is on IRC, #straightdope on…I don’t know the name of the IRC network, but I think it is UnderNet, because the server I always connect to is irc.undernet.org)

It isn’t a dumb question, but not because there aren’t any dumb questions. :wink: Chat is on Undernet- #straightdope. Download mIRC for the PC or Ircle for the Mac.

It should be said that:

And the people pages are here.

As for fitting in,

I don’t think there’s any clique, but I do think that being new around people who sort of know each other can make you feel like an outsider. The only advice I have is to just leap in and start posting, but I wouldn’t start in the Pit, and I wouldn’t start with people or subjects you don’t know. (For exampele, a “Polycarp is a ***hole” thread in the Pit will be followed by the sounds of many knives being drawn. If you’ve been around long enough to know who Poly is, you’ll know why. :wink: ) Dabble in IMHO and MPSIMS, post a comment in General Questions, post an opinion in Great Debates (and be willing to back it up). Just wade in.

I also do think that SD Chat and the People Pages are great additions, but they can make people feel left out. I don’t chat, and sometimes someone will start a thread “Here’s To The Flying Banana!” or something equally incomprehensible, and it will become obvious that it’s a continuation of some conversation started in chat. If I don’t know what the heck people are talking about, I don’t join in (obviously), but I don’t think they do it to make me feel excluded – they don’t.

Oh, and some people around here do think less of people who don’t bother to capitalize or spellcheck or punctuate. It’s seen not so much as a sign of casualness as of laziness. Since all we are in this forum is what we post, people tend to post carefully.

But I think SDMB is tons o’ fun for the price. Hop in; the water’s fine. :slight_smile:

man, that sucks. I always laugh at the people who do that! :wink:


Well, what I was going to say at the bottom of the first post was:

As for fitting in, just hang around and interject stuff. It’s alot like real life. Let people get to know you, and you’ll do fine!


This was before my time too, but as I understand it Opal insisted that a list couldn’t have just two items: it wasn’t a list. So people plugged in, “Hi, Opal!” just to add an item–and to tease her.

I hope you don’t feel that way long. There are people of all ages here, and their various viewpoints keep this place vital. Lots of us can’t post during the day, from school or work, whatever.

To you and Clucky and callie, just give yourselves time. All of us were newbies at one point. It can feel awkward at first but we can’t get to know you if you don’t post. The important thing isn’t when you started posting, it’s that you started at all and how you treat other posters.

And don’t take lack of specific recognition as rejection. It can feel like it, but most posters read a thread and react/respond in general. Sometimes they’ll toss in, “As X mentioned” or “did X mean…?” But usually discussions just build. Just because you aren’t noted separately doesn’t mean your post wasn’t read and valued; it’s part of whole momentum.

Just keep taking part, okay?


These are truly words to remember. When I first started posting, I felt invisible. But after a while, I saw that forums are not like a telephone conversation but rather like a group of people around the dinner table. Sometimes you respond to a particular comment, sometimes the converstion just flows. Once I realized this, I didn’t feel like an outsider.

So, welcome all! And pass the mashed potatoes, please.

Hey, I’ve been here for a while (I was gone for a bit thanks to a bad computer), and I still feel invisible a lot of the time. Much like Veb and and brachyrhynchos said, I don’t feel rejected or anything. I just know that I’m apparently not very ineteresting. (kidding! I know people don’t think that about me. Do you? Hey guys! Where are you going? Damn! Another thread killed…)

Interesting thread, I kinda wish there had been when one like it around when I first started posting less than a year ago. To be honest, I still feel like a newbie many times myself. This is pretty much the only MB I post to (well, also at thehuddle.com, but that’s strickly fantasy football talk, so I usually post only during football season, it’s only about one thing, and I didn’t start until I had a good six months under my belt here.)

Most of the posts above, IMO, sum things up pretty well. I don’t think it was until I had been posting my weekly football picks here for a few weeks that anyone even recognized my name. I find that it’s still pretty rare to see my name mentioned in a thread before I post to it. But don’t forget, there’s lots of us dopers, most post to only a couple of forums, or only certain topics, or only at certain times of the day. It’ll take awhile to get to know a few people, but it’s well worth it!

You’re dealing with a community here and that involves all the things that exist in your in your RL community. There’s the old timers, like the ones that hang out at the barber shop every morning. Then you have the young clubbers, who party a lot and talk about sex constantly. Over here we have the intellectuals – they hang out mostly in GQ and GD, but you’ll find even they have an incredible wit. The jokesters are all around, but there’s assholes too. Most of them don’t last too long around here, but they’re still out there. You’re one of the new kids in town and the rest of us just know you by your name and the few comments we’ve seen so far. Give it time, open up, live it up, play nice, and enjoy.

Oh, and I almost forgot – Welcome Aboard!!!

I feel like a newbie,too. I’ve done my intial lurking and have been posting just a little. I feel comfortable now enough with the group to expose a little more of myself and to interact in this forum. So, Hi! Hello! Glad to be among you.

And we’re glad to have you. Have some mashed potatoes. Then pass ‘em to Jeannie, willya? She’s lookin’ a little shy. Maybe the food fight spooked her. No one meant to bonk her in the head with a dinner roll. <wink>

BTW, great catch, brachy. That was exactly what I was trying to say but couldn’t spit it out. Dang. You’re noisy table analogy (similie? DANG!) works!

Oh, well, what better way to get to know folks than w/ our elbows on the table, passing platters, sneaking tidbits to the dogs, swapping nibbles, and talking sense and nonsense the whole time?