A newbie's opinion of the SDMB

As a fellow newbie, I know what you mean about the outsider feeling. But it really doesn’t bother me at all. In the first place, who could possibly know me from the few things I’ve had to say? I sure wouldn’t expect to be treated like someone’s close friend at this point. People have been generally respectful and friendly (and tolerant of dumbass newbie mistakes), and that’s plenty. Secondly, I came into this with the idea that the message board is primarily a forum for the exchange of ideas. Any friendships that may ever develop are simply a bonus.

I’ve been here a little over a month now, and I’m about 17% comfortable with you all! :wink: That may seem low, but it’s not. I’m well on my pace to be at about 30% by the end of February. I should be at the acceptable 75% by the end of March.

Now, having said THAT… Welcome to the SDMB! Here are some rules-of-opposable-thumb:

  1. Don’t be a jerk.

  2. Know thy forum. If you have a question that can be factually answered - and you’ve searched the archives of this message board and any Straight Dope columns online and used a search engine for your query, go to General Questions. If you have a question about the board itself, try About This Message Board. If you want the opinions of your fellow Dopers, try IMHO (In My Humble Opinion). If you wish to discuss weighier matters, go to Great Debates. If you just feel like sharing something for the hell of it, MPSIMS (Mundane Personal Stuff I Must Share) is your place! And finally, if you have a beef with someone on here or wish to rant against someone or something, go to the BBQ Pit. WARNING! If you go to Great Debates, you MUST be able to back up your statements. Simply saying, “Cause I said so. You’re wrong” won’t cut it, and you’ll be flamed bad. Same goes for the Pit. In fact, people engaged in a flame war or a rant in the Pit are less likely to be… shall we say… considerate of you and your needs. :smiley:

  3. Hi Opal!

  4. Ixnay on the erkjay.

  5. Don’t ask why a user has been banned or if so-and-so is a troll or sock. The reason is part superstitious and part logic. The operators of this board don’t want to lend any bit of credibility whatsoever to people who behave badly, so talk of their actions is frowned upon. If you really need to know why a person is no longer with us, do a search on that user’s name and try to piece it together that way. If you still don’t know, please e-mail one of the moderators and ask privately.

  6. Please! Don’t! Be! A! Jerk!

  7. Be creative. Use your imaginations. You have the freedom here to express yourself within acceptable guidelines. To stand out among the Teeming Millions, do something we haven’t already seen. If you’re an expert in something, make yourself useful in GQ. If you’re a good debater, jump into GD or the Pit. And if you’re a writer or an overall funny person, please by all means… Make us laugh. We love it. We need you.

  8. El jerko no you be. :slight_smile:

Keep your nose clean, be fruitful and multiply, and may the force be with you, O Newbie!

I’m a newbie, by any standard – I didn’t even know that this place, or Cecil Adams, existed until a couple of months ago. I got hooked quickly. I come here because what I read makes me think – something I’ve never been real good at. I try not to enter a discussion unless I feel I have something to add. I’m fairly sure I’ve let my dumassity show more than once… but that’s really why I’m here: The fight against ignorance begins at home, y’know. Yep.

I work the door at a bar and do most of my posting either before or after work, so the rational discourse and true wit I find here are damn welcome additions to my life.

So, yeah, Clucky, be welcome, pour yourself a cup or glass of whatever you prefer and pull up a chair. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll rant occasionally, and you’ll hear yourself saying now and then, about something you thought you knew all about, “Oh… I never looked at it from that angle before.”

Yep, it’s kinda like home.

Clucky and Callie, I am just relaxing and enjoying. I someone hates the way I post, so be it. They can ridicule my dorky questions ore my occasional typo, but what else can happen to me?
They can’t make me stop reading or posting here.
The community on this board very highly values smarts and common sense. The more you learn about the flow here the less likely you are to get slammed by a seasoned veteran. (I feel I can say this because I have been lurking and observing for a good while)

Clucky said:

I am 99.44% sure that many do stop posting due to the “intimidation factor”.
This is about the most intelligent MB I have run across on the http://www. (Boards that are not topic specific, that is.)
I literally learn something new every day here.
Have Fun and Play Nice.

Heck, I’ve been here 16 months and I still think I’m a newbie… and in many ways, I am.

The best part about this board, is the learning.

Even after 16 months here, I still am intimidated by the collective knowledge of the teeming millions.
I have no real “favorite” posters, nor do I belong to any “clique”. The “In-crowd” in my view, is everybody.

The knowledge, laughs and support this board has given me over the past 16 months has been invaluable.

So Clucky, I know you weren’t looking for sympathy, but if it makes you feel any better, not too many people know who I am around here either. :slight_smile:

Yes it’s a start LOL at least I am being remembered for something. Hmmm since people actually read my posts now I’ll have to start making sense which goes against my whole ideology ahhh WTF I don’t care I reckon I’ll do my share of fighting the ignorance.

And as for you mighty_maxx well lets just see how long you last before you get your ass blasted by someone important here :wink: just kiddin’ ya I’d have to step in for something like that. Oh yeah you’ve got college experience man clean up your typing :smiley:

Before people get to know you and what you stand for/believe in, *use smilies!! Given that we only see what you write, not the “tone” in which you write it, combined with the scarcasm-impairment from which many posters suffer, people may not know when you’re joking unless you toss in a smiley face.

Welcome aboard!!


P.S. ChiefScott, please don’t kill me!!


Heck, I have all that down, I have mIRC downloaded and installed, but for the life of me I can’t figure out how to get in. :frowning:

Clucky, don’t worry. I’ll be your friend! I’ve been here since the very beginning and I still feel like a newbie…you have to remember that a lot of people here have met each other in real life at the Dopefests. I have a disadvantage here, as I’m only 18, do not drive, and the closest big city is Pittsburgh, an hour away (I think the biggest fests are in Chicago, Texas, and California, correct me if I’m wrong).

I hope that all you newbies stay around…I like newbies. Especially with A1 sauce!

Well, my post count slowly increases, but I’ve been here since May(I think-or is it June??), and I still feel lost occasionally. It may be because I have to travel for work, which means that I have periods of up to 3 weeks at a time that I cannot read or post occasionally.

I don’t let it stress me out though. I pop into a thread whenever I feel like it. I doubt that most of the people here would recognize my user name, but that’s ok. I recognize y’all. :wink: And one of these days, I’ll actually submit my picture to the people pages.

  1. Smilies blow. I admire folks who can kid ith out a fucking smiley. Note: I am in a very small, very vocal minority. I no longer kill smiley users, though I may make an exception in SuaSponte’s case (especially since he didn’t close his italics in this thread.
  2. {{Hugs}} are inane.
  4. Talking about a column or thread? Link to it.
  5. Please, one sig per column.
  6. Mentioning a fellow SDMBer? Bold his/her name.
  7. Don’t be ascaired of da regs.
  8. Keep plugging away.
  9. Welcome.
  10. If you’re female, show us your boobs.
    ::Chucks Clucky on the chin.::

Some fantastic thoughts here.

My meaningless contribution: :wink:

I’ve always thought this place was a cool little community. The topic spectrum is so broad you can with out a doubt find common ground with a group of posters. If you want to be less of a newbie, then don’t be shy - get involved in the place. Tell some good stories, give some well thought out opinions, post in different forums, give chat a try, etc… We have these things called dopefests too, where generally speaking, posters from a certain region gather for dinner and/or and activity. If you go in MPSIMS, practically at any one time, you’ll find a thread on an upcoming dopefest. There a lot of fun, give one a try sometime.

I think there’s some gripe with the crowd that’s been here a while considering the fact that the SDMB used to be a small community where practically everyone knew one other. It has grown in size really fast (the member base has quadrupled in the past year), and some of us that have been around here a while can find ourselves lost in the “big mix” anymore. It’s definitely a change, but when you have a board that’s become this large it’s impossible to know everyone anymore.

Just find your niche. Sure there are some high schoolish cliques on the board - that’s life. But, on the other hand, the VAST majority of circles that reside here are very open and accepting towards new folks. Everyone’s been a newbie here at one point in time. :slight_smile:

Hi! Sorry I’m late! Please pass the mashed potatoes. And the gravy.

Welcome aboard newbies. All the posts on this thread have given good advice. I’m guilty of not paying much attention to the user name or the post count when I reply to a thread, and since I’m a sarcastic type of poster sometimes my posts get taken the wrong way. I don’t use smilies, and I forget to bold the user names in my posts.
The best advice I would want to offer is not to let your feelings get hurt easily. It’s hard sometimes to type what you are feeling and the message that you are trying to get across. It’s easy to misconstrue what someone is trying to say, especially if the way it comes across is abrasive. Stick with it, the board can be great fun, and you will make friends. It’s hard not to with so many good people here.

To get into #straightdope with mIRC (one of many ways):

  1. Open mIRC

  2. Type: /server irc.undernet.org

  3. Hi Opal! (still haven’t figured out if it’s pronounced “oh pal,” “oh paul” “ahpple” or “ople”. I’m guessing it’s “ople”)

  4. Finally, type in #straightdope in the channels box, or type /join #straightdope (Note: It is not case sensitive)

As a newbie to the SBMB (even though I’ve been on the Inernet continuously since 1987), the thing that’s most intimidating are the names. I’m terrible with names, and it seems like there’s hundreds of “regulars.” It’d be impossible for me to get to know them all, but somehow they all seem to have no problems whatsoever.

SuaSponte, your post was like the morning dew on a spring morning, which…

What the–!? smilies!? I read that post twice, plus CheifScott’s response, and each time I thought you were referring to similies! I feel like an idiot. (For the record, I always spelled it “smileys.”)


Hey, Elmer, no prob!
::dodges flying produce splaatt!::

In all seriousness, this isn’t a
big deal. Honestly, it isn’t a memorization test. It’s a conversational free-for-all. We misattribute, misspell, botch things up eight ways for Sunday…
"As drippy_Artichoke said…"
“No, he didn’t; postModern Angst said that”
“He’s a she. I hate my job.”
"Who? Y’mean happiGOnads?? Bummer about the cat.
“Never mind. Doesn’t anybody play chess around here?”
"What? PoohMeetsHawkings is gay?
Angst doesn’t like being capitalized, and besides, you’re full of it. Unified field theory clearly implies…”
“Thanks, E.E. CUMMINGS.”
“I’m FluffyRemora.”

Just muddle along, look up exactly who said what when quoting and pretty drift with everything else. After a while the names, personalities, etc. will sort themselves out.

[Edited by TVeblen on 01-28-2001 at 02:29 AM]

Veb left one important thing out, though.

If you’re female, show us yer boobs.

I know she meant to include that “rule.”

I’m not one much for rules, but that last one is worth the rest :wink:

Phwew. I got flamed to high heaven in one Web-based bulletin board (a site related to dating), because I pretty much didn’thave enerybody’s name, profile, sex, and other details memorized in the two weeks I was there. Like I said, I’m terrible with names, and I’m especially afraid of getting someone’s sex wrong – I got gang-flamed so bad for that one on WTP, I just told the moderator to trash my profile.