How would you explain and introduce the SDMB to a potential newbie?

I’ve got a friend that I think might be a good Doper. How should I explain this message board to him and what would be a good way to encourage him to browse it for a bit to see if he’s interested in it?

I’m thinking the Elections forum is the place to start as we both have a serious interest in politics.

We don’t live in the same area, so it’s not like I can just show him on my laptop, although I could do it next time I see him.

Um. Tell him how tough the peanut gallery is around here. It is intimidating to noobs. But , yeah tell him to lurk awhile in elections if thats his interest.

actually in my first stint here I showed a british online friend the “new post” page and he said it looked a lot like pub discussions…….

I describe it as college students talking in the dorm. You get a good mix of insight and pretentiousness.

Following Beckdawreck, I would counsel along the lines of, “Read and try to understand, and keep your pie-hole/keyboard shut until you understand what and who you’re dealing with.”

But, when you’ve got something you consider worthwhile to say, and can back it up with reasons, jump in. (That’s basically what I’m still doing.)


Tell that person to make damn sure the first couple posts are grammatically correct, without spelling errors or any other language errors. Double and triple check it, because that’s what’s most important for a new person to members of this board.


Found the cure to cancer? Well before you post it here, be sure you have your spelling correct, properly use paragraphs, and at least three cites to prove your assumption that the sky is blue. Otherwise we won’t accept what you have to say.

Well, you can start by telling them that it is a place that has let me hang around for the better part of 2 decades, so it can’t be all that…

Is he 8?

Just send him the link. If he as an interest, he’ll browse and maybe even sign up.

And then…we strike!

He’s actually a millennial. In the can opener thread, there was a discussion of the lack of young people on the SDMB.

Yes, I can send him the link, but I wouldn’t want his first SDMB experience to be browsing quickly and thinking that all the discussion on here is 6 page threads in the BBQ pit.

What about send him some links of threads that he might be interested in? Like movie discussions or things like that?

This was going to be my suggestion as well. Send links to thread you and he may share an interest. Or, if you are OK scuttling your anonymity to him, link to some threads where you commented (maybe this one?).

I think the most important advice is to read some threads of interest in the various fora for a while to get a feel for the discussions and tone: essentially, be a lurker for a while. I think this is how most of us got here.

For reasons I can’t remember (and being rather a newbie myself) I have recently explained (briefly) to friends what the SDMB is. I just said it was a site where, at any one time, there are a couple of hundred intelligent conversations going on. That’s why it appealed to me.

BTW - the only social media of any sort that I use.


PS - paragraphs OK?