SDMB Newbie Treatment

There is some debate over in the pit over how we treat newbies (go over yourself if you are interested, it the Reverend Mykeru thread), and I’m interested in this topic.

My perception is that the SDMB doesn’t haze newbies, nor embrace them with welcoming arms. I know when I first started hanging here, it was several hundred posts before I though someone might recognize me by username. And around 800 before I really felt like I belonged. However, I started here a long time ago, and things may be different now - and I picked the worst place for open arms - Great Debates (OK, the second worst place, looks like Reverend Mykeru picked a worse place to hang out – the Pit).

I’ve been to boards where “haze the newbie” is part and parcel - everyone needs to go through the trial by fire to prove they are a worthy member. And boards where the moment you sign up, these people come onto you like they are your best friends.

Some newbies do seem to get off on the wrong foot and go through a hazing - but there is generally some well intentioned advice along with it.

We were all newbies once. How were you treated? How do you think we treat others?

Well, I never made any LOOK AT ME posts. Nor have I ever pitted anyone on the boards.
I don’t think I add anything specacular to any thread.
So the treatment I’ve gotten is fair.
I’ve posted mostly in IMHO or MPSIMS, so its all little things here and there.

Well, Dangerosa, I am more of a lurker than an active participant. I do read several threads every day. I think most “newbies” tend to blend in fairly well. Those that don’t tend to drop out by their own choice. All in all, I think that newbies are treated okay, though there does exist glaring evidence to the contrary from time to time.

What does concern me is an increasing tendancy to over-react. Too often, it seems a simple disagreement turns into a bloodbath where people are saying the meanest, most hateful things they can think of. It seems like its the Wild West around here these days. People have itchy trigger fingers and are spoiling for a fight, particularly with somebody new in town.

I’ve far from a newbie. It took me a while to get the hang of this place, even though I lurked for a bit before I registered. I tried my hand at GD a bit when I started, but I found that I don’t have the stamina or attention span for it. I’ve never been pitted (not seriously), and I’ve never started a pit thread about another poster. I’m sure I have my share of posters who don’t care for me, but that’s ok. I generally try to think before I post, and that’s probably saved me a number of times. I’ve never been warned by a mod.

All in all, I have no complaints about how I was treated here when I was a newbie. It was tough at first to feel like I fit in. Going to fests and meeting people in person went a long way towards changing that. I realize that’s not an option for a lot of people.

As far as how we treat newbies, I think we can be a little harsh sometimes, but if people follow the rules, they can post all the unpopular opinions they want. And if people fuck up, but step back and say “you know, you’re right, I fucked up,” people here are generally pretty forgiving. That goes for the “regulars” and the staff.

There is no elite clique. There is no elite clique. There is no elite clique. There are, however, groups of friends. But there are no exclusionary groups that no one can breach.

I came in guns a blazin’ in a GD about race and collective guilt. Got into an argument, made some points and was berated by some, atta boy-ed by others.

Then, I stopped, looked around, and found my niche. I felt at home almost right away. A few major gaffs were handled with an even temper by mods, others, and me (thankyouverymuch).

There are definitely some bandwagon jumpers on here, as well as some who think way too much of their own opinions or interpretation of facts. And some just love to argue.

But, and this is a big but, that is not the basic personality of The Dope. Anyone of reasonable intelligence, wit, or creativity can show up here and fit right in.

Why should you guve a rat’s ass what someone on a message board thinks of you? I think the whole newbie/old timer thing is overblown.

How are newbies (in the general case) treated? All one needs do is search MPSIMS for threads with “newbie*” in the subject line. If you don’t wanna do that, go to Comments on Cecil’s Columns and read a couple dozen threads; many members make their first posts there and receive fair treatment. I think you’ll find that Mykeru is an abberation, not the norm. But then, the newbies in the other forums were getting warm welcomes because they didn’t come in here with a chip already on their shoulder. The nail that stands up, gets pounded down. And it’s ridiculous to expect that a newbie is going to get a nice welcome in the Pit.

King Rat, I think people come here for different things - to learn, to debate, to pass the time, to have fun, but many get caught up in the community here, and it’s probably the latter group who care the most about what people here think of them.

Well, I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here and look forward everyday to browsing through a few threads on my lunch or break. This is the only message board I have ever posted to so I was pretty hesitant at first.

I felt fine as soon as I got over 1) posting, what I thought was, a brilliant and well-thought-out reply to deafening silence and 2) starting a thread that got 0 responses.

I think that the treatment here is fine but I don’t have much to compare it to. I wouldn’t say that I have any friends here but I don’t think I have any enemies either. All in all, it’s been good.

Depends on how they introduce themselves. This, for example, couldn’t have been a nicer welcome.

So far so good.

What defines a newbie anyway? I still consider myself to be one, but I feel the newbie cloak falling away each day.

I started off tentatively, dipping my toe in the water to test the temperature. I stayed clear of the pit and GD initially, and just sort of slid in the side door, unnoticed.

Another thing: For the record, I think newbies are treated very well here. They are normally made to feel welcome, and the many MPSIMS “I’m new here” type threads are testimony to this.

I started out pretty low key, I think. Since I’d never joined a message board before, I did a lot of observing and not a lot of contributing until I decided what my board persona would be.

That sounds wrong… it’s not that I’m not who my profile says, it’s just that I wasn’t sure whether to go with smartass or silly or nice. I think I settled on nice with occasional flashes of other things. IRL, I tend to be a bit naughtier, depending upon who I’m with.

Anyway, I think it took a while before anyone noticed me, and that was fine. I’ve not been pitted to my knowledge, nor have I pitted specific posters. I have been misunderstood a few times, especially early on, and I’ve sent emails to apologize when necessary. And since I avoid GD like the plague, I don’t think I’ve made any enemies. And if I come upon newbies early enough in their intro threads, I’ll offer a welcome. But when the threads get long, I avoid me-too-ing. You’re OK by me until you prove otherwise, even without offerings of chocolate… :smiley:

I think I am still a newbie, although I have made a lot of comments over the last two weeks. I started out in the comments on columns areas, and I think I was welcomed quite nicely there. Even though in my first posts I was grossly wrong about an area in which I have no expertise. :smack: (But, I was working, and people kept interrupting me, and and …)

I haven’t really tried anywhere else but here. Mostly, there seems to be indifference, but not if you say something worthy of notice or specifically to someone. Whereas, oldbies recognize each other and say hi, like friends do.

There I go getting interrupted again. Excuse me. That was an area in which I have some expertise.

What was that joke? Not mine, and already posted somewhere around here, but I think it bears repeating.

We love new bees. They’re so much better than those wrinkly old bees.

I think I felt like a newbie up until last June (I think). I submitted a new thread about dayplanners and I got a respectable number of replies including one from a moderator who didn’t chew me up and spit me out. I lurked for quite a while and I think that’s the key to having a good experience in this place. IMHO, if you take the time to lurk and get the lay of the land, you don’t make so many mistakes, and you get accepted much more easily. On the other hand, if you make the mistake of jumping in blindly and stepping on toes, you’ll get snapped at repeatedly.

Well I have an interesting perspective… After a ~2 year hiatus I returned with a fresh 0 post username (couldn’t even begin to remember the particulars of my old username). So I was a “newbie” who nevertheless actually had a multi-year, multi-thousands of posts experience of this board already. I’ve been finding it interesting how standards and rules have changed over the two years I was away as well…

I would say that newbies are treated gently here compared to most boards. But before we all go get self-congratulatory, there is a sizeable contingent of folks who are tremendously derisive, disrespectful and rude to newbies. Starting with “your post doesn’t count because you’re new” [regardless of the content’s validity] up to profanity and insult based on “newbie-ness”

Yes, this is especially true in GD, much less so in other areas.

It’s about as tame a newbie experience as you can get, but there’s definitely a gang of folks out there ready, willing and able to “haze.”

Some days I still feel like a newbie. I think that some people are like that, others are naturally more gregarious. I don’t recall that often seeing a newb totally berated for what they had to say, but I also don’t hang out much in the Pit, and hardly go into GD at all. I’ve seen a couple of times where a newbie will come in, or be ushered in, say “hi, I’m new”, and everyone does the electronic equivalent of buying them drinks and welcome them to the neighborhood. I’ve also seen this happen just when people notice a post from someone with a low post count. Now if a newbie comes in talking trash, acting the fool, or just plain belligerent then they’re likely to get both barrels from some and warned by others. If they respond well they usually get over that.

So on average I’d say this is a fairly welcoming, friendly place, if a bit large and anonymous at times. If you’re the sort that takes an initial tepid reaction personally I guess that might be intimidating, but it’s a little paranoid to think that it’s hostile.

Porcupine, are you sure that there is no elite clit?