SDMB Newbie Treatment

Hey I’m a newbie!
I’ve always been very careful about what I say…I seem to be getting on fine so far touch wood :slight_smile:

:eek: :eek: :eek:

I think it’s a problem of perception.

“Newbies” are treated exactly the same way “established posters” are. Sort of.

What I mean is, we have rules here and we expect people to conform to them. On the other hand, we’re supposed to be here to fight ignorance, and every single forum here is a means to that end. You can learn new things in MPSIMS, for crying out loud.

Since we are supposed to be the “smartest people on the web,” (minus a few dipsticks) we assume that every single new registrant has read the registration agreement and the forum rules, and has therefore agreed to conduct him- or herself as we do.

Some of them don’t.

Those that don’t are usually gently reminded by the Moderators of their registration agreement, and directed kindly but firmly to read it and the forum rules more closely.

The good ones, the ones we want to keep, read the stuff they were supposed to read in the first place and straighten up.

The others are in for a world of hurt.

The poster obliquely referenced in the OP refused to straighten up.

Good riddance.

The rules are there for a reason. If we can’t maintain a certain level of respectful behavior between posters, we may as well give up. We can’t afford to tolerate muckrakers or bullies any more than we can afford to tolerate ignorance.

Oh, yeah.

I forgot to mention that I had mixed feelings when I first started to post.

FairyChatMom made me feel like I had something to contribute, and had a huge influence over my decision to stay or go.

Sometimes, one poster can make a huge difference to a newbie.

So, if my posts irritate you, just remember that FairyChatMom is partly to blame. :smiley:

Unless the username is someone I immediately notice because of length, I don’t even read who posts what most of the time until after a post interests me. Newbies are about as much of a blip on the radar as anyone else. So many of them have lurked for a while anyway that they seamlessly work their way in. Good for them, I had a rocky entrance, and if I wasn’t such a stubborn SOB I’d probably not be the Fine Upstanding Member[sup]TM[/sup] I am today. :stuck_out_tongue:

Hey, eris, think of the children, and put your Fine Upstanding Member away.


Newbies are treated in a manner that matches their posting. Some newbies offer well thought out contributions, and have their postings (usually) treated with respect. At the other end of the scale are a few newbies who hit the ground running (verbally), and stumble…they are the ones that are squashed rather quickly.

This board quickly distinguishes postings based on content, rather than longivity.

The way I treat newbies - no different than wrinkled old bees. Except that I read their posts with more of an open mind because I don’t know them yet.

I dunno, I actually think I felt more comfortable as a newbie on the Board than I do now sometimes. Maybe it’s because when I started posting back in 2000 (I lurked for about a year) the Board community was “smaller,” and there didn’t seem like such a fear of trolls as there does now. (Our old nemesis Jack Dean Tyler would have been cut off, pardon the pun, a lot sooner nowadays.) Also, it seemed like there was a lot more innocence on the Board back then. It’s not that the Board was “better,” just different. Then it felt like a village, now it feels like a small city. Both kinds of places have their charm.

I left the Board for a while last summer when I moved back to the East Coast. I’ve felt more like a newbie since I returned than I ever did when I was new. I guess my “newbie” experience has been that I started out with familiar old faces (some of whom have confusingly changed their names!), and gradually gotten to know others. Like other newbies, I have a past that most Dopers don’t know. Again, my presence on the Boards is known through my recent history of posts, not through a long collection of past remarks. The experience has made me a lot more tolerant of new Dopers. Before, much as I hate to admit it, I rarely trusted someone who had a low post count. Now I think new Dopers bring in fresh ideas and insight. (I think greco_loco’s posts on the situation in the Persian Gulf, for one, have made for unmissable reading.)

As for SDMB cliques, I think the only real clique here is “people who get mentioned in flirt/Doper Valentine/crush threads.” Not that I’m bitter, mind.

I lurked for a very long time (thanks Jim!) before posting - registered, the hamsters ate my original user name, and then registered again with an updated version of my original name.

I don’t post much, but the few times I have asked genuine questions I’ve received a wealth of friendly advice and information, such as this thread My Daughter is Joining the Airforce, and more recently, this Southerner Driving in Snow

I’m probably not known on the boards, but everyone has treated me with respect and courtesy. I like it here :smiley:

I am probably the last person I know who should become a newbie in the first place and post to a message board because I am too darn hypersensitive to the slightest perceived slight to myself or even groups to which I do not belong. The anonymity of a message board is very conducive to harsh language, even on “the most civilised board on the planet,” the SDMB.

As I newbie I was met with deafening indifference which was about the best I could expect. I try not to talk out of my butt too much or paint myself into a corner.

Occasionally I am appalled at the harsh language leveled at some newbies who come charging in here at 60 mph. Better to creep the tanks in slowly so as to have a better chance at getting a clean shot, IMHO. I remember starting a thread in General Questions once that belonged in ATMB and about got my head taken off by some non-mod/admin.

I’m definitely a newbie here and probably always will be which is about all a career outsider can expect or want, really. :smiley:

I broke in on Great Debates. Mississippi had just voted on their state flag and a thread about that ended up with people claiming anyone that voted for the old flag (technically not correct) was ignorant and racist. Since I’d just voted, I took offense to that claim and ended up on the wrong side with such members as MEBuckner, Monty, Minty Green and Collounsbury among a hoard of others. You could say that I was properly initiated, but never treated as a newbie. Matter of fact I wondered how a group of people could care so little about someone new coming in and spouting off.

I’ve been taken to the Pit, twice for basically the same thing. Once was by a moderator. If I’d felt piled on in the “flag” thread it was nothing like being taken to the Pit by a moderator. Everyone thinks you are fair game, because you’re obviously on the wrong “shit list”*. I survived and the next time the OP accused me of never posting anything meaningful. Problem was that I had just posted to another thread started by the same member telling about when my daughter died. That time it sank fairly fast.

I was thinking the other day, that maybe in another 4 or 5 years I’ll feel like I’ve been around fairly long. Problem is by then I won’t be able to type. :smiley:

  • [sup]erislover gave me some much appreciated support, as did another moderator.[/sup]

I feel, both from experience and from observation, that we aren’t very forgiving of newbie goofs around here. A recurring example is when somebody starts a new thread, probably anticipating a great response, and instead finds several people shouting “this type of thread already exists” with a link. I find that particularly rude and unforgiving, particularly in a few cases where the poster DID run a search and hadn’t found that topic.

My point being that those who flourish the battle cry of “we’re here to fight ignorance” seem to forget that individual newbie posters are sensitive people who are otherwise looking for a good time, not a shout-down on their first SDMB experience.

There is, of course, a flip side to this. Newbie treatment of SDMB.

A couple of days ago I ran across Polycarp’s “Pagan Witnessing Requested” thread in GD.

I have a rant on this subject. It is, in my only very occasionally humble opinion, a good one. It makes the point without being overly offensive, key word being overly, it’s colourful, witty, fun to read, and demonstrates what a clever bugger I am. It’s chock full of allusions to pagan faiths and practices of days gone by, it references anthropological and historical research, it’s a gem.

I started to type. Then I gave it that all important second thought. Had it been a pit thread, I would probably have gone ahead with it. Had it been MPSIMS or IMHO, there would have been no hesitation at all.

It was not, however, a suitable second post for Great Debates. I was (and am) seeking actual information about modern paganism, and the tone of the rant would have been counterproductive. The fact that it’s a question disguised as a rant would have been counterproductive.

I changed it to a simple request, and lo, I learned.

I am new here. I’ve lurked for a while, I’ve certainly not been shy with my posting, I’ve had a number of acknowlegment and reply type discussions with people who registered long before me, and I’ve allowed myself to make posts I would have advised others not to make. I’ve been dead serious, I’ve been a smartass (my natural state), and I’ve poked my nose into areas where people who’ve been here since 1999 have been arguing about how the board should be run. I’ve started a few threads, and some have sunk without a trace while others have gone 2 pages. I’ve not felt myself to be treated badly, or hazed, or intimidated.

The main rule seems to be “Don’t be a jerk”, and it seems to be self policing, except in the case of people who are jerks as opposed to people who are being jerks.

This is not my first board. I lurked long enough to decide it was one I wanted to be a part of. I don’t make that decision very often.

Take this for what you will.

Personally, I don’t think the place is particularly newbie friendly.
The vast majoritynewbies, those who are neither so articulate and witty that they are noticed for that, nor so obnoxious that you could no more ignore them than you could a finger up your nose, are ignored. To be honest I am surprised this hasn’t generated more trolls. God knows I occasionally feel the desire to reply with something completely inappropriate just so that there would be some sort of reaction. As it is, about 80% of the time, when I am about to hit submit, I think “Naw, fuck it, no point”. I really doubt I am alone in that.

I think most newbies are welcomed and treated with respect. I had a rough start. I started a thread in GD within minutes of finding this place. It was closed and I was scolded by M.E. Buckner. I started a Pit thread about what happened and several posters were polite and informative. I don’t remember anyone being rude. Since that time I have only had one rude comment from a poster.
I admit that I am entertained by some of the witty insults that get thrown around. At times I am in awe of the knowledge possessed by this community.
My take on the situation with Rev is that he had an impressive ability to communicate. I never read any of the stuff he posted about the SDMB at his own site. I really didn’t care so I never clicked the link provided. I thought it was interesting that someone took the time to investigate his behavior out there on the net.
Overall I think newbies are treated quite well. I think newbies are observed pretty closely by the mods. I guess they are trying to find out if they are going to be trolls… or not.
I still feel kind of newbie-ish. I enjoy reading threads and hope I have an opportunity to enjoy a long future with the SDMB.

When I joined, I, like the Reverend - and indeed many others - made an arse of myself in the Pit.

Difference is, I read the flames, thought about it, realised I was being an arse, apologised, and I’m still here.

Unlike many of you it seems I never lurked a day. I had simply read Cecil’s column, had a question found the board, registered, asked it and started posting away. And only one time did I feel that I was treated any different then the typical doper. It rather kinda felt like I walked into a busy coffee shop where everybody was friendly and all the conversations were open to anyone who wanted to join.

Really the only newbie feelings I had was a fear of the pit. I just imagined it was a bunch of foul mouthed cussing inside out and out fights. When I finally worked up the nerve to open the forum and read some of the threads and found out it was usually not like that at all I feel my newbie status ended.

If we were to remove both the registered date and post count from the left box I think the only real difference we’d see is that the real fresh ones, just registered and with a handful of posts, wont be noticed by the handful of dopers who make it a point of telling them welcome. And I’ll say I’m for losing them.

When I started out, it was with much trepidation, but also to see if I could contribute something to a part of the Straight Dope which I’d thought was so cool for so long.

And I’m still here, despite being rolled a couple of times, the feeling of geographic isolation, the odd eccentricity which is me. I was alone when I started out, but I’m not alone anymore. :slight_smile:

I’ve seen so many newbies come on board, only to burn in flames when they don’t quite hit th’ right note, when they enter the room with chips on the shoulder, or simply with no real understanding of what this place is. It’s saddened me, but I do think that where one falls, others succeed, and continue on.

All in all – you get out of the SDMB what you put into it. In some cases, it just takes time.

I’m most definitely a newbie - I was looking for a board with a little more “bite” than some of the others I’ve posted on. I haven’t had much to say for myself as yet, partly because I don’t have a lot of time to keep up with this board so I don’t feel I can get involved in protracted debates, simply because it would have moved on so far before I could read it again.

Nobody’s shouted at me yet, or pointed me towards the door, so I can’t be all bad!