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Old 06-08-2003, 02:51 AM   #1
MLD-Grounds-Keeper-Willie
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Sting Wierd?

I don't know, but it's kind of wierd in different sections of the forums. I'm usually in the Book's and Novices and Newcomer's section or the Movies section. When I'm there, I feel fine, it's regular to me. But when I go to a different section, like this one, or mayhem, I feel like a newbie. It feels foreign. Anyone else ever feel that way? It's so strange.
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Old 06-08-2003, 03:10 AM   #2
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I often feel like that! Normally you hang out in certain sections, and so do other people. You get to know those people , but then you enter a different section and you have never seen that person in your life and that person has 542 posts.. so I know what you mean!
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Old 06-08-2003, 05:55 AM   #3
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I know what you mean. I get it in other forums. I just joined one called floor 42, which is fine, I feel wonderful there, and i have only made three posts. But I still feel like a newbie on The One, where I have been for years.
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Old 06-08-2003, 07:23 AM   #4
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I would love to join in in the Books forum, but it has an aura of elitism and I feel inadequate and out of place. I feel fine in other forums. RPG also makes me feel nervous.
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Old 06-08-2003, 08:18 AM   #5
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Pipe

I think I know what you all mean. Generally I don't get that type of thing, as I go in all of the parts of the forum, but I often feel like I'm in the wrong place when I go into the Quiz Room, as I have barely been there. Still, most people are friendly, so it's not like at some other websites.

~Menelien

[ June 08, 2003: Message edited by: GaladrieloftheOlden ]
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Old 06-08-2003, 08:06 PM   #6
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Weird.
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Old 06-08-2003, 09:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Weird
[img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] I knew someone would say that. Barrow-Downers just can't pass up a chance to correct a typo.

I know what you mean, Willie. Sometimes I'll be cruising a forum and see several names I've never seen before, and each of them has a thousand posts (happens most often in ME mayhem and the movies forum). But rather than think "I'm a newbie" I think "They never post in the books. They must be a teeny-bopper movie fan who hasn't read the books."

So I don't feel extremely weird and out of touch, maybe just a little bit (but I always try to skim all the forums regularly, and have posted a few times in most of them, so my habits may be a bit different than yours).

[ June 09, 2003: Message edited by: the phantom ]
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Old 06-09-2003, 12:18 AM   #8
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1420!

Jeeze, thanks obloquy [img]smilies/tongue.gif[/img] [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img] . I was never any good with ie/ei words [img]smilies/rolleyes.gif[/img] . Someone tried teaching me that rhyme- "I before E except after"...but I forgot and that's all I remember. Oh well.
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Barrow-Downers just can't pass up a chance to correct a typo.
You're definately right on that phantom [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img] .

I'm starting to spread out of those three forums and get used to all of it. It just takes time.
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Old 06-09-2003, 12:43 AM   #9
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Willie, its I before E except after C [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

Anyway, yes it is really weird going to other forums. I usually hang around the Movies, the Shire and here though I don't post that often. Its very intimidating going into the Books section but other ones like Middle Earth Mayhem are easier since people aren't as serious and you can just have a laugh.
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Old 06-09-2003, 03:48 AM   #10
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Sting

I agree with Meela about the books. I read through it, but don't really post. It's a bit daunting, like RPGs.
Generally, I haunt around here, sometimes the movies, and I read the books, mayhem etc. But I feel most at home right where I am.
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Old 06-09-2003, 09:45 AM   #11
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Tolkien

Willie, I can empathise with your ei/ie woes. I have to stop and check myself everytime I write the word 'weird.'
Anyways, to get on-topic, since I'm still a relative 'newbie,' I feel a bit intimidated at times before jumping in to a highly intellectual discussion. In the Books forum I feel awed, not odd. As I've said before, it's such an incentive to dive into the books, going deeper and finding what I hadn't seen before. Also, seeing things through another perspective provided by a fellow Downer is refreshing and challenging. I don't normally haunt the Movies forum, as the movies don't interest me overmuch, and I'd be afraid to open my mouth and utter something foolish in the presence of such movie buffs. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img] Mayhem is interesting to me, so long as it doesn't get too utterly ridiculous(even though I suppose that's the point!). I like being able to have some fun with things I love so that I don't get to the point where I fail to see humour in certain areas. The Barrow-Downs forum was a bit intimidating at first because there are so many seasoned Downers posting, but it's really one of my favourite places now. Reading through archives is intriguing, since there is alot of Barrow 'history' there, and it's fun to get to know people from their previous posts and see how they've changed or remained the same. As of yet, I haven't gotten involved in an RPG, so I can't pass judgement on those fora yet. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 06-10-2003, 07:52 PM   #12
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Hey, check it out... looks over shoulders for giant ants... others actually have the same weird insecurities as I do. I have yet to even dream of looking through the RPG forums, even though I love to write. The Books forum was really the first to draw me in though (mostly because it took me about two days of posting before I realised that there were more forums once you scrolled down [img]smilies/rolleyes.gif[/img] ). But I definitely see how certain forums like the Books, Transl. from the Elvish, and RPG forums can scare you. So many people just know so much, and can make someone feel like they know so little.

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Old 06-10-2003, 09:13 PM   #13
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Sting

I agree, Willie. (And by the way, I love your new avatar!) If you don't frequent the RPG's (or were not active in Books about a month or two ago), I probably don't know you.

(And as for i-before-e words, have any of you listened to Brian Regan? "I before E, except after C, or when sounded like A as in neighbour and weigh, or on holidays and all throughout May, and you'll never get it right no matter what you say!)

Orual~*

[ June 10, 2003: Message edited by: Orual ]
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Old 06-10-2003, 09:40 PM   #14
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1420!

It always helps to know that you're not alone. Thanks everyone! [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

Thanks Beruthiel and Orual for the rhyme. I think the version I heard was closer to Orual's. I like that last part [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]

I had to change my avatar (thanks again Orual!). Willie was looking pretty tired, being up there for so long. I thought I'd give him a rest. I had to change my signature too, now I feel fresh! I feel like spring after winter, and sun on the leaves; and like trumpets and hearts and all the songs I have ever heard!....got a little Sam stuck in me there [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img] . I just picked up some old Calvin and Hobbes books and started reading them again, after a very long time. The reason is due to some reference to Bill Waterson and Calvin and Hobbes in the best sig. thread.

Scott, I feel similar about the RPG's. I don't want to have to commit myself to posting to keep my character up. However, I'd like to try it sometime (at this forum) since I am in one at another. It's actually pretty fun.
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Old 06-10-2003, 10:31 PM   #15
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I feel like a newbie in this forum, but hten again, i am one, so why shouldn't i feel like one for a while? I haven't come on the forums for quite a while :P
but i'll come back more often now, don't you worry [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img] or maybe you should worry . . .
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Old 06-11-2003, 02:00 AM   #16
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Thumbs up

*bows to Willie*
thank you for bringing this up, Grounds Keeper! Goes to show how much you love this place

Quote:
I have yet to even dream of looking through the RPG forums, even though I love to write
*sigh* these are among my frustrations with this forum. Well, I guess I can't do anything about RPG-ing since I hardly go online everyday. Adding to that, I don't put topics up. Call it humility or the sheer act of avoiding embarrassment due to insecurity, but I really don't. (Now that was quite a can of worms)

I guess the "weirdness" can't leave us who feel out of place. Most of the forum members meet regularly, and the others are very very intellectual (inspiring, if I might say)...but we need not be intimidated: we're all Tolkien freaks, aren't we?

I've been here for a year and four months now. Still feel weird, since, as I've said, I rarely come here. Maybe it's insecurity that I feel when I see someone who's member #3000+ with more than a thousand posts while I'm member #1000+++ with only less a thousand. Considering everything, I need not feel insecure anyway.
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Old 06-11-2003, 09:34 AM   #17
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Willie, Neferchoirwen,

I couldn't help noticing your references to the RPG forums. I spend a lot of time there, since I'm a Mod in the Shire and also help out sometimes in Rohan.

Let me make a suggestion to you that would permit you to get your feet wet, but not commit yourself to anything too drastic. All of the RPG forums have Inns. The Green Dragon in the Shire (entry level) and the White Horse in Rohan (intermediate level)are two of these. There's absolutely no requirement about how many times or how often you post. Just create a character, walk in, introduce yourself, and begin to talk with some of your neighbors or pull up a chair by the hearth and begin telling us a tale.

You can do it once a year, or twice a day. There's no basic requirements or restrictions! If you enjoy that, get in touch with one of the Mods (Piosenniel and myself in the Shire, Bethberry in Rohan) and let them know you'd like to join a game. Then we'll put you in touch with the right folk to help.

Unless you're a game founder, you are not expected to post every day. Regular characters normally post two to three times a week, but there are secondary characters where you may only be asked to write a post once a week. Just be honest with the game founder about what you can realistically do. They will often be able to help you.

I love the Books forum, but nothing has given me quite as much of a "kick" as looking at Tolkien and trying to extend his world outward to take in other stories through the RPGs.

In any case, if you're interested, don't hesitate to get your feet wet. It can be a lot of fun, and you will learn a surprising amount. A map takes on whole new meaning when it's your character trying to get from one place to another!

Cami, Shire Mod

[ June 11, 2003: Message edited by: Child of the 7th Age ]
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Old 06-11-2003, 10:21 AM   #18
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Sting

One reason that the Books forum can be a bit daunting, is that the folks who have been here for a while have already discussed many of the controversial topics, and have brought up many of the arguable points. So in that sense, when a "newbie" posts, there's a bit of either frustration or annoyance, usually spelled something like this:

"That's already been asked, and is answered on this thread HERE. Use the search function next time!"

This is a daunting reply to receive, and can easily discourage participation. "Confounded elitist snobs!" This is especially annoying when I occasionally find the search function frustrates my best efforts.

This is too bad. It discourages participation in discussing the Books, which is essentially the heart, or root of this forum. (RPG may be the branches and leaves...) Perhaps there should be a better way to encourage newbie participation in Books, without heaping derision on the newbies who have the nerve to ask whether balrogs have wings.
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Old 06-11-2003, 10:36 AM   #19
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Sting

Hiya Willy. I really understand what you mean. But my problem is somewhat different. I'm a member for three years now, though there were times when I didn't visit the Downs for at least 4 months. Since the last long abscence, things have changed a lot. I haven't really managed to "fit in again" if I could say so. What I mean is that there are not really many people who know me (or my nick)any more, and well, sometimes I feel a little ignored.
So maybe my feelings are quite similar to your's when you join a forum that is new to you. Sometimes I feel like a newbie, too.
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Old 06-11-2003, 11:20 AM   #20
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Quote:
Perhaps there should be a better way to encourage newbie participation in Books, without heaping derision on the newbies who have the nerve to ask whether balrogs have wings.
Curtly pointing a person to an existing thread isn't much of a heap and it would ony be derisive if it concludes with something like "you knucklehead!".

As the forum description says, everyone is welcome - welcome to contribute but also welcome to read and, with a little thought, realize that in in nearly 2500 posts there is bound to be an existing topic on most everything.

On a side note: The search function always works well for me. Perhaps we should come up with a SEARCH TUTORIAL. I bet that would help this situation quite a bit.
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Old 06-11-2003, 11:34 AM   #21
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Sting

I wish I had such luck with the search function. I usually know what to search for (I realize, this is neither grep nor winGrep, so I keep it fairly simple) and I often end up extremely frustrated. Especially in books. I have turned up blank looking for such things as "silvan". I can't imagine that there are no instances of "silvan" in the entire books section; in fact, I know there are; I can remember the sentence it was used in. But the search engine came up blank on that one, for me. I don't know if it just times out or what. But I've given up more than once.

(EDIT) Gee. I didn't know there were 2500 posts, and I've been in and out of these forums quite a bit.

EDIT: Today the search engine seems to be working just fine.

[ June 11, 2003: Message edited by: mark12_30 ]
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Old 06-11-2003, 01:00 PM   #22
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Quote:
Perhaps there should be a better way to encourage newbie participation in Books, without heaping derision on the newbies who have the nerve to ask whether balrogs have wings.
Why would we want to encourage them to clutter up the advanced forum when there's a novices forum specifically for them?
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Old 06-11-2003, 01:26 PM   #23
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Uncle.
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Old 06-11-2003, 01:45 PM   #24
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Silmaril

This may be a bit of a juvenile idea, but couldn't we have a "Help! I'm alone!" thread on "Novices and Newcomers" or something? There all the people who haven't found a place can maybe ask for a friend or just someone to talk to. I know I'd be willing to send a Private Message to them, introducing myself and asking them about what they like, trying to find a good Forum for them out of the ones I frequent (RPG's, this one, Movies, Novices & Newcomers, The Books, and, every now and then, I check out Middle-Earth Mayhem to see what the average "discussion" there has been about lately). I'm sure I'm not the only person who wouldn't mind helping a newbie find his or her way in this rapidly-growing Forum.

EDIT: realized I used way too many "or something"'s in the post originally [img]smilies/rolleyes.gif[/img] !

[ June 11, 2003: Message edited by: VanimaEdhel ]
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Old 06-11-2003, 02:00 PM   #25
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Vanima, that's similar, in a way, to what I was thinking about for the books forum: a thread where a newbie could ask, "I'm curious about Gandalf's grandmother, is there a topic on that and how do I find it?" I'd be willing to help them, if they asks; if they asks nicely, preciousss.

Right now, the method is, they open a new thread, ask their question, get told to use the search engine, and the thread gets closed, and then probably deleted. That adds work for Esty and Legolas, but I'm not sure how effective it is in creating a learning curve, or building ambition in the newbies to develop their skills and deepen their learning.

Maybe it's fine. To me it seems intimidating. If that was the reception I had gotten, I'd have lasted about three days max.
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Old 06-11-2003, 02:46 PM   #26
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Quote:
Why would we want to encourage them to clutter up the advanced forum when there's a novices forum specifically for them?
That is incredibly degrading.

I do not consider myself a novice.
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Old 06-11-2003, 03:10 PM   #27
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Eye

All of my first posts were in the books section. I started posting on July 2, and I didn't post in ME Mayhem, Novices, or Barrow-Downs until a month had passed.

During the time that I was new and posting in the books, I don't recall that I was met with hostility or elitism. My first ever post was on a controversial topic (one of those Greatest of the Eldar threads) and I seemed to be accepted into the discussion. A few days later I was posting in a couple Tom B threads (such as Derry Dol, Indeed) discussing who he was (a huge issue with many Tolkienites), and I was easily accepted into those threads as well by folks such as burrahobbit.

I think the vast majority of the book experts are very friendly. I agree with The Barrow-Wight when he says that pointing someone to an past thread is AOK, as long as you don't end it with "you knucklehead!". (and no one ever did that to me)

[ June 11, 2003: Message edited by: the phantom ]
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Old 06-11-2003, 03:46 PM   #28
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I don't post so much right now, but I have to say that you is what you is. It is ok to be a newbie or a novice or whatever, it just means that you have room to improve. Then when you do go and improve everyone will be happy. But if you are just posting nonsense, don't be upset when somebody degrades you.
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Old 06-11-2003, 03:48 PM   #29
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Pointing someone gently to a thread is fine. I've seen that done well. Esty is good at it. However, I've also seen less gentle measures used, often by the "older" members, and that saddens me. If I was posting in a forum and my post was followed by, "Use the search engine, that's what it's for", I'd be done in that forum.

I am always happy to see such posts and comments as, "I was a Legoluster when I joined here, but that was a year ago, and I am so very different now; I hardly recognize my old posts..." To me personally, that means the Barrow Downs is worth the time I put into it.

An air of elitism-- real or perceived-- does not expedite that process. The books forum has an embarassment of riches to offer, but if it is deemed unaccessable to the "uninitiated" by those same "uninitiated", those riches lie in the dust waiting to see the light of day. I would that it were not so...
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Old 06-11-2003, 03:59 PM   #30
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There is an obvious structure to the Downs, especially THE BOOKS, and it doesn't need to be broken down to the simplest level for the sake of being PC. To me, it seems plain that if a person is unsure of where to post a question or comment, NOVICES AND NEWCOMERS is the obvious place to go. We can't put all of the burden on our knowledgable members when a larger part of the responsibility for figuring out the rules should fall on the poster, regardless of their experience level. Of course, The Downs will not tolerate outright hostility or nastiness towards those who misstep, but stumblers must have thick skin or wear protective padding.

Funnily, while contemplating this topic, I know from experience that the Downs is one of the least threatening Internet environments out there as far as flames, trolls, etc. The only fear one need have here is that you may be exposed for not knowing as much as you think you do. It happens to me all of the time. [img]smilies/tongue.gif[/img]
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Old 06-11-2003, 04:16 PM   #31
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Do not confuse "elite" with "elitist".
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Old 06-11-2003, 05:15 PM   #32
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My suggestion was not so much for a specific Tolkien-related question, though. It was more for any new person who comes. I know that, when I was new, I was frightened to go anywhere as everyone seemed to know each other. My suggestion was just so a newbie could get to know someone (anyone, really) so that they feel more comfortable in the Forums. I was scared to ask anyone for directions (I know: I'm a big baby), and it would have been a lot easier had I known people. I would have felt more comfortable wandering into a Forum if I had an older member (in terms of how long they were here) that I could relate to and turn to if I had questions. I was worried others would consider me stupid for asking directions (even though I think that's kind of silly now, knowing you guys...but I didn't know your personalities back then: for all I knew, you could have been scary fire-breathing dragons that would have roasted and eaten me if I asked for help). I wouldn't title it a "Mentor System" as that's just degrading, but more of a "Help a Newbie" program of sorts, I suppose.
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Old 06-11-2003, 05:23 PM   #33
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Vanima, I know exactly what you mean. Recently a lot of new members have been PMing me (especially those in Quiz and Quotes) asking for a little help getting around. I don't know why they choose me exactly, but I'm very happy to help.
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Old 06-11-2003, 07:47 PM   #34
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1420!

Quote:
I don't know why they choose me exactly, but I'm very happy to help.
It's probably because you seem friendly to them, or maybe they look at you and there's something about you that they can relate to, or maybe you're just someone who looks like you know what you're doing there. I know I recently registered at a forum (non-Tolkien) and I needed some help around. I browsed threads for a while and decided that I should choose a person whose name happens to be Mithrandir. I chose that person because A- we both have something in commmon and B- because that person seemed friendly. And sure enough, he helped me.

------

Quote:
Right now, the method is, they open a new thread, ask their question, get told to use the search engine, and the thread gets closed, and then probably deleted.
As for those who feel put down because of the closing of threads, don't feel that way. The problem does not begin with other members pointing out that the thread-starter should have used the search function. It begins with the thread-starter, who obviously, did not read the rules at the top of the page, where they always remain, in all caps with double-asterisks at the beginning and end. Here is the title: "** ANNOUNCEMENT - NEW BARROW-DOWNS FORUM POLICIES ** " If people would read that, then there would be a lot less of those kinds of posts and threads. The people who tell the thread starter to use the search function are probably sick of reading threads like that anyways. But they don't mean to be rude when they say, "Use the search engine, that's what it's for", they might even be trying to be sarcastic, but it's hard to tell through writing sometimes. If I say something like that, I usually put a smiley at the end, like this one for sarcasm [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img] or this one to show friendliness [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] . And if someone does get a reply like that, I think they deserve it, since they did not take the time to read the policies. I think that is where the problem is.

I don't think there is need for a newbie thread in the books, just maybe some more emphasis (when a person registers) on reading the rules and policies, and emphasis (again, when a person registers) on starting out in the Novices and Newcomers section (as obloquy stated- "specifically for them"), and going to the "NEW MEMBERS - INTRODUCE YOURSELF HERE (Part 2)" thread. I've seen older members give welcomes out freely to all newbies and most hand out advice with it. And everyone seems friendly enough to be asked a question. Maybe that's something that should be emphasised. I think newcomers should know that it's alright to ask questions (especially by those older members who give out welcomes in that thread), and if they don't know, it's alright for the newcomer to ask for someone who could help them out.

And, the phantom, offers a great way to participate in forums like the books without posting a duplicate thread, and it's so simple. All you have to do is participate in the current topics. You don't have to do everyone; just a few is fine. And look out for new threads. Those are great ways to help a discussion grow, and usually they halp get you accepted in the forum. Besides that, new threads are a great way to give your 2 cents with out having it already said.

And Meela, I don't think it's degrading. It's for newcomers also. I just think that obloquy said "novices" in short for "novices and newcomers". And ven if you are a novice, don't think of it as degrading, just listen to burrahobbit's advice.

-------

Thank you Neferchoirwen. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

And thank you too, Child of the 7th Age. I might stop by sometime soon. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

Balin999, I know what you mean. Things were a bit slow here at one time, so I stopped going here, about a week passed and then I went away on vacation for a couple of weeks. When I came back, things seemed different. Some changes were made, and even though it wasn't 4 months, like your absence was, it still felt a little strange.
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Old 06-12-2003, 08:35 AM   #35
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Cool, I'm really glad that there is someone who understands me [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
I mean, it's not that it is very strange or not-the-same-forum anymore, but it felt quite different to post. When I left, the forum had about 300 members, when I came back, there were over 3000. So I was quite unsure if I was even welcome at all, but luckily I was greeted by some people with arms open wide, which was very encouraging to stay at this forum.

Hm but all in all, I'd say that Barrow Downers are really helpful and not aggressive at all, though I have been called an idiot once [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img] But that was another story.


Edit: Oh, and supporting the newbies in the Books would be a good idea, because if you are a newbie you sometimes really need some help, and there is not always someone there to ask. Hm maybe we could create a certain title for some experienced members, which indicates that this member is the person to talk to if you are a newbie and are completely lost.

[ June 12, 2003: Message edited by: Balin999 ]
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Old 06-12-2003, 10:24 AM   #36
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My newbie experience was pretty welcoming. The first post I ever made, was answering someone's question about the American film ratings system. I kind of dove in head first, after that, because whoever it was (sorry for forgetting, one really shouldn't forget the first nice person you meet somewhere [img]smilies/rolleyes.gif[/img] ) thanked me so nicely. I was kind of holding my breath to see what my first foray into the forum would bring, and was very bolstered by the reception I got.

So of course I proceeded to make a few blunders in books, such as using all caps instead of italics. But instead of slamming me over the head with a sarcastic comment, Squatter (there, I remember this one [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img] ) remonstrated me very politely. I'll skip all the other stupid, stupid stuff I did and the names and member numbers of those who pointed out my error, but my point is that everyone (or most everyone) was very nice to me. (Violins play in the background).

I don't really think designating a specific person as a Newbie-Sitter is all that necessary. It's just important to, when they do "mess up", be nice about it. If they still take it the wrong way, that's their problem.

I have noticed somewhat terse "that's been done" messages (some even with [img]smilies/mad.gif[/img] faces). Grumpiness is never helpful. I haven't seen that much of that here, 'course. But, it has happened. Maybe simply sending a PM to the Grouch reminding him/her that Newbie's have feelings too, would be the best thing to do.

And when I start rhyming unintentionally, I know that it's time to end my post, post haste.
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Old 06-12-2003, 02:01 PM   #37
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There are people designated to help anyone, including newbies - they're called moderators, and any new member who writes me (Legolas too, I'm sure) will get an answer and as much help as possible. If it's something I can't answer, I try to find someone else who can. I know the same thing holds true for the RPG moderators. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 06-12-2003, 02:05 PM   #38
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I think new people are slightly afraid of PMing a Moderator as soon as they get here. They'd rather choose someone who seems to have been here for a while, but is just a common person like them. A lot of that stems from other sites where Mods aren't as nice as the wonderfuly cheery people we have here.

[ June 12, 2003: Message edited by: Beren87 ]
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Old 06-12-2003, 02:06 PM   #39
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Quite right, Estelyn. Couldn't be more the case.

I was going to make a similar post here today: helping forum members out is what the moderators are here for! It's the summer, so I'm available a lot [even more than usual!]. Feel free to direct any questions about the forum or something Middle-earth related to me. Not sure who to send it to? Is it related to a forum I'm not a mod in? You can still send any and all questions to me, especially if other moderators' message boxes are full or you need a timely answer. If I'm not the person for the question, I'll someone else who is. Questions can be forward effortlessly to other mods or administration. We all talk often. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]

[ June 12, 2003: Message edited by: Legolas ]
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Old 06-13-2003, 02:04 AM   #40
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I remember when I was a newbie (not all that long ago) it was very daunting for me, trying to fit in with everyone. I did open one of those 'its been discussed before' threads and I got the 'search function please' reply and they told me if they wanted answers PM a mod. That didn't really help, I didn't even know who the mods were until I'd been around for a few weeks. I think its really intimidating PMing a Mod or even another poster, it just felt weird and I was always afraid that I would just be regarded as dumb or stupid.

I realise now that everyone here is really nice and friendly and if I did have a question I'd probably PM someone about it but I think to newbies you simply have no idea where to go or who to ask. Maybe when you sign up you should get a PM from someone, telling them personally what they can do if they have a question.

Its also very strange coming into a place where everyone has a friend and you feel very out of place because everyone is chatting away. Its like going to a new school, but a lot harder because you can easily be ignored.
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