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Just a thought

Discussion in 'Small Talk' started by Tatile, Jan 23, 2009.

  1. I read the 'Suggestion for the Mods' thread that appeared the other (I'm sure most of you have seen it) and it seemed to that part of the initial poster's concern was with new members being scared away by the Mods and their recorded behaviour in the Realm. I'm not here to talk about that, but about something I've been thinking of from just after I joined.

    This community feels very tight-knit and friendly, but for people who don't automagically 'click' here, like myself, it's somewhat intimidating to try to fit in. None of the people here are cruel or mean to other members, it's just that the existing friendliness and familiarity makes it feel almost like a school clique. It's almost as if a new member (though honestly this more about myself) has joined in half-way through a term where everyone knows everyone else very well. Trying to slip into that routine and find a place suddenly becomes very awkward, particularly when the Chat is involved, as there seem to be numerous inside jokes and taboos.

    Now I fully expect this topic to be locked or deleted as it is a rather unpleasant observation for someone to make about themselves: a lack of social skills through nuture rather than nature. Sometimes though, stuff needs to be gotten off the chest and I don't believe in blogs or social networking sites (mostly as I know no one will read them). Perhaps in the mean-time I can see what you think (though I think I'm making fairly good guesses already).
     
  2. Linkachu

    Linkachu Hero of Pizza
    Staff Member Administrator

    Heh. Honestly, the only things going through my mind after reading this are "Is this the right place for this thread?" and "How could we turn this into a thread to help others feeling the same way?"

    Believe me when I say that you're not alone. From my experience, it's very common for people to feel like that when joining any smaller community, or one where the mods/admins are actually active and friends with one another. I've recently joined up on a new forum and feel the same way about there. It's not really due to the forum members either, because many of them are really nice... It's just that feeling, like you mentioned, that you're the outsider looking in. Even just having one person who's part of the inner circle give you the vibe that you're not welcome can ruin things for you. It's hard being shy.

    What I wonder is... what can be done to help break the ice for new members better? Is it even possible, or does it just take time and getting to know the people? Starting a thread or replying to someone else's thread seems to help if your reply is constructive. Through your posts people come to understand you more and more. Directly chatting with one or a few members separate from the main chat can help, too. Much easier to get to know a person then.

    Hmm... This is a good insight really, and I guess it is in the right place. I'm sure many other people have stories they can share on the topic.
     
  3. I must say that I felt exactly as you did, Tatile, when I first joined. I had problems getting into the inside gang, and I'm not even sure if I'm there yet. One thing that might help is making an open rp, so anyone can join that. In my case, it turned out to help. Because then you get your own inside jokes etc. with those you're rping with. And then those people, who might already be in the bigger inside gang, will probably invite you there, thus making more friends there and becoming 100% inside. I know, because I believe I'm going through that transformation right now, thanks to a certain 'Charms member.
     
  4. Doctor Oak

    Staff Member Overlord

    In my experience, the fastest litmus test is via the chat. Those who are simply irritating or just that little bit thick tend to get dropkicked from the chat pretty quickly and never heard of again around the site.

    Meanwhile, those who join the chat and end up becoming regulars, tend to be some of the most active members on the entire forums.

    We do encourage people to join us in the chat (which, when we're around, is often populated by the majority of the staff, and we're all pretty easy to get along with), but we do have to point out that just like here, there are rules of sorts in application. And the most major of those is to use common sense and not be thoroughly irritating.
     
  5. Too bad the chat isn't working on my computer...
     
  6. Yoshimitsu

    Former Moderator

    Database is the exception.
     
  7. Linkachu

    Linkachu Hero of Pizza
    Staff Member Administrator

    Figs was one, too. I think a few members were like that for awhile actually, lol.
     
  8. Yoshimitsu

    Former Moderator

    Katie included.
     
  9. Teapot

    Teapot Virtual Duck Enthusiast
    Staff Member Administrator

    See, I think all communities are like that - wherever people are friends with each other, there will be jokes, and as much as we all try to deny it... there will be a little hostility towards people who aren't part of our little group. It's a playground mentality, yes, but no-one ever really grows up.

    ETA: Clarity ftw.

    [quote author=Sir Squigglesworth link=topic=5437.msg87632#msg87632 date=1232728861]
    Database is the exception.
    [/quote]... D:
     
  10. Yoshimitsu

    Former Moderator

    Technically, I think I'm right. Didn't you join the chat, THEN the forums, Data?
     
  11. Teapot

    Teapot Virtual Duck Enthusiast
    Staff Member Administrator

    ... Well, yeah, but I've started frequenting the forums now.

    In fact, this is the only forum I frequent. Feel special. :D
     
  12. Well, that certainly makes me feel better, the responses were quite different to what I was expecting, actually.

    Linkachu, I was wondering where to put this, but it didn't feel 'debate-y' or much like site feedback as it's about the community, so Misc seemed the best place as any. I've also just remembered that part of what seems to be the inner-circle 'marker' as it were is that you all seem to have a variety of names for each other, Sir Squigglesworth is quite a good example seeing as he changed his username recently, what am I supposed to call him? His title is kind of long.

    Also, Chainsawking, thanks for the insight, but I doubt I'll be trying my hand at RP'ing any time soon, I barely do it enough in real life as it is. (My last escapades involved tossing a coin between going to the Shadow Realm with a 6 foot insect or going back to the pub and watching a paladin getting killed by a Dragon while being the party's cleric.) But hey, seeing as BT seems to have somehow managed to ressurect my connection I'll be able to hang out in chat a bit. Maybe also leaving my story alone as well, nobody likes it, it seems.
     
  13. Just call "Sir Squigglesworth" El. =p

    I spent a lot of time in the 4th gen Wifi boards, and joined chat about 1 year 4-5 months after I joined the forums. with the first year being inactive XP
     
  14. Linkachu

    Linkachu Hero of Pizza
    Staff Member Administrator

    How I deal with that issue is finding one name/nickname appropriate for a person online and sticking to it (meaning one that doesn't piss them off XP). Even if they permanently changed their nickname, I'd keep on calling them the same name. To me a name is just a name, and it doesn't really matter if you call them by an older nickname as long as they still acknowledge it.

    Another easy way to get around nickname change issues, like Shado mentioned, is just to call the person by their real name (as long as they don't mind going by it. If they did, they'd probably just give you another common name to call 'em by instead). It might take a bit longer to learn everyone's real names verses their displayed screen names, but you can say the same about getting to know people in real life as well. :)
     
  15. Sem

    Sem The Last of the Snowmen
    Former Administrator

    You will always call me Sem. You could call me James, but you won't. No one does. Just Sem, (and a plethora of side/pet names...)

    Anyway, like Alex said, the majority of the people you see in the chat that are part of our "family"-type thing? They got there by just hanging out in the chat. For hours... abandoning their lives... That's all :3
     
  16. Yoshimitsu

    Former Moderator

    Yoshi is also a good name for me.
     
  17. yeah, It took me a while to find out Jet's real name, because I kept calling him El by accident XP I was one letter off. =p

    I also disagree. If someone went into chat and saw the name 'Erpeste' for the first time, they'd be clueless. Same with 'Dysschema'.

    For a while I even called someone El who, wasn't. El. XP
     
  18. Yoshimitsu

    Former Moderator

    Who? I must kill the imposter.
     
  19. Linkachu

    Linkachu Hero of Pizza
    Staff Member Administrator

    Typically for most people you could just "whois" the name, though, so it's not a huge issue if they change nicknames within the chat. Otherwise... If you see a strange nickname with OP powers, just ask who it is XD

    Really, is asking so hard for people these days? :p
     
  20. Yoshimitsu

    Former Moderator

    Wait.

    Jet's the imposter?

    *Skips off to murder Jet*
     
  21. Well El, it was my mistake though.

    People on java CAN'T whois, and sometimes their name isn't their username on the forums. (If you whoised me when I'm on mIRC, all you see is 'Kirby' =p)

    Just pointing that out...

    and no, I'm thinking of a mistake I made earlier this year XP

    How I screwed them and you up is beyond me. Their name in chat was 'Zacky' x.X
     
  22. Yoshimitsu

    Former Moderator

    Jet -isn't- the imposter? D:

    *Continues his hunt*
     
  23. Here is your impostor. have fun XD
     
  24. Linkachu

    Linkachu Hero of Pizza
    Staff Member Administrator

    Then, again, you simply ask. Asking who they are if you don't recognize their name won't kill you ;)

    "Er... [insert random name]... who are you?"
    "... KICKBANNED! >=O"
    "D:"

    Seriously. We're not THAT angry XP
     
  25. Doctor Oak

    Staff Member Overlord

    Actually, if it's Stel it sounds quite likely. :p
     
  26. I seriously doubt it.

    I've seen him loose it on idiots, but not people asking for a name.
    At least I think. >>
     
  27. Yoshimitsu

    Former Moderator

    I disagree.

    Hey, uh... erm... guy with op... Who are you?
    KICKBANNING TIME!
    Noes!


    There's chance I made that up though.
     
  28. I DID say: [quote author=Shado link=topic=5437.msg88017#msg88017 date=1233021014]
    At least I think. >>
    [/quote]
     
  29. Now who mentioned the little furry Italian Mongoose?

    Anywho, as for me joining chat and visiting often, Sem was the one who got me hooked to it. He's the one to blame. Caught me one night and had a very interesting conversation. Then I switch to mIRC and the rest is logged. Oh yes, fun times, epic battle and such.


    Oh yes, if you see any of about a dozen names about one person, that's me. Only I go through that many name changes.

    Better known as Plapti, Plap, Plaps, Jet, Jetters, Fachion, Erpeste and others that are chat specific. Since the entire forum shall not know my real name, I adopt multiple persona. Unfortunately, most people catch on really quickly. Call me any of the dozen or so names. I'll recognize them. People have a dozen names to call me by. If they still ask who I am, how have they not realized that I probably have the most names for a single chat user. They have a dozen freaking options. That and almost everyone calls me Jet in the chat anyways.
     
  30. Yep, you'd better believe it. You could come up with hundred names for yourself and you'd always be Jet to me. Anyway, I think I'm pretty much stuck with the name Carmen, and it's pretty much the only name I use.

    Ahem, I remember my first days in chat. I'd been here over a year and never bothered to click the 'Chat' tab. And so one day I did it on a whim and have pretty much been regular there ever since. Like everyone else, I switched to mIRC because that was the thing to do.

    Lol, it seems like everyone who spends a little while in chat ends up getting used to our eccentricity.

    *Wonders if anyone remembers the sheep I threw my first time in chat.
     
  31. Everyone does it. If I was touchy, then I'd make everyone change. But I'm not. Lucky for you.

    Oh yes. If anyone mixes Jey with Jet, I will personally find the person and stalk them so I can go murder them in the most brutal way possible. Let that be a lesson, don't mix me up with the opposite gender. I will come out and kill you.

    Also I'm not used to the eccentricity. I just have a great sense of how to not be at the chat at the bad times and an unwaivering ability to ignore everything.

    To stay on topic, since I have something to add, my first days here were interesting. Confining myself to the 4th Gen Wi-Fi forum and working my way around that way. Took a bit getting use to but, I used that to get some of nerves out. And the whole reason, as I stated before, most of my activity was due to Sem. You could almost say that I am the person I am on 'Charms because of Sem. Almost.
     
  32. I've gone through quite a few name changes. I've got one in Chat, and on on forums. But eventually I shall convert my forum name to my chat name.

    Poor Jet, getting confused with Jeydis =p

    Remember the Amazon thing? >> Horrid. just plain horrid.

    Meh. I'd say to new members, start in one, or a group of similiar boards you like. Arty people, hobble off to the "Pit of Creativity" boards. (Glares at Sem). Other people, start in the Pokemon boards. Then begin to branch =D
     
  33. Teapot

    Teapot Virtual Duck Enthusiast
    Staff Member Administrator

    MY friend joined recently - and although she hasn't posted yet, I did advise her to post an art thread first to gain a reputation here. And "get into chat, dangit." :p
     

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