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Thread: Howto welcome a Newbie

  1. #1

    Default Howto welcome a Newbie

    If you're at a loss for how to respond to introductions by new members, here are some hints.


    (1) Read Before Writing

    Don't just skim-read their introduction post. Read all of it, and make a note of any interesting points they make, such as where they are, what they're interested in, what they came here for, etc.


    (2) Be Welcoming

    Some of our best members posted some pretty poor introduction posts when they first joined. Even me!

    The thing is, someone's introduction isn't always a good indication of whether or not they'd make a good member of the site.
    They might be nervous, unsure of what to say... unsure about what this community is about, etc.

    Think back to when you first joined. Were you a little nervous? Did you know what to do?
    Now that the community has grown, newbies might feel even more worried and intimidated by the idea of making their introduction post, and so they are more likely to make mistakes and represent themselves badly, even though they are good people.

    When thinking about an introduction thread from the newbie's point of view, ask yourself what would have made you feel welcome, back when you joined.
    Ask yourself what you would have wanted to hear to show you that this was a friendly community, one that would accept you into it.

    So, your main objective should be to be nice to new people.
    Even if their introduction is not that good, they can learn and change. Don't just write them off based on their introduction post.


    (3) Help Them Make Connections

    Simply posting 'Hi, and welcome!' or 'welcome!' gives the impression that you have not read their post, and are not really engaging with the new person.

    Remember, every introduction is made by a real person, with feelings, who is looking to make a connection to someone.

    So, help them to make that connection. For example, if they say they're from Chicago, and you've visited there, say so.
    Examples:

    • Cool that you're from Chicago... I went there a few years ago, and found that their hot-dogs are awesome!
    • Good to see another person interested in TF2! There are quite a few of us already.. maybe we should play together sometime!
    • Nice to see another person interested in <TOPIC>. You might be interested in the <TOPIC> social group too, at <LINK>.
    • Since you expressed an interest in chat, have you tried the IRC? You can get to it from the 'Live Chat' link in the top-middle of the page.
    • Yay, another Aussie! You might want to check out <A> <B> and <C>, they're really active in the Australian AB community, and could help you find other Aussies.

    The key is to pick something good and informative in their post, and respond to it in a way that shows you read their post, welcomes them into the community, and either makes them feel good, or provides them a link to something they might be interested in.


    (4) Ask Questions

    If they don't provide much info, you might want to ask them for some, to help get them engaged, and more comfortable talking about themselves.
    For example, if they mention they like music, you can ask them what kind of music. Then, when they reply, you can comment on it, show them a helpful link to a social group about that music style, etc.


    (5) No sarcasm or in-jokes, please

    There are some things that you should avoid in welcome posts.
    They include sarcasm (other people might not get it), in-jokes (they can alienate newbies) and anything rude (they might be offended).


    (6) Aim for threads with no, or few, replies

    If a thread has zero replies and has been posted recently, make a point of replying to it. The poster will appreciate it!
    You can search for these threads by looking at the bottom of the greetings forum. There will be a few menus there. Set them to "Number of Replies", "Ascending" and "Last Week", then hit "Show Threads", and you will be able to quickly find the threads most in need of replies.


    (7) Above all, be nice!

    If you aren't in the mood to be nice, or have a problem with a certain newbie, it is best to simply go do something else, and return to answering introduction threads when you are in a better mood.

  2. #2

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    This is a great thread and I don't think there's anything posted that I don't agree with.


    I particularly liked point 2....and I would add that it's a great idea to remember what you felt like when you first got here. Think about what would have made you feel welcome and good and like this would be a place you would want to stay. I know when I first got here I felt intimidated and there were so many people and I had trouble keeping up with everything. People welcoming me made me feel better and made me want to keep on looking at the site (well, with the encouragement of Lukie on top of that too ).


    But like I said, all of these are good points by Moo. Just remember that any new member has the potential to be one of the best....and the last thing we want to do is scare them away.

  3. #3

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    Moo, excellent "How To" sticky to help make new members feel comfortable and more at home being here. Very good point about adding welcomes to intro posts that have received little or no attention.

    ~Pramrider

  4. #4
    Asher

    Default

    I'm glad to see that I am on the right track here then : )

    I will continue in that manner; great post BTW moo

    Asher

  5. #5
    Mesmerale

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    I like this.

    And I'd like to support it by urging anyone who's skeptical of the "Introduction doesn't make the member" claim to read my two beginning introductions. They sucked. >.>

  6. #6

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by teddy564339 View Post
    I particularly liked point 2....and I would add that it's a great idea to remember what you felt like when you first got here. Think about what would have made you feel welcome and good and like this would be a place you would want to stay.
    Great tip! I'll add it.

    Thank you for the feedback, everyone

  7. #7

    Default

    Many excellent points. Often when we respond to an intro post, we make our posts as though we are talking to a regular, as we're in that habit. Thus while there may be a dozen replies to an intro post many of them are really abbreviated, like "hi" or "welcome aboard" - stuff that could have been auto-replies by a bot.

    Some newbies are over-shy, not being sure how they will be responded to; possibly because they assume we may be like all the other abdl sites they tried, with asl? or wanna roleplay? as typical responses.

    Others may try to pander to us, to impress us, and go overboard the other way, with lurid unlikely fantasy-style stories that prompt all manner of unfriendliness. Or they may be full of deeply personal material.

  8. #8

    Default

    But I love how Ayanna and such teared my pathetic ass to shreds when I joined TBDL.org...
    Being hard-ass on people is both fun and raises people to rise to the ocassion...

    As long as it's "You're being pathetic/lieing" rather than "F*** off, you're just some pervert" I think it's fine

  9. #9
    Peachy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mysika View Post
    But I love how Ayanna and such teared my pathetic ass to shreds when I joined TBDL.org...
    Being hard-ass on people is both fun and raises people to rise to the ocassion...
    It's a fine line between being sarcastic with the attempt to get someone on the right track, and being downright rude and insulting. In the case of aya: She's knowing for dancing on that fine line many times
    That said, I know a great many people who'd react positively to a sarcastic welcome post and would love it here simply because people were unique in their way of greeting the newbie. On the other hand, I'm sure we've driven people away in the past with welcome posts that appeared rude or insulting from the newbie's objective point of view.

    So in essence, I agree with Moo's post about how to greet a newbie, especially those that seem friendly. And when you notice inconsistencies in the post, ask questions. For old times' sake though, I wonder if it would be a good idea to dig up a few old cat macros for those cases where it's blatantly obvious that the person won't fit in. It gave the regular uses quite a laugh!

    Peachy

  10. #10

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by Moo View Post
    (1) Read Before Writing

    Don't just skim-read their introduction post. Read all of it, and make a note of any interesting points they make, such as where they are, what they're interested in, what they came here for, etc.
    Could we make this a rule for all threads? It's a forum, the written word is what we have, and when it's not read it is destructive.

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