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Welcome, New Users, to Daily Kos, from your host smileycreek. This diary is intended to help you orient yourself to the site and ask questions about how to use it.

Below the orange gnocchi-doodle you will find links intended to get you participating more effectively. Also in this edition you'll find a listing of all Open Thread and community diaries where new users are welcome to introduce themselves and get some help!

After that you can ask me any questions about the site you want. If I don't know the answers someone smarter is bound to be along who does, or I'll go find 'em and bring 'em to ya (wink! wink!).

AND-- if you're new and wondering what is and isn't OK around here, read Kos' Community Guidelines. That'll keep you out of trouble!

Before we begin, a brief word from our sponsor:

Everyone is encouraged to review some of the previously written goodness that survives here in the DKos archives, going back to WNU founder ek hornbeck and including the list of teaching diaries republished to our Group page.

Wanna follow us around or send us a kosmail?
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Click the ♥ to follow us in your Stream, or click Send Message to send us a private kosmail. Please note you must be a registered user for one week before you can send kosmail.

So, What Does a New User Have to Do To Get Some HELP Around Here?

There's always the Help desk, listed in the upper right hand corner of every Daily Kos page, but you might get quicker results asking a Kossack first. There are a lot more friendly helpful kossacks on the site than there are staff on the Help desk. Nothing is off-topic in Open Thread or community diaries, and if you ask nicely (and maybe even indicate you're kinda new, or even just kinda confused) no one will be offended and someone will be willing to help you. If you don't mind asking for help you're in luck, because every few hours there's a diary available from the list below where you can ask questions and be met with friendly people who were once new here themselves. Community diaries are also safe and fun places to get to know people as the prevailing custom there is to check political fights and grudges at the door.

The diaries below are all listed in Pacific Time zones ('cuz that's where HQ is located) in chronological order. Where specified they can be found on the Front Page; otherwise you will find them in the right hand column of diaries in either the Recent or Recommended columns. Better yet, you can also see them in your own Stream if you just click the ♥ button next to the group's name.

Morning Open Thread: 4:00 AM daily with a rotating cast of diarists.

Good Morning Kossacks and Welcome to Morning Open Thread (MOT). We're known as the MOTley Crew and you can find us here every morning at 7:00 am Eastern (and perhaps sometimes earlier!). Feel free to volunteer to take a day - permanently or just once in awhile. With the Auto Publish feature you can set it and forget it. Sometimes the diarist du jour shows up much later: that's the beauty of Open Thread...it carries on without you! Volunteer in the comment threads. Click on the MOT - Morning Open Thread ♥ if you'd like us to show up in your stream.
Cheers and Jeers: 5:30 AM Monday-Thursday, 4:30 PM on Fridays, on the Front Page with Bill in Portland Maine

For ten years, Cheers and Jeers has appeared weekdays (Mon.-Thurs. morning and Friday afternoon) on Daily Kos, and has become known as a "the kiddie pool," i.e. a safe haven where new members of the DKos community can get their feet wet. Written by "Bill in Portland Maine," the column takes humorous aim at the various movers and shakers rocking politics and current events at the moment, mostly in a vain attempt to save his own sanity. But half the fun in C&J is interacting with the commenters, who sound off about the politics and events in their own lives that they find cheer- or jeer-worthy. It's really informal, and really fun. When you see the trademark C&J rubber ducky logo, drop in and say Hi.
The Daily Bucket: around 5:30 AM daily with a rotating cast of diarists.

Brought to you by Backyard Science, founded by Mark Sumner. Phenology is a science that anyone can practice without a lab coat, microscope, or PhD. It's the study of seasonal events such as first flowers, appearance of certain butterflies, etc. People have tracked these dates for decades -- even centuries -- and now there's a place on DK4 to record your own observations. A casual spot to tell what you're seeing in the park down the road or in your own back yard.

The Morning F Bomb: 6:00 AM weekdays with Floja Roja

The F Bomb is a little daily history lesson, with historical events and births and deaths of famous (or should be famous) people. It's profusely illustrated (with hidden captions!). It also features weird holidays and a selection of the funniest recent tweets and videos. It also contains nosy questions that will immediately go in the dossier I am creating for the NSA (or that will at least provide conversational fodder).
High Impact Posts: 7:00 AM daily (and twice on Sunday!) with jotter

Every morning jotter brings us the previous day's diaries ranked by impact. A must-visit for statistics lovers. HIP posts twice on Sunday as jotter also re-caps the previous week. This series provides a great way to catch up on diaries you may have missed.
New Day: 7:30 AM daily with a rotating cast of diarists.

Every day is a new day and with that, a new opportunity. EVERYONE is welcome and please join us each morning at 7:30 AM PACIFIC to tell us what you're working on, share your show & tell, vent, whatever you want...this is an open thread. Nothing is off topic.

New Day also maintains a schedule of events for upcoming in person meet-ups. Check in daily to see what Kossack events are happening along with photo re-caps of recent events, meet-up groups you can join, or how you can create your own regional group.

PWB Peeps: 11:00 AM daily with a rotating cast of diarists.

PWB Welcome to PWB Peeps. We hang out here every afternoon around 2 PM Eastern. We talk about our beasties, big and small, finned, furry, feathered or something else, share stories, ask questions, have a few laughs, and maybe shed a tear or two now and then. This is our little corner of the intertubes and we are happy to have you join us for a bit of relaxation. The rules are simple. Behave yourself, don't pick fights or hijack threads, be nice, leave what's happening in the outer blog in the outer blog, no politics, no debates. If you don't like this kind of diary, that's cool. Just be on your way, please. No harm, no foul.  If you do like them, c'mon in, grab a cuppa, and enjoy a bit of relaxation among friends. Please feel free to share your pics if you'd like to. And, as always, please feel free to join the conversation. We're all friends here and you are most welcome amongst us!

Midday Open Thread: 12 noon daily on Front Page
Mid-Day Open Thread features a round-up of interesting links throughout the internet you otherwise might not have seen. People use Open Thread to drop in their own links to news articles, rant about what's on their minds, post images, or ask questions

Street Prophets Coffee Hour: 1:00 PM daily with a rotating cast of diarists.
street prophets

Street Prophets is the forum that mobilizes progressive people of faith to name, discuss and take action on critical political and religious issues. So come on in and make yourself at home. We believe that most, if not all topics touching on faith and politics are appropriate on Street Prophets. While this forum represents people of widely differing (and often directly conflicting) theologies, our goal here is to focus on forwarding the progressive political discussion that our shared values make possible. This is an open thread and a good place to comment. Please feel free to stop by.
Afternoon Open Thread: 4:00 PM daily on Front Page

Provides various newsworthy topics. People use Open Thread to drop in their own links to news articles, rant about what's on their minds, post images, or ask questions.

Kitchen Table Kibitzing: 5:00 pm daily with a rotating cast of diarists.

Kitchen Table Kibitzing is a community series for those who wish to share part of the evening around a virtual kitchen table with Kossacks who are caring and supportive of one another. So bring your stories, jokes, photos, funny pics, music, and interesting videos, as well as links—including quotations—to diaries, news stories, and books that you think this community would appreciate. Readers may notice that most who post diaries and comments in this series already know one another to some degree, but newcomers should not feel excluded. We welcome guests at our kitchen table, and hope to make some new friends as well.
Top Comments: 7:00 PM nightly with a rotating cast of diarists.
top comments

Here at Top Comments we strive to nourish community by rounding up some of the site's best, funniest, most mojo'd & most informative commentary, and we depend on your help!! If you see a comment by another Kossack that deserves wider recognition, please send it either to topcomments at gmail or to the Top Comments group mailbox by 9:30pm Eastern. Please please please include a few words about why you sent it in as well as your user name (even if you think we know it already :-)), so we can credit you with the find!  
Open Thread for Night Owls: 8:30 PM nightly on Front Page
Night Owls
Open Thread for Night Owls usually contains an in-depth essay or an in-depth link to another internet article, along with a Tweet of the Day and links to Top Comments and High Impact Diaries.
Overnight News Digest: 9:00 PM nightly with rotating cast of diarists.
OND banner

OND is a community feature  on Daily Kos, consisting of news stories from around the world, sometimes coupled with a daily theme, original research or commentary.  Editors of OND impart their own presentation styles and content choices, typically publishing each day near 12:00AM Eastern Time.


buddy systemPlease also check out the buddy system over at the New Diarists group. While WNU and New Diarists do quite a bit of cross-pollinating, there is one essential difference between us:  Over at New Diarists you can request a mentor who will help you learn how to write and publish a diary that won't get you publicly consigned to Worst Diary Hell at the GOS (Great Orange Satan, as we are affectionately known among wingnuts). Just send them a kosmail asking for an invite! Also check out their Resource Diaries. Note: The New Diarists groups also welcomes experienced diarists who would like to be mentors.

Got questions? Comments? Ideas? We're all ears-- just join us in the comments. And remember: Since this diary is for New Users no question is too basic, no matter how long you've been here!

Originally posted to Welcome New Users on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 08:30 AM PST.

Also republished by New Diarists, Kitchen Table Kibitzing, DK Quilt Guild, Itzl Alert Network, and Community Help Desk.

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