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I know it feels good to flame freepers into a nice little crackling crisp. But you can't just assume they're a freeper because they're disagreeing with you, are new, and haven't figured out the comment system yet. They might just be a newbie trying to contribute to the discussion.

Some ideas borrowed and paraphrased from the wikipedia guideline article Please do not bite the newcomers below.

  • Understand that newcomers are both needed by and of value to the community. By empowering newcomers, we improve the diversity of knowledge, opinions and ideals on Daily Kos and enhance its value

  • When giving advice to newcomers, tone down the rhetoric even a few notches from the usual mellow discourse that dominates Daily Kos cough cough. Make the newcomer feel genuinely welcome, not as though they must win your approval in order to be granted membership into an exclusive club. Any new domain of concentrated, special-purpose human activity has its own specialized strictures and structures, which take time to learn, and which may benefit from periodic re-examination and revision.

  • Assume good faith on the part of the newcomer. They most likely want to help out. Give them a chance!

  • Remember Hanlon's Razor. Behavior that appears malicious to experienced Kossacks is more likely due to ignorance of our expectations and rules. Even if you're 100% sure that someone is a worthless, no-good, low-down scum-sucking Internet troll, vandal, or worse, conduct yourself as if they're not. By being calm, interested, and respectful, your dignity is uplifted, and you further our project.

  • Remember that you were once a newcomer also. Treat others as (if possible, better than) you would want to be treated if you had just arrived at Daily Kos.

But seriously... If they are a filthy freeper troll you should be able to hammer them on the facts until it's obvious they're a troll. And if they're not there's a good chance you've got a new contributer who's willing to give the ideas here a good going over.

Do you really want to scare everyone who doesn't agree with you 200% off?

Originally posted to kraant on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 01:05 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Oh yeah (4.00)
    And here's something interesting from Huffington Post that someone might want to diary A Sneak Peek at "Al vs. Hillary.
  •  How new is new? (4.00)
    I see people in the 20K range claiming to be new, which seems like mutton dressed as lamb, and wet-behind-the-ears 60K somethings like us - but not us - playing the wise elder. Are you as new as you feel?
    •  Newbiehood (4.00)
      I'd say we're all newbies. But some of us are more newbie than others.

      And yeah I still feel like a newbie I think everyone does unless they're one of the Great Old Ones. But I'm worried about the supernewbies who just get here and get a virtual stacks-on because they haven't figured out the unwritten rules yet.

      This sorta thing:

      **Newbie thinks 1 was for unproductive comments, just like it says in the rating menu and uses it that way

      **Newbie dissapears under a storm of 0s after being accused of being a wingnut

      **Newbie wanders off thinking Liberals are mean

      Where if this newbie had stuck around for a bit and read the stuff here they might have changed their minds on some of their assumptions...

      Y'know...

      'Cos if you want to be an elitist club like a lot of web-discussion sites are then you can afford to scare off newbies. If you want to do something practical like here and wikipedia then newbies are a precious commodity.

      •  yea its true - the (4.00)
        actual practice regarding ratings doesn't match the FAQ guidelines.  I also think some here are too quick to pull the troll trigger.  There is a difference between a troll, who in my book is a wingnut just trying to cause trouble, and someone who simply has a different opinion.  There should, there must be room for civil disagreement here or this becomes just an exercise in mental masturbation  

        -4.63,-3.54 If the people will lead the leaders will follow

        by calebfaux on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 04:36:19 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  ok but (4.00)
        I don't think that really happens that often.  

        I mean, most newbies will watch what's going on for a little bit first, before rating other peoples comments.  otherwise it's just, you know, rude.

        if someone really just walks in & starts giving out 1s, I think they deserve what they get.  a newbie has to be a little respectful & observant about the community they're walking into.

        although it's getting late, you still have plenty of time

        by maracuja on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 05:55:43 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thing is (none)
          You understand how much ratings affect people heres egos already. On most of the net ratings are like candy on halloween and people give them out very freely.

          Check out an AOL discussion board sometime and you'll see what I mean. Ratings are viewed like people here view freeping a poll.

          •  I hand out 4's like a "drunken sailor" (4.00)
            some people would say.  But, it also means that I have taken the time to read through your comments or diaries.

            I love wit and a nice snark, so lots of 4's sometimes for those who keep the humor up around here.  I also leave 4's when I want to bookmark links or thoughts that I want to come back to later.

            And, last but not least, I sometimes leave a 4 if someone is being unfairly attacked.

            <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

            by bronte17 on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 07:37:55 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Mutton dressed as lamb? (4.00)
      What kind of games you playin up there on Brokeback Mountain? Can I play?

      To claim secular societies are rejecting God, is to concede that religious societies are rejecting reality.

      by Kudos on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 06:38:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Look, I am just a little over 11,000, (4.00)
      and I arrived just about the time during the primaries that Kerry sewed up the nomination.  Not so long ago in the scheme of real life but a millennium in blog time.

      Kossacks: a large population of Medieval exegetes who each day grapple with the fabulistic opportunities of the early third milennium.

      by DCDemocrat on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 07:49:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Er (4.00)
    with a user id of 66840, aren't you a bit of a newbie yourself?  Hell, I still feel that way and I'm 40,000 or so older than you!
  •  thanks (4.00)
    yeah very true people can come off a bit harsh. even if you're a nice person sometimes people can't tell so much on the internet when they can't see you and hear you.

    If you don't visit my website, you are aiding the terrorists. Why do you hate America?

    by OrangeClouds115 on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 01:54:58 AM PST

  •  Well... (4.00)
    my intimidating uid of 49,281 means that I've been around since April 9, 2005.  But in 22 years I've never forgotten what it was to be the n00b standing next to the buffet table chowing down so I wouldn't have to talk to the people I didn't know.

    Ever.

    And now I'm king of the world. Bwahhahhahhahhah!  I know everybody and they beg me to sit at their banquet table in my tiny little ek pond.

    But I never forget, ever.

  •  500 Quatluus On The Newcomers! (none)
    Go ahead, bite me.

    If we shall fail to defend the Constitution, I shall fail in the attempt.

    by spoon or no spoon on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 04:27:10 AM PST

  •  Speaking as a relative (4.00)
    grandpa here (June, 2004, lo those many years ago!), I don't rate much, but when I do, I follow a simple rule:  rate the comment, not the commenter.  A 76000 UID is no inherent sign of trollishness, just as a four digit UID has no unique claim to wisdom and truth.  While, as a shorthand, I always look at the UID of someone I don't know, it's wrong to simply react to that in determining whether to praise or troll-rate.

    All this said, it appears that your example of a misunderstood newbie, while perhaps escaping the boundaries of trollishness by a hair, is nevertheless a self-important know-it-all blowhard.

    I don't have no use for what you loosely call the truth -- Tina Turner

    by jsmdlawyer on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 04:53:46 AM PST

  •  I don't see a lot of that here to be honest. (none)
    Maybe you could give us a few examples.  Generally a troll is a troll is a troll, and is pretty recognizable.  If you look in the HIdden Comments, mostly all of those people deserve to be there because they are obviously trolls.

    As for getting flamed.  Maybe the new people feel that they are getting flamed because they just aren't used to the rough and tumble of these parts.

    •  Well (none)
      As for getting flamed.  Maybe the new people feel that they are getting flamed because they just aren't used to the rough and tumble of these parts.

      This is exactly the point.

      Anyway for an example of newbie flammage follow the links in the intro of this diary.

      You also have to remember that just because they spout talking points doesn't guarantee they're trolling. They hear those talking points every-day on the news no matter whether they read the paper, the watch TV or listen to the radio.

      Most people don't have active bullshit detectors. Why would they? They've spent their entire life trusting the Fourth Estate to do their jobs...

      Just like they've been trusting the government to do its job.

      •  I read your examples. (none)
        They were all of one poster.  And to me the poster sounded a little obnoxious, and full of himself.  He doesn't sound like someone spewing talking points because he is just repeating what he has heard from the media. He sounds more like a creator of talking points, himself.  I never saw a post which was followed by a biographical summary before.  He refers to his knowledge as vast, and sure likes to talk down to people.  Generally if you're new here, you hold back , get a feel for the tone first, and don't go spouting off right off the bat.  Just like any other place that you are a newbie, like a new job, or any other place with more than one participant.

        I'm sorry, but I don't think it is a good example of how a newbie with good intentions gets treated.  I was never treated like that, but then I never treated my fellow bloggers like that right off the bat either.

  •  as (4.00)
    I'm a newbie, and was always the fall guy in grade school anyway, here I go with the dumb questions which will animate the gut laughs...

    You write

    "By being calm, interested, and respectful, your dignity is uplifted, and you further our project"

    Is there a specific project?  I do understand that the majority of people here are concerned with jump starting the democratic party and sometimes I manifest the attitude of a mortician towards national electoral politics...  but then again I can't find thematic instruction in the diary rules.

    Also, I don't find the site too easy to figure out.  It took about six weeks to get the comments deal, and even now I don't think I understand things.

    This "subscribe" button next to names... I keep clicking it, but is there a way of configuring your homepage to bring up diaries from those whom you've "subscribed?"  

    I also couldn't edit stories for about two months.  Finally one time it started working.  I think there may have been an error in creating my personal page.  But all my queries to tech support brought exactly zero emails back.

    This is determination talking...

    "He who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither" ... Benjamin Franklin

    by stonemason on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 05:40:27 AM PST

    •  Helplike stuff (none)
      When you subscribe to a persons diary it will appear in Your Hotlist.

      There's a link for it on the right side of every page under the word "Tools" it will have a link saying Your Hotlist which will take you there.

      Once you're on that page you should see a list of names under "Diary watchlist" with links to each actual diary of the people whose diaries you've subscribed to under the name.

      If you don't see this then just click the link "Diary watchlist". You may need to click on "Hotlist" first to close the hotlist.

      As for a specific project I'm not an official spokesperson, but the basic assumption seems to be to try and drag the democratic party enough to the left (ie back towards the center left) that they have a chance of being elected and to get the radical right out of office before they destroy the world.

      Hope that helped.

      ps. Are you still having trouble editing your diaries? Or is that working now?

      •  whew (none)
        finally, the editing function began doing as commanded:  "update."  Before it just threw me out, back onto the home page.  Go figure, maybe they got serious once I coughed up $$ and subscribed.  Until then zero anything from tech support.

        Thanks for this.  I have not quite understood the hotlist, have been clicking on articles.  I guess I don't understand the different effects of a) clicking the +/- sign after each title (thought that put the article alone on the hotlist) and clicking the "subscribe" button.  If I've understood you, I guess they are equivalent?

        Also the "new comments" thing rarely functions on my "hotlist" page.  Once I click a single comment, the entire cluster disappears.  Does this happen to everyone?

        "He who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither" ... Benjamin Franklin

        by stonemason on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 06:32:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hotlist (none)
          The +/- buttons add a story to the "hotlist" while the subscribe link adds the user who wrote the story to the "Diary Watchlist" both of which are on the "Your Hotlist" page...

          Does that make sense?

          Not sure why the entire cluster of comments would disappear unless you're clicking on the link to the story instead of the link to the comment.

          The "new comments" thing works by finding any comments that are tagged with the "[new]" tag on the page. Once you look at the whole page any "[new]" comment tags disappear. So if you're clicking on the story instead of the comment title itself then all of the comments on that cluster will dissapear.

          On another topic, one useful thing to do when browsing an article you've already looked at is to use your browsers search function APPLE+F on a mac or CONTROL+F on a PC and search for "[new]" you can scroll through the rest of the new comments by hitting APPLE+G or CONTROL+G to repeat the search.

          •  tx (none)
            for tech support.

            They owe you a check.

            "He who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither" ... Benjamin Franklin

            by stonemason on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 06:57:02 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  one other (none)
              nagging question, how do the "hidden Comments" work?

              One, when I click on the hc button, it gives me a list, not associating it with the text.

              How does a person post a hidden comment?

              Is there a way to make hidden comments weave into the comment thread, so things show context?

              "He who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither" ... Benjamin Franklin

              by stonemason on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 09:38:19 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Sorry (none)
                This one I can't answer, having  never had Trusted User status on here.
              •  Ah, the hidden comments! (4.00)
                About a month after I became a user at dKos, the hidden comments button mysteriously appeared on the right hand column.  I was at a loss as to what this meant, because I didn't remember info about it when I signed up.  After reading through the FAQ a few times, I finally figured out that I had become a trusted user.  Hidden comments were not little love notes passed furtively between trusted users, but comments by suspected trolls that trusted users considered so nasty that they did not deserve to see the light of day.  A comment needs to receive a rating averaging below 1 to be hidden.  It takes at least two users, one of them trusted with the power of giving zeros, to hide a comment.

                On Bush's Brain: "What a terrible thing to have lost one's mind. Or not to have a mind at all. How true that is."

                by Rusty Pipes on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 10:28:25 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  Biting the newbies (4.00)
    I've been a part of the Kos community since before the 2004 election.  I read the diaries religiously.  After the election, the Daily Kos
    diaries helped me to feel less helpless and hopeless.  There are many contributors who are extremely knowledgable and erudite.  
    I feel comfortable in commenting, but I do not
    feel O.K. about writing a diary.  Too many times,
    I'v seen inexperienced diarists bloodied by the very community they are trying to belong to.
    I know rules are necessary to maintain order in
    any society, but I whole heartedly agree with
    "krant" that we need to be kinder to the newbies and each other in general.
    I've said it before and I will say it once again:
    United we stand, divided we fall.
  •  help page (none)
    I think I still qualify as a newbie. I have gotten some strong reactions to some of my comments, but am not bothered by that. I'm a big boy and can take care of myself.
    What does bother me a bit is the amount of information that you are assumed to know about little annoying procedural things.
    Couldn't someone design a better FAQ page or a help page, (or if they already exist and I can't find them, make them a bit more visible) that actually tells you something useful like;
    How to do block quotes, how to incorporate links into your post, how does the ratings system really work, Whats the Recommendations system all about and how does it work.
    Most of these are things that I have gradually, and painfully figured out by seeing a snippet here or a comment there, but it surely would be helpful if there was a nice concise "how to" page that summerized all this stuff.
    •  Okay, forget it (none)
      Of course, immediately after writing this I went and checked the FAQ page, and of course, it is much different than I remember it the first time I looked, and of course, it does everything I just asked. Dealing with a burst pipe today, I'm too frustrated to think clearly. Sorry
  •  Well, that "newbie" in your example (none)
    is so full of himself that he hands out nothing but 1's.  And, he handed them out to some nice people.

    It's a bit of audacity for some new person to just drop in and presume to troll rate (and a 1 is the lowest rating -troll for those who don't have TU status).

    I was here for months before I even handed out my first 2.  And that was in the aftermath of the election when everyone was flaming everyone else for losing.

    <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

    by bronte17 on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 07:27:29 AM PST

    •  Yes (none)
      But, troll rating isn't a concept that's understood outside the blogger community.

      Or even within most segments of it.

      Remember a lot of people are going to wander here after having heard a mention of it on the radio, TV, or in a newspaper etc.

      You can't assume net-savvy on the part of a newbie.

      Have you heard of the September that never ended?

      Well it still hasn't ended...

      Perhaps it would be a good idea to block rating for a week just like diary posting is blocked for a week after a person signs up. But I'm not in charge of that.

      But anyway, the point is that it doesn't harm anyone to assume good faith on the part of a newbie, so why not do it?

      •  Yes, but all communities have norms (none)
        and protocol.  Just because we are on the internet and I cannot "see" you, I "hear" you through your words. If I read you enough, I get to "know" you -somewhat. It takes an investment of time to positively interact with a community, so even though this is the internet and everything is instaneous, this is still a community.

        Let's use an example: if you were to walk into a pub, one which you have never frequented, you would not sit down and then presume to begin to criticize the regulars during their discussions.  If you did so, there would be some manner of retribution. Of course, some newbies could handle it better than others, then again, some would cause hard feelings and fights. They get evicted from the pub.

        That is similar to what happens here.

        <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

        by bronte17 on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 08:18:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  n00b? (none)
    Dunno. I've been on the 'Net since before it was abbreviated. Participated in real UseNet shitfests, and am very well-versed in all the tech behind the talk.

    But here, I'm a n00b. Sort of. I've gotten WAY disgusted by people that think a low uid gives them a right to trample on others. Many of these "DKos oldtimers" display a terrible ignorance of basic netiquette.

    This reminds me exactly of what happened when AOL opened the floodgates, and gave their members access to the 'Net. Anybody remember that? If you were unlucky enough to post from an AOHell account, you got flamed to a crisp, just on principle. As the company I worked for maintained a couple of AOL accounts, I got unreasonably flamed a couple of times.

    Boy, were they ever surprised when that AOL n00b blasted right back...

    Ah...the good ol' days.

    I wrote this up a while ago, just based on my own ES&H.

    "[T]hat I have no remedy for all the sorrows of the world is no reason for my accepting yours. It simply supports the strong probability that yours is a fake."

    by Heronymous Cowherd on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 10:44:02 AM PST

  •  How I know I'm a newbie. (none)
    I know I'm a newbie when I misspell newbie.  But I've got it down now.

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