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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 we'll welcome some actual new users who showed up in the month of July and feature a very heartwarming story of community outreach by a brand-new commenter.

Tell us how you became active on this site, and feel free to introduce us to any new users or recent de-lurkers you've met here!

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 the answers and bring 'em to ya (wink! wink!).

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.

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How Did You Get Started on Daily Kos?

drink-out-of-a-hoseAs a member of Partners and Mentors I have the pleasure of looking for and welcoming new users to Daily Kos. It can be an overwhelming, intimidating place and hard to get noticed when so many people seem to already know each other. How did you do it?

I signed up on March 30, 2008, after the worst of the Primary Wars and started tentatively commenting a week later, mostly in campaign-related diaries as I got my feet under me doing phone-banking. I also spent a lot of time in Open Threads, where you can just talk about whatever's on your mind. One day I told a story in an open thread, and both Susan Gardner and Phil S 33 suggested I turn it into a diary, which ended up being rescued.

Well, you couldn't shut me up after that, and I have always remembered how good that initial encouragement felt.

So here I ask you old-timers to look out for new people who could use acknowledgement for their writing, approach, or expertise. Perhaps you could spend a few minutes a day looking through the Recent Diaries list. Perhaps you could go out of your way to say hello to a new person you see in an open thread or community diary. As kos pointed out to us at NN13, we need to continue to grow as a movement, and that means continually welcoming new activists.

How did you get started on Daily Kos?

Say Hello! to some new users who made an impact in July

CrankyFatFeminist is a Texas lady whose first diary Texas on Expose CPC Day got rescued covers the expected rise in CPC (Crisis Pregnancy Centers) in Texas. Turns out there's money to be made moralizing at women once abortion is essentially banned.

gnothis has written five well-received diaries this month, including one that asks us to stop calling quiet kossacks "lurkers", and whose third diary Not a member of a union but a proud union supporter was rescued.

Heavy Mettle has become a prolific and popular diarist on a variety of political topics since June, 2013, with the most recommended diary, Watch Julian Assange Vaporize TIME's Credibility in ABC - Stephanopoulos 'Grilling' - LOL!

ksheahan wrote a highly-entertaining first diary, Girl Scouts of America and the Zombie Virus (part 1). We're looking forward to Part II, ksheahan!

Kannon McAfee showed a commitment to community with his two diaries, including where he reached out to encourage struggling kossacks with Turning Underemployment into Creative Deployment. (h/t belinda ridgewood)

Tell us about any new users that have come to your attention in the comments if we missed them!

What you may have noticed here is that good writing and a unique voice will get you noticed (and eventually Rescued!) if you keep at it. If you're having trouble getting started, just look below to New Diarists.
welcome newbies

News * COMMUNITY * Action

You don't have to write diaries to make an impact here. Some of the greatest impacts are made by commenters. Earlier this week an act of breath-taking generosity on the part of a new user took place in Aji's community fund-raising diary for tonyahky.  

Fellow Partner and Mentor belinda ridgewood described to me how this unfolded:  

One fairly new user, Ree Zen appeared in the diary thread and said s/he had friends in Tonya's area and would put someone in touch with her. This friend [and brand-new user] LisaBethDay posted to report that she had gone to pick Tonya up at the hospital after her blood transfusion, and had brought her to Kroger, where she could pick up some of the donations transferred to her, and then home.

It just amazes me when I see things like this. Here's someone so kindhearted as to go out and fetch some complete stranger and ferry them around, because a person in another town called up and said they saw on a website that this stranger needed help. I can scarcely imagine anyone who'd be a better addition to our community than that!

When I contacted Ree Zen by kosmail to ask permission to highlight this story, she agreed and added this:
The internet can certainly be a big time drain, and our privacy rights are at constant risk. But our online community gives us power, too. When we harness it to help each other, well, good things happen. We can't fix every problem as fast as we would like, but we can help. Spider Robinson writes that "Shared pain is pain lessened; shared joy is joy increased." dKos is a place for sharing. I am glad I was able to play a small part in helping Tonya. I know that she will need more help in the future as she recovers from her surgery and raises her kids. I'm glad that her dKos family is able to be there for her.  
As so many users here say:
"I came for the politics but stayed for the community."
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!

And remember......
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