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Did you know that you can vote here every single day and on as many diaries and comments as you like? Just like voting in the real world you need to register first, by signing up for an account. Then you have to show up, by logging in. After that you can vote on every single diary and every single comment you read. How do you think diaries end up on the Recommended List? You, the people who bother to vote, put them there! So vote liberally and vote often!

On this site your votes take the form of tipping and recommending. When you see folks responding to a diary with "tipped and rec'd" or "T&R"  they have just exercised their right to vote on the content before them. Just as in the real world, though, it's surprising just how few people take advantage of their voting rights.

Welcome new users ( and older users) from your host, smileycreek. This diary is intended to help you orient yourself to the site and provide a safe forum to 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 explain how, why and when to Tip and Recommend comments and diaries on Daily Kos.

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!).

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

~~~ The FAQ's and Knowledge Base are currently being updated. ~~~

Have you ever put considerable thought and effort into writing a diary or comment only to see it languish without any replies or even acknowlegment?  It's disheatening that not even one person left you a tip or a Rec.

If you care about your diary being read by as many people as possible (and why else would you write it?) you know it takes a number of recommends to lift it up from the Recent Diaries list up to the Recommended list where more people will see it. Once there, a diary on the Rec list begins to decay, and unless a steady stream of Recommends comes in it will soon fall off the list. So, every time you recommend a diary you are voting for it to be seen by more people. The longer a diary is on the Rec list the greater the chance it will be shared on Facebook and Twitter, which also spreads the type of message you want to see out there.

I care that as many new (and old) users as possible find helpful information about the workings of Daily Kos, so if you have not yet recommended this diary, please do so now!

Rec the diary
You've been warned.

As it turns out, even people who write diaries and thus know how important recommends are frequently don't bother to recommend other diarists' work, as jotter's daily statistics demonstrate below.

Even diarists who benefit from Rec's don't always hand them out:
jotter's note: What this table tells us is that of the 122 kogs who wrote a diary (row=write, column="write a post"), only 55 recommended a diary (row=write, column=recommend). Whether you look over a couple of days, weeks, months, or years it is always the same.
write rec ratio
These stats and much much more are available daily at High Impact Posts by jotter.
But what is recommending, and how do you do it? (We'll get to tipping in a moment).
Recommend a diary

by clicking on the star that accompanies it.
This also applies to the mobile site,

The Recommend star appears below the diary title and again at the bottom of the diary underneath the Tags. Once you've clicked on either star a check mark will appear. You will also see your name appear (after you refresh your browser) in the Diary Recommended by box to the right, in the order in which you joined the site.

Recommend star

When do you recommend a diary?

You recommend a diary when you think other people should read it.
You recommend a diary to show the diarist you appreciated their writing.
(Even front pagers appreciate appreciation.)
You recommend a diary when you think it should be on the Recommended list
or you want it to remain on the Recommended list.
When would you not recommend a diary? Just ask yourself this: Do you want your name listed as someone who thinks making this diary more public is a good idea? Perhaps it is contentious, insulting or looking to stir up a flame war. If a diary goes against community guidelines I may read it (and the inevitable fallout in the comments section) with great interest, but I won't recommend it. But don't worry, this is one vote you can take back. If you have second thoughts you can always remove your recommend.
Recommend a Comment

by clicking either the square box marked Recommend at the bottom of the comment (if you're a new user) or the circle marked Recommend at the bottom of the comment if you're a Trusted User.

If you are a trusted User, one of the ways you got there is because in addition to posting comments and diaries, you also notice and recommend other kossacks' efforts. The more you participate, the higher your mojo.

When do you recommend a comment?

There are many possible reasons people do (or don't!) recommend a comment. If you comment in my diary today I will recommend your comment... unless you say something nasty, in which case I'll ignore you. Recommending your comment is my way of saying "I see you-- thanks for coming by" even if I don't reply. In community diaries people often rec comments by way of a quick hello and as a means of checking in when they don't have time to chat. Recommending a comment can mean you agree with it, or it can mean that while you don't necessarily agree with it you do appreciate the civil manner in which it was made.

When you recommend a comment your name will appear among the list of other recommenders, in the order in which the rec's were given.

CAUTION: Don't automatically recommend a diary or a comment just because you like the person who wrote it. Read it first! Every one has bad days and occasionally says things they shouldn't, and if you recommend a comment that the community or the Admins find objectionable according to community standards you may find yourself sanctioned along with the user. If I tell someone to ^%$#! off and eat @#%$ because they're a dirty $%^$#@ don't back me up, or you may lose your ratings priveleges. Instead, suggest I might need to take a walk away from the keyboard until I calm down. Never recommend (or "uprate") insults, bigotry, calls for violence, name-calling, or other violations of community standards.

For another long-time user's take on this, read Wee Mama's What Does My Recommend on Your Comment Mean?

So the next time you enjoy a diary or a comment, be liberal with your appreciation and recommend it!
Tipping and Tip Jars

The first comment in a diary written by us regular folks is called the Tip Jar, and it is automatically generated when you write a diary unless you customize your own.

Front pagers' diaries generally don't have tip jars unless their diaries start out in the Recent List and work their way up.

Tipping the diarist is done by recommending their tip jar. Why, you ask, would you do that when you have already recommended their diary? Think of it as an extra, personalized bit of appreciation. I may not recommend a diary, for example, if I don't think the diary is of broad general interest, or if the subject has already been covered by a more comprehensive diary on the Rec list. But I'll still tip the diarist's tip jar to acknowledge the work and effort they put into their diary.

How about you old-timers out there-- do you both Tip and Rec? When do you do one without the other? Tell us how you decide to tip and rec in the comments.

Wanna follow us around or send us a kosmail?
WNU contact us
Click the ♥ to follow us in your Stream, or click Send Message to send us a private kosmail.

and a Tip of the Hat to Some Recent New Users:

Mopshell joined last February, but posted her first diary on June 1st and has become a frequent contributor ever since. h/t smileycreek

Silencio jumped into it with almost 30 comments on his first day with sharp and perceptive, almost always elegantly-phrased comments. h/t peregrine kate

BarryWolk, a new user from the HuffPO emmigration hit the Rec list with his first diary.  h/t Angie in WA State

3one4 is a Trusted User going back to 2009 but just posted his first diary noting the sound of crickets at RedState over the capture of Ahmed Abu Khatallah. What, no Benghazi!? h/t smileycreek

Funkmob burned Glenn Beck with a snarky comment. h/t smileycreek

BranTheBuilder wrote a wrenching, rescued diary on IVF: An impossible choice, but at least our choice to makeh/t smileycreek

What new users have you met or helped in the past month?
Share them with us in the comments!

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!
For More Helpful Diaries, Check Out Our Archives:

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.

Originally posted to Welcome New Users on Wed Jul 02, 2014 at 08:30 AM PDT.

Also republished by PostHuffPost: Connection-Conversation-Community and Kitchen Table Kibitzing.

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Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

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