Welcome the Newbies

I would like to share a little story…

A sophomore, who has been in FIRST for one year, heard a lot about Chiefdelphi, so he decided to register for the forum and become involved in the community. He was warm welcomed on the forum by many. He is a type of student who needs to read the rules few times in order to get it inside his head and remember it. He went through all the Chiefdelphi rules just to make sure that he wouldn’t break any. He searched before posting any threads or even to post something about the topic. One day, he saw a thread about Battlebots and FIRST which was created about 5 months before he registered. He decided to give his 2 cents to that thread about FIRST and Battlebots. Next thing you know, he gets a negative reputation from a respected mentor on one of the most involved and coolest team in FIRST. The message on the negative reputation stated “DO NOT BRING BACK OLD THREADS.”

The reason I am posting this…

We have a lot of newbies who are joining the forum and hoping that they will get the best out of us in helping them. Giving the newbies negative reputation for simple mistakes is scaring them away and not welcoming them on the forum.

What I am trying to prove…

I have seen a new thread few days ago. Another thread with the same topic was posted 6 months ago too. Right away after the new thread was posted, few members posted in that thread saying “Search before you post,” “The same topic exists.” After that I haven’t seen that person on chiefdelphi forum. I am on the forum all the time checking for new threads and new posts all the time.

I am the same Arefin who is the guy in the little story I posted in this thread. The way I was getting bashed by particular people for making simple mistakes I didn’t come back to the forum until the season started again.

Let’s not scare the newbies away, let’s welcome them and help them.

Please share your opinion and post whatever you want, I wouldn’t mind. Because I maybe wrong.

p.s.- Yes, I know there is a similar thread that exists.

Also, read this thread please. It also shares a similar thought.

I agree, the same thing happened to me. I was almost afraid to post my questions - afraid someone would yell at me and think in their head “stupid newbie” – i don’t think i’ve even gotten over that fear yet. We all mistakes but that doesn’t mean we should be put down. A person can explain what we did wrong, but that’s that. The lesson is learned and another person doesn’t need to bash them. We’re in a positive atmosphere, we should make sure we show it. =)

well i’ll just add my 2 cents in…

so everyone lets think about this…we all were newbies once…so may be many years ago for some but yeah we all were there starting out
so come on just give people a break at times…we all have made the same mistakes…reopening old threads, not searching before posting… it’s okay…we won’t die because someone accidently forgot to search before they posted… we all just live and learn…

well the end of my 2 cents…

CD is a great community of ppl…so newbies welcome and old members i’m still glad you are around to make this place a great one…

One of the problems with this place is that too many people thinks it’s there place and attack people who don’t fall in line. That’s why none of our kids post here. They got thier heads ripped off when they were scouting and now think a majority if FIRST hates them so they don’t bother with the place. And these were veteran poster who made them feel that way.

OK, the same thing happen to me. It made me stop posting for a while until I got over it and started to make some friends on here. While I know I am guilty of saying “Search before you post” - we all should learn to be more forgiving. Unless a newbie is being really obnoxious we don’t have to go crazy and give bad reps. We could give some polite suggestions using the Neutral rep option. If that does not work the moderators know how to handle it. Good plea Arefin.

As the above mentioned link shows, I agree with Arefin on this one 100%. Let’s welcome the new people so they may learn, like we did from each other. We were all newbies eventually, we all know it, so you know what its like to be new here and trying to get help. We can never make it too easy, and I’m keeping up my aforementioned deal, if I see people being especially welcoming to new people, or teaching (not ordering, commanding or otherwise forcing towards) searching when it’s necessary, and doing it tactfully, I’ll reward with what little rep I can give. I admit it can be frustrating when five people start threads about the same thing, but there’s no reason to scream about it, we have mods to fix that. And when a threads been dead for six months, sometimes reviving it is more likely to get you yelled at then starting a new one. And just because it was discussed once doesn’t mean everyone got their say in. New people, inactive ones turned active, there can be a lot of new perspectives that can help. So I see no reason for every topic to only be discussable once.

Those are my $0.02, if it seems brash I apologize, I just want to make sure my point isn’t diluted.

Although I agree with the general topic (and as can be seen by my post total, I too am timid of posting for fear of it already having been said or just being frivolous) I think the majority of CD is a very welcoming community. Yes occasionally people get upset, but I feel those events are not frequent occurances and for the most part people respect “newbies” even if they do break a rule knowingly or unknowingly.

I have to say that I agree with all of y’all on this one. Instead of bashing the newcomers for not searching, perhaps it would be better to persuade them into searching. Something like answering their question, pointing them in the direction of the previous thread, and telling them it might be faster and more efficient if they searched for it beforehand.


Yup, I got the same one as one of my first posts. One of my few reds actually. To newbies, the people on these forums may come off as attacking or rude sometimes, each and every person here. 99.9999999…% of the people here, aren’t, and just come off so accidently. To anyone who gets a similar message as this, pat yourself on the back for searching and welcome to CD, it’s a great place to be

I’m just curious, what is your criteria for giving good rep? What would ‘wow’ you enough?

P.S. (I’m pretty new) how do you go about giving rep? :o

Everyone’s criteria for good rep is different. Personally, if I see someone going out of their way to help someone else, if I see someone making a good point (and doing so in a classy fashion not a “you’re dumb I’m smart” way) or anything that just makes me say “wow”, I will give a good rep.

As to how to give +/- reps, on the top right of each post, there’s a white scale. If you click that, it will give you a popup with the options of “I approve” “Neutral” or “I disapprove” and a space for your reasoning. You are required to tell them why you are giving them that rep.

I got this sort of treatment as well my first few months of being on CD and I am just now getting into the positive numbers for reputation. if this wasn’t a FIRST oriented site I would have been long gone a while ago.

Jeez…I guess I’m not the only one who screwed up…it’s kinda discouraging though, to be here for a few months and have totally blown my rep…

My criteria is when someone adds a fresh perspective to an argument or posts something particularly clever or inspired. I haven’t given out negative rep since a fellow veteran poster attacked some of my kids for posting for scouting info and I charged in basically telling him to back up off of them.
I was sorely tempted to slam one kids on the board who seems to have respect issues with adult mentors (lesson to the wise kid: labeling someones post “retarded” is not graciously professional" and this isn’t the first time I’ve witnessed rudeness in your posts and you are in serious need of being taken down a peg. I PM’d the kid instead).

Well thank you so much for having the courage to say something. When I joined I got negative on i think my first post. it was so discouraging. I think people should realize that giving negative reputation on a first post doesn’t encourage people to want to be friends and share valuable information. THey are disenclined to help with problems. at least this is true when you first join. if people want to make their point, they can give neutral and just state what it is for. once people have been on the site longer they should know whatever better. so of course by all means. use the negative reputation if you feel the need. but really. how nice is it to welcome a newbie with a slap on the wrist?
well thats my $.02 and arefin you said we could post whatever we want so i hope not to be repremanded for anything that may have offended someone.

When I first joined, I never really posted. In fact, in six months or so, this is my third, maybe fourth post. I was just here to collect information, as I was just starting out it FIRST and didn’t think I had very much to offer. Which, seems to be the point of CD, collecting information from those who’ve already done something, then passing on what you have learned. However, there was another reason I didn’t post either- I was afraid. For the number of times I’ve seen people getting yelled at, reprimanded, or otherwise shamed for doing something that seemed pretty harmless, I didn’t want to make that mistake. I love FIRST, and I don’t want to say or do something that will cast me in a negative light in front of some of FIRST’s most influential people. It wasn’t until members of my team insisted I should post more that I actually made a post or two. But, after reading this thread, I feel better.

When going through the fundrasing threads, I found something I wanted to comment on, but, it was started last summer, and finished then as well. I wasn’t sure whether to post on it, or start a new thread. I believe Matt Krass already mentioned this as well, that just because the conversation no longer is one of the twenty or so recent threads, does not make it old news or irrelevant. What if the new thought provides a solution to a problem? FIRST is constantly growing in size, and as new generations step forward, new ideas and perspectives are ultimatly going to come with them. I think it a bit hypocritical to say “search before you post,” and at the same time, “don’t bring back old threads.”

I agree with your point 100%. I can honestly say I have not received a negative rep point yet, but I am always edgy and really cautious about what I post. I find that it is often intimidating to start posting on CD, especially if you don’t already know some more popular posters. I remember that when I first joined, I felt like I was just an insignificant poster, and I could imagine that if I ever did get a negative reputation point, I probably would have been scared away. I’m glad someone was brave enough to bring up this topic.

I cant agree more. I made a post in a thread that was maybe a year or 2 old, but I didn’t really check for dates or anything like that. I got hit with negative rep points from 3 diffrent people within the hour. And yes, What if someone had a discussion 3 years ago on say what type of support your club recieves from your school and how can you gain more support. I mean I was here this year, If I had something that would hlp this topic even though it is kinda old doesnt mean I cant put my 2 cents in because if I say something, others will see that and maybe get something out of it.

If someone is complaining about me posting in something that is old, then don’t read it. Maybe that sounds a little mean, but that is no reason to bash some one who has never used this forum before. Much of my team has also had similiar run ins with this kind of stuff and is scared of coming back.

This seems like a pretty valid concern, it can certainly be very intimidating to come into this environment. It is great to see new people come and join, and we should certainly welcome them. But we also have a responsibility to educate them. I would never negative rep someone for posting a thread that has been posted before, that is a trivial “offense”…

However, there are worse offenses…
This also happens to be a place with a great number of “really smart people”. Engineers and professionals with a large amount of experience deign to post here and share their wisdom. As my father so frequently told me when I was younger “Listen with your ears, not with your mouth.” It is important that all younger members learn to listen, rather than jumping in and offerring opinions and advice that may not be well founded, or worse yet… posting inflamatory accusations or attacks.

When I was a new member back during the 2001 season, I was an idiot. Reading some of my posts from back then makes me cringe. Eventually I learned, and I got better.
Now I can say with authority, that in four years I will look back and say “Wow, I was an idiot in 2005”.

Okay… no more ranting… short and sweet:
There are obviously two sides to this…
New members must be welcomed, but they must also learn the ways of this wonderful community.
Veterans need to make sure that in their zeal to educate new members, they do not scare them away.


Some would argue that even today, I am an idiot.
No names mentioned…

You still have to be careful with that. I have given neutral rep to someone and even started the comment with “Just a suggestion,” but I got back a PM which indicated the user was rather annoyed at having received “negative” reputation. Although I did PM back and explain that it was neutral and didn’t effect them either way, I never heard back from them and was afraid I had driven them away from CD. Fortunately, they’re still around.

We should try to give a grace period to new comers. If you see someone who joined 15 minutes ago make a new thread when the very same topic was sitting at the bottom of the portal list, just calmly and politely point it out to them and tell them not only to search, but how to do that. As I remember, things like the forums list and even the somewhat more obvious search link were rather hard to find when I first joined. Posting on a new forum, especially one with as many forums and extras as CD can be confusing for a while. Give the inexperienced a chance.

On the other hand, if a person has been making the same mistakes for months, then it might be justified to use a negative rep to try to drive your point home.

Anything insightful, helpful, etc. Anyone who helps me almost always gets positive. (That means reply to my threads. ;))

Seriously though, I don’t really have a criteria for positive. I rarely give out negative rep. I’ve only given out 4 negatives on my last 4 pages or rep given and they’ve all been to the spam bots which occasionally pop up. :slight_smile: The last real negative I gave out was in 2004 to 2 people who were insultingly negative of another person’s idea.

P.S. Interesting thread, Arefin.