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Are we "nubie unfriendly?"

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by BigWill, May 17, 2006.

  1. BigWill

    BigWill Gorgeous oversensitive Nikon-loving cream puff

    A recent case in point is where a "newbie" to the site concluded, and I quote:

    "ok you've beat me i don't have these problems on other photo
    sites so i guess i will stick to them sites theres too many
    does and donts on this site, im going round in circles so see you folks its been nice to know you

    I find this particularly sad as a potential newbie has been discouraged from participating in our forum by what he sees as "too many do's and dont's". Are we really guilty of making the AP site "newbie unfriendly" or has this simply been an isolated case where a particular individual found the "rules" of the AP site too intimidating?

    Well, the individual in question was clearly not very internet savvy (didn't even know what a "URL" was!) but surely that shouldn't be a prerequisite for joining our forum? In a case like that I think the individual needs "special help" in navigating the various "pitfalls" that a newbie may encounter. Given that that is not in question then the next question we must ask ourselves is "did the AP forum make that "special effort" to assist this newbie and "non-internet savvy" individual to overcome these potential hurdles?

    Well, it is my opinion that the AP site as a whole did not fail in this department and indeed many individuals "bent over backwards" to offer as much assistance as possible to this particular newbie so I therefore have to conclude that in my opinion the AP site is most definitely NOT! "newbie unfriendly" but rather that it takes a certain amount of willingness on the part of the "newbie" to accept the guidance and help offered to them in "learning the ropes" of the site and that if that "willingness" to accept the help offered is rejected or there is an "unwillingness" to apply onself to "learning the ropes" then any failure does not lie on the part of the AP board members.

    I'd be interested to hear other forum members views on this and if they come to the same conclusion as myself with regard to our attitude to "newbies" or if they feel that perhaps we are "failing" in this area and that we need to review our strategy?

  2. jchrisc

    jchrisc Well-Known Member

    Maybe grandadray was just trying to do too much too soon. I think most people hang around a bit first and get into things gently. I know I did.

    It didn't seem to me that there was any lack of assistance, nor I think are there more rules particularly on this site when compared with others.

    Perhaps when he has a little more experience of the web he will come to recognise what a very friendly and helpful place this is . . . . . . . :D
  3. CheeseCake

    CheeseCake Active Member

    Being a n00b here myself, cant say I agree either. I've posted on a few forums in the past and find people on the whole more interested in discussing the hobby we all joined for and offering advice to others here than most places. Replies are also quick coming and theres plenty of discussion and controlled debate. Still trying to find a Nikon vs Canon thread, you know the ones, they can clear a forums memberbase with bans and "I dont wanna play anyore threads" in a matter of hours! LOL

    To be honest like most n00bs I skipped the rules stickies preffering to use common sense. Dont swear, post filth, flame or do anything to upset fellow members. If I recall correctly this is about posting in buy and sell?. I think its perfectly reasonable and good manners on the part of the member to make a contribution to the place before using it as free advertising. That system also has the bonus of putting off the con artists who just wanna offload their rubbish or scam people.

    Theres a great rule I told many a n00b when I was modding a fish forum. "The only stupid question is one that goes unasked". Maybe it was more about this guy feeling out of his depth as there where deffintly plenty of replies to his URL thread (I was one of them) and his GrandDaughters thread seemed to get priority attention. Hopefully once hes gained a little internet experience he'll come to appreiate the benefits of a well run forum.

    If your looking for critisms. Navigation could be a little easier and my avatar pics have to be so tiny, no one will be able to see them and offer approiate compliments. ;)

    Regards to rules in general... End of the day membership is a privalige, not a right, but one has to be carefull how far to take that as it can turn places into little boys clubs.

  4. 0

    0 Guest

    There are some newbies who won't take personal responsibility for their actions. The For Sale forum does have a "please read the sticky before posting" notice, so there's really no excuse for not reading it apart from laziness or unwillingness to conform to "our" conventions. As Rob (almost!) said, "membership is a privilege", and the few rules we have to observe could hardly be described as onerous, could they?

    Let's hope grandadray sticks around and learns to love us!:D
  5. Lounge Lizard

    Lounge Lizard Well-Known Member

    No, far from it.

    I think the general conclusion is that we are very 'newbie friendly' here (sorry BigWill - I almost mistook your subject heading to be 'nubile friendly'...!). In fact, I don't know of any other site that is as friendly as this and there are many where you daren't say anything lest you get flamed for being one of the ignorant few.

    As others have said, it takes a while to get used to something new and the member in question has given it hardly any time. It all started to go wrong when he did things against the rules but I don't know what has triggered this latest response. If his approach to photography is like his approach to these forums then he will not have bothered with the instruction manual, tried to take a masterpiece on day one, it didn't work and so has given up photography.

    As somebody else here commented 'learn to walk before you try to run'.
  6. 0

    0 Guest

    Re: No, far from it.

    I agree with BigWill. As a pretty recent Newbie I have found the Forum very friendly. There are rules to follow to allow the forum to run and info available to understand the rules. People have to take some personal responsibility for finding out what needs to be adhered to - perhaps this is a problem with our society now, everybody expects to be spoon fed everything.

  7. Minifreak

    Minifreak Active Member

    Re: No, far from it.

    I am also a noob on this forum and to photography in general. I have only asked a few questions so far (i prefer to spend some time reading the old questions first), but the answers i have received have been swift and very helpful.

    Thanks everyone and keep up the good work. ;)
  8. BiroMan

    BiroMan Well-Known Member

    Re: No, far from it.

    Can't add much really, I'm another newbie who's found everyone really helpful and friendly. Also Chris's 'How to..' in the gallery section makes posting pics much easier.

    I think basically people just have to accept that if they don't know quite how to do something at first then they should read the relevant stickies, and if they're still having a hard time then ask someone, they won't bite ;)
  9. Fen

    Fen The Destroyer


    Didn't we have this same discussion earlier this year when another person got confused?
  10. InkyBob

    InkyBob Well-Known Member

    Re: No, far from it.

    Again as a newbie I found the forums very welcoming and helpful, I think if someone approaches the forum in the right way they will get something out of it.
    That said I'm not someone that just dives in and tries to do too much too soon.
    To play devil's advocate for a moment, this is one of the first forums I've ever used, and as such was unfamiliar with stickies and can imagine they are easy to skip past. Maybe if the welcome message included a strong recommendation to look at the stickies or had links to the rules for different sections newbies could pick up on the rules sooner.

  11. ElectricPics

    ElectricPics Well-Known Member

    I'm a mod on Digital Darkroom which is a very laid back forum with few rules - very much like AP in that we really only restrict image sizes for the benefit of dial-up users and people with smaller monitors. Newbies are warmly welcomed and their questions asked quickly and patiently, yet we still get the odd new member who thinks they can do and say what they want and complain bitterly when they're tactfully asked to conform. In fact, when anyone has to do any actual moderating it's a significant event!

    Anyway, what I'm getting at is that AP seems to be no different. The few rules aren't onerous and I rarely see the result of any moderating apart from the odd image link broken due to size, and it's not as if the image rules are hidden. I can't say I've ever seen any replies to newbies that have been anything other than friendly so I don't think any change is needed.
  12. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Indeed, Adrian - the image posting rules are for the benefit of other users, both in terms of files size for those on dial-up, and dimensions to avoid the forum shape changing for those viewing in sized windows. The "For sale/wanted" rules are there in part to protect users, in part to avoid freeloaders taking advantage - this board is supposed to be a service for site members, not a free alternative to classified ads/ebay/whatever for all and sundry. These are the two areas new members are most likely to fall foul of, and both can be avoided by reading the rules and guidelines, which are pretty clearly advertised - I do find it a little hard to see how somebody can work out how to post here without being able to work out how to read a post marked "Read this first before posting"!

    The last thing we want to do is discourage anyone from joining and playing a full part here, and there's no need for anyone to feel they have to "lurk" for ages before posting - we were all newbies once. There are a few local peculiarities - like the Canon v Nikon threads that we sometimes have are light-hearted 99% of the time, unlike most places on the Web - but in general this is a fairly polite, considerate forum that doesn't even flame people who deserve it! ;)
  13. Raythefab

    Raythefab Well-Known Member

    wow my ears are burning-JOKE i think ive cracked it now folks but if i am allowed to mention another site but will not name it,all you had to do was hit the upload botton
    and there you are your photo appeared,you still had to resize it first though,anyway enough on that one i would like to apologise for looking so ?stupid/lazy-or call it what you will,but i think im there now so no more questions from me on posting a pic-?i want to learn how to snap them now anyway thanks all for your help especially BIGWILL
  14. Fen

    Fen The Destroyer

    Technically speaking, this isn't a photo based gallery website.

    It's a text based forum that allows posting of pictures
  15. BigWill

    BigWill Gorgeous oversensitive Nikon-loving cream puff

    I'm very glad to hear that you have decided to stick around Ray. It's a tragedy to loose any new member and so that is why I thought I better check to see whether others on here thought we were "getting the balance right" with our attitude to new members. I think you have answered that yourself by your frank admission that you made a few typical mistakes that any newbie could make, but that you are willing to learn and at the end of the day, that is all we ask of any "newbie".

    Please feel free to ask any more questions regarding posting pictures or any other matter for which you require assistance. We do understand the difficulties newbies face on here but with patience and guidance from the "old hands" we'll get there together!

  16. Keitht

    Keitht Well-Known Member

    I've always found the site to be pretty friendly, even when I have slagged off the magazine. :) Certainly much better than another non-photo site I use which recently upgraded its forum software. On the old system to include a link you simply clicked the symbol then typed text into the popup, pressed enter, copied the URL and pressed enter again. Each popup stated exactly what you had to do. On the new version there was no obvious way to enter text as the popup simply requested the URL.
    Somebody commented on the problem and the response was along the lines that "It is obvious what you have to do - Enter the text into the body of the post, highlight the section required as text of the link, click the Insert Link icon, copy the URL and press Enter. The new method is far more logical than the old one" :D :D
    The person who posted that reply, you probably won't be surprised to hear, was responsible for implementing the new system and reacts in much the same way to any question about the site. Basic attitude of "If you so stupid that you don't understand the ins and outs of a web site you shouldn't be wasting my time" There have been plenty of new members who don't bother posting again after his replies. At least the guy here has explained why he won't be back.
  17. Footloose

    Footloose Well-Known Member

    One of the things about becoming a 'successful' website is that with this comes the dubious side-effect of coping with 'Trolls' etc. which results in 'Rules' placed there for the benefit of everyone. Someone new to the internet who hasn't been subjected to the disruption these characters cause, may well wonder why rules are needed, - until they encounter these individuals - and then discover just how useful they are!

    Regarding the 'Stickies' issue, I suppose another way round this would be on entering the (say) the Wanted/For Sale section, the information is displayed to everyone who enters that section, before getting to the actual content. However, that could become very tedious to those who visit the section on a regular basis, and on reflection, I think AP's system remains the best compromise.
  18. BigWill

    BigWill Gorgeous oversensitive Nikon-loving cream puff

    The good news is though that he will be and in fact is back and doing his best to learn the ropes of posting images..................which he is gradually getting the hang of I'm glad to say. I'm also glad to say that none of our forum members to my knowledge have exhibited a "condescending" attitude towards newbies and I think this has always been the case on the AP site where help and advice has always been freely available and long may it continue to be so.

  19. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Raymond, if you have any issues, any problems, just ask - we're only too happy to help if we can - we only turn grumpy when people DON'T ask and we have to spend ages clearing up! ;) And my remarks weren't directed at you, but more generally. If in doubt, ask, ask, ask!
  20. Hotblack

    Hotblack Dead Horse Flogger

    I have top say that I have found this forum one of the friendlier places on the web. Others I have visited (not necessarily photographic) seem to suffer interminable flame wars. This place (and the members on it) is very approachable. Like previous posters I found my feet a little first before posting pictures. I have a reasonable idea of how to use a computer in some areas (learning in others)and it took me several attempts before I got my image right before posting here. I persevered and got there.

    All credit to Raymond for jumping in and persevering. I think he's been an a steep learning curve these last couple of days or so. Big Will has spent a lot of time helping out, as have others. It is good to see such efforts from everyone here. I think that's why I keep coming back.

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