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"Lurking" members lack of understanding and the concern over rule breaking.

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posted on Nov, 8 2012 @ 11:16 PM
I'm constantly seeing introduction threads started by members who claim to regularly access this website, but have never posted. I completely understand when you first come across this website you may choose to set up an account right away even if you don't plan to contribute, but what confuses me is how many of these "lurking" members claim their reason for never posting has to do with a lack of understanding of how this website "works" or how to properly post. How can you be a regular viewer on this website for years and are just now understanding how to properly contribute?

I remember when I first came across this website. For about a year or so I didn't even make an account, but accessed the website almost everyday. Right away I figured out how to properly post and start a new thread. All it took was a quick look over of the website, some threads, and some posts. The reason I didn't contribute for so long was because I just didn't care to.

Another thing which confuses me and can be seen in introduction threads as well is the huge concern over following the rules by usually either stating they feel they finally understand them correctly or are hoping their first posts are not breaking them. I can tell you that since the first time I came to this website up until now I have never chosen to access any pages regarding "rules" with the intention to learn them. Isn't it just common sense? I guess not. Sure, I've definitely broken some rules, most of the time knowingly just because I'm an.......... There have been times when I never expected to break a rule and even after reading an explanation I still 100% disagree, but life goes on.

Why are people so concerned? For god's sake, I'm still here so I think that proves something regarding the fear of breaking rules. Also, anything I've said is mainly concerning "lurkers", but the whole concern over "rule breaking" goes for anyone.
edit on 8-11-2012 by SeriousIndividual because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 8 2012 @ 11:22 PM
you could use some paragraphs there mate that is one serious wall 'o' text

posted on Nov, 8 2012 @ 11:22 PM
reply to post by SeriousIndividual

lol @ the long time lurker some how I feel I have been peep tom'd when I read that .

posted on Nov, 8 2012 @ 11:24 PM
reply to post by monkofmimir

"Tear down this wall!" Just for you.
edit on 8-11-2012 by SeriousIndividual because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 8 2012 @ 11:28 PM
someone will probably be here soon and tell you this is in the wrong forum and that it should be moved to the rant forum instead.

posted on Nov, 8 2012 @ 11:28 PM
reply to post by SeriousIndividual

I'm just wondering if it's mere laziness on the the part of the "lurkers". I'll admit, I'm a lurker myself. I've been on this site for years, had an account once but lost it due to an email change and whatnot.

Anyways, back to what I was saying. I believe most of the confusion on how to do things doesn't lie with them "lurking" but them just not paying attention. I know that when I first joined (the first time) I didn't much care about how to properly do threads. I just wanted to post something that I felt needed to be posted. I didn't read the rules thoroughly, just skimmed them. I think that's what's going on. People are just merely being lazy about things and not quite paying enough attention to learn before they join so they just go through a "trial and error" period before they really learn the ropes of how things work.
edit on 8/11/2012 by Dondylion because: typo

posted on Nov, 8 2012 @ 11:32 PM
I read ATS every night before bed and usually don't have the energy to post. Just looking for some entertainment that will put me to sleep.

I also usually don't have anything to say that anyone will care about!

posted on Nov, 8 2012 @ 11:41 PM
reply to post by SeriousIndividual

I can remember lurking and I possibly said something to the effect of "unsure of proper protocol and procedures" at some point early on... But, at least in my case, that would have been a cop out.

One of the "isms" of ATS is that it is a rapid fire environment. A new person shows up and is immediately confronted with complicated or even animated avatars, scrolling signatures... Members, like myself, who tend to be very verbose. It can be rather intimidating. It is like a pool with no shallow end. It's hard to get just ones feet wet here - or so that it how it appeared to me before I took the plunge.

Even though the T&C's are clear - they are still daunting to many people. I know they were for me. I participated in one thread, early on, that got somewhat heated. It was a long thread that lasted for several days and, honestly, I logged off each night just about positive that I'd find myself banned the following day. I hadn't yet gotten a feel for the "courtesy is mandatory" guideline and wondered if just being a bit predatory or aggressive was enough to get in trouble - even though I was keeping a veneer of civility as the thread got mean spirited and involved.

I think that new members also share this unfamiliarity with the spirit of the rules - even if they understand the letter of them.

So... yeah... I can see new folks lurking and then wading in with a general disclaimer about being unsure of it all. That's understandable and fine. Our responsibility as members is to help ease them out of the gate and into the fast lane as best we can.


posted on Nov, 8 2012 @ 11:52 PM
I'm going to toss in that we've all read a thread or two from first-time posters where they have received instant backlash, some warranted; some not.
Wrong forum, the old "pics or it didn't happen", smartass comments...


Originally posted by homeslice
someone will probably be here soon and tell you this is in the wrong forum and that it should be moved to the rant forum instead.
that was funny!
edit on 8-11-2012 by ItsEvolutionBaby because: word

posted on Nov, 8 2012 @ 11:54 PM
I jumped in head first,never had the chance to lurk.

People make mistakes and usually learn from them.

I have been slapped a few times and still make stupid threads.
Life goes on.

posted on Nov, 9 2012 @ 12:00 AM
I was a lurker for a very long time before I ever posted anything. I don't recall ever posting an introduction post either. The reason I lurked for so long is that I was mostly sifting through threads for the relevant links etc and didn't feel my input was needed.

Something that may deter lurkers from posting that may or may not be apparent to long time posters would be dogmatism from some posters, chronic serial debunkers that seem to be here merely to shoot down anything someone does.

I feel some post too often, myself included.

posted on Nov, 9 2012 @ 12:07 AM
reply to post by SeriousIndividual

I never did LURK as you put it, i jumped straight in, and learned as i went along. Just for you my signature is Lurkers LOL.

posted on Nov, 9 2012 @ 12:40 AM
I think I joined ATS the first day that I found it, I seem to remember I posted on the first day too, maybe I wasn't around long enough looking at everyone elses posts to get daunted by them.

posted on Nov, 9 2012 @ 01:16 AM
It all comes down to,

Do you want to contribute?
If you do contribute, how much?
Can I deal with the real a-hole trolls?
Everybody is an expert, what is your expertise?
Are you shy, or loud?
Just to name a few.

I have a friend that is also a member. He rarely logs on. He mainly just lurks.

I think it is all, what is your style and personality.

Don't take it personal, everyone is different.


posted on Nov, 9 2012 @ 03:02 AM
Well, if there are any lurkers reading this then here's a few points, the main ones as I see them, that may ease your path as far as jumping in is concerned.

    1) Please be respectful to other members - For those who arrive with genuine intent to enjoy ATS that's probably the majority of trouble avoided. Be resolute by all means but please don't be rude.

    2) Don't make stuff up - What it says on the tin. See section 1) really.

    3) Credit the source of work that is not yours - If you post something that isn't your work please state such. If it is material available from another online source then include a link to the source. When you post you will see that above the text entry field there are buttons to automatically insert various required tags for you.

    [Quick Tutorial if you fancy - if not just skip to 4]

    For an online source: Press "LINK" button, name link whatever you want, paste the address, press "ok".
    Your post will now include a link to your source

    Put the quoted section (you shouldn't need more than three paragraphs to illustrate your point) inside external source tags. Again, when posting you will see little buttons above the text entry box that automatically insert these tags for you. Press "EX-TEXT" (external text) button, paste text, press 'ok'.

    Your post will now include an external quote box

    The tags may seem a little confusing at first but there are buttons above the text input field that automate this process - the important part is that you give credit for work that is not yours - Credit the source. As long as you do that if there is any confusion over tags then staff have the ability to format your post and can go in and correct as necessary where needed. We all make mistakes and we all have to learn but the important part is that you credit the source.

    4) No gore, porn, advertising or spamming - Pretty simple.

Staff are here to help of course and you are welcome to contact any of us directly but you will find the community as a whole is generally very kind and considerate and will offer help if asked or even if they see you could do with a hand as you get to know your way around. It may be helpful to mention here that unless you are being purposefully silly then any contact with staff should be viewed as an attempt to help, please receive it as such. Feel free to message us and ask questions over anything you don't understand. If, for example, a thread of yours is moved then take a look at where it has been moved to. If a thread on the topic already exists and we close your newer thread (although please do check if a topic is already available for discussion - you may miss it though and if so that's no great problem) then please don't take your thread closure and redirection as criticism of your offering but rather an attempt to help ATS by keeping the discussion of a topic in a single thread.

After all that, ultimately (you'll get used to my excessive ramblings) a simple rule is that ATS is here to be enjoyed by all and honestly, if that's your guiding principle here, then you won't go far wrong. Stop lurking, take the leap and jump in knowing you are welcome.
edit on 9/11/12 by JAK because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 9 2012 @ 07:24 AM
reply to post by SeriousIndividual

I lurked for a really long time before joining ATS, but not because I was afraid of not understanding the rules or how everything works. I didn't join for a long time because (1) I'm just not a "joiner" and (2) Because I was paranoid,as all proper tin foil hat wearers should be!

Honestly I always thought those were the same reasons most people lurk a long time before joining, but I have been known to be prone to self delusion!

posted on Nov, 9 2012 @ 09:28 AM
Tongue in cheek version of the T&C known internally as ATS Lite. Accurate, if not thorough. There's a common thread there.

Basically, if you learned anything in kindergarten about social skills, you're well equipped to participate here without a lot of supervision.

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