April 26th, 2005


How To Help Noobies

This is something (I think) I plan to post to the SL forums. Maybe next week sometime after the usuall air-filled bladders finish getting OVER the last thing I posted on this subject. Plus this is just "blog filler" since I'm supposed to be writing at least twice a week. Enjoy.

How To Help Noobies
Helping new folks isn't that hard. You don't have to have tremendous resources at your fingertips in order to do so. I'm not knocking you if you do have that, but it certainly isnt necessary.

You can be relatively new and help out as well. Having just experienced a few weeks to a couple of months of getting to know SL, your experiences are still fresh, and you are actually an incredible resource yourself. You are well-equipped to help guide someone through process you have just gone through so recently.

You do not have to wait for months for "officialdom" ie the Mentors, Greeters, Liasions and Live Help programs. While you are waiting, just roll up your sleeves, hang out at the Welcome Area, use your common sense and help out to the best of your abilities.
We create the content in here, so I see nothing wrong with just jumping in and putting out that helping hand to Noobies. All it takes is enthusiasm, patience, and a little bit of your time.

One of the most important things that we ALL can do to help out Noobies is to exercise some restraint here on these forums.

This is an indirect way of helping newcomers feel welcome. If you have no desire to actively help by way of answering those "New Person Here, I Need Help" posts then avoid trashing or bashing the new person and those that DO answer and try their best to help out.

That is a passive way for you do help foster a more welcoming environment here on these forums for Noobies. If you do not like what they've posted, or disagree with their wide-eyed shiny new point of view - just give the thread a pass.

A recent example of what I'm talking about here, and I'll generalize, but these kinds of replies to Noobie posts are rampant in here:
1) Enthusiastic noobie posts a "look what I made" post
2) Many supportive "wow thats cool" replies
3) Then someone replies with a "oh thats been done before" or "I've been selling those types of things
in my store forever" or "wow thats really lame - nice try" post.

Ok WHY? There is no need. It doesn't MATTER if the new person has reinvented the wheel. So what? Why dampen their enthusiasm? They might eventually create a cooler wheel than all the other wheels we got going on right now. They might find out how to combine wheels with other things to make something entirely new, different and interesting.

They might eventually texture, script or shape their wheel in such ways that it becomes a fresh new take on the wheel.
When you curb, crush, redicule and put down a new person's enthusiasm you become part of the problem.
Not to mention perpetuating negativity towards Noobies, and making SL residents look like a buncha paranoid asshats in the process. There is no need to go all out to nip them in the bud.

In the fullness of their time here in SL they will come to understand that they have created another wheel. Just like you did. Remember? If you've forgotten what its like to be new thats fine. Just don't ruin the experience for someone else.

SL is a lot about discovery. Why go out of your way to pour ice water all over someone's journey of discovery? I don't understand this. All I can think is some have a sort of deep rooted fear of competition. Terror that some new person might discover a way to create wheels that are "better" that the ones you have? I dunno.
Get over it and concentrate on your own wheels instead of putting down those who are just discovering how to make them.

Again, if you can't or don't want to be actively supportive of Noobies, then just give them a wide berth. Take a pass on the thread and stay out of it completely.

If you have a desire to help, don't let anything stop you.
Hold classes, greet and help at the Welcome area, answer questions, do one-on-one tutorials.
If you have no desire to help Noobies - just take a step back. No need to go out of your way to be UN-helpful.
Seek out others who are helping and lend a hand. Collaborate, consolidate and "Be the change".
Thanks for listening :)
  • Current Mood
    working working