Welcome new Ricochetti!
We've had lots of new members who joined up in the last couple of days.
First off, thank you for joining. We members love it here, we're glad you could help us keep this thing we love going, and we know you're gonna love it too. Please take a moment and self identify. Hit comment and give yourself a shout out so we can all know you and shake your hand for joining.
Since you're new, I want to play the role of the high school senior to your freshman on his first day, and I want to give you the inside track on some stuff that goes on here.
So here is what you need to know:
The Code of Conduct - Everyone makes like it's a big deal. It is. It keeps Ricochet from descending into the half-literate, profanity-filled open sewer that is every website on the Internet with a comments section. The details are here.
The whole point of the CoC is to keep people from descending into ad hominem like everywhere else on the Internet. Nobody's a jerk about it and 99.9% of the time it's self-enforcing. Argue your point, be aggressive, just don't be a jerk.
If you must use profanity, Ricochet's style guidelines say you should use a bracketed expletive like so: What the [expletive] is wrong with people?
Don't do the comic strip thing (What the @#$%&!?) or the asterisk thing (People are h*****!). The good old fashioned bracketed expletive works just [expletive] great.
You have an Inbox! In the upper right hand corner there's a bunch of blue links: Profile, Account, Drafts, Alerts, Inbox, Invite Friends.
Didn't notice the inbox? That's okay, half the people here don't notice it for six months or so. It turns from blue to [like, butterscotch color, I guess?] when you have a message.
Next to it is Alerts. Alerts are amazing. At the bottom of each original post in a new conversation is a button that says Follow. Click it and you begin following a thread and the alerts show you when someone has commented on that conversation. Bonus: If you create a new conversation, or comment on one, it automatically follows you, so you'll be alerted. Alerts are amazing! (You don't wanna know what it was like before them.)
Also up there is Invite Friends! Invite some friends, we're sure you know some who would like Ricochet.
We're a very diverse community. Ricochet members come in all shapes and sizes, from all over the world. We have everyone from warehouse guys to academic radiologists. From truck drivers to authors. From shoe store managers to lawyers to lawyers who work in shoe stores. And it takes all kinds, despite being a community of people who, in theory, generally agree with one another -- well, we don't. We have everything from mainline social conservatives to godless atheist anarchists and everything in between.
And We're all friends here and we're all cool with each other. We can get very heated and very excited and very aggressive when we talk here, and sometimes you feel like you're Emperor Valens riding out into the melee at Adrianople, never to be seen again. But no matter how heated, it's not personal, and everybody is cool with everybody else. We're just a big community of friends who like to argue with one another.
Four More Things:
1. You're not one of the cool people until you have an avatar. That guy in the hat thing is good for a little while, but if you want to be cool, get a real avatar. It's just how it is. If you're having trouble making it work, comment #13 below will help you.
And while you're at it, put up a blurb about yourself in the blurb about yourself section. Some people like that stuff.
2. Ricochet Member CuriousJohn does audio meet ups. People call in. They talk. It gets recorded. It's wild. Ask him about it, he'll hook you up. The shorthand is AMU. That's what the cool people call it.
3. The Katie Rule - We have this thing called the Katie Rule. A lot of Ricochet posts inspire other Ricochet posts. So if you mention a specific member by name, drop them a line and let them know so they don't miss it. (Especially if it's me.)
4. You Never Know who is reading your stuff. There are lots of important and interesting people who read Ricochet. Some of them lurk, some comment, many don't. But you never know who that person is on the other end. So keep that in mind, and before you hit post, remember that Bill Buckley's ghost might be reading what you're writing.
One last thing: This really is a community of friends, and the price is worth every dime. Ricochet is really something special. So thank you! And welcome to our community.