We have all been newbies at one point or another in our lives. Introducing ourselves to new communities, new ways of thinking, or even just new areas of interest can be quite daunting.
One of the goals of Queereka is to give voice to LGBTQ+ skeptics. Part of this involves hopefully drawing out people who otherwise might not participate in the skeptical community for any number of reasons related to sex, gender, and/or sexuality. It can be quite intimidating going to a website with an established community and becoming an involved and active participant.
Personally, it took me a really long time before I felt comfortable enough posting comments on Skepchick. I spent a lot of time reading comments sections, going to links commenters posted, and just getting a general feel for the atmosphere of the Skepchick community. I think this is a vitally important point for any newbies going into any already established online community: spend time getting to know what the community is like before you go all in.
I know that there are often links to Feminist 101 writing in the comments section of Skepchick (I’ve been one of the people linking them from time to time) pointing people to places to read up before they continue to comment on particular issues. Part of the process is self-education–do not just appear in a community and expect people to educate you on the issues.
So, these are a couple of my suggestions for newbies to online communities, but particularly to Skepchick and Queereka.
What do you think newbies should know before becoming involved in online communities? What has it been like for you joining already established online communities such as Skepchick? What are some resources you can point people to who may be interested in commenting but not feel well read enough yet?
The Afternoon Inqueery (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Queereka community. Look for it to appear Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays at 3pm ET.