What Will The Newcomers Think Of This Y2K Forum?

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What Will The Newcomers Think Of This Y2K Forum?

More and more, uninitiated, but learning Y2K whats it all about crowd are coming this way. Visitors who enter to this Forum for the first time, do so because they just saw Eds Time Bomb 2000 book at their local large bookstore chain. They picked it up wondering whats going on. Or a friend recommended it to them, or they saw a mention of the book at a web-site, or, or. They read Eds book, get stunned, and want more information. Where are they going to go first? Ed suggests they come here for further information. Its his web-site, so they do. I see some suggestions that new purchasers of Eds book go elsewhere. Because they are too new. Doesnt make sense to me. Wont make sense to them either.

The first time they hit the questions list, its pretty overwhelming. They dont even know that you call these things threads. Its also hard to find all the good information and its all very confusing. For starters, the most recent stuff isnt at the top, its at the bottom. They tend first, to look at whats on top. They open up questions, and eventually, by reading down a few trails, they begin to get a glimmering, an idea, about how this Forum thing works. Sort of. What they first look at sets a tone in their mind of what this Y2K Forum is all about. If they just happened to get their first few looks (lurks you call it) at a bunch of statements that are incredibly alarming with people attacking each other, guess what? They get rattled.

They think, what the hecks going on here? Thats not what Eds book is about. All they want to know first is, Whats really going on out there in my world? In order to find out, they literally have to spend hours, if not days, sifting, because there is no way to effectively search for the nuggets of gold they suspect may be hiding within the Forum comments. You call the questions posts -- they dont know that. Is there a way to make their searching easier?

They felt Eds book was gold, so there must be more here somewhere. Some of the newcomers arent going to spend hours, others do, Why? Because they feel an extreme sense of urgency. Actually, like you. They wonder, What is it that I dont know that I ought to know about Y2K? They suddenly feel incredibly powerless, overwhelmed and want to DO something, they just dont know WHAT to do. It looks like maybe there are people here who can help them. Help them understand.

The first thing they ARE going to do is want to join in. Participate in the Forum. Feel like theyre part of a community. It gives them a sense that they are starting to DO something. That they are connected to something greater. That they arent alone. Because, usually, none of their family or friends is interested, is supportive -- yet. That will change once the media heats up. Once even more of them buy Eds book. Guess where theyll come. Here.

Theyll want some immediate answers to their most pressing questions. To the rest of you, what they want to know NOW, is something youve already hashed out ... long, long ago ... on some buried sub-set, of some marginally related top-level question. They ARE NOT going to go back to the beginning of when this all started! Telling them to do so isnt productive, without a specific thread title and reference to its location. Besides, what they most want is the recent, up-to-the-minute, late-breaking Y2K information. Remember, theyre rattled, by Eds book.

If lucky, someone here greets them, nicely, welcomes them, answers their innocent questions. Recommends they try some additional links on their self-information search. They follow that advice, then they come back. They come back because of Ed and his book that so impacted them. They look at some more threads. They start to (post) more questions or make some statement, or share thoughts, feelings or things theyve found in their growing awareness search, or in their life. Just like it appears everybody else does. What happens if they say something that just doesnt jive with someone elses view of life? How are they treated? Are they tolerated, honored or encouraged?

Some of these newcomers to Y2K are quite knowledgeable. They may have something of value to say. A great link. A story, or even several to tell. Just like you think you do.

What are the ways in which this Forum can best be an informative experience for them? Quite soon, they will FLOOD this site. In record numbers. Many wont even be internet savvy. Theyll arrive here because of a book. Because they are scared by the media.

What are the kinds of things that can be done to help them?

-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), October 29, 1998


They'll find out soon enough, won't take long.

-- Richard Dale (rdale@figroup.co.uk), October 29, 1998.

I mean about Deedah's "dubious" past.

-- Richard Dale (rdale@figroup.co.uk), October 29, 1998.

Diane raises a pertinent issue. Most of us here have been following y2k for months or even years and we've built up a basic level of knowledge, common frames of reference (and we know we're all invited to Unc's party). Many sites have a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) thread that aims to bring newcomers up to speed. Perhaps someone with the time and the interest could put together something similar here. The assumption that people won't stick around and learn because they're overwhelmed by the quantity -- and sometimes the energy -- of this forum deserves comment. That same argument could be made for practically any active y2k forum on the Web. When I first found this place, as well as GN and a few others, it took some time to go through the most recent postings and learn the basics, but I did it because the topic interested me. I think newcomers, especially those coming in with that first burst of y2k adrenalin, will do the same. And you're right, Diane, this forum and others will soon see a flood of newcomers. Why do I feel this sudden urge to go back to Sam's again?

-- J.D. Clark (yankeejdc@aol.com), October 29, 1998.

Hopefully they will have enough sense to realize that we are like they are. More or less 'normal' (some of us, anyway) folks, trying to deal with, and come to terms with, an abnormal situation. I have seen new posters treated well for the most part, a lot of how they are resonded to depends on how they come across in their post. An honest question is answered honestly. (see 'run a deep well pump from inverter' thread) Attitude, OTOH, is met with attitude, some friendly some not. If these folks cannot stomach the task of searching for the truth, or are so easily offended that they run away at the first sign of heated debate, they will not stand a chance if things truly go to hell. I have visited a lot of forums, and like this one best for its mix of information, healthy debates, humor, and fellowship. I even enjoy the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, even if the bullseye is me.

-- Uncle Deedah (oncebitten@twiceshy.com), October 29, 1998.

Diane: There are other BB's around where people can go and ask questions about surviving Y2K and surviving in the wilderness. Frugal Squirrel is one of them. I followed that BB for a year and grew weary of it because the same questions were asked and answered over and over again. It got to be boring for me so I moved on. But for the newbie it was a good place to start. You'll get flamed no matter which BB you show up on. These BB's will keep changing and evolving as we near Y2K. I have participated on this one for about 10 months now and I haven't grown weary of it yet. Some of the questions, comments and answers are stimulating and some aren't. It's like having the TV clicker in your hand, click on the ones that sound interesting and avoid the others. The religious ones are the ones that turn me off. We went through a period where we were debating, flaming, and just down right obnoxious (I admit I was one of them, but I didn't come here to get religion). Pastor Chris opened up his own Y2K forum where religious topics could be discussed and I think it is working out well. I certainly don't want to go down that road again. Then we had some nut on here who called everyone a racists, he no longer posts here. So, these threads as far as I can see so go in cycles. There's information everywhere about Y2K, survival, food storage, etc. Any newbie who wants to know what's going on won't have any trouble finding out to do to get ready for any disaster. Information is information. People on this thread are very calm and orderly compared to some I have seen on others. If newbies are afraid to ask a question here, they can find the answer somewhere on the internet. I think Ed has done a very good job in letting this thread take its course. I have never seen him censor anyone, and he just let's it evolve into what it is. The pendulum keeps swinging here, maybe that's why I keep coming here.

-- Bardou (bardou@baloney.com), October 29, 1998.

See also "Just the Facts ...." thread.

In there, review what changes and improvements could be made. Then add some more. Or ...

Yep, stuff can always improve. Keep us thinking.

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (cook.r@csaatl.com), October 29, 1998.

Diane, I think that is why Ed Yourdon is going to have another website after the video comes out. It will be a good place for newbies to get started.

-- Gayla Dunbar (privacy@please.com), October 29, 1998.

Well Diane,

As a newcomer to this forum, I think I might give a newcomer perspective on this forum: Practice what you just suggested.

Diane->>>"They start to (post) more questions or make some statement, or share thoughts, feelings or things theyve found in their growing awareness search, or in their life. Just like it appears everybody else does. What happens if they say something that just doesnt jive with someone elses view of life? How are they treated? Are they tolerated, honored or encouraged?"

You yourself and a few others took me to task for doing just what you wrote. I got lambasted because I was "too negative", "too intolerant" "dangerous" because I choose to be armed, etc. etc... I simply posted how I came to grips with Y2k, and what I'm doing to prepare myself and family, and where I speculate our nation is going. The amount of disgusted and argumentative responses to the "way" in which I choose to prepare and my own speculations I shared openly was anything but a feeling of "community". What appears to be going on in here is a cliquesh bickering session. Now I don't expect agreement with my views, I have yet to get family to admit Y2K poses a possible problem, but declaring that the way I choose to mentally and physically prepare is a "problem", "dangerous to the human race" and "not healthy" is no way to encourage anyone to stay involved in this forum.

Thank you no, I'll choose to refrain from participating any further. My perception after only 2 days of being involved in this forum is that this appears an exclusive club for debating "higher conciousness" and if you appear out of step with your views, you are declared "The problem".

It appears to me now, more than ever that we're in BIG trouble. If even among the Y2K aware here, there is no agreement or "community", how will anyone be left standing if a WCS happens? It's almost as if some of you are looking at us "right wing nutcases" who are personally preparing as some kind of scapegoats and hoarders that will somehow cause all of your grief Y2K will bring. I noticed the reaction to those of us who choose to be armed as ones that somehow pose a threat to your own preparations, that it's not fair, not healthy and personally destructive. As I said, if you choose personal protection, fine. If you choose no personal protection, fine. Ripping those of us who do choose firearms a new a-hole and declaring us "dangerous" is a huge turn-off to any further participation.

It's been a slice. Best to all in the coming storm. MTFBWY

-- Mike Deering (mdeering@wk.net), October 29, 1998.

They will simply be spellbound by the sheer brilliance of the superstars contributing rob, bardou, bill, gayla, donna, flint and even unk, to name but a few no other website comes close.

-- Richard Dale (rdale@figroup.co.uk), October 29, 1998.

I'm with Deedah on this topic. If you coddle people, they'll never develop any independence and end up resenting you for it - it's just as bad as not helping them *when they ask* - which I don't see as a problem here. Just ask, newbys;; we'll be happy to help you get started.

Mike, Diane has a problem with guns, but it's her problem. Most people probably don't think much about it one way or the other. It may scare them, but if your area gets his by bandits, those "anti-gun" people are going to be hiding behind you, telling you to shoot faster! I think it's obvious that if the police have guns, and there's a chance of "discontinuity" in police service, then citizens should have guns. Citizens policing themselves worked fine for about the first hundred years in this country.

Personally, I don't like guns. That's why I'm armed.


-- E. Coli (nunayo@beeswax.com), October 29, 1998.

I don't think there's any real problem with the treatment of newbies here. I was one once, and have had differences of opinion with almost everyone who frequents this group. That's OK, I like them anyway. (Even if they are full of sh*t.) I think some people come here trolling, and it's just a matter of knowing when you shouldn't bite.

Navigation is about as simple as it gets - point and click. Chances are, if you got here, you already have the basics. Keyboard skills come in handy if you want to get involved.

The jargon isn't all that hard to figure out. (A 'post' is a message, just like 'posting a notice' or 'posting a letter.' That's not too tough.) Spend any amount of time on the 'net and you'll figure it out anyway.

I don't think we owe anything special to Ed Yourdon, except thanks. THANKS ED! The site has benefits for him as well as us. Thanks should also go to Phillip Greenspun who provides this site and the discussion group software for free. THANKS PHILLIP!

There's nothing wrong with sending a newbie to a previous thread (question? topic?). Why repeat the same information over and over? I actually found lots of good stuff looking in the archives. Plenty of questions probably go unasked a second time, because they still exist there. Hey, it worked for me!

-- Mike (gartner@execpc.com), October 29, 1998.

They will simply be dazzled by the sheer brilliance of the superstars rob, bardou, bill, gayla, donna, flint and even unk, to name but a few no other website comes close. De Yourdon posters are the brightest stars in the y2k firmament.

-- Richard Dale (rdale@figroup.co.uk), October 30, 1998.

They will simply be dazzled by the sheer brilliance of the forum's superstars rob, bardou, bill, gayla, donna, flint and even unk, to name but a few no other website comes close. De Yourdon posters are the brightest stars in the y2k firmament.

-- Richard Dale (rdale@figroup.co.uk), October 30, 1998.

I needed to say that twice.

-- Richard Dale (rdale@figroup.co.uk), October 30, 1998.

(From the minutes)

The Chair recognizes the honorable gentleman from the great state of Florida

I thank the honorable Chair. Fellow Senators, it has come to my attention that a certain individual from the great and unconquerable land of Great Britain has nominated certain individuals into a preeminent role for posterity. Individuals whom by their wit, charm, and plain old-fashioned good sense, have been arbitrarily held to a higher standard than would seem to be deemed necessary for inclusion into the annals and archives of history. Now I, who has against his will, been included in the aforementioned action, am certainly not a proper judge of the veracity of said action, nor does that make me a partner toward nor against it, and in fact, I am not a party involved from the outset, but am merely included by reasons of encompass. Having said that, I wish to expand the above definition of the above action and actions, to include others whom by the very outstanding timeliness and courageousness of their participation amongst the slingers of arrows of, and for, enlightenment on the subject contained in the aforementioned, and in the public record, for the reason to wit: Absolute inclusion of the nominator, his seconds, progenitors, followers, to the exclusion only of antagonists of serious and forthright intentions. This motion will, of course, include slighted others in numbers too vast to compensate fully in the public record


(GA, PA, WI, WV, CA, TX, SC, NY) Second the motion.



The motion is passed

-- Uncle Deedah (oncebitten@twiceshy.com), November 01, 1998.

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