szabgab: (Default)
Gabor Szabo ([personal profile] szabgab) wrote in [community profile] getting_started2009-08-19 04:12 pm

new user - how to get by?

I am new in DW and used LJ only once so I have no idea where to find things and how to do things here.

Following the recommendation of [personal profile] damned_colonial I got on the #dw IRC channel and asked about it. I got a link to this [community profile] getting_started community, to [community profile] dreamchasers, and to support.

So I am posting here wondering how do you start using DW? How do you find people to answer your questions if there is no community yet with your interests?
zvi: self-portrait: short, fat, black dyke in bunny slippers (Default)

[personal profile] zvi 2009-08-19 01:22 pm (UTC)(link)
You can look for interesting communities at [site community profile] dw_community_promo.

You can look for people or communities which share your inerests by searching other people's interests.

If you want to read random people's journal entries, to see if they say anything interesting, you might want to check out the members' page for this comm or the members' page for the community promo comm, which will pull up a cross-section of DW users.

If you are wanting to know how to use the service on a technical level, the FAQ is pretty comprehensive.
zvi: self-portrait: short, fat, black dyke in bunny slippers (Default)

Re: I have a specific question

[personal profile] zvi 2009-08-19 02:59 pm (UTC)(link)
Most of the time, people don't subscribe to someone's journal for a single question, but because they think the person will write interesting entries or host interesting discussions.

One community you would probably be interested in that I forgot, [community profile] dreamchasers, which is specifically for telling people about you and why they should subscribe to your journal.
cesy: "Cesy" - An old-fashioned quill and ink (Default)

Re: I have a specific question

[personal profile] cesy 2009-08-19 03:17 pm (UTC)(link)
As [personal profile] zvi said, getting an answer to a single question is not normally how it starts.

You'll sometimes see people posting questions like that and getting answers, but it's usually because they've already got a large circle of readers who they've built up a relationship with, or because there's an active community discussing related topics. (e.g. [personal profile] synecdochic, [personal profile] damned_colonial or [ profile] cleolinda could ask any random question and someone would probably answer, but that's because they've got a lot of regular readers from a fairly wide range of backgrounds. Most people who are active in the community could ask any question related to the topics they normally blog about, or that their readers tend to be interested in - e.g. [personal profile] zarhooie and [personal profile] yvi have recently asked about knitting and got useful answers, and [personal profile] rho asked about software for Macs.)

Dreamwidth, as a social media site, tends to be somewhere half-way between blogging and social networking, rather than something like Yahoo! Answers where complete strangers will answer questions without any other prompting.
aurora_novarum: (Duct Tape)

[personal profile] aurora_novarum 2009-08-19 01:51 pm (UTC)(link)
What about the people you may know already here? Even if it's just one or two individuals or one comm. Look at their user profile and see what comms they belong to that have shared interests. Even look at their reading list (usually you can see a link at their journal) and find others who interest you. Get to know them.

[Error: Irreparable invalid markup ('<user=zvi>') in entry. Owner must fix manually. Raw contents below.]

What about the people you may know already here? Even if it's just one or two individuals or one comm. Look at their user profile and see what comms they belong to that have shared interests. Even look at their reading list (usually you can see a link at their journal) and find others who interest you. Get to know them.

<user=zvi> gave you some good comms to check out. If you're actually starting from scratch with an interest that's not already established here on dw, then you're a spearheader. Create the comm, promote it at <user=dw_community_promo> and see who pops up.

We all started somewhere; don't get discouraged. And good luck!
phoenixsong: Text: Make Love Not War; Dreamwidth D-slash-LJ pencil (Dreamwidth)

[personal profile] phoenixsong 2009-08-19 01:56 pm (UTC)(link)
Don't limit yourself to communities! Not to say communities don't get used, but most people post more frequently to their personal journals than to comms.

If you want to look for people with similar interests to the ones you listed in your profile, you can click on any linked interest. If an interest is linked, that means other people have the same interest in their profiles as well.

If you want to search for people or comms with other interests than those listed in your profile, look for the search box on your profile page. By default, it will search on interests, though you can search on other options as well by changing the drop-down menu.
cesy: "Cesy" - An old-fashioned quill and ink (Default)

Re: just talk to almost random people?

[personal profile] cesy 2009-08-19 02:31 pm (UTC)(link)
Usually (at least in the social circles I spend most time in), the way to get to know people is to subscribe to them, then comment occasionally on their entries. They'll notice you, probably reciprocate, and then you'll gradually get to know them. Some people consider it polite to drop a comment on their top entry when you first subscribe, just introducing yourself. However, given that you're new to Dreamwidth and need an answer fairly quickly, PMs to random people with that interest could well work.

As far as robots go, you could also try one of the general programming communities, or maybe [community profile] science, as that will have a fair number of overlapping interests.
yvi: Kaylee half-smiling, looking very pretty (Default)

Re: just talk to almost random people?

[personal profile] yvi 2009-08-20 09:05 am (UTC)(link)
Seconding the suggestion for [community profile] science. Just repost your question there, [personal profile] szabgab or ask whether anyone is interested in the same topic as you.

I could also do another intro round. Hmmm....
cesy: "Cesy" - An old-fashioned quill and ink (Default)

[personal profile] cesy 2009-08-19 02:12 pm (UTC)(link)
Are there any particular interests you're looking for, or things you want to do on DW? Are you used to blogging on another site, or using online forums, or is it all new to you?
damned_colonial: Convicts in Sydney, being spoken to by a guard/soldier (Default)

[personal profile] damned_colonial 2009-08-19 05:06 pm (UTC)(link)
The other comment I'd make to all this is that unlike blogs, DW journals tend not to be topic-specific. People just talk about what's going on in their life: a mix of what's happening at work, hobbies, family, travel, TV shows they watch, book recommendations, philosophical thoughts, whatever.

The way to build a following here, and get into interesting conversations -- at least in my experience -- is to journal regularly (> once a week), speaking as if to a group of friends, and prompting interesting conversations in your comments. The way to get people to read and join in, as others have said, is to subscribe and comment on their journals first, whereupon they'll usually come over to take a look at yours, and in some cases will subscribe.

One of the reasons I have very active discussions on my journal is that I subscribed to over 500 journals here around the time of open beta, and left a comment saying "Hi, welcome to Dreamwidth!" and sometimes further personalised comments, on each one of them. My LJ journal, OTOH, was almost dead because I followed so few people and didn't really post regularly or comment regularly.
baggyeyes: Mac-Keyboard (Keyboard)

[personal profile] baggyeyes 2009-08-20 03:46 pm (UTC)(link)
Usually, the best way to get to know a place is to dive right in - maybe not comment right away, but read the entries of a community, read the entries of the people you find interesting. Eventually something will be written that you will find yourself wanting to respond to. Don't be afraid to do it! Even if it's a short note. Dreamwidth, like Live Journal is all about communication, and interaction. You don't get the interaction without the communication.

You can first start with your own interests: On your journal, for instance, you mention you run Linux on your home computer. There is a Linux community here [community profile] linux4all, and many who list Linux as their interest. The first thing to do is to run a interest search using the term Linux as a search term.

I just did this, and there are four communities, as well as five pages of users, including several developers from Dreamwidth. (Who are a boisterous, funny, friendly bunch) You can do that with any interest you have, photography, literature, autism. Anything.

I'm fairly new to the whole paradigm of Live Journal/Dreamwidth as well. This would be my second year or so. So, I totally understand your feeling like you're out at sea in a boat without paddles. The trick is finding the paddles and learning how to row in the right direction, I guess.

I hope I have been of help.