A New and Disturbing Trend at TDH - ALL PLEASE READ!

Art Andrews

Community Founder
Community Staff
In the past few months, others, and I, both admins and regular members alike have noticed a rather disturbing trend here at TDH. As a growing board, we are losing our unique and vital ability to be close-knit and helpful to one another. Members, both new and old, in general, are more cynical than ever, and quick to attack others, especially our new members. Earlier this year we asked for donations for a booth at C4. You all gave VERY generously and we couldn’t be more grateful. The point and purpose of having a booth was to draw new members, as new members are the life of the board. Eventually old timers fall away or move on to other things and it is the constant influx of “newbies” that keep us alive. You all gave and we spent a tremendous amount of money to market this board so that we will continue to have new members in the future. We have made great efforts to make ourselves known and to help get new members to visit. However, as a whole, we are not providing a warm and inviting atmosphere that will make a potential member want to hang around for very long. Are newbies frustrating? Yes, they can be. They ask questions that we have answered a thousand times or get all excited and want to share a “new” discovery they have made, one that we made 2 or 3 years ago. If you love TDH and want to see it continue to grow, we all, not just the administration, but all of our members, MUST try to empathize with these new members and try to be helpful whenever possible. Try to see things from their perspective and even if you can’t be excited about their “discoveries”, be excited for them and remember how excited when you were, so many years ago when you were at the same point they are now. Also, as you know, this board is not run the way many boards are run and it takes time for a new person to acclimate themselves to our culture. While we don’t want to bend the rules, we don’t have to cram them down every newbies throat or chide them incessantly when they break one. Be patient with them as the administration often is patient with you. Help them to understand our rules and why we have them. Don’t simply criticize a new member for not following them.

This is a call to bring TDH back to what made us great to begin with; fellow Fett fans helping each other out to create the greatest Fett costumes the costuming community has ever seen! Each and everyone one of you are TDH. You ARE the board and without any one of you, the board would not be the same. Please make sure that your contributions are helping make TDH an open and inviting place for our new members, not den of cold and impersonal hardcases.

D
 

Silver Fett

Active Hunter
Thank you very much The Dent. Your words are very kind as well as true. I myself am a new member and I'am greatful to be in a place where many fans across the world can share their Knowledge and ideas to people like me and many others for years to come.
 

fettcicle

Well-Known Hunter
Interesting... I know some Bords require you to post an "introduction" before being allowed to post in any of the other forums. I know this may seem like a bit much, but at least you get a little bit more backround on our newer members than their name and some non-place where they live.

I think having a "Hello post" would give all of us a better understanding of who's joining our group, weather it be a 40yr old Father of 2 who always wanted a Fett suit, or a 14 yr old who is just starting costuming, and is looking for tips and information.

I truely believe we all want to help each other, but when starting out as a new member, we don't always know the "Ins and outs" of our happy little group, and it tends to chap at least one person's patutie.

I think I would be a bit more understanding if I knew a little bit more about the people posting other than just a screen name, and if they possibly introduce themselves in another thread. I wouldn't want to alienate someone for asking for help.
 

Got Maul

Well-Known Hunter
astute point shawn. I think we should have an introduction thread to break some of the newbs in.
 

drokkul

Active Hunter
Members, both new and old, in general, are more cynical than ever, and quick to attack others, especially our new members.
And if we continue to do this we lose the great community we have here and then what do we become?

The RPF, that's what.

Not knocking them per se, but I can't help when I go there I think. Jeeze what a bunch on information hoarding, better than thou snobs. I'm going back to TDH and browse.

It just frustrates me when I see one board that is argument laden, very uninformative on process, and completely no help... and then everybody at TDH helps one another, shows off their finished pieces and is glad to show how they did it.

Both boards are the same general thing...props. Its just that TDH is more focused on one particualr area.

I know that quite a few members that are here are also on the RPF, but I'm sure most of them find this to be a much friendlier environment.

Just my 2 cents on why we all need to squash our arguments quickly and keep on keepin on with what makes TDH great!(y)
 

Raffles

Hunter
Relative Newbie here, I was quite surprised to see this thread as I've actually been made to feel very welcome here. Okay I have been lurking on the board for a bit before joining and have been a member of other boards but not in a major way.

I knew relatively little about Fett or costuming when I first joined so I've had my share of usual questions like- What is "prepro?", What does "MSH" stand for?, whats a "borden connector"?, etc. I didn't actually have to ask these questions as the info was mostly already here in existing threads. This community is actually very, very open about sharing info, found parts, research photos and the like, a look into things like Vader costuming and especially Blader Runner props shows a very unhelpful and secretive scene where a few people jealously guard all of their findings and photos. The sheer unwillingness to help on these subjects caused me to abandon them as hobbies as there was such a sheer arrogance towards newbies to the subject. Sure there were a lot of helpful people out there but the there was a minority of people who saw themselves as "keepers of secrets" and would not even allow photos of certain fan made items to be posted.

I was originally contemplating buying a Fett helmet just to paint up and when I saw the variety available I thought I'd dig a bit further. A quick search later and I found TDH. I was impressed by the huge quantity of helpful threads and the final results achieved by members and joined up when I finished all the projects I was working on. I had only really been a member of a forum like this once before and as far as I understood there was usually a welcome/introduction thread, or if not new members would usually post a bit about themselves.

I did a quick search found the intro thread - http://www.thedentedhelmet.com/showthread.php?t=4282&highlight=new+user
I posted, got a few replies and was made to feel very welcome. (I did also ask that this thread be made permanent but was politely told that mast members do have sense enough to introduce themselves). Like I have said previously I had little experience of how to behave on a community board like this but just using common sense, being polite and making use of the sources available here before asking any questions I have had a great time on the forum and (bad dealings in the FS section) had yet to meet any members who behaved any differently to myself.

With regards to the new trend, I honestly don't think that anyone at TDH really sets out to make things hard for newbies. Sure I have witnessed threads where members have been a little short with newbies but NEVER without reason. 99% of these threads have been because the question asker has neglected to use the search function before asking said question. The first response in these instances is that someone will politely inform the new member to use this function. The trouble only seems to start when the questions keep coming with no heed being paid to the advice given. In personal experience there are very few basic topics that have not been discussed in great length here at some time. Most people being blunt with the new members are just frustrated that the advice they have so kindly given has been ignored and that they are just being used as a "quick fix" answer.

I have even managed to be pulled into a thread with much ugliness, arguing and swearing. Being a newer member myself I know that the general member base is not one to attack someone without reason.

This is only a very recent thing and has only happened with certain new members. Some forums have a requirement that you submit reasons for joining before accounts are activated. Most require that you post an introduction. ALL require that you show some common sense and civility when posting. The Mods here have been very, very, very patient and lenient with some newbies posts and recurring problems, but even they at times have been required to step in and lock threads.
 

GCNgamer128

Sr Hunter
First one might define "newbie," I believe that this issue had been long going on before I joined early January 2006. The website always had the stench of hierarchy around, and I don't think that a bandaid can be put on the issue this easily.
 

hansoloway

Well-Known Hunter
I agree with you Raffles (welcome, by the way) in that, we are very welcoming at first (unlike many other clickish boards). It's when the advise or suggestions that we give are not heeded, and questions are re-phrased and asked a 2nd, 3rd or 4th time that the blood pressure of the veteran members, including myself, begins to rise.

That said, the welcoming and kind attitude at TDH sets us apart and needs to be preserved. I've taken an attitude that, if I don't have anything constructive to say, I'll just refrain from posting and let the mods take care of it.
 

commander 13

New Hunter
Well, to be perfectly honest, I have been lurking around in forever but have joined not too long ago. I really don't know if I would consider myself a newbie, I just don't like to post on topics that either, doesn't concern me, or I have no useful input to add to. So my post count is low, I'm one of those "post little, read lots" kind of person so a "veteran" being rude to me has never occurred, and I doubt it will ever occur.

Frankly, I see why The Dent posted this, since, as he put it quite correctly, the newbies are the life of the board and a disgruntled newbie may not want to stick around, specially if he/she was "ganged on" by the more veteran members. However, it is also true that many of the newer members have a tendency to post/ask/re-ask the same questions over and over again. This is a simple case of "opening your mouth before thinking"/impatience/in a hurry to start stuff attitude, which I believe is more common with our younger and more eager members. (understand, they are quite giddy, that's why they joined)

It can be avoided if before being allowed to post, new members are directed to a "must read" page that reminds them to use the search function and of course to remember the CoC. A 2-3 day probationary non-posting period would also probably help, it teaches them patience and it gives them time to think before they bombard the boards with questions that have already been asked.

The problem is of course on both ends, the eager "newbies" and the "jaded" veterans. Both sides would have to meet the other half-way, the eager newbies would have to temper their eagerness and the Jaded veterans would have to temper their Jadedness.

I have the same suggestion for both the newbies and the veterans. Take your time to think before pressing that send button, think of what you're unleashing into the boards before you do, think of what you'll get back from the result of sending that post. Just take time to think. Impulse is what starts it all. Well thought out, a post even in disagreement will be well received and will make other people think.

Take your time to think.
 

Art Andrews

Community Founder
Community Staff
First one might define "newbie," I believe that this issue had been long going on before I joined early January 2006. The website always had the stench of hierarchy around, and I don't think that a bandaid can be put on the issue this easily.
"Stench of heiracrchy"? "Bandaid"? Wow... way to be a part of the solution...

When I think about new members I always wonder which new member will be the one to unleash the next major find and everytime we drive a member away I wonder if it might have been THAT person who would have later stumbled on a vital clue that would have benefited us all. It IS really frustrating to have to answer the same questions again and again and I agree with the above that perhaps an expanded "before you begin" email should be sent to new members explaining the CoC and that searching is STRONGLY encouraged.
 
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Star Wars Chick

Sr Hunter
To address a few things. We actually do have a Please introduce yourself thread that is in the Sarlacc Pit. But how many people actually sit and read every introduction? And while we could make everyone post in it before posting, that would mean that someone would have to read through every introduction, make sure that they were saying what needed to be said, and then personally approve every person. If we were a small board, that might be feasible but we aren't and I know that none of the mods really would have the time that would be required to do so. And when someone does post a hello thread, it might help if we all were a bit more welcoming rather than acting confused as to why the person is posting, as I just recently saw a thread like that. We also do have a 24 hour wait period before people can post as well as sending them a welcome letter that I do believe has the Code of Conduct in it as well. However, people often just ignore these types of letters as evidenced by the number of emails asking why someone who just registered can't post even though they are logged in. . The email they get clearly states they have to wait 24 hours before being able to post. What I seem to see a lot of is a "pack" mentality. When one person starts to give someone a hard time, then everyone else sees it as open season to start throwing their comments in and it very quickly turns ugly. I would really like to see a lot more pm's in my inbox concerning a problem rather than people trying to take matters into their own hands and ganging up on someone because of something they did. That is why we have moderators, so the members don't have to moderate. Again, you are always welcome to report a post- there is an icon under a members name on each post that you can use and that will report the post to all of the mods.
 
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evan4218

Active Hunter
Speaking from what I have experience in the past 3 months... this has been one of the most exciting times for Fett costuming. I have learned a ton and the ability to make a truly accurate costume has been made much more accessible.

I have also learned alot about the history of the costume. I think there are two different catigorys of people on this site making costumes. One is more interested in it looking good and trooping in it. The other is obsessed with the history of the suit and every last detail! (I think I fall into that category)

Both are very important and we all need to remember regardless of post count or how long we have been a member. We all started somewhere. We all made friends on this board because various people reached out to us on this board with helpful information and guidance that we used to help us create our costumes.

This fall will be exciting for this board as there will be a large influx of new progress threads and new parts based on what we learned at C4. I cant wait to see what our members will be sharing with us.

I always try and be both humble and kind to anyone I talk to because you never know if down the road they might have the next great new helmet or reference to help make our costumes better. We are all friends here.
 

DutchFett

Active Hunter
I've always liked the atmosphere here on TDH, and half a year before I joined too when is was looking around at TDH. Everybody is so friendly and I like that!!
 

hansoloway

Well-Known Hunter
I think there are two different catigorys of people on this site making costumes. One is more interested in it looking good and trooping in it. The other is obsessed with the history of the suit and every last detail! (I think I fall into that category)
Don't forget the custom mandalorian group that, like klingons, seems to have their own language;).
 

NovallTalon

Well-Known Hunter
Don't forget the custom mandalorian group that, like klingons, seems to have their own language;).
Here here! 8)

Since I've been coming here, I've seen TDH as an excellent resource for Star Wars costumers in general. The easiest experience to forget is the experience of being new, no matter what group you may be part of. Just as The Dent said, it takes new people to keep an organization growing. Sometimes it's best to remember tolerance, patience, and compassion...hard things for all of us at times. :lol:

I hope for the continued growth of TDH, because that means costuming is still alive and kicking.
 

bbbrowles

New Hunter
Since I have only been on a month, I am a newbie. I have found everybody to be extremely helpful. I would only introduce myself in a thread after I am done. Maybe it is because of how the 501st works - you are not a member until you have an approved costume.
There is a lot of information on this board. There are some dead links (pictures mainly) so I did not understand how some things were done so needed to ask for help. The craftsmanship of the items I purchased has been extraordinary to say the least.
One thing I do like and think it should be in the opening email is the how much you will spend. I think a lot of people have some very unrealistic ideas on what they will spend. I truly did not realize how much some people spent, however I did plan correctly based on the information (unpainted/raw parts).
Your booth, the costuming panel, and the people representing The Dented Helmet at C4 are the reason I am doing a Boba Fett.
 
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