You Are Entering a Republican Zone
By Robert A. Hahn Posted in Miscellanea — Comments (137) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
Advice for visitors from the other side of The Big Ditch
Who should read this?
You should, if you're a Democrat and are coming over to find out what those Republicans are up to.
Why should I read this?
Because, based on experience, you are highly likely to get troll-rated and banned in short order if you don't.
What, are Democrats automatically considered trolls here?
Not necessarily, but it happens often enough that we thought a guide on how not to have it happen might be useful. Read on.
Like any collection of human beings, RedState exhibits emergent behavior. This is a set of behavioral norms that people here follow in dealing with one another.
If you are coming here from Daily Kos, the first one you'll need to know about is no profanity. Using profanity is the fastest way to be shown the door. There is no Official List of dirty words you can't use, so don't use any until you've been around a while and see what gets by and what doesn't. Be aware that the Life Is Not Fair principle applies to all judgments concerning what is profane.
Until you've been around here a while and have established some creds as a serious participant, don't get snarky. Snarky Democrats have a short half-life in these parts, especially if they are new to the community. See the Life Is Not Fair principle for details. In particular, this means you might get snarked, and want real badly to snark back. Don't do it until people understand that you're basically an OK person. This will take weeks.
Do not assume you can win an argument with Known Facts. Many things that Kossacks consider to be Known Facts are considered to be Known Lies on this side of The Big Ditch. Reciting Known Facts is another quick way to meet the bouncer. Ordinary facts are welcome, but Known Facts are considered to be evidence of hostile intent. "Bush lied" is an example of a Known Fact.
Certain trusted users have the ability to rate posts. A "1" means they think you're a troll, a "5" means your brilliance shines like the Sun. These ratings do not affect anything, but you can use them as a guide to whether you are using too many Known Facts or are serving up snark before your time. Do not gripe about your ratings. See the Life Is Not Fair principle for details.
Leave your assumptions at the door. You do not know any of these people, you do not know their backgrounds, and you do not know what they may have done in their lives. Whatever picture you have in your mind of what a "Republican" is, it's wrong, so until they all don't look alike, refrain from assuming anything about what positions your fellow bloggers might hold.
Avoid using the diary feature until you have established some creds with the residents. A diary that is full of what we would consider to be "liberal tripe" will not impress anyone. You can't tell us any Democratic Party talking points that we haven't already heard a hundred times, so please do not think you need to inform us concerning what they are.
If you haul out a wonderful new Democratic Party talking point with which to slay us, and it gets "troll" rated, it probably means we've already heard that one, beaten it to death, and don't want to talk about it anymore. We are only going to entertain "But Reagan tried to make ketchup a vegetable" so many times. If you are the Nth-plus-one person to use it, we are just not going to deal with it. Instead you'll be labeled a troll.
[UPDATED 7/27/05] Do not go around poking people with pointy sticks. A pointy stick is any comment that has no purpose other than to annoy or enrage. If your first post here is, or contains, a sharp pointy stick, your first post will probably be your last.
Ultimately, whether you stay or are shown the door depends on whether you are perceived to be making a positive contribution to the site. Staying within the rules will not help you if you are basically here to annoy people or count coup. Conversely, if you make positive contributions by discussing things fairly and can back up your claims with cites, you will earn more leeway to make mistakes.
If you are unclear as to what any of this means, watch for a while before you post. At any given time, there will Democrats who are accepted members of the community, Democrats who are on the way to The Pile and either don't know it or don't care, and Democrats who just walked in without reading any of this. You can tell from the ratings which is which. Emulate the ones whose notes are being up-rated, and you will be on your way to a happy experience here.