It took me quite a lot of time to overcome my impostor syndrome and submit my first forum post. It was a post summarising the past year of my work- which probably helped (Look at me, I worked a lot, maybe you will think I'm capable!)

However, I probably had valuable things to share before that, and you probably have too. We want more people to engage on the forum! (see first 3 videos here)

I found that writing my first comment, which was just saying thank you to someone who posted something I found valuable [1]- induced a mental shift in me in terms of how I engaged with the forum.  I started commenting some more afterwards and eventually wrote up my first forum post! (This is only the second one, and I'm still worried about how it will be received)

So if something is keeping you from engaging with the forum, be it impostor syndrome, shyness etc., I encourage you to try the following things, to see if it helps:

Some ideas, listed based on how scary they are:
1. Write "Thank you for posting this!" to a forum post you found valuable.

2. Ask a question from the author.

3. Write a forum post saying "Hey I'm Xy, and the purpose of this post is to get myself out there! My hope is that posting this (and surviving it) will make engaging on the forum less scary in the future!" 

I realise that a lot of people doing 3) could be spammy for the forum, but I think it would be worth it if it helped people to engage more. Instead of upvoting these posts, we could write encouraging comments so they don't end up on the front page, but we still support those who wrote them! Maybe the forum could also have an "introductions" section, similar to what a lot of slack groups have.

  1. ^

    I realise that even that was probably from some anonymous account so I can keep hidden(:




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To people who found themselves agreeing with this post, I encourage applying it in practice when you actually do encounter first posts (if they obey forum norms). Take this post which was a first post for the author and consider whether people could have been a little kinder with their downvotes. (To be frank, I am a little bitter about my similar experience, so I am a bit sensitive to expressed but not lived norms of welcoming new post writers).

Thanks I resonate with this too. I had a go at my first part post, before realizing from the comments it had probably been discussed a lot before so wasn't very interesting. I did try to search the forums first but obviously missed something. Second time better haha

Glad that the second time want better, haha! And sorry that the first one post wasn't a good experience, I'm too always worried about posting stuff that has been discussed before, or worse - someone has already made a similar but higher quality post *dramaric music* Was thoughtful of you to try to search beforehand tho, so I don't think you can be blamed!

Actually haven't done second one yet, hoping it will be better haha ;).

Oh sorry, I thought that's what the last sentence referred to in your comment! - well good luck then!:))

Really sorry to hear about your experience! Yes, first encounters/experiences can leave a lasting mark. I hope you had more pleasant exchanges later, and that it didn't discourage you from contributing to the forum - generally, my impression is that people are friendly and open-minded, but this is of course not always the case.

Thanks for encouraging people to write their first post,  I resonate with your words.

As for introducing yourself to the forum, people are encouraged to introduce themselves in the open quarterly threat I believe, see the current one. That might be a cleaner solution than writing lots of small introduction posts.

thanks for pointing that out!

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