Slow the Fuck Down Already
This is my first non-tactics related article. It's also one of about five ideas that have been swimming around in my head for the past few days and I'm glad to be writing about it (if Zach hadn't asked me to write articles for his site I never would've put my thoughts down in words). This article is about something that's been bothering me a lot and is something that could potentially harm the NIC. I'm talking about new members jumping headfirst into the community, moving too fast and getting burnt out. It's a trend that's been increasing in momentum, especially in the last year or so. Maybe I'm just becoming more observant as I post less and less, or maybe I'm just a cranky bastard looking for an excuse to rant, but it seems like there are too many people who come to the forums, post some really awesome shit and then disappear. I'm not going to throw out any names, but some people who've been guilty of this have had some really great resources available to them and could have done some great things for the community. But probably 75% quit posting for whatever reason, whether it be that they lost interest, ran out of money to dump into Nerf (doubtful) or are just on a temporary hiatus (very doubtful, as I don't think every new member that posts cool stuff would go on a "vacation" from Nerf at roughly the same point in their career). It irritates me not only because of the benefits the rest of the NIC could possibly reap from their work and in most cases willingness to share it with us, but also because it sets a bad example for lurkers on the forums. I can imagine seeing someone come up with great new ideas, posting them, getting kudos on them and then leaving. "Why did they leave?" I may think, "It must've been because they didn't get enough out of Nerf to stick with it. Maybe this hobby isn't for me after all." That probably doesn't happen with most of these potential members, but I can almost guarantee that there are a few that go through this thought pattern and decide not to register on the forums, or leave altogether. Maybe these people are just dumbshits that we don't need in the community, but some of them could have something truly unique to share with us and get turned away by watching other cool people (again, not saying names) leaving after only a month or two.
When I joined the Nerfing community I took it slow. I joined NerfHaven in late November of 2004 and didn't post my first real mod until probably June of the following year. That's a full seven months before posting a real mod (I'm not counting that RF20 mod that ended up being a monumental failure). I joined NHQ in January of 2005 and posted mods at the same times that I did on NH. I've slowed down a bit but I'm still going strong, and I know it's because I entered the NIC, made some stupid posts, got yelled at and THEN posted writeups and articles and such. I took my time and that's why after almost three years in the community Nerf still interests me. Some people like boltsniper, Carbon, Forsaken_angel24, CaptainSlug and probably some others I'm forgetting came into the community and started immediately posting neat stuff, kept going at a steady pace and are still interested. And all of them have lives outside of Nerf to boot!
Bottom line, when you enter the community, read up, get educated, be enthusiastic, but DON'T start going crazy right off the bat or you WILL get burnt out, you WILL lose interest and you WILL have wasted your money on Nerf.