I am scared of all of you.
I'm sure you're not evil people, it's just that I don't know you and I'm not sure how to start. I see conversations in the catbox and everybody seems so friendly with each other - but I don't know how to get into it. Maybe I have trouble making new friends. Nobody seems very interested in being friends with me - sure, everyone's polite and cordial and at times even nice, but nobody wants to be my friend.
Sounds like whining, doesn't it? Aww, poor me, I don't have any friends! You should feel guilty and be my friend! Well, yeah, that's about it (except for the guilty part). It would be nice to have friends here. If Everything is a community, then I am one of those left-out loners you see from time to time but never bother getting to know. Sure, you can learn about me easily enough - there are details in my homenode, I keep a LiveJournal, and you can get a feel for my interests by looking at a list of my writeups - but you're not trying, and neither am I. I just don't feel welcome: it seems everyone has their clique and those of us on the outside don't get to play too. Why do I want to? As jbird mentioned in E2 as a community, there is pressure to establish oneself as a valued member within the community. Yes, I care what you think of me, whether that's healthy or not. It's not that I'm a new noder, I'm at level 5 (granted, much of that is from a lot of little writeups) and I sort of know what I'm doing.
So what can we do? Well, you can start serially downvoting me, but I think you'd be proving my point. You could try downvoting just this writeup, which is all I expect for a potentially controversial node. (I don't care about the XP, you see; if you downvote me I take it mean you think I did something wrong.) But just voting - up or down - isn't doing much about it. Some people have had brief exchanges with me about something in a writeup or a catbox comment. I figure that's a good place to start. How can you make me feel more welcome? Talk to me. Give me feedback on what I do here. Give me advice. This goes for anyone you don't know around here: I just happen to be stupid enough to beg for attention. It's not all up to you, of course. I can try to be more talkative in the Chatterbox. I'm hoping to go meet some of you this weekend, that might help. But again, it feels like everyone has their clique and those are hard to break into.
I think I've complained enough for now. You don't have to try to be my friend unless you want to. I'm just giving my opinion and telling how I perceive things.
/me climbs off her soapbox