20 votes

How can a broke dude who can barely code help Tildes?

Right now I'm not only utterly broke, but also don't have access to international payment methods (you may ask the reasons for this, but I probably won't answer :P). But I wanna give back to Tildes somehow.

I know enough English to communicate and have a general understanding of programming (with a focus on basic Python and very basic C) but never did anything beyond book and class exercises. I'm also familiar with Regex, Vim (including patterns) and Emacs.

I also have some Inkscape skills (not a designer), and wouldn't mind working with documentation and other things actual developers usually find trivial or dull.

18 comments

  1. [2]
    cptcobalt Link
    In my opinion, the easiest things that anyone of any ability can do are: Contribute more! There's not much of a point to be here if people aren't contributing quality content. I have to actively...

    In my opinion, the easiest things that anyone of any ability can do are:

    • Contribute more! There's not much of a point to be here if people aren't contributing quality content. I have to actively fight my temptation to just lurk on this site, but I definitely get more out of it by being more active.
    • Introduce new people to Tildes! I didn't discover this on my own, one of my friends introduced me to it. If you introduce people to Tildes that will fit with the philosophy of the site, then the community grows—thus, potentially bringing more people that can contribute to the Patreon or the codebase.
    23 votes
    1. mrbig Link Parent
      I contribute quite a bit, I think. But I neglected the invites later, thanks for the reminder.

      I contribute quite a bit, I think. But I neglected the invites later, thanks for the reminder.

      7 votes
  2. [5]
    Amarok Link
    Honestly the easiest way to help Tildes grow is just sharing content. It helps the site grow and keeps it interesting. Reddit only got off the ground because they used bots to pull in and...

    Honestly the easiest way to help Tildes grow is just sharing content. It helps the site grow and keeps it interesting. Reddit only got off the ground because they used bots to pull in and crosspost content from dozens of other websites. We don't want to ever do that here, and so far it hasn't been necessary. If you want to help, just submit interesting content and comment - use the site. ;)

    I get the feeling a lot of people are a bit reluctant to share because of all those threads we had about 'fluff' content - people are imaging the 'bar' for quality to be a lot higher than it really needs to be. Not everything needs to be a twenty page news or science journal article. The chief measure for now is just making sure whatever it is doesn't fall into the 10-second-or-less consumption category like memes and images do.

    You can also mention Tildes in other online communities whenever it's on-topic for the conversation - just don't go around spamming it like a cheesy salesman. Conversations about reddit/facebook/etc alternatives are as common as the weather lately, so there's plenty of opportunities to share it. It'd be even better if we could get on the radar of less well known forums (such as private trackers, phpBB forums, discord channels, etc) rather than just recruiting from reddit and hackernews all the time.

    17 votes
    1. [3]
      mrbig (edited ) Link Parent
      Agreed. And I think it's a problem that right now seriousness is baked into Tildes. I mean, this is basically a site-wide comedy ban: I think everyone here wants great content, but, since...

      I get the feeling a lot of people are a bit reluctant to share because of all those threads we had about 'fluff' content

      Agreed. And I think it's a problem that right now seriousness is baked into Tildes. I mean, this is basically a site-wide comedy ban:

      Please avoid posting topics that are primarily for entertainment or that don't have discussion value.

      I think everyone here wants great content, but, since "discussion" is most frequently not the primary goal of art, if we actually followed this rule ~creative would cease to exist.

      And, except for writing of technical, scientifical or academical nature, ignoring the value of high-quality entertainment is, in my view, an excessively dry editorial proposition, which might prevent people from posting legitimately valuable content.

      EDIT TO ADD: This is not Stack Overflow. Instead of banning everything non-serious, maybe we should welcome it while maintaining the same high-quality standards. I'm all aboard with banning lazy memes etc, but I don't think anyone would argue that the comedic works of people like Woody Allen, Rabelais, Shakespeare and Cervantes are inferior because of their non-serious nature.

      @deimos, what do you think?

      9 votes
      1. [2]
        Deimos Link Parent
        Sure, if there's high-quality content that's entertaining, that's most likely fine (and probably does have discussion value). I don't want Tildes to be "no fun allowed", but given the choice I'll...

        Sure, if there's high-quality content that's entertaining, that's most likely fine (and probably does have discussion value). I don't want Tildes to be "no fun allowed", but given the choice I'll also always rather have a slower, higher-quality site than one that's more active but where a lot of the activity is just noise.

        4 votes
    2. mrbig Link Parent
      I'm not in any of those places personally. With the possible exception of Discord, I suppose that's something Tilda Swintons™ have in common. Tildes is the only place where Emacs seems to be kinda...

      private trackers, phpBB forums, discord channels

      I'm not in any of those places personally. With the possible exception of Discord, I suppose that's something Tilda Swintons™ have in common. Tildes is the only place where Emacs seems to be kinda universal (at least a lot more than elsewhere!). We like our neck-beards! :)

      I don't really use Facebook or any other social network, but I mention Tildes on Reddit occasionally.

      2 votes
  3. [3]
    moocow1452 Link
    Invite people who better the community? We could probably use more Tildes ambassadors if you have anybody you would like to bring under the tent.

    Invite people who better the community? We could probably use more Tildes ambassadors if you have anybody you would like to bring under the tent.

    7 votes
    1. ThatFanficGuy Link Parent
      What this place needs is people with insight. To keep the conversation to a certain standard of quality, you want to have someone who could bring the experience to the table, with the wordsmithing...

      What this place needs is people with insight.

      To keep the conversation to a certain standard of quality, you want to have someone who could bring the experience to the table, with the wordsmithing skills to make it interesting, and would be willing to spend their time here.

      If you want to make a topic more active, you're going to need to bring in people who are naturally engaged with it and are willing to talk about it. ~lingustics, for example, could use a couple of people who work as a foreign-language teacher, or an etymologist, or a lexicographer, or an editor (because rhetoric and stylistics are important components to a language)... – and so on.

      There aren't many out there, in the wild of the Internet. Best keep a lookout.

      6 votes
    2. mrbig Link Parent
      Up until now, I distributed my invites in batch after simple "background checks". But keeping an eye out for particularly cool individuals is a good idea.

      Up until now, I distributed my invites in batch after simple "background checks". But keeping an eye out for particularly cool individuals is a good idea.

      3 votes
  4. [3]
    Algernon_Asimov Link
    I agree with @cptcobalt and @Amarok: the best thing that non-coders like you & me can do for Tildes right now is post content and get involved in discussions. I've posted more content here on...

    I agree with @cptcobalt and @Amarok: the best thing that non-coders like you & me can do for Tildes right now is post content and get involved in discussions. I've posted more content here on Tildes in the past 10 months than I posted in my whole 6+ years on Reddit. I'm pushing myself to find and post relevant content here because, without content, the site will die. And, being highly cognisant of the 90:9:1 rule of the internet, I know that content-posters are few and far between. So, I'm stepping up to be part of the 1%. It's not normal behaviour for me - I'm normally part of the 9% who comment - but I'm making the effort because that's the best way I can contribute to Tildes right now.

    I'm also using my previous experience as a Business Analyst and a moderator of /r/Help on Reddit to write a "how to" guide. I may not know how to write software, but I know how to teach people to use it!

    What are your skills and strengths? What can you bring to the table? It's not all about code and money.

    7 votes
    1. [2]
      mrbig Link Parent
      I agree. And I'd be happy to contribute with you on the how-to guide. Just tell me where to start!

      I agree. And I'd be happy to contribute with you on the how-to guide. Just tell me where to start!

      1 vote
      1. Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
        You'll need to talk to @deing and @rfr. You need to create a login id for GitLab. Then someone needs to give you access to a "group". (I have no idea what I'm talking about - they all walked me...

        You'll need to talk to @deing and @rfr. You need to create a login id for GitLab. Then someone needs to give you access to a "group". (I have no idea what I'm talking about - they all walked me through the process, like guiding a blind person through a maze.)

        Then you need to go to the editing page for the "how to" guide. I've already created an outline of headings and sub-headings to categorise the knowledge areas (but this is a work in progress as I remember/discover more things to explain). There are blank sections in the guide. Pick one, click on 'Edit', and start typing. When you've finished, message @deing and he will upload your changes to the public wiki page.

        I'm deliberately going for an informal non-technical style in the guide. It's not a guide for programmers, it's a guide for general users. Don't use technical terms.

        4 votes
  5. [3]
    Gully_Foyles (edited ) Link
    I'd say you should take care of yourself first before trying to help others. If you're utterly broke, you have more pressing matters to attend to, and the time you spend helping this site could be...

    I'd say you should take care of yourself first before trying to help others. If you're utterly broke, you have more pressing matters to attend to, and the time you spend helping this site could be better spent on yourself.

    Don't get me wrong, it's admirable your want to help this site grow, but you're putting the cart before the horse. Focus on your own career and life first, so that you can be better positioned to help the site in the future when you are better off in terms of time and money.

    6 votes
    1. mrbig Link Parent
      Thank you for the kind of words; I'm broke all right, but I do have the gift of time... And collaborating (non-monetarily) on a project such as this might even be helpful to my other goals.

      Thank you for the kind of words; I'm broke all right, but I do have the gift of time... And collaborating (non-monetarily) on a project such as this might even be helpful to my other goals.

      3 votes
    2. masochist Link Parent
      Speaking as someone who's been in OP's position, you can only spend so many hours looking for a job. You can only spend so many hours working on your CV. You start to resent it and then that...

      Speaking as someone who's been in OP's position, you can only spend so many hours looking for a job. You can only spend so many hours working on your CV. You start to resent it and then that decreases the quality of your work. Human minds need variety to be healthy, and if OP wants to help out with tildes with their ample free time, that's great and should be encouraged.

      Now, this is not to say that OP should exclusively work on Tildes instead of trying to find work or whatever they need to do to improve their situation.

      2 votes
  6. [2]
    hungariantoast Link
    All of the answer's you've already received are great, but I just want to add two more that I think are obvious: Report bugs Okay, bug reporting is fairly straight forward. If you notice something...

    All of the answer's you've already received are great, but I just want to add two more that I think are obvious:

    • Report bugs

    Okay, bug reporting is fairly straight forward. If you notice something that seems like it is broken, make some noise about it, post to ~tildes, message Deimos (maybe, I'm assuming that's okay), or ask other users. If something seems broken, it either is, or needs to be explained.

    In the case of security issues:

    If you've discovered a security issue on Tildes, please disclose it responsibly by emailing security@tildes.net.

    • Make suggestions

    Seriously, if you have a suggestion, even if it isn't fully baked and you want to ask questions about your suggestion, post about it to ~tildes. So if you think usernames should be bright purple, make it known, give your reasons why you think that. If you think they should be some bright color, but don't know which one, post a topic asking which color folks think it should be. Suggestions are an awesome way for users who don't have the ability to implement features, to still try and get them implemented.


    Oh, and I guess this is a bonus, third answer:

    • Use the search function

    This isn't directed at you OP, but instead you, dear reader. The subject of this topic is fresh, but there are a few different topic subjects that aren't, yet get posted sometimes. Use the search function liberally, as that not only helps you find your answers, but helps you come up with ideas for how it could be improved.

    And hey, if you do try to search for something but fail to find it, and someone points this out, no sweat, that's still valuable feedback that the search function could probably do something it currently isn't doing.

    3 votes
    1. mrbig Link Parent
      I already do all of these... minus the first because I never found a real bug on Tildes — you people do a pretty good job! :D

      I already do all of these... minus the first because I never found a real bug on Tildes — you people do a pretty good job! :D

      1 vote