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.
In my opinion, the easiest things that anyone of any ability can do are:
I contribute quite a bit, I think. But I neglected the invites later, thanks for the reminder.
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.
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 "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?
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.
"high-quality" content, you say? :D
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I agree. And I'd be happy to contribute with you on the how-to guide. Just tell me where to start!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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