Hello, and welcome to the ePlaya! We have a short series of basic "overview's" to help you understand a little bit about the culture of the board & how to make your entry as painless as possible. Think of them as a Survival Guide for the ePlaya, or what the Greeters would give you as you enter the Playa- a warm welcome and some basic information. We can't make you read any of it but we can assure you that if you take a little time to do so you should slide into this group of year-round enthusiasts a lot easier. If you have an idea for an overview article (or are interested in writing one yourself), please contact one of the moderators.
One of the major things you'll discover that makes the ePlaya different from a lot of other online forums is that this is not an anonymous group yelling on the internet; people on here get to know each other pretty well, either on the actual playa itself (there is an "ePlaya Meet 'n Greet" at Burning Man every year on Thursday night) or at outside events. We're not just names, we're actual people; regular posters tend to know how each other are going to respond on subjects because, just like offline, those tend to be real opinions, not just something tossed out to start trouble.
Because of that, there's going to be inside jokes and a feeling of familiarity in the way people interact (and even regulars who don't talk to each other); The more you hang around and read the board, the more you'll get a feel for it. Regardless of our differences we do have something very amazing in common; everyone is on the ePlaya because of our love of Burning Man, and to learn & share ideas and knowledge about it.
The downside of that familiarity for new members is that the regulars have heard most questions before. While this can be one of the best resourses for making your Burn go smoothly it can also be fairly uncomfortable if you ask a common question without doing some basic research first. This group is heavy on "radical self-reliance", which doesn't mean leaving others in the lurch, but means theres an expectation that people will at least try to find information before asking. Read the Overview on Posting for more information.
Your First Post
Before you dive in posting a question or joining in the free-for-all about the current hot-button issue, we strongly suggest introducing yourself with a post in the "Hello and Welcome, what's your name" thread, and, if you would like, you can even start a separate "Introduce Yourself" thread.
Think of this as walking into a party and saying "hi"- if you just jump into the middle of a thread and start asking questions or post in the middle of a comversation, people are going to react by going "who the hell are you?", not by listening to what you're saying. By introducing yourself it shows other posters that you want to join in, basically it's just a friendly thing to do (and you get to meet the warmer side of the people already here!)