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It's just a quick question. It seems difficult for me to live on meta as on SO itself, because I have no pertinent question to ask (at the exception of this one).

So my question is, if you don't have any question to ask in the first place, how do you start being active on meta? (as you can't comment, etc...)

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Start by answering questions. –  juergen d Jun 21 '12 at 10:41
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Related - Why are you on meta? –  Lix Jun 21 '12 at 10:41
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if you don't have any question to ask in the first place, how do you start being active on meta? Meta is a Q&A, if you can't Q you can always A... –  Yannis Jun 21 '12 at 10:41
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@jue - People need to start by monitoring the behavior of the community you want to join. Once you have assessed the tone and vibe of a place, then you can start answering/asking questions. –  Lix Jun 21 '12 at 10:42
    
...and now you can comment everywhere as well... –  Yannis Jun 21 '12 at 10:44
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Thank you for your answers. I guess I'll just get used to the place before being really active. –  Gabriel Theron Jun 21 '12 at 10:45
    
You are a genius, ur questions of these kind will helps millions like us... :) –  rptwsthi Jun 21 '12 at 11:07
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you mean genius like that don't you: i0.kym-cdn.com/entries/icons/original/000/010/277/… –  Gabriel Theron Jun 21 '12 at 11:08
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Off-topic; belongs on metametastackoverflow. –  jrturton Jun 21 '12 at 11:10
    

3 Answers 3

up vote 11 down vote accepted

If you really want to start being active (and helpful) on Meta. You'll want to familiarize yourself with all the frequently asked questions of the Stack Exchange sites. Here is a handy-dandy link to a concentrated post containing a wealth of information for you to process.

FAQ for Stack Exchange sites

Once you read through and understand all that information, you will be well on your way to a very productive and helpful meta experience. Another thing that will help you get acclimated to the meta scene is to go through the highest voted questions. These are questions and discussions that recur over and over again. Knowing from where a quote was taken or who to quote from will also be beneficial for all parties involved.

Other things you will need -

  • Thick skin (don't let angry/frustrated users get to you).
  • A sense of humor. ( The Many Memes of Meta )
  • A steady hand (for free hand red circles).
  • A working print screen button on your keyboard. (screenshots are always helpful and welcomed here)
  • Remember that downvotes are different on meta. (Don't take them personally.)

One more thing...

It's dangerous to go alone.

Here, take this...

Image taken from - http://meta.stackexchange.com/a/39446/172936

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Nice ^^ Thank you, my question has been answered! –  Gabriel Theron Jun 21 '12 at 10:56
    
There is a much better way to center text... stackoverflow.com/questions/11130679/… –  BoltClock's a Unicorn Jun 21 '12 at 11:41
    
@bol - It still looks whacky on mobile with both methods :/ Oh well... –  Lix Jun 21 '12 at 11:44
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Downvoters see my edit! –  Lix Jun 21 '12 at 11:47
    
@Lix: Every post here was hit - I decided it would be a nice little opportunity to resurrect one of my highest-voted comments of all time on main SO, here :P –  BoltClock's a Unicorn Jun 21 '12 at 12:26

You've already started — by asking this oh-so- question. Welcome to meta!

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Well... Okay, I guess you need to get used to the place a bit more before you can really get active... –  Gabriel Theron Jun 21 '12 at 10:44
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A tiny but crucial bit of information that most users seem to miss on their first foray on Meta is that voting is different here:

Voting here works a bit differently from other Stack Exchange sites. On Meta Stack Overflow, voting is often used to express agreement or disagreement, not to point out a lack of quality or helpfulness. Please don't be concerned if you receive downvotes – members of the community may simply disagree with your bug, feature request, support issue, or the nature of the discussion.

Simply put we down vote a lot more liberally than on Stack Overflow1, don't get put off by that. Meta reputation is absolutely pointless, in fact Meta Stack Overflow is the only Meta that has its own reputation, on all other Stack Exchange Meta's your main site reputation is displayed instead.

If you are interested in getting a good feeling of Meta, you should start hanging in the Tavern, where you'll find a lot of Meta regulars at almost any given time, and get help shaping your questions for the tough Meta crowd.

1 Most of us, I down vote a lot everywhere.

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