(the way I do)
Just wanted to pass this along for those that wonder what is his deal? (I get a lot of that).
When I first came aboard the forums, getting help or answers in the modding department was like mining for diamonds on an active volcano. If you didn't know someone and weren't already active in the MP or modding communities, then most players responses were, "Meh...noob.".
I run my own business and don't have a programming background so I have to plink away slowly and steadily on things to get where I want to be. Posting is easier than trial and error modding in ten minute segments during a workday for me.
So as I was plinking, I noticed something else...a lot of really helpless new players would come on and leave almost immediately. Sarcastic comments, disdain and even insults were pretty normal and I could tell a lot of these new players were kids--still in school, still finding their way and just wanting to hang on the forum to be with the "cool kids".
Unless they had a lot of drive, patience and/or talent, most of them just drifted away.
I also noticed a real malaise over the pro MP crowd at that time. A lot of "this game is dying" posts and "I've been here since 1846 but now it sucks and I quit" stuff too.
Being a science fiction addict and an old school wargamer back from the days when you did it with a pen and paper or die cut counters, I'd have died for a game like this in my youth. So I felt a little motivated to look after it where I could. I started just by showing an interest in the new guys--mainly through a PM, karma or a brief comment when they posted. I could name a few who were ready to just move on and have since stayed as a result and I could name more who wanted to stay but left because no one seemed to give a rip if they were here or not.
When Major Stress started TSOP, he was the first "old hand" I'd seen who seemed to be working from the same mindset. he was determined to be positive, contributed something and valued the game protectively. In fact, his efforts moved the devs in no small way to bring us the very late game fixes in Diplomacy and then to bring out Rebellion. All while a lot of other people were booing and bitching.
We have a lot of new people now who would like to be involved in what they perceive as a community. Getting recognized or accepted by those who seem connected goes a long way to motivating them to stay.
I'm a moderate modder with a lot of incomplete or messy work, a fair modeler but lost on Sins texturing and I'm relatively new myself compared to many of you guys. I don't post to get "noticed" or see my ego puffed (though Zombie will fall before me in the karma war).
I just really like this game.
So I think there are two kinds of people here on the forums--and only two...the ones who are helping and the ones who aren't. I do what I can, mainly cheerleading and goofing a lot but at the end of the day, I want other people to feel like there is something good here and something for them.
There isn't anyone I dislike on this forum--though some of you post things that I have to slap my own forehead over. We're all part of the community. I think it's cool.
(This is what happens when I wax philosophical and have to sit by a phone waiting for a client when I'd rather be out.)