This article is a collaboration between captain.classy and myself.
You've been on YWS for a long time now, and you've grown aware of the various rewards for being an active, contributing member; badges, featured member, and the position of Junior Moderator. You really, really want these rewards, so when you ask how you can go about getting them. You're simply told to "be the best member you can be." You wonder what this means. After all, you already review daily, greet, and are kind to others. If you're not already being the best member you can be, what else can you do?
How did you feel when you first joined the site? Most likely confused and scared. Joining a large site like this can be rather intimidating, so now that you've been here for a couple of months, you'll want to give new members-who also feel confused and scared-the greatest experience possible.
Also, greeters represent the site. This is because those who greet are often the first ones new members meet, so they help shape first impressions. YWS is a community, and we want to welcome each and every new member with open arms. Greeting doesn't have to be restricted to just the welcome mat, by the way. Answering questions, reviewing, and informal chatting are all part of being a good greeter. For further reading, check out Rosey Unicorn's Greeting Tips article.
If no one reviewed, the site would lose its purpose. This is why it is not only important to critique, but to critique well and often. Members of the site post their stories, poems, and artwork to for precisely one reason, and that is to get your input.
Say you've got good critiquing habits, but don't know how to critique well. Here are some articles that can help.
-Critiquing Poetry by Cade
-How to Write a Good Critique by Suzanne
-What Isn't a Good Critique? by Snoink
Another thing to consider is that length does not matter. Reviews have to be 250 characters long to count, but a critique just over that limit may be very contain the best advice a writer has ever been given. Contrarily, a long review that rambles on for 3000 characters can be repetitive and unhelpful. Just remember to use good grammar, be kind, spend at least 15 minutes per review. You'll master the craft in no time.
Although it is easy to be rude on the internet, being courteous is appreciated on YWS if you expect to make friends and stay out of reach of the ban-hammer.
When it comes to presenting your work, writing or otherwise, there's a saying that goes, "You can't please everyone." It's true. Why do you put up your stories and poems on YWS? It's because you want to listen to ideas and advice, right? Just because a person doesn’t like your work doesn't mean that it’s the end of the world. If you get angry or whine; you're missing out on a major aspect of YWS, and that is to benefit from constructive critism.
If something or someone offends you, don’t take matters into your own hands. The job to restore order lies with the Moderators. The job to report things so Moderators can fix it is the job of the registered users. There's a little button with an exclamation mark in the right-hand corner of every post. Click it, and you'll fill out a short form. The post will be dealt with in an appropriate manner.
Going Above and Beyond
Many YWSers ask how they can become featured member. They're told about reviewing, greeting, and being courteous. What else can be done?
The KB, or the Knowledge Base, is a place where you can post articles on how to improve grammar, writing, poetry, or knowledge of YWS! Posting an article here can help other writers a ton.
Lastly, Contests, found as subforum of the Lounge, are a great way to gain renown for your writing and dedication to YWS. Whether your enter or create a contest, you're benefiting yourself. Read the Contest FAQ for more details.
If you follow all of these tips and still aren't seeing any rewards, remember that the prize is not what matters. You shouldn’t be helping others just to be featured member. You should help others because you enjoy doing it. If you show YWSers that you truly love the site, the rewards will come, so get out there and start contributing!
- captain.classy and Elinor Brynn
- PLEASE READ: FAQ For New Users by Nate
- Answers to Questions Everyone Has by Kamas
- Critiquing Tutorials (A collection of articles about how to critique by YWSers, put together by SPEW
- Critiquing Reviews (please read) by Nate
- Rules & Guides by Nate
- Badges! -by Nate