Being a member of a community like Hummingbird's can be a rewarding prospect. It is amazing being able to share opinions with people over the internet on a common subject. It's something I've been able to do now here for at least a year now. The thing is though that communities like these often can give you more if you put more into them. That's what this thread is for. Just a general guide with tips and tricks for those wanting to improve their experience, or at least get a little more out of it than they already have.
1. Stay Informed
Hummingbird is, was, and will probably continue to be an ever evolving process. Some changes might not be so obvious, while others are drastic and actually take time getting used to. When I first joined Hummingbird there were no notifications on the main site OR forum pages. So that's right. It's changed a lot. It may not feel like it has, but the change is definitely there. There's even stuff going on behind the scenes that you may not see. Here's a list of ways to keep informed about what's going on.
I see a lot of people complain about certain issues not being worked on. Well here it is.
Hummingbird is open source now and they have all of this information out in the public to see. Here you can see what is being worked on and when that actually happened. If you're ever in any doubt that shit is happening to all of the clockwork, this is the best place to alleviate any doubts you might have.
If you aren't well versed in the art of computer programming I'm sure that @Nuck and @Cybrox can help you figure out what's happening. I'm not nominating them for programming lessons, I'm just saying that they can probably explain to you what just happened in plain English if you're curious.
You may already check the site news and you may have already read the FAQ, but how long ago was it? Did you know that you're obligated to donate a kidney should the need arise according to the Terms of Service?!
This is the internet, and because we're human beings, we can often get carried away by our emotions and forget what sort of conduct is actually acceptable. The FAQ May not update very often, but it's good to check it every once in a while to remind yourself where you are and what's generally acceptable. I probably read it 2 or 3 times while writing this post. Just to make sure I was not covering the same material. By the way that kidney part was a joke.
The site news section is where Hummingbird places its major updates. A lot of you already know this. But there are certain comments within the posts that provide a little bit of insight to some of the ideas that are currently being considered. I recommend shuffling through them when you're picking your nose and not watching any anime.
Site news category: https://forums.hummingbird.me/category/site-news
Yet another way you can get information on the site is from the mods themselves. Be it via messaging, or just combing through their posts. (YES! Stalk the mods! They often have something very important to say and often times have more knowledge and insight about what's going on around the site than we do.)
Here are some examples:
Bad things can happen. And when things go dark, and I seriously mean dark, Hummingbird's twitter is the best place to keep updated on the action. Any huge updates/ server upgrades are usually posted here as well.
Staying informed can be very rewarding because when things start happening you can give the answers instead of asking the questions. This is good for the community as well because the more people that are informed, the less the mods have to concentrate on answering all of your questions and the faster they can get things back up and running.
2. Being sociable
The more sociable you are, the more rewarding it can be on both a personal and community level. Hummingbird is a social networking site with a myriad of features. Use them
That doesn't mean follow thousands of people like I did. But the more friendly you are, the more friends you may get to meet, or people with similar opinions as you. I understand that there are people that aren't about making friends on the internet, but being sociable actually helps the community. That seems pretty obvious in theory, but practicing it is what makes it count. You see the overall atmosphere and tone of the community are set by the mods and you. It is what you make it. Don't make it trash. Keep the park mentioned in the FAQ clean. Plus the moderators and senpais won't notice you if you aren't at least active in the community. Who knows, you may be a potential badass, but we'll never actually know.
I'm not saying that everyone should aspire to be a moderator. It's not for everyone and there are people that will let you know they have no interest in that. But in these types of cases, you generally reap what you sow, and the rewards for being in good standing and being a distinguished community member can be plenty.
There are an outrageous number of ways to reach out to the community outside of the actual site. Below is a list of ways I've personally communicated with people outside of Hummingbird.
There are literally probably 50 Skype groups with Hummingbird members. An actual list has not actually been complied, but if one ever is, I'll add it here. I'm not even sure if there's a list of contacts. Just know that if you have a Skype, you're not alone, and there are leaders in the community who are probably more than willing to talk to you.
Before the official chat was implemented but after the infamous Chat Threads were forbidden, Hummingbird had the Unofficial Hummingbird Tempchat set up via Chatango. It doesn't replace the chat thread, but the function remains similar. See below for more about the Chatango.
The rules are similar to those on Hummingbird regarding content. Please read them here:
Here is the link for the actual extension:
Hummingbird has a number of events you can take part in. A list has not yet been complied, but here are a few that you may be interested in.
HAC (v2): https://forums.hummingbird.me/t/hac-official-hummingbird-anime-club-v2/16224
Game tournaments: https://forums.hummingbird.me/t/hummingbird-mahjong-tournament-100-grand-prize/16260
As you can see, there are many options. If, however, one of the events does not suit you, then please... DO NOT BE HESITANT TO MAKE YOUR OWN. It is important to have a wide range of activities for our members to participate in. More activities give more members chances to be more sociable, which can generate more discussion in our community which is a very good thing.
3. Leading by Example
This one will not have any specific posts linked to it, because I'm not calling out names. I think leading by example is a good practice, and one that I've seen Hummingbird support several times. There are many of us who have been here for at least a year, and when I joined there were 8,727 members on the whole site. Now there's somewhere in the range of 40-60,000!
Holy crap! That's a lot of people! There are probably new people here every day. It actually makes me think a little about what I'm doing. If you're already an active member on the forums, then leading by example can be the most rewarding out of all of these three. Especially since you're already informed and sociable. It feels nice and gratifying when people tell me "thank you" for telling them something I thought was so trivial. New members appreciate it, old members appreciate it, the staff appreciates it. I really enjoy Hummingbird, and I want others to feel the same way I did when I first started.
Please note that calling the forums crap and insulting the people on it does nothing to generate productive discussion. I see this more often than I want to nowadays, and while I can't say it is the reason I decided to make this thread, I also can't say that it didn't inspire it a little. Like I said before, it is what you make it. Please at least be wary of how you make it for other people. Especially new members. A good impression can make the difference between a temporary guest and a long time comrade.
That's pretty much it for me. I know it's long, and it probably isn't even properly formatted. I wrote this on my phone and it took me several hours. The best part is that I'm not here to lecture you. It really is just a general guide, but I'm making it because Hummingbird is a community I really care about, and even if you already know about all of these things, they are not terrible things to bide your time with.