Newbie Lolitas often hear stories about EGL, the main Lolita LJ community, and how it is filled with elitist drama-whores who are all just waiting for fresh meat to show up so they can have someone to pick on. Because they feed on the sweet sweet tears of new Lolitas. As you can imagine, this will often scare away newbies from the communities altogether. I mean who's going to want to even take the advice of such vicious bitches, let alone mingle among, right? I can hear you groaning, is this is going to be one of those long rants about why we have to all get along online? No, it's not, this is more of a quick guide for beginners, for anyone who is too timid to jump into the online communities, specifically EGL.
The very first step, before we even get to the handy bullet list, is to know that all that bad stuff you hear about EGL is false. No, I'm not just saying this to make you feel better, it really is false. Sure, there are a few people on there who might live to make strangers miserable, just like on any community, online or off. But these kinds of people are a very small minority in the communities.
- If you have a question, search for the answer first- Probably the most important thing to remember! Check the memories and skim through the most recent posts. Whatever the question is, chances are someone has asked it before you. If you honestly can't find the answer, then ask away! But keep the next tip in mind.
- Don't grovel- Don't start a question post with "Please don't kill me for asking!" or end it with "Sooo so so so sorry if this has been asked before!" No one is going to bite your head off for asking a question, and it's rude to make the assumption that people will.
- Don't include a list of your flaws with your pictures- This goes hand in the tip above it, but if you are posting a photo of yourself, don't include a long list of what you think is wrong with the outfit, pointing out that you don't yet have a matching pair of shoes is OK, but no one wants to see "Sorry my hair looks that way, and my face looks kind of doofy, and my socks weren't staying up too well, and my petti deflated, and my skirt looks a little crooked, and ugh! why did I pose that way!?" People will wonder why you even bothered to post the pictures or wore the outfit in the first place if you apparently don't think any of it is right.
- Don't use netspeak- Don't use U, R, 4, Ur, or any other kinds of netspeak, people will assume you are 12 and just new to this whole thing called "internet". Even if you're not 12, and you still talk that way in texts and IMs, don't talk that way in posts or even in commenting on posts. It makes you sound like you don't care enough about whatever it is you're saying to use full words.
- Don't use Japanese, especially if you don't speak it- "Konnichiwa ,ogenki desu ka (´･ω･`)!!" Not everyone knows what that means. As you may well know if you typically add Japanese phrases to your correspondence, this is generally associated with Otaku culture. Lolitas are pretty big on letting people know that we are not cosplaying something from an anime, so we try to distance ourselves from the Otaku culture. In fact, many Lolitas don't even watch anime, or listen to Japanese music.
- Respond politely to con-crit- If you do receive constructive criticism on photos you posted, don't get defensive. No one is criticizing you as a person, they are just offering advice on how you can make your outfit better. A polite "Thank you! I will take that into consideration next time!" response is a thousand times better than "Yeah, well that's how I wear it, if you don't like it, don't look!" If you get defensive about con-crit that was given to you politely it makes you look rude.
- Ignore the wank communities- Don't go to them. Period. Or, if you juuust can't resist, know that you are not going to get posted to them for asking a question or making conversation. The wank communities are pretty much just filled with troll watches, people who spazz out for no reason, and repeat offenders who refuse to take advice.
- Join a local community- If you just can't bear to post to the main community, join a local community. No matter where you live, there is probably a community made for it. Even the largest local community is probably a bit smaller and less intimidating than EGL. Because there is a good chance that you will one day meet these people in real life, either at a meet-up or possibly just run across them in town while wearing Lolita, local communities are typically much more polite.
- Ignore anyone who is being overly rude with you- If someone is being very rude to you over something you posted, just ignore them. It's really not as big of a deal as either of you think it is. You might be embarrassed and even upset you got called out over something, but it honestly doesn't matter. No one is ever going to remember you as the girl who asked a question about shoe sizes even though someone posted the exact same question two pages back.
- Learn from your mistakes- Whatever mistakes you make, and con-crit you get, learn from them. Even if you were an infamously spazzy ita who loved to argue with anyone who said differently in the past, if you make an effort to not be that girl any more, people will take notice.