Let me mention one last thing that for me was pivotal in my participation when I first joined. I was intimidated and extremely self-conscious and very reluctant to engage at first until someone reached out to me and made me feel like I belonged. This goes along way toward establishing a comfortable rapport and opens the door for discourse to happen in a warm and nurturing environment. That doesn’t mean you are suppose to agree on everything; absolutely not. But to not feel threatened and know that your ideas and opinions are respected can be the key that opens the lock to a wider world in which everyone’s opinion has worth and merit. (Btw; the “private message” feature if used properly can be a huge plus in helping to build relationships and untangle misunderstandings that can make one feel more at home.) The guidelines are another important feature as well.