Just so you know, we were as unprepared for you as you were for us!
We don't know why the corporation didn't clue any of us in. We do know that there were major and abrupt staff changes about two weeks ago, without explanation. Since then, we've only seen one paid moderator, who stays pretty much in the background, and we haven't seen any techs around to fix system bugs. Perhaps that's because they were working on the switch. We hope they get back to regular duties soon.
For better or worse, we're all in this together.
Those of us who've been around for awhile know this system takes some getting used to, even for users who were here voluntarily. It must have been surreal to get switched all of a sudden like you did, and, based on the discussions we've been having about that, I think you'll find that a lot of "viners" will be both understanding and helpful as you make your way around. If you need help, just ask. There are lots of smart, friendly people here.
"Get smarter here."
That's been Newsvine's motto as long I can remember. And it's true for anyone who's open to a world of information and ideas and a diversity of voices and opinions. We create the content here. We can post articles from around the web or post articles we create ourselves. Joining "nations" (groups) is key to getting the content you post noticed and getting a discussion started. Once you get the feel of things, you can create your own nations and recruit members based on whatever interests you have.
"Above all else, respect others."
This is Newsvine's guiding principle of how we interact with one another. It's in the Code of Honor (CoH) along with some other rules. Nation administrators (admins) are charged with ensuring the rules are followed. They can delete inappropriate comments and also block users from commenting. BUT they aren't always around. They're users, just like all of us, with other lives besides Newsvine. If you see bad conduct that isn't being taken care of, use the "report" button in your nation or go to "Help" at the top of the web page and click on the "Contact Newsvine" link to file a report there. Other means for reporting are also available, but that should get you started.
I think you'll find some pretty game people here who are up for just about anything and have a great sense of humor. They are truly some of the smartest, funniest, snarkiest peeps I have ever known. It's a good idea not to take things too seriously, even though we all do from time to time. Usually the best times we have are when we're relating like average folks do at a club or a party or some social gathering or even at a family gathering where your crazy uncle gets drunk and starts spouting off. It's all good. At least it can be. It's up to you. It's up to all of us.