Thank you, and does anyone happen to have any pointers for someone just starting out?
It's a relatively small site. This impacts conversations in a few ways. Two ways which you don't see in other sites are
A) When you see heated arguments, it's not because we're all being anonymous jerks to each other. It's because we know each other well enough that two people can vehemently disagree in one thread and heartily agree in another thread. You'll still get some conversations that go too far from time to time, that might lead to hurt feelings, but they're very much a rarity around here. Because it's a small site and because of that dynamic, if you find that there's someone you just butt heads with often, it's best to exercise some self restraint and interact with them on the minimum.
B) Don't be surprised if it takes days for a conversation to unfold. For example, I might make a comment, get a response from someone, and might not respond back for hours and sometimes even days. For that matter, thread necromancy and referring back to threads that are literally years old is a normal thing around here.