Edgeryders is designed to be "living tech", co-evolving with the community using it. Instead of developing it first and using it later, we started from a standard installation of a software called Commons, used it a bit, changed what was obviously not working, used it a bit more, changed it again and so forth. As our needs for tools to collaborate become more sophisticated, we integrate them into the platform. This can be a bit disorienting for newcomers, who have not yet walked that learning curve: commercial software does not require you do that, because most user experience designers of commercial software assume users are complete idiots with a very short attention span. We, on the contrary, assume that edgeryders are smart and committed people, and are willing to make a little initial effort in order to gain mastery of a technology they really own – to the point of pioneering new features and even entering its development team (no, you don't need to be a developer for that!).
Several people – notably [Ben], with reference to the ever-expanding unMonastery crowd – have asked for better documentation and help to new Edgeryders. We working on a "landing strip" to make it more intuitive to jump right in and become full participants from day one. My own contribution has been to rewrite and expand [Matthias]'s user's manual wiki. It's short and sweet, it's indexed and it should make you a master user of Edgeryders in no time. Check it out, let us know what you think and feel free to expand it (that's why... it's a wiki!)
If you prefer a more interactive way to learn, ask the wonderful [Dorotea], who has volunteered to give a guided tour of the platform to anyone who asks.