I want to share my impression about tolerance against the new users and would like to discuss possible ways to improve the communication between them.

Until now, I have encountered always friendly and nice people on this site. That is my unique opinion. However, I do not think that the new users (especially the ones, who asked a question, which does not suit the rules of this site) have no chance to see that. Because when they ask a low quality question, they see a storm of "downvotes" and "close requests", they give up using the site and come never again.

It should not be forgetten that the new users are the only chance for this site to stay healthy.

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Can we apply the same rules to all types of users/learner? Will we want more equality or more justice here?

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    Warum müsst ihr solche Diskussionen immer in einer Fremdsprache anzetteln? Ein Deutscher (Ad Infinitum) stellt etwas zur Diskussion, zwei andere Deutsche (hiergiltdiestfu und Takkat) schrieben Antworten, und außer den drei genannten diskutieren noch ein weiterer Deutscher (Em1) und jetzt mit mir auch ein Österreicher mit. Fünf Leute, deren Mutterspache Deutsch ist, unterhalten sich im Meta-Bereich eines Deutsch-Forum über dieses Forum. Auf Englisch. Bin ich denn wirklich der einzige, der das abartig findet? Jun 17, 2017 at 8:29
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    @HubertSchölnast Ein interessanter Punkt aber aus verschiedenen Gründen stellte ich meine Frage auf Englisch. 1. Das ist wahr, dass ich in Deutschland wohne aber ich bin kein Muttersprachler. Seit 4 Jahren lerne ich Deutsch. 2. Das ist auch wahr, dass sie ein Deutsch-Forum ist aber viele von Benutzern sind kein Muttersprachler und viele davon sind Anfänger (sie wollen bestimmt die Diskussionen verstehen). 3. Die Frage bezieht sich auf die neuen Benutzer und vielleicht haben sie auch ein Wort zu sagen. Jun 17, 2017 at 12:36

2 Answers 2


Another simple means of welcoming new user is to


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their questions or answers (of course only if it was interesting). This alone helps a lot to get the essence of how this site works, and to also have fun while contributing.

I am saying that because we ever so often find questions, sometimes even with more than one answer, but not a single vote upon them. Any question that inspired an answer should be considered "useful and clear". Please don't forget to upvote a question you had answered.

Please also consider to upvote a post you had improved with an edit.

  • Sometimes (actually most of the time), the answers to our everyday problems are much much easier than we think. Because, as people, we love to complicate the things and this leads to more complexity. Personally, (I did not so far) I will consider to upvote more because (in addition to what you have said), it makes the website interactive and lively. Jun 13, 2017 at 7:58
  • Yeah - S.E. always was and still is meant to have fun when using it.
    – Takkat
    Jun 13, 2017 at 8:00
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    I know you love upvoting but it's not meant to be a way of welcoming new users. I can't go along with you on this.
    – Em1
    Jun 14, 2017 at 6:58
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    @Em1 - we are talking of OK questions with good and upvoted answers but only few if any upvotes on the question. It can't be that only questions that found their way to the HNQ end up with significant votes. Voting is essential to the site's success. There is absolutely no need to have super brilliant highly scientific content only. We are not the people who could deal with that anyway.
    – Takkat
    Jun 14, 2017 at 7:16
  • @Em1 In your profile, I see that you learn various languages and because of this reason, you attent to several language SE. What do they do in different ways? I would like to hear your opinions as well. Jun 14, 2017 at 7:49
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    This is also a good way to overcome some of the obstacles I pointed out in my answer, especially the rep threshold for getting help in chat, and for avoiding the common newbie error "comment as answer". Jun 14, 2017 at 8:18
  • @AdInfinitum I can't quite tell. I'm not an active member of any of the other language sites; much less do I follow their meta discussions. The only thing I'm aware of is that there were recently introduced a "game" to the Spanish site, spanish.meta.stackexchange.com/q/2591/1821, "to make the site a bit more alive". This is hardly related to the question here at hand, though.
    – Em1
    Jun 14, 2017 at 12:17
  • @Takkat After this post, I have seen a radical rise of upvotes on new users´ questions. I hope this trend will go on like it. Jun 17, 2017 at 12:45

The problem, through my eyes

In my opinion, the main problem is how the close system works. The thought behind it is that a non-conforming question is stalled by being closed, and the author or even other users go ahead and improve the question until it conforms to the rules. Afterwards, the question is reopened and takes part in the normal question life cycle.

As far as I'm concerned, this system does not work for new users, because they basically always give up as soon as their question is closed. They do not know about the second part of that closing process, and they lack the motivation to experience it. Instead, they turn around with a bad feeling and go look for their answers elsewhere. This happens a lot because there are lots of ways in which a question can fail the current standards.

On top of this, the second part of this clean up process hardly ever is done at all. Most users, me included, appear to expect the author to bring their questions up to standard, since - above correcting syntax - that's a very time consuming process, and bears the risk of the question still not surviving, or the edit being invalidated because it misses the intention of OP. So even when a new users sticks around their closed question, they'll almost never experience that someone else cleans up their question, or that someone is even willing to guide them in doing it themselves.

The advice given in the close reason boxes is easily overlooked and in general vanishes behind the bad feeling having a question closed as result of your first engagement with a community like this.

Possible solutions

  • Revamp the close system, as to generally gear it more towards improvement rather than blockade. This may include a rewording in the name of the system itself, but also a stronger emphasis on how to get your question unlocked in the first place as covered in the close messages and boxes.
  • Find users to help and a reliable way to connect them to new users for walking them through the path to unlocking their question. (Here, the rep threshold for chat is a strong problem for real time help, really.)

Feel free to extend, especially the solutions part.

  • I totally agree with your solutions. As I moved to Germany as a student, my landlord was an experienced old man. We lived in the same house and we used the same shoe rack. Each time, when I came to house, I left my shoes on the floor instead of using the shoe rack next to the door. Because, I did not know the rules. My landlord put my shoes to its place and did not say me anything. After a while, I learnt the rules from his behaviour and noticed that this is important to him and made it myself. Jun 8, 2017 at 12:18
  • I learnt from its polite behaviour. If he yelled at me to do it at the very first time when I made it wrong, I would immediately look for a different appartment. As you said, improvement instead of blockage will certainly help. Jun 8, 2017 at 12:18

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