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Back on StackOverflow we used to post comments welcoming new users, directing them to FAQs etc. It is probably one of the reasons we were the friendliest tag there.

Should we continue doing this? I have in mind a simple welcome if the are already active users of another StackExchange site, and something more involved if the are new to StackExchange generally. We are going to get a few new users over the next few days.

  • Maybe we can build up the welcome message in an answer? – Brett Champion Jan 25 '12 at 22:26
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    Indeed a boilerplate comment could be convenient. However, some people might feel a bit about receiving seemingly automated responses, so I'd say some personalization is still necessary. :) – J. M. will be back soon Jan 25 '12 at 22:32
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I agree with J.M.'s comment that the welcomes should sound less automated to make them not think it's an automated process. I'd also suggest that the users clean up their welcome comments after the OP responds. Mods (when they're appointed) should also not hesitate to delete such comments because they're just clutter once the purpose is served (which is 10 minutes after it's posted).

In any case, regardless of what people post as a welcome message, I'd like to bring this userscript to everyone's attention. It lets you save a set of comments for the most popular reasons (e.g., a general welcome/comment as an answer/poorly formatted code/non-answer as an answer, etc), and you can add/edit the templates. This will really save a LOT of time in the long run.

  • "after the OP responds" - make that "after" an "if"; sadly some people don't really respond to comments... – J. M. will be back soon Jan 26 '12 at 2:06
  • @J.M. Yeah, my rule of thumb for this (in the absence of a response), is if they've logged in after my comment, then I assume they've read it. It's a fairly safe rule to follow, because if they're a new user and asking a question, it's likely that they've come back to refresh their page for new answers (however, this not always true either...) – rm -rf Jan 26 '12 at 2:17
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I am in favour. I think it's nice to be welcomed when you arrive to a new forum

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Today I just left the following for Rainforest Frog

Hello [name] and welcome to the Mathematica StackExchange. Don't forget to upvote good answers (and other people's questions) using the triangle above the number next to the post, and use the checkmark to "accept" the answer to your question that you think best answers it.

And because s/he already had some upvotes, I added:

You now have enough "reputation" (points) to visit the chat room and chat if you would like.

I didn't mention the meta beta because it is linked elsewhere on the page.

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    If they're "unregistered" users, you might want to nudge them towards registering first, because otherwise, they won't be able to do any of the things you suggested. On Stack Overflow, it wasn't an issue because people had to necessarily register to ask a question (at least, in the days after you joined). – rm -rf Jan 25 '12 at 23:05
  • @R.M I was not aware people could ask without registering. Have to keep that in mind. – Szabolcs Jan 25 '12 at 23:27
  • Also a tiny note: remember that unregistered users cannot vote, but they can accept. So one can't nudge an unregistered user to vote for answers. Similarly, a registered rep 1 user cannot upvote unless s/he has acquired 15 rep, or about three question upvotes. If you want a user to be able to upvote your fine answer, you should consider upvoting his/her question (if you think it's a good question, of course). – J. M. will be back soon Jan 26 '12 at 2:05
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I've seen this updated one posted - but do not see it here, so here it goes:

Welcome to Mathematica.SE! I suggest that: 1) You take the introductory Tour now! 2) When you see good questions and answers, vote them up by clicking the gray triangles, because the credibility of the system is based on the reputation gained by users sharing their knowledge. Also, please remember to accept the answer, if any, that solves your problem, by clicking the checkmark sign! 3) As you receive help, try to give it too, by answering questions in your area of expertise.

Copy test:

Welcome to Mathematica.SE! I suggest that: 1) You take the introductory [Tour](https://mathematica.stackexchange.com/tour) now! 2) When you see good questions and answers, vote them up by [clicking the gray triangles](http://tinyurl.com/ch98nrh), because the credibility of the system is based on the reputation gained by users sharing their knowledge. Also, please remember to accept the answer, if any, that solves your problem, by [clicking the checkmark sign](http://i.stack.imgur.com/uqJeW.png)! 3) As you receive help, try to give it too, by answering questions in your area of expertise.

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I second that. Perhaps something along the lines of what Belisarius used to say?

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