Most recently, I noticed this question from a new user. I saw only a single comment that was a quasi answer, which is fine, but I also saw no other comments and that this user had two upvotes and only 11 rep. Well, it was no surprise that this was their first post when I had checked their profile. So I thought there must be a new review task available for this user, because this is their first post. There was no review task available which means someone did review this post, but without giving the new user any sort of direction.

Whether the post is good or not, I think it is vitally important to let the new users know immediately that we have help pages and a meta site and we are also very willing to help them ask well-scoped, on-topic questions and post well-sourced, well-thought answers.

I realize that it is an obvious matter of opinion for this exact question whether this user needed any help or not, but I submit that all new users deserve this as a bare minimum if you are going to do the review tasks:

  1. A Welcome. They need to see right away that this is a community and we are all people who work together to learn about Christianity. We are not competitors (the way it feels on SO sometimes), we are certainly not enemies, and most of us like pretty much everybody.
  2. Direction to the about and help pages. Well, first, they are new to the SE network; they may not quite get how to use the site and there is a bit of a learning curve. Also, the about pages give the site a description and lead the user to the meta. The only exception I give here is if they have other SE profiles with high rep. You can tell those by seeing the tell-tale 101 rep.
  3. Direction to the meta. If there is a specific issue there are plenty of meta posts already written that you could choose from. If there is no specific issue I have written one that I show to all new comers because it links to some of our best meta posts on all the major topics.
  4. An honest criticism of the post. If it looks good, say so and give them a plus one. That will encourage them to come back. If it has issues say what they are, how they might be fixed, or edit the post yourself, and link to an appropriate meta post that can help them.

On this question specifically I commented this:

Welcome to the site. We are happy to have you participate. This is a good question, however, we generally prefer the questions to be more definitely answerable. As this is now, it is dangerously close to an opinion question, because we just don't know the answer. Further, as Affable Geek pointed out, there is the issue that some Annihilationist groups will say that they are certainly not alive, unless they were resurrected. I'm going edit this to be a little more specific.

[and this in a second comment a few seconds later]
When you get a chance, you can see the about pages and help center to learn how to use the site and what it is all about. There is also a meta site where we discuss policy. See this post and the other posts linked there for specifics about site policy.

I know there is a "Looks Good" button option, but I really wish that would just explode and vaporize. I ask that instead of clicking "Looks Good", if you do not want to make any comments just click "Skip". I also know that you can do whatever you want, but I think I made a good case to do as I do.

Honestly, I think we have a high turnover rate and I want to bring that to as low to zero as possible. Every time I see a good (or potentially good) question or answer by a new user then never see that user again I think about the possibility that we lost a potential super user from whom we could learn many interesting things. So help me and do what ever you can to encourage the new users to come back and at least participate in their own question a second time.

  • 5
    Agreed. And I add to that, don't do drive-by downvoting, especially on new user posts. Commented Aug 30, 2013 at 5:51
  • Tip: you can use [ and ] around FAQ and help to produce: FAQ and Help center. Commented Aug 30, 2013 at 5:52
  • 3
    @Wikis I'd recommend not linking just to the help center, it's a nice page, but it's not good for helping new users, please make sure if you link to something on the help center that you use one of the magic links for a specific page. [Replace [faq] magiclink with [help]](Replace [faq] magiclink with [help]). That said, I highly recommend linking new users to the tour page first and foremost
    – wax eagle
    Commented Aug 30, 2013 at 13:02
  • 1
    @waxeagle: I would also recommend not just providing links. Good tips for specific parts of FAQ and about link. Commented Aug 30, 2013 at 13:36


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