last day (17 days later) » 

7:18 PM
I think a lot of the problem with new users is the vast difference between how SE works and how say, forums work.
I would agree with that. We have a lot of users coming from gaming forums and the like and we operate in a different system.
But other sites like SO have similar problems (though probably not on the same scale), yet seem to do better
Also, it's not just about closing of questions, it's about how a user's first experience on the site is
RobV, the user listed in the quote, is very active on SO, and yet found his experience to be harsh
I asked RobV if they would join us in the discussion so we can get feedback from a new user
Yeah - I think that there is an interesting disconnect between people who have been on gaming for a long time (and thus know how it is "supposed" to work) and new people, even though they may have had SE experience
- we tend to be somewhat harsher on new people, because we have a strict sense of what we want - we dont tend to ease people into it as much as we should. I suspect arguements about whether or not someone's post is on topic or not tend to get heated (moreso than they should?), and when you are new to the site, seeing people argue like that can be a turnoff I think.
@QAtash The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. Every site thinks they have a new user problem: SE is just not for everyone.
Q: Could we please be a bit nicer to new users?

Chris UpchurchThere is a distinct decline in the level of civility here. Some of this is due to new users coming in and posting spam and other nonsense, but the offtopic and downvote buttons are doing a pretty good job of keeping this under control. Unfortunately, a lot of this is coming from more experien...

Q: Are we scaring off new users?

MoronsThe last 10 questions asked have all been down-voted. I think maybe we are being a bit too aggressive is down-voting questions, particularly for new users. What can we do to improve the situation? (Personally I never down-vote a question. If its off topic I Vote to close. To me Down-voting a que...

7:29 PM
Q: Why so many barriers for newcomers on this dicussion forum?

unknown (google)In this age of fluid information exchange it seems odd that a site such as this one, that gives the impression of representing super users, would actually contribute to raising barriers to communication by imposing quotas on opinions (I couldn't put an approval on a previous question because I do...

@MarkTrapp Oh, ouch, "discussion forum"
@AshleyNunn Yeah. I think you nailed it before: people expect forum rules and it's a huge culture shock when we shut that down
@MarkTrapp I realize that SE is not for everyone, but if everyone is saying the world might be round, I think it is worth talking about
And like I say in my post, maybe it comes down to "this is our site, deal or leave" but I think we should really look hard before we decide that
I come from a usability/HCI background, so seeing new users struggle is something I always think needs to be fixed, or at least can be improved
@QAtash If this is "we need to change how SE works to cater to new users", this is a dupe of:
Q: Do esoteric rules hurt the site?

Ren the UncleanAs a lurker/new user it seems like the actual rules for what questions are allowed to be asked are esoteric and arcane and are enforced either arbitrarily or with no feedback to the person asking the question. I believe this is detrimental to the site as a whole. ID this game questions, compari...

7:33 PM
@MarkTrapp It's partly in response to that, but no, I'm not suggesting changing the SE system.
In fact, I want to avoid talking about solutions at all. This is about the problem, not about how to fix or improve it (yet)
@QAtash If we're not discussing solutions to a problem, this is completely pointless. Raise a problem, we fix it. If you don't want to fix it, don't bring it up.
I figured that the scope was 'anything game related' rather than 'game specific', correct me if I'm wrong?
@MarkTrapp If we try to fix a problem before we understand it, we end up just band-aiding the issue. We should look at really listening to the complaints to understand what the root cause is
@pixel And I think many users think along those lines, but aren't always as well received when they ask things that are 'just gaming related'
@QAtash yes but that's an important point, questions that don't get immediately answered have a higher chance of a returning user than instantly closing with an 'off topic' banner
I think, really, the cause is just people don't get how we work, they think we are a forum, and they don't read the available material to help them understand. I suspect part of it is that some people on this site can get a mite prickly over things and thigns tend to devolve easily into argument
7:37 PM
@QAtash I don't buy that line of thinking at all. Creating a cloud of negativity based on a hunch is not productive. Convince people there's an actual problem and it's easy to fix. Say "there's something wrong but I don't know what" and it creates never-ending frustration for everyone. I think most people agree there is a specific problem with the new user onboarding experience. Let's fix it.
the only time that wouldn't be the case is when it is specifically something that another part of Stack Exchange has a site specifically for
so game dev goes to game dev etc
@pixel what wouldn't be the case?
link some questions that've been closed recently
Q: Is there an ideal gaming monitor size?

Philippe CarriereI want to buy a new monitor for my gaming computer and I'm wondering what would be the ideal size ? My video card can produce a good 1920 x 1200. It's obvious that a screen the size of a cinema screen is too big because I would have to be 30 feet away from it. And a 2 inches monitor is too small...

well that would be better solved with a poll but we don't support that functionality do we?
but there is nothing stopping you from leaving it open for a day so it can get some minor discussion on it
7:40 PM
@MarkTrapp But what do we fix about the new user on-boarding experience. That's what we're talking about. That is a huge are, so to just say 'fix it' doesn't help. We need to identify what is actually causing the problems in that experience
Changing the rules of the site is not the solution. The only problem is how we communicate rules to new users.
(a) that would keep that user returning
(b) that would make us not seem harsh
@pixel No, we don't: I think it was correctly closed, but the comments leave a lot to be desired in terms of explaining what was going on for the user
(c) it would probably answer their question anyway
@MarkTrapp yeah - people seemed to jut kinda argue instead of explain, I can see how that can be quite offputting
7:41 PM
Q: Why do FPS games for consoles include a sensitivity setting?

RobVOn a PC - where everyone has different mouse/keyboard/hardware - having configurable input sensitivity makes sense to me, because everyone's hardware is different. But on consoles where everyone has approximately the same (and mostly official) controllers, why do certain games need to include s...

that didn't need closing, it was a valid question
@pixel Yes it did.
it's in the scope of this site, just very badly worded
The original form of the question was a problem.
'very badly worded'
Closing is a temporary state.
7:42 PM
the reaction from this community to his bad wording wasn't very welcoming though was it?
Well speaking of temporary states, this didn't need deleting (10k+) but it was.
Just throwing that out there
@Wipqozn But is that really the problem. (Don't kill me yet please lol) We talk a lot about what is on topic, but not a lot about what we want the site to be and who we want to use it. I'm not saying change the rules, I'm saying we should maybe be open to thinking about the rules a bit and how that fits into our idea of where we want to be
Closing is a very harsh word for somebody who has never been here before
@pixel No, but that's completely different point than closing questions.
@pixel It needed to be closed as it was originally written. It also needed someone to politely explain why it was closed, so that the OP knew what to do to get it reopened.
7:42 PM
@JasonBerkan one without the other is just slapping them in the face
@Wipqozn the situation presented to the user was that he couldn't react that way but we could, regardless of the close, which was unexplained
@pixel I agree. But we have to play with the cards we are dealt. The SE engine does not force polite comments on actions.
@QAtash Yes, that's fine, but changing the rules just because new users have trouble understanding how we work just doesn't make sense. We also don't define ourselves based on what users who have never used our site before think it's about.
@JasonBerkan there is a perfectly suitable comments functionality with upvoting and everything, that's the poorest excuse for people being lazy ever
@JasonBerkan This isn't a fault of the engine because this isn't something that can be mechanically enforced - this is something that the people of the community can well be proactive about
@pixel Yes, but that's not what you said and what I responded to.
You're bringing up a completely different and irrelevant point to my statement.
7:45 PM
@Wipqozn I'm not saying change the rules, I'm saying enforce them less to the letter and with a delay
@Wipqozn And I agree with that. But we have to be able to see things from their perspective to understand what the issue might be. Again, not saying changing the rules is the solution, but how is our target audience percieving us and what can we do to improve that might be better than just saying 'communicate better'
@GraceNote Hey, I'm the one that pointed out we should be polite - and I always try to be. But we can't change the way SE works. We can ask people to be more polite, but that's pretty much it. We can't force it.
@pixel 1) IF we don't enforce rules 'by the letter' than the site just becomes arbitrary and confusing.
@JasonBerkan Curtness and rudeness isn't "the way SE works", it's even in our FAQ to "Be Nice", so I'm really confused why we keep pointing at the site system here.
@Wipqozn I'm sure waiting more than 0.5 of a second to vote to close an off topic question won't bring the world to an end
7:46 PM
@pixel 2) I've already touched on why a delay is bad. Closing is a temporary state. The purpose of quick closing is to prevent a bad question from getting answers before we fix it.
But is just being more polite going to really fix the problem. We can always say "be more polite" but what in the experience is that really addressing, and how well is it addressing it
@Wipqozn a new user will see 'close', see the downvotes, think we have a dislike against them and leave
@pixel Then we need to communicate better what a close means.
That's just a communication error.
@Wipqozn they don't care its temporary, they came to a Q&A site for gaming to get an answer for a gaming question
Is the communication the problem though?
7:47 PM
@GraceNote That's "meta", though. New users need a comment explaining why their question was closed. The system does not (and cannot) enforce that.
Furthermore, the fact that closing is temporary is outlined in our FAQ. It's not hidden away some where.
@pixel Which doesn't matter.
@JasonBerkan And saying that the system can't enforce it, as if we need the system to handle us for us, is just giving up.
> From the FAQ, questions about "speculation of the future of the industry and of upcoming releases" are prohibited on this site. "Who holds the rights", though, is probably legitimate. – Oak♦ May 18 '11 at 5:50
@Resorath That could be worded much more nicely, but I don't think there was any chance of saving the question and it was rightfully deleted.
We're not hurting for users. IF users decide to ruff and puff and leave the site because they dislike the fact we closed their question, while explaining to them in a polite manner what's wrong with their question, how/if it can be fixed, et cetear, then I'm not that concerned.
7:49 PM
We're not just a website, we're a community behind a website. We as a people can do things, too, and we have the ability to manage ourselves. We can't handle everyone in the entire site, no, but neither can the system, and neither has the responsibility to do so.
what I am concerned with is users getting in a huff and puff and leaving the site because we communicated poorly to them. Because then that's a failure on our part.
Our responsibility, as a community, is to do what we can. And that includes stepping up to the plate when others are slacking. If people are failing to leave helpful comments, then those of us who know to do that should do so in their stead.
@Wipqozn I think that is a dangerous and clique mentality. It is fine, but it doesn't solve the problem, it just sweeps it under the rug. Not everyone will agree with how our site is and we will lose users, but we don't want to lose those who could be valuable if they just have a better first experience
@QAtash So? If people dislike the site they dislike the site. We can't make our site appeal to everyone.
This is like the story about trying to please everyone, and instead you wind up pleasing no one. And become Yahoo Answers.
@QAtash We can't please everyone, unfortunately.
7:52 PM
Comments go a long way, don't underestimate them at all. The difference between "Read the FAQ: X is off-topic" and "Hi, <name>, welcome to Arqade! We work a little differently than other sites, and X is off-topic here. Check out our FAQ for more info about these types of questions" is huge.
But if we've been polite and they still leave, maybe that is for the best.
I'm not trying to please everyone. I'm trying to look at the experience to make it as good as possible, and I don't think that "being polite" is the only area we are lacking in
@JasonBerkan I have nothing against that at all
@QAtash I'm sure there are other areas we are lacking in, but I think most of it is just communication.
@MarkTrapp This reminds me of the "snarky comments" thing (and "What Stack Overflow Is Not") that Shog and Robert have been on about recently.
@QAtash I agree that we may as well examine all facets instead of just assuming that "Be nice" is all we have to remember. Clarifying our policywork and such is always helpful in these kinds of scenarios.
7:55 PM
@Wipqozn I don't agree. If it was just communication about our rules and such, I'd think it would be difficult to lose people who already understand the SE system like RobV
@GraceNote yeah: not a fan of the pro-forma commenting. Dehumanizes the whole thing. If you're not going to engage a user and nicely explain why a question is off-topic, better to not leave a comment at all
@GraceNote And I have no disagreements. Be nice. But we are focusing on that, and all of us here know that
@QAtash Just want to emphasize I said "mostly communication", not all. There may very well be other problems we're lacking in. I just think that the majority of it is communication issues.
@Wipqozn And I'm disagreeing that is is mostly communication. I think some of it is, but I think there are a lot of areas we aren't doing as well as we need to be, and communication is big, but I'm not convinced it is the biggest
The other big thing is from the start of this room - gamers are used to discussion forums where they can discuss anything about games. New users arrive with that mindset.
7:57 PM
@QAtash Yeah, I know. Just wanted to make sure you understood exactly what I was saying, since it sounded like you thought I was saying "Communication is the only problem".
If this question got asked today it would be closed instantly
@Wipqozn Yeah, no worries. I understood. :)
@JasonBerkan YEah, this is a problem we've known about for awhile. A lot of newer users don't understand this isn't a forum.
@QAtash What are you suggesting needs to be fixed other than communication?
@pixel That question is almost two years old. You can't compare things we did two years ago when the site was just starting to how we handle things now, and say "We're too strict."
There are plenty of questions on the site which should be closed from the earliest days of the say.
7:59 PM
@MarkTrapp That is why I started this thread and what I think needs to be identified.
What are our biggest problem areas
Communication we know about, and we can always work on that, but there are likely many others
@QAtash … you can't say "there are other problems besides communication" and not have any idea what those are. Take a position.
@QAtash Like what? name some things.
@GraceNote: Do we present new users with the FAQ before they ask/answer?
I'm asking you since I just assume you'll know.
@JasonBerkan The UX person in me dies a little when you say this. Blaming the problem on the users isn't a good solution, but I do agree. We do have a problem with perception upon entry and assumptions being made
@Wipqozn We present /questions/how-to-ask and /questions/how-to-answer, respectively.
8:02 PM
@MarkTrapp Haha, I will. My goal with this was to pull in user quotes and discuss them, but I haven't had a chance yet to comb through stuff on the site yet
Answerers also have a little extra text at the top of the message box if they're brand new, which is customizeable per site.
@MarkTrapp @GraceNote Great, thanks. I thought we presented something, but I wasn't sure / didn't know how to find the page.
Aside from making a new acocunt.
> Our community is defined by a specific set of topics in the faq; please try to stick to those topics
Just wanted to make sure that was in there.
@QAtash Then how do you know there's a problem other than what everyone else has identified (i.e., communication)? You've been on the site long enough: what, specifically, is lacking besides communication?
One thing I can think of would be adding an additional "What does Closed mean?" section. That would help new users better understand what closed means.
@MarkTrapp attitude at times
8:04 PM
That is located in the FAQ, but putting it on that page would make it more prominent to new users.
@pixel Can you be more specific?
@Wipqozn I agree with this
@Wipqozn honestly I don't think any of the people that have had a problem have read the FAQ
gameaddict as an example
@MarkTrapp We are very gung-ho on this site, and to new users it can likely be very intimidating
and the unknown user
8:05 PM
This would be so much easier if I was 10k+...
@Wipqozn Several sites have created meta questions to expand on what closed means: we could create one and link to it in the FAQ. Programmers example, English example.
the comments got butchered
duno if you can still see them, perfectly example of 'attitude'
@QAtash Can you be more specific?
@pixel Which comments, specifically?
@MarkTrapp if you can see the comments and it isn't obvious to you...
@MarkTrapp as they've been edited, I can no longer see the comments.
8:07 PM
@MarkTrapp @pixel has a good recent set. But we also tend to close things quick and no one will respond. Its easy to say be polite or don't say anything, but a lot of times no one will step up
@pixel If it was obvious to everyone, we wouldn't have a problem. :P Specific examples and explanations of why they are a problem help shape the solution
@pixel that's why I'm suggesting moving the "closed" part into the section. Not only does it put more emphasis on it, but makes it more likely users will see it.
@QAtash How do we fix that? You can't compel people to comment if they don't want to.
@MarkTrapp unfortunately when stuff is removed from my field of view it no longer becomes my problem to point it out.
@MarkTrapp Not worried about solutions, worried about the problem (for now). Again, this comes from the UX person in me.
8:09 PM
@pixel I'm not asking for hard citations, I'm asking for specifics about what the attitude was in those comments. Were they too terse? Did they make fun of the asker's mother? What about them was problematic?
I just want to point out that if new users aren't reading the FAQ that's more their problem than ours. You should be reading the FAQ before posting.
Maybe we should make it more clear users should do that, but we shouldn't give users a pass and be like "oh, they probably didn't read the FAQ. That's okay"
They were inappropriate for use against a new person who had just turned up
@pixel didn't the asker have a few hundred rep?
@Wipqozn And I'm sure you read the FAQ and about page on every site you visit? This is a bad mentality. Users don't read. Ever. Sad but true. And being on the web, we need to be able to work with that
@Wipqozn I think it's important to assume good faith: assume users just missed the link and politely welcome the user to the site and explain what's going on.
8:10 PM
@pixel What, specifically, was inappropriate about them?
@murgatroid99 a few hundred over a 1 year 9 month period
@MarkTrapp wow are you serious? Which part of "they were deleted" doesn't compute with you?
@MarkTrapp If I'd known I was going to get repeatedly questioned about them I'd have written them down. Is it that you can't see them or you see nothing wrong with what went on?
@MarkTrapp I agree, I just don't think that giving users a "free pass" because they didn't read the FAQ is acceptable.
@pixel Only one comment got deleted: "I guess I am not one of 'most users' then?"
@pixel my point is that new/inexperienced might not be an accurate description of the user to which the comments were directed
Whether or not you read the FAQ if your question is off-topic it's off-topic. We explain that, and then point you to the FAQ.
8:12 PM
@pixel You're claiming they were a perfect example of the problem: you've used vague words like "attitude" and "inappropriate", but you seem to have a clear idea of what about those comments showed attitude and inappropriateness, I'm merely asking for why you think that's the case. What about them strikes you as such? Otherwise, this isn't a very good example.
We don't hold off on closing their questions.
@MarkTrapp "This question is ridiculous"
@QAtash More or less what I said to Mark, and what he himself said. Assumed good faith and all. I just don't believe in holding off on closing a users questions because they "haven't read the FAQ" is good idea at all.
@MarkTrapp Personally, I thought it was rude to call the question ridiculous, and my cursor hovered over the flag comment button on that comment.
I've seen multiple people makes claims like that, and it really bothers me.
8:13 PM
@MarkTrapp since you can't get over the comments being deleted, I saw the comment, the mental note in my head that stuck with me was inappropriate attitude, it spawned an entire conversation in The Bridge so feel free to look through transcripts
From the comments on the question
@QAtash ugh, is that still therE?
@MarkTrapp since I don't keep a detailed log of every interaction I make during the day that is the best I can do for you.
I flagged that thinking it would be removed.
@pixel They weren't deleted (see GraceNote's last message)
8:14 PM
Telling someone their "question is ridiculous" is just rude, which is one of the flag reasons for comments.
@GraceNote on the question that got opened and closed and then reopened?
@Wipqozn I'm not suggesting holding off either, just to be clear ;)
@QAtash Ugh, I agree that's pretty bad. Calling a question ridiculous is always liable to be taken personally.
@pixel The FPS one? Yes.
New rule: don't call questions ridiculous.
8:15 PM
@QAtash not saying you were, but many people have. I just wanted to take this chance to rant about it a bit, since it's relevant :P
@MarkTrapp No way to not take it personally, and unfortunately it is just an example that survived
The fact a mod turned down my flag is what makes me concerned.
@QAtash Other users should be flagging comments like that as rude/offensive
@Wipqozn That's definitely a problem too
@Wipqozn That is a good example of an issue. Now we're getting somewhere. Was there a comment on it explaining why?
(Don't name the mod please)
Not looking to point fingers here
8:17 PM
@GraceNote @MarkTrapp you know what, it was the 'This question is ridiculous. You seem to be confused with the fact that other people might need/desire different sensitivities for their controllers and then imply this is unfair?' comment and I was looking at the wrong question
@QAtash If I knew the mod I would have talked to him about it, sadly I don't.
the fact it got upvoted is even worse
since it means more than one person thinks it's appropriate
@pixel That one was definitely out of line, and really should've been deleted quicker
ah, wait. You mean a comment explaining why the flag was turned down, don't you @QAtash?
This question is ridiculous. You seem to be confused with the fact that other people might need/desire different sensitivities for their controllers and then imply this is unfair? — tiddy yesterday
For anyone who hasn't seen the comment I'm talking about.
@Wipqozn are you suggesting it was flagged and turned down?
8:19 PM
@pixel Yes, it was flagged and turned down
Post flag was approved. Comment flag was declined.
@GraceNote Was there a reason why? I can't see comment flags, only post ones.
@GraceNote what does that mean ?
Unfortunately, because comments are comments, we don't actually have recorded who flagged it or who declined it.
@GraceNote That seems kind of silly, but okay.
8:21 PM
@pixel It means the post received a flag for a different reason that the moderators found helpful (and for obvious reasons I can't share the flag), while some comment on the question was flagged (I can assume which one, but that, too, isn't documented) and that flag was declined.
@Wipqozn Comments are intended to be ephemeral and unimportant; however, I was (as are many moderators) of the school of "when in doubt, delete comments"
@GraceNote most likely an accident or is it designed in a way where that is unlikely?
@GraceNote I think that should maybe be a feature request that could come out of this then
@pixel As a general point, most comment flags are not acted upon.
@GraceNote understood
8:22 PM
We generally wait for them to either accumulate and take auto-action, or for them to expire naturally.
IIRC, if a mod declines a comment flag, it clears all previous action on the comment, n'est-ce pas? So if 3 people had flagged that comment as rude and a mod declined it, 6 more people would have to flag it as rude instead of what would've been 3?
@MarkTrapp So it's similiar to how Chat flags work?
Assuming you're correct in your understanding.
@Wipqozn Yeah, that's how I understood them to work
Except only diamond mods could dismiss them: you can't vote to invalidate a comment flag as a regular user
also, it just occurs to me I should really be doing this in this room, considering the name...
insert coin
8:31 PM
@MarkTrapp Well, basically, clearing a comment flag just neutralizes the count, so, yes.
Alright, we've died down a little bit (and I can finally catch up), so let's talk about specific instances. The one we just discussed is good and brings up a potential feature request around comment flags and an area maybe mods can think about.
However, this post was discussing a different instance. Now the post did get to an unhelpful point, but examining the cause I think is important.
Unfortunately, a 10k+ or mod would have to pull up the original post as it has since been deleted
@QAtash If I had the link I'd be happy to copy paste it here.
Although a lot of that users problems seem to come from not understanding that closing is a temporary state.
Well, his actual problems. Not just his mindless ranting.
@Wipqozn - Expecting a new user to check the meta for an issue they don't know the name of is unrealistic. If it is important enough to ban and delete a question type, then it is important enough to add it to the FAQ. — Ren the Unclean Mar 24 at 22:16
To me that really sounds like not understanding closing is temporary.
but I'll loop back to what you were saying, so keep the focus.
@GraceNote: Are you able to easily retrieve deleted question by this user?
One thing we don't want to do is make the FAQ a catch-all any time someone questions a closure: then nobody will read it even if they happen to stumble on the page. We made that mistake on Programmers and got nothing but flak for it until it was simplified.
I took a quick skim through he meta, but I didn't see anything. I may have just missed it.
@MarkTrapp Yeah, that too.
We can't possibly fit everything into the FAQ.
8:39 PM
@MarkTrapp Another good suggestion. Always just pointing to the FAQ is not very helpful
Ideally, a closure should be easily explained without external references in a short, polite comment. External references are just if the user wants to understand how the sausage was made.
@QAtash Do you mean only linking to the FAQ, and nothing else?
Because I think always linking to the FAQ / relevant meta topics are important.
@Wipqozn I believe that's implied by the word "just" there
@Wipqozn Yes. You can link to it, but you shouldn't just link to it. You should summarize the FAQ so they get the gist without needing the external reference
@GraceNote ...I missed that word...
The sad part is that I reread it a few times.
If I had a tortoise shame image I'd post it.
8:44 PM
GIS for "tortoise shame"
Final Revision of question was asking: How can I track the games I play?
Original REvision: Are there any sites like Goodreads for video games?
@MarkTrapp Looks like disapproving wise tortoise.
Reminds me of confession bear to be honest
To be honest I'm not sure why that question wasn't re-opened :/
I thought it was actually...
@GraceNote Thank you.
@Wipqozn It is a rec question, but from the sounds of it Ren was being very cooperative and understanding
Maybe could have survived as a CW
8:48 PM
@QAtash It originally was, which is why it was closed. But he revised it quite well imo.
Which actually brings up a good point, how many CW questions do we have, and what purpose do we want them to serve on the site
@QAtash Waits for @GraceNote to rage about people incorrectly using CW
questions like this (I can't see it, but I'm assuming) might be able to survive as such and could be a way for new users to contribute without breaking format too much
@Wipqozn Heh, that's why I asked the question on what purpose we wanted them to serve
@QAtash Well, I'll tell you this much, it's not meant to be a magic force to keep bad questions opened.
@Wipqozn And I have no expectation for it to be such
It looks like we have 26 on the site at the moment
8:51 PM
@GraceNote we? I thought it was just SO
@QAdp All sites do
As in, a required click-through page before you can ask your question?
Wow, okay.
8:54 PM
@Wipqozn Now if you will all excuse me, I'm going to go make some delicious, delicious salmon... and I'm going to ping myself so I can easily find the point in the conversation I left.
@Wipqozn Haha, poor man's bookmark :)
@QAtash If this question should be undeleted and reopened, we should have that discussion outside of new user on boarding, but bending the rules for new users is not how to fix the problem: a question is good or bad, regardless of how recent the asker joined the site
@pixel 400 rep and ~6k on SO isn't "just turned up"
@QAdp it's just turned up here, really... his complaint is specific to Arqade not the whole of SO
Still - 400 rep, 17 answers and 5 questions
8:57 PM
Unless he has deleted posts on his profile, it looks like he did pretty fine during ME3Missions. The "straw that broke the camel's back" comment seems out of place based on what's public
@QAdp Agreed. It's not really a new new user.
@MarkTrapp I agree. I'm just tying it back in. Some users ask questions like this and get shot down. And in this case, this user was cooperative (based on comments) and still was annoyed enough to post about how bad the new user experience on the site was
If he thinks Arqade is unfriendly territory for new users, he hasn't visited Skeptics yet. We have even more obscure rules about what kind of questions you can ask, and we'll mercilessly remove uncited answers.
@MadScientist Haha, we're working on improving new user experience one site at a time here ;) lol
@QAtash Skeptics works, though. It's important to remember the site doesn't exist to get more users: it's to answer questions. More users doesn't mean anything if quality goes down as a result.
9:04 PM
@MarkTrapp But sites die without new users with new questions/perspectives. Trust me, I've been involved in a number of them. A few still dieing slowly
Being nice about closing stuff and explaining it properly is very important, but I personally wouldn't consider the new user experience a factor in deciding the on/off-topic rules
@QAtash New questions? Sure: but we don't suffer at all from lack of questions. New perspectives? This isn't a discussion board: having new perspectives is not really important.
@MadScientist Neither would I. But that decides the audience and scope which comes into play on new user experience and what type of users we're looking to craft it for
I should badger some SE employees again about my request for statistics about the number of active users, but my guess would be that Arqade is consistently gaining active users
The sites that suffer from lack of questions are generally due to the topic, not the users. Atheism had a ton of users, but still ran out of questions.
9:06 PM
@MarkTrapp Not yet we don't, but the process isn't overnight. Trust me, without new users we will die. And new perspectives comes in more than just for discussions. It also includes things like type of games, which is relevant for us
There are a few instances I remember where I think some users took the subjectiveness criteria too far, and tried to close strategy questions that certainly work on Q&A sites. That is problematic, but it isn't widespread, at least as far as I can tell.
At least dieing with no new users has been my experience 100/100 times
I dont think that we are really struggling for users though, but I have to admit I don't pay a lot of attention that way - some of this is just selection bias - we remember the bad situations much easier than the good ones
@QAtash There's no evidence we have that problem, or even close to that problem: Arqade's traffic is growing exponentially by nearly every metric despite our new user unfriendliness issue. We can and should be nicer to new users and help the willing a bit more, but we nowhere near "get new blood or die" mode.
Arqade is one of the most healthy SE 2.0 sites I know, we have a large number of users active on meta, editing and participating, compared to our question volume
9:09 PM
@MarkTrapp And I'm not saying we are (sorry if I gave that impression). I'm saying that if our new user experience continues to be a barrier that we never address, we could easily get into that situation
@MadScientist But sometimes a vocal minority are dangerous
@QAtash Yeah, this is a point, but I dont think it is where we are. I think e could be a little gentler to people, but it comes from having a userbase of some very opinionated people
@AshleyNunn No, its not now.
But I'd rather fix the problem now
That sounds fair to me
@QAtash I was working on a video that read stuff to people instead but then lost steam... I became worried it'd end up reading like this -…
I figure we need to learn to separate new users from their questions and our issues of scope, etc. that they naturally will not be aware of
Too often we just get scope arguements, and those are offputting
9:12 PM
It's easier to see when you're completely outside of it though.
I know they have to happen, but if you are a new user and you are like BAM argument all over my shiny post, it can be a little discouraging
But the whole problem isn't unique to Arqade, read any HN or Reddit thread about SO and you'll find mostly endless complaining about the nazi mods and that they close all the interesting questions. The whole SE model looks pretty hostile from the outside, and I'm not sure there is all that much we could change about that.
@MarkTrapp Hardly any comment ever gets 2 flags anyway
I think we may always experience "scope" growing/definition pains, but I do think new users would find that intimidating
Comment flags should be exposed to the community, so that they'll actually be acted on. There was a recent feature request about that on meta, making comment flags more like chat flags
9:15 PM
Yeah, it is a problem inherent with people coming from other sources and expecting SE to work the same, and it doesn't. it isn't supposed to, but people tend to assume the internet all works the same way
@QAtash I know I would.
maybe moving scope discussions to chat so that new users don't have to see the sausage being made is a good idea
@QAtash Really aawkward metaphor, but I agree.
Or maybe not chat, but meta.
Either way, the long comment strings need to be pruned
Well, it is on meta, but usually some discussion occurs on the comments around it first, and then it gets brought to meta
@QAdp Which just raises more questions about why that comment flag was declined :/. I could understand a mod—not realizing a dismissal clears the flag count—wanting to let the community decide if that had a hope of succeeding, but if rude/offensive comments rarely get deleted by the community, that's when mods should be stepping in
@MarkTrapp All I know is it hopefully wasn't me, but that's not very helpful isn't it?
9:17 PM
maybe just a comment saying "this meta post is about the topic. Why don't you join in the discussion?" or something... though that might be just as intimidating
but have all discussion on if scope should be talked about in chat, away from a new users question
Links should be there between the two, but only when a discussion on scope has been decided upon
@QAdp Isn't there a flag history on the deleted comments view? But that probably only shows validated flags
@MadScientist see Grace's comments above; there's no data
@QAdp NO AND YOU SHOULD FEEL BAD! But seriously, it's deleted now so it's not a problem anymore. I hope it was just an accident, though: not being able to get rid of rude of offensive comments puts a damper in any project to be nicer to new users
@QAtash Most scope issues that new users would have issues with have already been decided: telling a user to "join the discussion" around game rec or ITG would be incredibly frustrating to a new user
It's rare that a new user happens to ask a type of question that's in active debate anymore
9:25 PM
@MarkTrapp No, but new users can sometimes ask things we haven't talked about yet. Like the one about FPS games. That was a grey area question (after edit)
But I do agree that would likely be frustrating to new users
Our debates do usually get pretty heated lol
yeah and we dont really want to rehash old decisions for every new user. thats just trouble.
I just think we need to be a little....nicer, instead of just jumping on everything, but I generally advocate niceness
Is it possible to hide the names of users who voted to close a question until a certain rep level (200 for example?)
The idea being that if your very first question gets shot down by *actual people*, it's like lev80s are camping the lev1 PVP area. If it just gets "closed", maybe it takes some sting away?
That is a decent idea
@SteveV Maybe, but then it is a little impersonal, and that is what we want to get away from. I think it would be better to have the people (and hopefully someone commented so you can discuss things if you disagree or need clarification)
@SteveV I don't think so. I think it's good to make it apparent that users closing questions are that - users, not almighty power hungry modraters
9:39 PM
Okay, good example going on right now
and five users at that
Q: Progression through WoW that avoids spiders

LadadadadaBackground: My girlfriend is terrified of spiders. So much so that she cringes and closes her eyes whenever there are spiders on my screen, even if I'm not fighting them. I'm now introducing her to World of Warcraft. I'm looking for a progression from level 1 through to level 85 that avoids sp...

Try some theraphy, or try a physician. — Shiki 23 mins ago
@QAdp I agree with this 110%.
@QAtash ...funny on the internet doesn't always work I see :/
@QAtash O.o
9:40 PM
I mean, it's obviously a joke to me given the first paragraph but...
@QAdp If I knew someone, I would make that joke. On the internet to a stranger about his gf, it's not as appropriate
I agree it is likely a joke, but to a new user, it could be taken a little (or a lot) offensively
i suspect it is intended as a joke, but considering the subject matter....i know a lot of people with fears of that maginitude. I get that we can't be like omg hand holding happytimes yay kumbaya everywhere, but.....I don't know. Human decency, maybe?
@QAtash That's the kind of comment that can be safely deleted without losing anything important.
@MadScientist I agree and have flagged. But for new users, its the kind of thing we should be diligent about. For those of us who have been here a while, I would have laughed at that comment and not cared
but that's because of my experience with the site and know the people and intentions behind the comment
Yeah, Arqade is a vastly different beast when you know the players, but same goes for any online community though
9:46 PM
As a Skeptics mod, I tend to nuke any comment that seems to go into a more personal direction, trying to stop the arguments before they really start. And jokes in comments are expendable
Okay, so what is it about those online communities that keeps people coming back?
@SteveV which communities?
The ones that Ashley mentioned
I didn't mention any.....
Sorry, let me try again
We've all been new users and we are still here. That means that somehow or other we managed to not be driven away by the existing community. There's some reason for that - the community had or did something you liked or wanted to be a part of.
9:50 PM
but naturally, we can't make it all things for all people, either
We've already got something going for us - great answers to questions about video games. But based on the fact that this this chat room exists, that's not enough. So what else is there we can do?
That's what I meant to say.
@SteveV That's what we want to find out. Well, at least in some way. Less about "what more can we do" and more about "how can we capitalize on what we have and help new people enjoy it"
@SteveV: It's not that we think our new user experience is terrible, it's that we think it can be improved.
I think we normally do a good job dealing with new users, but there are more than enough situations where we handled things less than ideally.
Edit warring with them without explaining the reason for the edit is one example.
That's something else @QAtash, which agent touched on.
editing new users posts and then if they roll it back ro ask why, not explaining
I like how nothing happened to "Try some theraphy, or try a physician." since I last looked
still only 1 flag
wasn't there consensus just a few minutes ago that the comment needed to go?
oh wait, the flags are 2. I stand corrected
@Wipqozn Yeah, that's a bad one. And I, in all fairness, am guilty there
@QAdp 1 is mine, and I can do no more than flag
9:59 PM
@QAtash Sure, but... there's a few eyes around here
I thought that surely I didn't need to do anything on it myself :P
or should I rather think that people don't actually think the comment's bad enough? Still 2 flags.
Oh well
How many does it need?
6 I believe
@QAdp I personally didn't think the comment was bad, but it could just be like @QAtash said about me knowing the site.
Alright, I've been in here for about 3 hours now, gonna take a break and go do other things with my day, but I'll be back later to continue this
10:06 PM
Hasta lasagna, I'll do the same
1 hour later…
11:32 PM
I think that one thing that may go a decent way to easing new users into the site is if you VTC a question and you see that no one has left a comment explaining why they're VTCing, leave a comment. If someone has left a comment that you feel explains the reasoning well, upvote that comment.
It makes me really, really sad whenever I run across a question that's been closed by 5 10k+ users and see that not a single one of them has left a comment to the user about why their question was closed.
I know we don't all have the patience or are in the mood all the time to deal with new users, but one would hope that at least one out of five people VTCing a question would take the time to explain to a new user what exactly they need to fix, if only to lessen the likelihood that they will make the same mistake again and cause more work in the future.

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