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I personally think that moderators should have a fun way to introducing our new users to Coffee.SE. Seriously, it is getting old with this similar phrase:

Welcome to Coffee.SE! Please remember to take the tour and earn your next badge of honor! Please take a quick visit to the Help Center to help improve the quality of future your posts.

Lots of mods use a similar phrase to introduce new users on whatever SE site they are on (Sam Whited, you know what I mean :-) ). It starts to get old, then boring, and finally just plain annoying. New users should receive a warm, meaningful welcome, not a robotic-like message implied to every new user. My question is, how should the Coffee Mods introduce our new users in a warm, friendly way without using the same message again and again? All suggestions are appreciated and don't be afraid to share your idea?

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    Well, not just mods! Anyone can welcome. If you'd like to welcome, welcome away! Just be nice. Please. :) – hoc_age Feb 20 '15 at 2:29
  • Interesting idea; like hoc_age said, everyone should feel free to help out new users and make them feel at home! (That being said, too many welcome comments could lead to clutter) – Sam Whited Feb 20 '15 at 2:39
  • Here's a similar discussion on SFF! Essentially we thought that adding "Welcome" and not much else can make the question seem "too chatty" or "noisy", it can make the new user feel like they've done something wrong. YMMV! – Möoz Mar 3 '15 at 21:42
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First off, a defense of messages like that one. Keep in mind that the welcome isn't for us, it's for the new user. Even if the same welcome message has been posted plenty of times and you're tired of it, it's the first time they've seen it - that's why they're being welcomed! So it doesn't seem nearly so robotic to them as to you.

Also, while making them feel welcomed is half the goal, letting them know about the ground rules is really important too. A lot of people expect discussion forums, and are really confused by the way StackExchange sites work the first time they visit. They post not-really-answers, they take downvotes personally, and so on. Pointing them to the tour/help at the first opportunity is an attempt to avoid this.

So in my mind, the canned messages are fine. I might tweak the one you quoted a bit, but there's nothing wrong with something along those lines. If I wanted to go beyond that, I'd simply to throw in a specific comment as well - something very simple that I liked about their post, or a suggestion for improving it. But that's not always too easy, and I don't think there's anything wrong with just using the template.


That said, if you want more variety, why not just welcome them yourself?

The moderators don't own the site. Their primary job is to do the things that no one else can. This early in a beta, there's a little more in that category since there are fewer high-reputation users. But welcoming a new user? All you need to be able to do is comment.

So if you want to contribute some variety, go for it. A variety of users doing the welcoming is perhaps even more meaningful than a variety of messages: it demonstrates that the site is a community site, not one kept carefully under the control of a few moderators. Just keep in mind why you're doing it: to make them feel welcome, yes, but also to help them learn how the site works so they can make good contributions.

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  • I did say that the message is for the new users – Anthony Pham Feb 20 '15 at 2:35
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    @PythonMaster Yup, but you also said that the welcomes are boring and annoying (to you). I'm trying to point out that unless it's annoying the new users, it's not really a concern. – Cascabel Feb 20 '15 at 2:40
  • So if I understand you correctly... we should welcome new users into the community by using bad examples of the kinds of comments we encourage to do the welcoming? Seems a little backwards, doesn't it? – corsiKa Mar 4 '15 at 0:04
  • @corsiKa I did say I would tweak that message a bit. All I meant to say is that it's fine to use the same message every time. I was trying to avoid the issue of collectively proofreading a single user's choice of message. – Cascabel Mar 4 '15 at 2:56

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