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We've been discussing the issue of how to treat new users for a long time now, without much results so far (see ). The discussion gets lost in arguments between whether harshness is necessary for maintaining quality or not.
But I can put my finger on one problem regarding treatment of newcomers that has nothing to do with keeping high quality and that can be fixed. That's the overuse of witty, demeaning comments.
I'll give you a few examples:
How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
We do engineering here, not physics phantasy. No technology will ever tell you exactly where something is, so this whole question is pointless and needs to be closed. [Original here]
So, how would someone reuse a rabbit? Oh, wait, I don't wanna know. Forget I said anything...
I don't want to confuse the poor little Arduino user with too much information...
We don't care. This a Arduino user-level question, not about electronics or low level programming.
Huh? What? Try asking in English.
When you stick the card into the slot, it cuts a tiny wire, which holds a mass on a pulley. The mass drops down, and hits a teeter-totter which projects a steel ball into the air. That steel ball lands in a receptacle, where it bridges two contacts. These provide current for a filament which lights a candle which burns through a cotton string. By this time, though, the card has also closed a little-known, inconspicuous switch, doing which activated a relay which closed a bigger switch which provided power to the hotel room. [Original here].
I'm also to blame because one of the comments above is mine. And the last one was directed at me when I was a new user.
The thing is that sometimes those comments are flagged, but moderators dismiss the flag as not helpful, arguing that a little humor is healthy or something to that extent (happened in my case). I agree, in a healthy environment humor is good, but that's not the case when one have problems treating new users like we do. The negative effect to the offended person far outweighs any humor benefits these comments may have to the offender and his or her audience.
To correct this problem I propose the following:
- We encourage users to flag ALL witty, demeaning comments directed at new users.
- We demand our moderators to take action to correct the problem by deleting the post and letting the offender know that he or she should not mistreat newcomers.
I think we should not be lenient towards this behavior, as we are not tolerant with low quality posts. If we do this right, I think this would be a great start at fixing our problematic behavior towards newcomers.
What do you think?