Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Try Vanilla Forums Cloud product

How to greet a new member to vanillaforums.org

LincLinc Director of DevelopmentDetroit Vanilla Staff
edited October 2013 in Tutorials

Folks come here from many different backgrounds and situations. Some come to share info, but many more register at a moment of hopelessness or confusion when they need help.

To build a community, the first interaction with a new member is critical. Their first reception will inform every subsequent interaction they have on the site. It sets the tone for conversation and what they expect when they come here. It resonates forever.

I understand as a veteran user, their is monotony to repetition. This is especially true when new users fall into the same traps over and over: not specifying version, not using search first, not giving enough information or the exact error message, and on and on.

This is not their fault.

If new members fall into the same traps, it is a failing of our software and onboarding process. We should be looking at finding solutions to those issues, not being short-tempered to the users.

When coming across a user who has not been onboarded well, you currently have three options:

  • Greet them and be friendly. :)
  • Say nothing. :(
  • Greet them, be friendly, AND patiently guide them to provide the information / take the additional steps they missed. :D

Making your first discussion on a new community site and getting a 2-word answer of "Use search." or a curt copy/paste answer in all-bold or caps is not a good feeling. Let's not be in the business of making people feel like fools for asking us for help in the most direct way possible.

Shadowdare50sQuiffR_JUnderDogYTatLETeej

Comments

  • peregrineperegrine MVP
    edited October 2013

    This is especially true when new users fall into the same traps over and over: not specifying version, not using search first, not giving enough information or the exact error message, and on and on.

    a friendly suggestion - it seems simple to me (but perhaps the mailing is complex):

    • How about making an announcement of posting guidelines. that also includes the links of food for thought and the etiquette link. It might solve the problem on both ends, since very few people post the version, etc and the question is reptitive.

    • another idea for the onboarding process - is after registration send a message to the new user with posting guidelines as well.

    what would be the problem with that??

    I may not provide the completed solution you might desire, but I do try to provide honest suggestions to help you solve your issue.

    vrijvlinder
  • LincLinc Director of Development Detroit Vanilla Staff

    I agree an auto message after registering would be great. We don't have that feature afaik.

    I don't honestly think a new user ever stops to read announcements before posting. We have some ideas for the New Discussion form that I think will work far better. We'll get there :)

    vrijvlinderUnderDog
  • peregrineperegrine MVP
    edited October 2013

    I don't honestly think a new user ever stops to read announcements before posting.

    I respectfully disagree - some people might!

    it couldn't hurt if even one person reads it.

    • please Post:
      - "A Posting Guidelines Announcement" at the top of forum

    • Perhaps in multiple languages

    • I am sure some of the chinese, russian, german, spanish, italian , etc. speakers would be glad to translate the Announcement in the comments below.

    • i won't belabor point Anymore about this anymore (at least for a few nanoseconds. :)

    I may not provide the completed solution you might desire, but I do try to provide honest suggestions to help you solve your issue.

    vrijvlinder
  • hgtonighthgtonight ∞ · New Moderator

    I am literally in the middle of writing a similar discussion and am delighted you beat me to the punch.

    Search first

    Check out the Documentation! We are always looking for new content and pull requests.

    Click on insightful, awesome, and funny reactions to thank community volunteers for their valuable posts.

    Teej
  • peregrineperegrine MVP
    edited October 2013

    the other thing that could be done.

    is the first reply in the first discussion by a new registrant could have pleasant chit-chat automatically inserted

    "Hi, Welcome to the forum, we are so glad you stopped by, and eagerly want to help you, what is your version of vanilla?"

    then hgtonight would save on the typing :).

    I may not provide the completed solution you might desire, but I do try to provide honest suggestions to help you solve your issue.

    hgtonightUnderDog
  • hgtonighthgtonight ∞ · New Moderator

    @peregrine said:
    then hgtonight would save on the typing :).

    I am not ashamed to admit that I have a text file with my common responses to new users and just copy and paste. I always try to add something specific to the situation.

    I don't have a solution for when I am mobile, but I am fine typing things out by hand on that rare occasion :D

    Search first

    Check out the Documentation! We are always looking for new content and pull requests.

    Click on insightful, awesome, and funny reactions to thank community volunteers for their valuable posts.

    peregrineUnderDog
  • ShadowdareShadowdare π Moderator
    edited October 2013

    Nice tutorial. Thanks for writing this.

    Add Pages to Vanilla with the Basic Pages app | Publish articles with the Articles app

  • hgtonighthgtonight ∞ · New Moderator

    My related thoughts on this subject can be found here: http://vanillaforums.org/discussion/25053/how-to-welcome-new-users-to-your-community

    Search first

    Check out the Documentation! We are always looking for new content and pull requests.

    Click on insightful, awesome, and funny reactions to thank community volunteers for their valuable posts.

  • peregrineperegrine MVP
    edited October 2013

    even a change to the config.php on this forum.

    Assuming these work with the additional info ...

    <br />    $Definition['EmailInvitation'] = 'Hello!
    
    Please take a minute to read the forum etiquette before posting.  It will greatly improve your interaction with the community!
    
        http://vanillaforums.org/discussion/23130/forum-post-ettikett-etiquette
    
        %1$s has invited you to join %2$s. If you want to join, you can do so by clicking this link:
    
        %3$s';
        $Definition['EmailMembershipApproved'] = 'Hello %1$s,
    
        You have been approved for membership. 
    
        Please take a minute to read the forum etiquette before posting.  It will greatly improve your interaction with the community!
    
        http://vanillaforums.org/discussion/23130/forum-post-ettikett-etiquette
    
        Sign in now at the following link:
    
        %2$s';
        $Definition['EmailWelcome'] = 'Please take a minute to read the forum etiquette before posting.  It will greatly improve your interaction with the community!
    
        http://vanillaforums.org/discussion/23130/forum-post-ettikett-etiquette
    
        %2$s has created an account for you at %3$s. 
    
    
        Your login credentials are:
    
        Email: %6$s
        Password: %5$s
        Url: %4$s';
    
        $Definition['EmailConfirmEmail'] = 'Please take a minute to read the forum etiquette before posting.  It will greatly improve your interaction with the community!
    
        http://vanillaforums.org/discussion/23130/forum-post-ettikett-etiquette
    
        You need to confirm your email address before you can continue. Please confirm your email address by clicking on the following link: {/entry/emailconfirm,exurl,domain}/{User.UserID,rawurlencode}/{EmailKey,rawurlencode}';
    
    
    
        $Definition['EmailWelcomeRegister'] = 'Please take a minute to read the forum etiquette before posting.  It will greatly improve your interaction with the community!
    
        http://vanillaforums.org/discussion/23130/forum-post-ettikett-etiquette
    
        You have successfully registered for an account at {Title}. Here is your information:
    
        Username: {User.Name}
        Email: {User.Email}
    
        You can access the site at {/,exurl,domain}.';
        $Definition['EmailWelcomeConnect'] = 'Please take a minute to read the forum etiquette before posting.  It will greatly improve your interaction with the community!
    
        http://vanillaforums.org/discussion/23130/forum-post-ettikett-etiquette
    
        You have successfully connected to {Title}. Here is your information:
    
        Username: {User.Name}
        Connected With: {ProviderName}
    
        You can access the site at {/,exurl,domain}.';
    
    
    

    I may not provide the completed solution you might desire, but I do try to provide honest suggestions to help you solve your issue.

    vrijvlinder
  • vrijvlindervrijvlinder Papillon-Sauvage MVP
    edited October 2013

    I was made to walk on hot coals when I joined, you mean to say that was wrong? lol but it helped me learn faster I think ... :)

    I will make more effort to be sweet, kind of hard when you are an old bitter woman but will try :)

  • SrggamerSrggamer HardCore Gamer ✭✭✭

    I would agree, but then again you would not want someone cussing at you for been wrong or misguiding them by accident! :(

  • ilovetechilovetech Vanilla 2.1 ✭✭

    Speaking of New, how did I get off new? (i don't know the whole story between levels)

  • LincLinc Director of Development Detroit Vanilla Staff

    @ilovetech It's automatic based on points.

  • phreakphreak VanillaAPP - White label iOS and Android App MVP

    @Lincoln said:
    I agree an auto message after registering would be great. We don't have that feature afaik.

    I use the plugin Register PM, which works good under 2.0.18.8. Maybe this may help to place a little guide there a la "Where to start".

    UnderDog
Sign In or Register to comment.