How to greet a new member to vanillaforums.org
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.
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.