How is it that the majority of questions (WELL over 80%) are from new users. Yet there's little to no effort made to welcome them.

The opposite is true.

"Welcome... now... let me tell you're wrong".

This is never (in my reading of these questions) followed by anything remotely near being WELCOMING.

Is this a result of arrogance, deliberate condescension, ignorance or some other characteristic, behaviour or response?

Does it need to be this way?

Have you ever considered actually being WELCOMING to new users beyond the most superficial preface in comments that are anything but welcoming?

  • 3
    Whats your proposal for addressing the issue?
    – joojaa
    May 25, 2014 at 12:22
  • 3
    @Confused I'm a little puzzled. Are you asking for solutions to a problem, or asking that citizens reflect on their past behaviour? Your question --although hostile-- seems to be asking for productive suggestions. Your comments are less clear about what you hope this post to achieve.
    – BESW
    May 25, 2014 at 14:23
  • Let us continue this discussion in chat.
    – joojaa
    May 25, 2014 at 14:41
  • 1
    Confused and joojaa please take this to chat. The comments section is not the place to have a long conversation.
    – user9447
    May 25, 2014 at 22:08
  • 1
    This is a valid discussion, it has been addressed in almost all SE sites and previously here: Be honest. Be nice. We're all humans (I feel I've shared this link with you before). Your point is of course valid, although leaving an aggressive comment on the site blurb post is not. I share Random's answer, we are a collection of people, I don't think it would be a good idea for every single user to come here and explain why they are or not welcoming to new users. As a community, I think we are.
    – Yisela
    May 26, 2014 at 0:05
  • 5
    Neither users nor mods nor employees can tell people what to write and how to welcome new users. Everyone can leave a comment, if it's rude it gets deleted and the user contacted, if it's confusing (pun intended) it might not. For months you've been criticizing SE's model and I honestly wonder why you use the sites if you are in such disagreement with the way things are generally done (the format is actually open, you can replicate it). If your issues are with GD in particular, open as many posts as you need. If it's SE, I suggest you take it to meta.stackexchange.com
    – Yisela
    May 26, 2014 at 0:11

2 Answers 2


The users of GD are not a homogeneous group, we disagree on a lot of things. There is no council, no secret society, no guaranteed consensus. We learn from each other, we sometimes ignore each other. GD - as any online collection of people - changes both in individuals, culture, tone and use. Leading by example, I think, is the only way to alter things.

I would be delighted to see some exact examples of how we can do better. Personally, I do not see the problem in my welcome-comments, though it seems my comment has triggered some discussion. Having said that, I came from StackOverflow, and if you dare ask something there, it is quite normal to have fifty people piss on your question within half an hour. Compared to that, GD is a delightful walk through the tulips.

Here is how it works for me:

In the review queue I get a "first post" review or "low quality posts".

This could be a first post or first answer from a new user

  • I read the question/answer
  • I read the answer/question

I write "welcome to GD" followed by what I think is constructive. I recognise there is a fine balance. If my comments are considered rude, I would like to know why, and what I could do better. Here are the general welcome comments I use:

New users post lacking informative images:

Hi there, and welcome to GD! It would be most helpful if you could add some screenshots and show us what you have tried and where exactly you get stuck. This saves everybody time, and makes it more likely that you will get helpful answers.

New user font-id question:

Hi there and welcome to GD! We have a collection of font identification resources, and it is a good idea to try that first. Edit your question and let us know what you have tried without luck. Always good to show a little effort, and chances of getting a good answer increases. https://graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/tags/font-identification/info

User (new or not) lacking helpful images

Greetings! It would be of great help to us all if you edited your question to include some images. Saves everyone time, and increases the chances that you will get a good answer.

Not actually an answer

Hi there, and welcome to GD! This does not answer the question, and are better suited for the comments-field. Your post will most likely be removed for that reason, unless you edit it to actually address the question.

The last one, I have altered recently to be:

Hi there, and welcome to GD! This does not really answer the question, and are better suited for the comments-field. Your post will most likely be removed for that reason, but you can edit it to address the question if you like. Do not let that stop you from participating; we know that using this site is a learning curve.

Then if relevant, I alter them slightly if suitable.

I try to be consistent in pointing out to new users that they can edit their questions or answers, that is extremely important information that will help everybody.

I fail to see how to make this more constructive. I could of course write a purely "welcome, nice to see you" without anything else, and then hope that someone else will ask for the information needed to answer the Q. To me, this is inefficient and unnecessary.

The best way, I think, of changing a "culture" is to lead by example.


To me, the alternative to these comments would be vote to close with no explanation, no comment at all. That is not nice.

Another thing: there are other ways of leading by example. Long strings in comments and chat, more or less aggressively demanding welcome-ness without concrete examples is not constructive and not nice reading for new users.

When I first came to GD, I was delighted that someone said "welcome - please provide...".

Here is another way to lead by example. I have never seen you voting in reviews, I can only assume you have not checked what privileges you have.

"I am not a mod"

is not true: you are. As are we all.

In your profile page there is a link called privileges. This will show you what moderating tools you have and where you can help shape this site by voting. Currently you have these privileges:

enter image description here

By clicking review in your toolbar, you can help by leading by example.

  • But how could YOU be more welcoming? Not the community, not SE, Not GD... just YOU!?
    – Confused
    May 27, 2014 at 8:00
  • 5
    think I am doing just fine.
    – benteh
    May 27, 2014 at 8:16
  • Can't improve, at all?
    – Confused
    May 27, 2014 at 8:17
  • Can you see how this could be construed as unwelcoming? graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/questions/31741/…
    – Confused
    May 28, 2014 at 12:08
  • 1
    No. I do not see that.
    – benteh
    May 28, 2014 at 16:45
  • My opinion (since I'm having an opinion sharing day) is that no it is not negative at all. People need to learn the isms of the site. When I first started I didn't feel undermined, I felt appreciative because somebody (I think Scott-thanks man) took the time to welcome me, edit my question and explain what was wrong and how to make it right. Constructive criticism is not insulting. I also recall heading straight to the chatroom as soon as I had the rep, everybody was extremely welcoming which made appreciate the formalities of the forum more so.
    – Jenna
    Jun 12, 2014 at 9:47
  • Nice to hear, and good to have you back @Jenna :)
    – benteh
    Jun 12, 2014 at 15:46

Is this a result of arrogance, deliberate condescension, ignorance or some other characteristic, behaviour or response?

It's a systematic result of how Stack Exchange works. We welcome new users but also need them to understand how to correctly post questions and answers. Simply answering bad questions is insulting to the rest of us. There is nothing arrogant or insulting about saying, "Hey welcome to the site, we have guidelines for X you can find here that'll help us answer your question."

If you could explain exactly how comments such as the bold above is offensive then we can discuss it. If you have to insult us, tell me, JohnB, or anyone else that we're just too stupid to see it, then you are the one that can't justify their own actions and should be asked to leave. It's really that simple as far as I'm concerned.

Does it need to be this way?

Yes it does need to be this way. New members need guidance. If they had read The Tour or The Help then they may have asked a correct question. Most don't, which is a problem with that content being buried. So unfortunately we have to direct most new users to it unless they have experience from another StackExchange site.

Is there a way to change this? I don't know. I think it would be great if first time users were redirected to The Tour before signing up or being able to post a Question. But I don't believe SE has ever done that before, all we could do is make a Feature Request and ask.

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