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This question gave me an idea: how about "Getting started" video?

Many web applications or web sites have some training video that teach new users how to use them. Maybe it would be a good idea if we (The Community) prepare such training video for StackOveflow and provide link to it in the FAQ.

The content of this video should explain basic things like Reputation, Voting, Badges, Tags, Searching, Bounties, Permissions, How to ask questions to get valuable answers and of course How to provide valuable answers. There is quite a lot things to grasp and the contents of such video should go further than FAQ does.

What do you think?

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I think the video should only cover some basics of SO, how to ask a good question, how to give a good answer, and comments vs answers. Then, somehow 'require' new users to watch it??? Not sure how to do that, but it would be helpful. –  L_7337 Mar 25 at 12:09

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Video is becoming a stronger mechanism of communication in development community. Just take a look at railscasts. Video also gives a sense of "DNA" which would be nice to see.

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No one will look at it, the same way no one reads any of the FAQs (ever). People can't be bothered with this, they want answers to their problems, they're always in a hurry.

Haven't you seen the simply awful questions that never seem to end? No punctuation, no formatting, barely understandable. They know someone's going to edit them and later answer them, so they don't care.

People that understand the site don't need the videos, because they already grasp the concepts. All the others simply don't care how the site works, all they know is that they'll get their answer, even if they say "solve my problem" or "please send teh codez".

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Actually, there is a substantial body of questions (like the ones you described) that you never see, because they quickly get closed and deleted. I would say the current sentiment in the community is to obliterate those questions, and the OP will either improve, or go somewhere else to get their questions answered. –  Robert Harvey Apr 26 '11 at 17:44
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@alex I tend to disagree: Even people who are interested in learning how the sites work, may have trouble catching the many intricacies and features these sites have to offer. A guided tour might indeed be an interesting idea –  Pëkka Apr 26 '11 at 17:45
    
@RobertHarvey: I edit them and, if I see a pattern, downvote them (even though they don't care). I fully agree with closing/deleting; it's just noise in most cases. –  alex Apr 26 '11 at 17:46
    
@Pekka'sothertrollingaccount: intricacies are not something you pick up in a getting started video, you learn it by being active (and participating in meta). –  alex Apr 26 '11 at 17:47
    
The people who care do read, and the information already exists, but it's not immediately obvious where to find it (It's here). –  Robert Harvey Apr 26 '11 at 17:48
    
@alex mmm, I think a tour going through every feature on the site would reveal new things to a lot of people. I've often seen seasoned users say "what, you can do that? I had no idea!" A video would target advanced users with an actual interest to learn more about the finer aspects. –  Pëkka Apr 26 '11 at 17:49
    
@RobertHarvey: meta's a pretty big place, but people have this bad tendency to not search, ever. @Pekka'sothertrollingaccount: it would help, but I'm not sure most people really care about the more advanced stuff. And when they do, they'll find it. –  alex Apr 26 '11 at 17:51
    
"No one will look at it"... Breasts. –  Won't Apr 26 '11 at 18:08
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@Will: Where, where? –  alex Apr 26 '11 at 18:09
    
I'm with Pekka on this. If someone points me to a "wow new site!", I'll instantly look for a 'tour' link. If there isn't something to help me grok what it's about in under 3 minutes, I'm gone. –  Benjol May 5 '11 at 7:54
    
@Benjol then how come you're still here? If it's a good site people will come back. –  alex May 5 '11 at 8:08
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@alex, I was grandfathered in from Jeff's blog... ;) –  Benjol May 5 '11 at 9:11

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