There are several questions here on meta about "How to guide new users" and in particular "How to educate new users about accepting answers" (see 1, 2, 3, 4). A common approach seems to be to comment on the post, pointing to the FAQ or proposing a certain action.

While these meta-comments are useful, they do not directly contribute to the post itself and therefore could also be considered noise. An alternative to comments is to have the system itself guide new users (see for example this answer and this proposal).

Before engaging into the comments-vs-system-reminders discussion, we first need to get a canonical answer on this question:

  • How does the system currently guide (or prod) new users to participate in using the features of the system?

1 Answer 1



  • "How it works" section and "Tell me more" button is displayed on the first visit to any Stack Exchange site
  • Informed badge for reading the entire about page
  • Notifications about new privileges

Accepting Answers

  • Scholar badge for first accepted answer
  • +2 reputation for each accepted answers
  • "Don't forget you can mark this as the accepted answer by clicking its check mark" note when voting up an answer to your own question (screen shot)
  • "Have you considered accepting an answer or starting a bounty for this question?" note above questions without accepted answer on the questions page in your profile

Giving Feedback

  • Supporter badge for first up vote
  • Critic badge for first down vote
  • "Please consider adding a comment if you think this post can be improved" note when voting down without having commented first
  • Commentator badge when posting the 10th comment

Writing Good Posts

  • Editor formatting help is displayed by default
  • When asking a question, the system analyzes the question before it is posted, and tries to detect possible issues with the question that would cause it to be closed on the site
  • On Stack Overflow only, the Ask Question Wizard guides new users to fill in required parts of their question

Improving Posts

  • Editor badge for first edit
  • "Are you sure you want to answer your question? Comment if you're trying to respond to an answer. Edit your question if you need to add more details." when trying to answer your own question (screen shot)
  • "Are you sure you want to add another answer? You could use the edit link to refine and improve your existing answer, instead." when trying to add an answer to a question you have already answered

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