I'm sympathetic, but...
A big problem with the old /review interface was the demotivating feeling of being overwhelmed by volume - when you're looking at a list of 30 posts, and then realizing that this page is only .01% of the total... It starts to look like you're being asked to boil the ocean. It didn't help either that there was effectively no guidance on what you were expected to do with this information. They were great "info-porn" tools (like most of the 10k tools), but not a particularly effective way of getting new folks involved in the moderation of the site.
I should mention at this point that some of you did try your hand at cleaning these stables, and put a lot of effort in - I do greatly appreciated this, but... The number of people using these tools was tiny, folks were burning themselves out, and the amount of work kept growing. Particularly on Stack Overflow, this was simply not a sustainable model for encouraging community moderation.
So the philosophy of the new Community Review Dashboard queues is simple:
- Bite-sized tasks to provide some feeling of accomplishment.
- Specific action items for each task.
- Task-specific guidance to help introduce new community-moderators to the tasks.
- Limits on what can go in the queues to ensure they can actually be cleared.
- Rate-limits on what any given person can do in a day to discourage folks from burning themselves out.
None of these are intended to replace the way in which most people use Stack Exchange: browsing through questions, answering, voting, editing and flagging as they go. Rather, these queues focus on specific areas that just aren't getting quite enough attention organically.
The "First Posts" queue is no different...
A new member's first action on the site - and the response it garners from the community - tends to set the tone for whatever comes next. If your first post is spam and it's destroyed within minutes, the site looks like less of an easy target. If your first post is an incredibly well-researched answer and it gets an immediate up-vote, the site looks like a good place to hang around and contribute to. Therefore, it is important that we make the most of this opportunity to provide either positive or negative feedback.
That doesn't mean you have to though. Speaking for myself, there are a lot of posts on Stack Overflow that I really don't have much of an opinion on. Either I know nothing of the subject, or I'm just bored by the specific problem that's never personally afflicted me. Sometimes I'll still edit, if I see obvious formatting, spelling or grammar corrections - but most of the time I'll just move on - "Not sure" is the proper response here - I would much rather leave it for someone who has an interest to rate, critique, or correct.
I am a firm advocate for voting good quality posts up, I just think that forcing an option of voting or making the reviewer throw their work back into the pool untouched (assuming no edits or flags, etc. are needed) may be detrimental in the long term.
Collecting "Meh" votes is completely useless, except perhaps as cathartic busywork for the voter. The bigger problem here is that if you're encountering a lot of posts that you can't see your way to acting on, we're failing to put the right tasks in front of you. There's a limit to how well we can do this, since all we really have to go on is the tags you've been active in (or specified in your preferences) - but if it turns out that folks tend to shrug their shoulders at, say, posts older than a week, or posts with an existing vote, or posts written in iambic pentameter, then we might still be able to adjust what you see.
So for now, we're tracking everything: who's using the queue and what they're doing or not doing in it. There's no point in making changes to what's in the queue until we see what folks are doing with what's in there now...
Update: A "no action needed" action was added after observing entirely too many people unable to bring themselves to click "Skip". We're still observing this (both manually and automatically), and on occasion blocking folks who use it to rubber-stamp posts that badly need action.