Signed up last week; already got an answer; a useful one, which highly surprised me.

Still, the initially ubiquitous complexity of the whole site (indeed, the community of communities thing) presents a barrier to assimilating the info in a way that produces useful understanding.

Maybe such barriers are good things; yes, the barriers are a good idea. (They greatly thwart the spambots, if nothing else.) In the mean time, the person who just signed up wants to get an answer, and will probably want to get more involved. I know I did, within a week. You tend to get more than you give; well, up to a point.

So then, this place is astounding. Where have I been? Where do I click to learn how to navigate this place to really increase the brain cell count? I want to start five years ago.

  • 6
    What barriers are you referring to specifically? Commented Dec 17, 2012 at 16:31
  • You could check this out and let me know what you think (here).
    – Benjol
    Commented Dec 18, 2012 at 6:34
  • There's this one too... (unfinished)
    – Benjol
    Commented Dec 18, 2012 at 6:35

2 Answers 2


Start by reading the whole faq. You'll even earn a badge for doing that.

Then come back to meta and check the "Community FAQ index".


First: this kind of "I'm eager to learn; help me know where to start" attitude is just awesome.

This response from bfavaretto already covers the best current resources, but I wanted to highlight a couple of things in the works to help define a more obvious "path" for new users who are eager to learn:

  • A New Quick Start Page - We've just rolled out the first version of our new "quick start" guide on Ask Different. It's designed to help teach new users the absolute minimum they need to know to get started and have a good experience. How we're different from discussion boards, the basics of rep, what you can do right off the bat, why some questions aren't allowed, etc.

  • A More Complete 'Official' FAQ - A lot of our features and "official" policy came from user discussions and suggestions here on meta, which is awesome. But it's a hard place to "read up" on the rules. Once we have a shorter, more accessible quick start, we'll be comfortable making the FAQ a longer, more comprehensive reference for material that has become "canon". So, over time, we'll be pulling the "decided" or implemented stuff into the site FAQ, so you can review it all in one place. Meta will remain the place where in-discussion items and the history that led to the current state can be found.

  • 2
    +1 for both the new quickstart (looks good, and I wasn't aware of it!), and for the compliment on OP's attitude (I now regret I didn't do that myself).
    – bfavaretto
    Commented Dec 18, 2012 at 1:27
  • Okay, I got my reputation up to 50 or so in a couple of weeks; not sure if that's cool or sloppy, but whatever, that's the number I've done. I think I'm at 70 on StackOverFlow. I think somebody canned one of my questions; not sure why, but NewBee NoClue me, I won't whine about it now. We've got to get this disaster fixed (3 people before me abandoned the company; it's not what I call a nice arrangement; and I have a great boss and his boss too, so I actually care).
    – User.1
    Commented Jan 2, 2013 at 1:00

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