On the RPG SE there is a user UnknownGnome who is asking several newbie questions. He clearly knows very little about role-playing games, and isn't very skilled at asking questions the right way. That results in his questions getting put on hold, closed as duplicate, closed for being too subjective, and so on.

While I understand the need to stick to protocol, I can't help but feel that this is just going to drive this new user away without answers to his questions. In a system that rewards people for intelligent questions, how can I help somebody asking a stupid question? Would it be okay for example to offer him to answer his questions by mail?

  • What about a chat session? Seems better than an email exchange, and other RPGers can join in. – Mat May 11 '14 at 6:49
  • Agreed with @Mat, I've had good results with an user by chat, after having many issues trying to reach him by comments (and failing). – brasofilo May 11 '14 at 9:53

On RPG.SE, as it's such a small community, we take a particular effort to help users understand what's wrong with their posts. However, occasionally someone will come along who doesn't quite adapt well to the paradigm of Stack Exchange, and for whom guidance is minimally effective.

In these cases, while the user means no harm, they may eventually decide that Stack Exchange isn't a good medium for them. This would probably be beneficial for everyone if the situation you're saying is true; while RPG.SE wants more members, we also want those members to contribute well.

I believe this holds true for communities across the Stack Exchange network. Eventually the user will learn, or will walk away.

If the user persists in posting, then we should/will continue to provide guidance as we maintain the quality of the site.

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  • I totally understand where you are coming from. The only problem I have is that this approach puts the needs of the site way over the needs of the new user. I would assume that somebody new to the site isn't necessarily all that worried about how his contribution to the site fits in, he just wants an answer to his question. – Tobold May 12 '14 at 16:06
  • @Tobold A user asking a lot of questions isn't necessarily a bad thing for the site. As you've mentioned, this user's questions aren't quite up to par, but they're not actively harmful. If they turn that way, though, I am sure the user will be hit with a question ban. – user206222 May 12 '14 at 16:30

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