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What are some nice ways that we can welcome new users to our site?
I think we can solve this by implementing Clippy.
The usual SO welcome: answer their questions, critique their answers.
I've tried the 'welcome aboard' approach, and it didn't seem to have any repercussions...
We should definitely be friendly to new users who do the right thing.
New user or not, we should treat everybody with respect in our comments and answers.
For new users, give pointers and encouragements before any down-voting. Give reason if we do so. Up-vote when they are doing something right (though may not be great).
Show them a picture of Jon Skeet's pony.