The new CoC operates mainly with negative motivation, i.e. the unfriendly welcome, particularly to newbies, is forbidden. Violating it results in punishment.

Maybe the system could have a positive motivation side, too?

I intentionally leave open the question of how, exactly; if the answer is yes, we can talk about that. I am thinking of new badges, or maybe even reputation (for edit, answer or comment, so anything that takes care of a newbie).


We already have badges that, while not specifically about new users, are for activities that tend to come up a lot when interacting with new users, like:

  • Explainer, Refiner, and Illuminator, for both editing and answering a question

  • Custodian, Reviewer, and Steward, which can be earned for First Posts, Reopen, Close, and other review queues

  • Editor, Strunk & White, Copy Editor, and Organizer, for edits

  • Commentator and Pundit for comments, though I admit that comments aren't necessarily helpful

  • Tenacious and Unsung Hero, for helpful answers where the asker can't upvote

I don't think we need to add new-user-flavored badges; rather, helping new users is an easy and mutually beneficial way to earn badges that already exist.

  • Ok, but the question was not if we want the currently existing positive motivators (we have them), the question was, do we want more. – peterh - Reinstate Monica Aug 22 '18 at 3:18
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    @peterh and my answer is that we don't need more. – Monica Cellio Aug 22 '18 at 3:34
  • Ok, but so you only state that we don't need. I miss some reasoning, why. I think, if there is this new rule, and it is only about negative motivation, maybe some... reward could also appear in exchange. – peterh - Reinstate Monica Aug 22 '18 at 7:00

The problem with extrinsic motivation is that, well the moment someone gets that reward, they either want more rewards or they lose interest.

As an experienced user, and someone who's seen the rise and fall (or at least the slow decline) of internet communities there's two factors here.

A stagnant community community is unhealthy. People leave, they lose interest. In a long running set of communities like this, well, people even die. As someone interested in various communities in SE, my intrinsic motivation is having these spaces thrive and grow.

I don't need a COC to go "hey, this new user's post could use a little love." or even better "This post is terrible but the tool he's using is really cool and by improving the post with the stuff I've learnt over the time I've been on SE, it can be more useful".

In a sense building a sense of community and shaping that intrinsic motivation to improve posts is important. And the way to do that really is to engage folks and have them.

That's to say, it would be, but at a less obvious level.

  • Good answer, probably it will be the best. Also I've read Jon Ericsson's article about this. However, that post considers only positive motivation (the effect of the reward). Now the new CoC gave exclusively negative motivation (if you don't follow, you will be suspended). – peterh - Reinstate Monica Aug 22 '18 at 7:05

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