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It seems many new users don't get some of the ideas of SO, esp. the concept of accepting answers. Can't we just display a prominent message with a short, useful hint about this for new users? I believe around 40 words are easy to read, easy to dismiss with a click after a few seconds, and increase the understanding of SO by a magnitude.

I'm aware there's the "First time here? Check out the FAQ!", but reading the FAQ is not quite what a desperate, answer-seeking person is up to. And even if they bother to start reading the FAQ, there's a fair chance they get bored after a few lines, before even noticing the term "accept".

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    Actually, I would say that the FAQ is really a "getting started" guide rather than a regular "frequently asked questions" only.
    – Gnoupi
    Commented Apr 13, 2010 at 8:39
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    New users usually can't vote. Did you mean "accept answer" ?
    – ereOn
    Commented Apr 13, 2010 at 8:39
  • @ereOn: Yea, that would make more sense.
    – mafu
    Commented Apr 13, 2010 at 8:51
  • @Gnoupi: It's still TLDR.
    – mafu
    Commented Apr 13, 2010 at 8:52
  • @mafutrct - wow, didn't know there was a shortcut for "too long, didn't read". I guess that's for people who are REALLY in hurry. But besides, true, it's probably long, but key points are clearly visible. I mean, besides that, what should be? A popup saying "if you like this answer you can mark it as accepted"?
    – Gnoupi
    Commented Apr 13, 2010 at 8:57
  • @Gnoupi Actually, I've seen very few FAQs which are sets of frequently asked questions. Commented Apr 13, 2010 at 8:58
  • How about 140 characters? But even that is often too many characters to read.
    – random
    Commented Apr 13, 2010 at 9:10

2 Answers 2

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I'm really new to this site and just had quite a hunt trying to find the system for gaining reputation. In the end I found this: How does "Reputation" work?

I think it would be good to show a link to this page or a getting-started-guide incorporating this information in one of those nifty notification bars at the top of the screen.

(It said I needed x points to create new tags to go with my first question, I wanted to know if it was feasible to answer a few questions to get those points before I actually posted my first question, it wasn't)

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  • This would only help uses who "know" what reputation is. This does not help users in creating their first answer. In no way does this fully answer the question, reputation and accepting an answer are to different things. Accepting an answer should be a higher priority than gathering reputation for a new user. Commented Apr 26, 2011 at 17:44
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New users already get a reminder <div> about accepting when they cast upvotes on the answers to their question.

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    Sorry, I don't speak web, what's a <div>? One of these notification boxes? Also, shouldn't they get the message about accepting the best answer way before they become able to vote?
    – mafu
    Commented Apr 13, 2010 at 9:10
  • Well.. I'll just accept this, even though I'm not satisfied with the answer.
    – mafu
    Commented Jul 19, 2010 at 13:43

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