Questions tagged [new-users]

New users are those users who may be new to the Stack Exchange Q&A format, and generally have a low reputation score, which starts from 1 at the time of registration.

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606 votes
13 answers
20k views

Exit strategies for "chameleon questions"

I'm not sure if there's already an existing term for this, so I'm inventing my own. (tl;dr: I call them "chameleon questions" because they change every time you submit or edit an answer. If ...
  • 34.6k
1849 votes
51 answers
47k views

Could we please be a bit nicer to new users?

There is a distinct decline in the level of civility on all the sites here. Some of this is due to new users coming in and posting spam and other nonsense, but the off-topic and downvote buttons are ...
249 votes
34 answers
15k views

Can we prevent some of the low-quality questions from entering our system?

Stack Overflow has been wildly successful. And maybe in some ways too successful. I am concerned that Stack Overflow is being inundated by a stream of low-quality questions from users who are ...
108 votes
5 answers
4k views

How does a lurker gain reputation to receive privilege for commenting? [duplicate]

I have been reading Stack Exchange for years - mostly not logged in, and have never posted (this is my first). I'm simply not very talkative, and very good at googling. Recently a few occasions have ...
  • 1,183
91 votes
22 answers
4k views

Heuristics for detecting a bad answer?

A lot of bad answers are slipping through the cracks on Stack Overflow. You can see some examples at Thanks a lot for this post ... and other first time user curiosities I've been paging through ...
47 votes
3 answers
3k views

Encouraging users to create an account (and keep it)

I know SO's policy is "you don't have to register to ask questions," but there are so many new members and so many hit-and-runs... The majority of the questions I see now are coming from new ...
57 votes
2 answers
7k views

Is there a limit on how many questions I can ask? [duplicate]

Is there a limit on how many questions I can ask per day? Per hour? Per other time unit? Related Questions: Limitation on submitting a question, is it an explicit request to create a new account? ...
42 votes
2 answers
1k views

Removing a downvote adds reputation that wasn't there

This question was downvoted, and the downvote removed, and the user now has 3 rep, even though there are no reputation generating events on the user's page.
  • 7,303
63 votes
5 answers
2k views

Warn new users when they ask a question after a previous question is closed, downvoted, or deleted

Another "miséricorde": Can you please review my ban? Consider this comment (emphasis added): I think its okay, please dont take any efforts for me. I personally do not feel the system helps ...
  • 11.4k
85 votes
7 answers
1k views

What is a meta for?

A guest at my house over the weekend stood puzzled next to my driveway. "What is that for?" she asked, pointing to a framework of 2x4s and hardware cloth perched on an old tire amid piles of ...
  • 434k
61 votes
9 answers
2k views

How does a new user begin using Stack Overflow/Stack Exchange?

As a new user, I find it impossible to contribute to the community or to even begin contributing. I know why the reputation system is in place and I respect it, but at the same time it is too hard on ...
  • 935
147 votes
6 answers
2k views

Please enable low-rep users to easily breakout up and down votes on their own questions

I know once you get a certain amount of reputation, you can see the total up and down votes for questions. Well, my proposal is to always be able to see this on your own questions and answers. You can ...
  • 14.1k
101 votes
11 answers
2k views

I propose changing the term "closed" out for... something else [duplicate]

The problem One of the recurring questions on Meta is "why was this question closed?" In nearly every case, the question is posed by a newcomer to Stack Exchange who doesn't understand what ...
  • 68.5k
18 votes
5 answers
2k views

New users can't ask for clarifications except as answers [duplicate]

In some situations, a question can have more than one meaning, and a new user with less than 50 rep points would like to ask for a clarification that would make sense. In this case, they have to ask ...
  • 2,497
23 votes
4 answers
1k views

Minimum reputation for answering your own question should be higher than what is needed to ask

If we're implementing this feature, why don't we also require that users have at least 1.5 times the amount of reputation needed to ask their current question in order to answer their current question?...
  • 178k
93 votes
50 answers
19k views

Come Take a Look at our New Contributor Indicator!

This feature is now live across the network. We've been doing quite a bit of research into ways that we could help new users have better experiences that ultimately lead them to becoming increasingly ...
  • 178k
44 votes
11 answers
1k views

New Review Queue: First Posts

We're grinding through the old /review queues, moving them into the new Community Review Dashboard format. Recently, Emmett's been slaving over a hot compiler to bring you: the First Posts queue: ...
  • 434k
167 votes
4 answers
2k views

Invite low rep users to participate in chat

I'm aware of the preference for 'general answers to general questions' attitude on SO, and wholeheartedly agree that questions that are focused on specific, one-time issues are not as valuable to the ...
  • 3,089
-16 votes
4 answers
660 views

Propose Newbie-Overflow site or section [closed]

Because the perl section is looking like that right now. I believe that Stack Overflow is going out of it's charter in becoming a newbie FAQ when as far as the original reasoning it was meant to be ...
  • 369
13 votes
3 answers
953 views

I think Stack Overflow should convert to Catholicism so that we may have Purgatory

(psst the religious analogy is for fun; I don't actually think we should baptize Stack Overflow) In the interests of improving questions and question askers, I propose giving moderators the ability ...
user avatar
54 votes
9 answers
1k views

Allow anyone to comment but hide low-rep users' comments until reviewed

I've seen so many should-be-a-comment "edits" or "answers" in the review queues by new users, and it's pretty obvious that to them this was the only way to somehow interact with a ...
36 votes
3 answers
1k views

Auto-protect questions that get more than N answers from new users in a 24-hour period

Expanding the criteria for auto-protection has been discussed in the past: Should we automatically protect all questions with more than N answers? But I think that discussion addresses the wrong ...
  • 434k
140 votes
30 answers
3k views

We're rolling out a new "Quick Start" guide to help new users learn the basics

Here's the first one, on Ask Different. We've been working hard on ways to help improve the experience of new users, and one of the best ways to do that is to help teach them the basics about how our ...
95 votes
3 answers
1k views

A way for "new users" to ask about their post specifically

We currently require that new users have 5+ reputation to participate in meta support discussions (bugs, feedback, governance, etc). This is primarily because the use case for meta is not ...
46 votes
4 answers
1k views

What can we do for new users who want to ask a question that's already been asked, but hasn't yet got an acceptable answer? [duplicate]

I've mentioned this several times, but only in answers to other questions or comments. What can we do to help new users who come to the site with a problem but find a question already exists, but it ...
  • 99.4k
73 votes
3 answers
813 views

Add a note about downvoting on Meta

There is a lot of irritation and whining from newbies when their suggestions get downvoted because they don't understand that votes have a different meaning here. This is unnecessary, and I'm ...
  • 109k
180 votes
2 answers
2k views

Usability issues for first-time Stack Exchange users - a micro-study

I come from lands afar, also known as Hardware Recommendations Stack Exchange. Over there, we have a serious problem with first-time Stack Exchange users coming along and asking off-topic questions - ...
  • 35.9k
50 votes
11 answers
1k views

Allow new users to flag comments on their own posts

Something that has always bothered us about the new user experience was the amount of guidance we've got out there telling folks to flag rude or abusive comments, but not allowing new users to do it, ...
  • 178k
42 votes
2 answers
835 views

Ways to give users some specific education about question quality and topicality

Important: This question is being asked here, and not on the Programmers Meta, because I believe that several SE sites suffer from this same, specific problem. On Programmers, I see a pattern ...
user avatar
73 votes
10 answers
2k views

Reminding new users of accept/upvote "duty"?

I often see new users posting questions and getting answers. But instead of getting an upvote or accept for the answer, they just add a comment that the answer helped them. I understand that you need ...
  • 1,147
8 votes
1 answer
727 views

Getting "can only post questions every 20 minutes" but did not post recently

Trying to post a question (on StackOverflow), and get the message: Oops! Your question couldn't be submitted because: users with less than 125 reputation can only post questions every 20 minutes; ...
  • 183
86 votes
4 answers
1k views

When OP posts a comment saying "thank you" remind them to accept an answer

A lot of times I will answer a question, OP will post "Thanks very much!" And then leave, not accepting the answer that fixed their problem. I know I can just give them a gentle reminder (asking them ...
  • 1,326
8 votes
5 answers
489 views

Why are low-rep users rate-limited when posting questions?

I just encountered the following error: Oops! Your question couldn't be submitted because: users with less than 125 reputation can only post questions every 20 minutes; try again later. Why do you ...
  • 187
44 votes
17 answers
3k views

What's the single biggest barrier to entry on Stack Overflow?

Looking at the discussion here so far, a lot of it has understandably been focused on regular users; not necessarily high rep users, but people who have essentially "committed" to the site in some way,...
  • 92.9k
74 votes
9 answers
3k views

What are the most effective ways to guide new users?

New users' first contributions to a site, by their nature, often require improvement. There are different methods of dealing with this, and I am looking for evidence that would help understand which ...
58 votes
12 answers
2k views

How does "proof of effort" make a question better?

It seems like many questions by new users are downvoted immediately. Sometimes there is a comment to the tune of "lacks research", "we're not here to do your homework", or "show us some effort". Now ...
  • 6,171
39 votes
9 answers
944 views

Downvoting of new user questions

I have noticed a trend on Stack Overflow where the first question posted by newer users (typically having <100 reputation) tends to get downvoted, mainly because said users don't know how to ask ...
  • 27.5k
91 votes
6 answers
2k views

Let's have an explicit triage system for questions from new users

This is a follow-up feature-request based on: How can we make First Posts review actually useful? - big thanks to everyone who participated there, I've tried to incorporate the feedback into the ...
  • 434k
81 votes
14 answers
4k views

We need to be a little less hostile

I've noticed a distressing tendency for questions that seem basic or overly short to be immediately closed and downvoted into oblivion. Case in point: How can I tell if a DOM object is out of the ...
  • 10.1k
41 votes
4 answers
559 views

Show the "add comment" link also to users who cannot add comments

On Drupal Answers, there are many 1-reputation users with an unregistered account who write a comment, or a different question as answer. The fact they don't see an "add comment" link, and they see a ...
  • 66.2k
40 votes
2 answers
617 views

People get lost and crash into meta - maybe we need roadblocks for their safety

I used to think that Sonic the Anonymous Hedgehog's idea of a survey was a terrible idea - it didn't actually fix anything, and I suspect most folks asking off-topic questions here are drivebys. On ...
  • 135k
90 votes
8 answers
2k views

Shouldn't a reputation points-less newbie at least be able to upvote a good answer to his/her own questions?

I'm new to Stack Overflow and haven't any reputation points. I just got my first question answered, and I tried to upvote the answer, but I get a popup that says I don't have enough reputation ...
  • 1,205
53 votes
7 answers
2k views

Thanks a lot for this post ... and other first time user curiosities

I have been looking at the endless stream of first answers users post on the Stack Overflow. As it stands over 500 answers are posted a day on Stack Overflow, that are the first answer by users. ...
  • 107k
7 votes
2 answers
606 views

What's the justification for the commenting reputation requirement? [duplicate]

You require a reputation of 50 to leave comments on others' questions/answers; the FAQ simply states this as a fact but does not explain it. I'm a new user and I have identified this as an issue very ...
  • 248
164 votes
15 answers
18k views

What about the community is "toxic" to new users?

In Chapter #2 of The Loop, the following graph is being shown: The blog post states the following as explanation for what it defines as "unwelcoming": Unwelcoming community (10.6% of responses):...
  • 4,916
56 votes
4 answers
1k views

Warn new users earlier that they cannot post links or images

First impressions are important, and one specific restriction SE places on new users can easily lead to a very bad first impression (see here for a recent example). If you add more than two links or ...
24 votes
6 answers
3k views

Stack Exchange is too harsh to new users—please help them improve low-quality posts and avoid being uncivil [duplicate]

Note Please see my answer below. I am deeply sorry for having strayed so far from the principles of Stack Exchange. I have edited the post to remove the "wait before voting" text. I've asked a ...
  • 11.4k
114 votes
19 answers
3k views

How can we make First Posts review actually useful?

There's now a feature-request based on this discussion; see: Let's have an explicit triage system for questions from new users I'm about fed up with the First Posts review queue. Oh, it was a ...
  • 434k
29 votes
4 answers
464 views

Does the new user rate limit apply even when you are a new user on only one site?

I am registered on about 80 SE sites, am an "avid user"(>200 rep) on about 30, and a modest user (103-199 rep) on about 20 more. Once when I tried to ask a question on Open Data (my "new user" site), ...
  • 3,638
11 votes
2 answers
777 views

How many questions escape community protection because of reputation gained within checked question?

Community's auto-protection of questions is implemented such that quick upvotes to answers from new users make those answers cease to trigger the checks for automatically making a question protected. ...
  • 11k

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