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I recently notices that Tex.SE has a Welcome to Tex.SX! meta post. In it, it describes what the site is and how to use it. It also includes information on the scope. I think this would be a good addition to PPCG. If a new user does not understand how to use the site properly, most users leave a comment saying "Welcome to PPCG.SE! Here are some ways to improve your post: ..." It would be a good idea to link a "Welcome to PPCG" meta post to those comments to help the new user understand how to post and some of our standard loopholes, for example.

Edit:

As xnor suggested, this post would be the place where a simple guide to making questions and answers is visible, with suggestions on formatting, containing objective-winning critieria, etc.

Edit 2:

I have drafted an example here based on the Tex.SE one. Ping me in chat with any comments/concerns.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Yes, Yes, Yes. We have a large set of requirements for creating on-topic, enjoyable challenges. Having those in one place wouldn't just help first-timers, but also second, third, and nth-timers \$\endgroup\$ – Nathan Merrill Mar 28 '16 at 18:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ Like this? meta.codegolf.stackexchange.com/q/1280/42963 \$\endgroup\$ – AdmBorkBork Mar 28 '16 at 18:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ Timmy brings up a good point about the FAQ. I think thus far it's been underutilized in terms of pointing new users in the right direction. \$\endgroup\$ – Alex A. Mar 28 '16 at 18:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AlexA. I agree with you. However it can be rather intimidating for new users. Putting the most important information in one place rather than having a giant list for users to read through is a better idea in my opinion. \$\endgroup\$ – GamrCorps Mar 28 '16 at 19:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ Can meta posts be pinned? It'd be helpful if the FAQ and Sandbox were pinned. \$\endgroup\$ – mbomb007 Mar 28 '16 at 19:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ Also of note, we have the tour and the on-topic pages in the Help Center. \$\endgroup\$ – AdmBorkBork Mar 28 '16 at 19:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ I think what we're missing is something that doesn't include all the rules and options, but is a simple, basic, concise guide on how to make a solution or challenge. \$\endgroup\$ – xnor Mar 28 '16 at 19:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ @TimmyD Unless we can get more site-specific text for the tour page, it's honestly rather useless unless someone has never used Stack Exchange before. \$\endgroup\$ – Alex A. Mar 28 '16 at 21:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AlexA. Given the number of 1-rep users that have posted, I don't think that's too radical an idea. Additionally, I don't want us duplicating efforts, so I'm just linking here everything I can think of. \$\endgroup\$ – AdmBorkBork Mar 29 '16 at 12:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ @mbomb007 the best we can do in that respect is feature the posts on the sidebar of the main site as well. We already do that for the sandbox but it will be up to the community if we decide to feature the FAQ as well. \$\endgroup\$ – GamrCorps Mar 29 '16 at 13:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ Possibly related: meta.codegolf.stackexchange.com/questions/5842/… \$\endgroup\$ – Beta Decay Apr 2 '16 at 10:11
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Let's do it!

This is a great idea! While new users won't necessarily see it on their own, they can be easily linked to it, once it exists.

While we currently have a community FAQ, I think it would be helpful to have something written in a conversational, friendly style to introduce newcomers to the community.

In particular, here's some things we can put on it:

  • The fact that we're primarily challenge based.

  • What good answers look like, e.g. code, language, explanation. Link to standard loopholes.

  • What good challenges look like, e.g. clear spec, objective, etc.

  • What good code-golf challenges look like. Link to IO defaults, etc.

  • How to get help: Sandbox, chat.

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This would have been a good idea, if new users would see it. But they won't.

New users don't read the meta, so greeting them in a meta posts seems to me pointless.

TimmyD's reference to the existing community FAQ further shows that having stuff on meta doesn't make poeple know of it.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ As I said in the question body, this meta post would be linked to "Welcome to PPCG" comments to new users. A new user would then have all the information they needed from one link provided to them by an experienced user.\ \$\endgroup\$ – GamrCorps Mar 29 '16 at 14:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ OK, so why not link to the existing community FAQ in these comments, and extend it to include what's important for new users? \$\endgroup\$ – ugoren Mar 29 '16 at 14:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ Is there a way to make it so that when a low-rep user attempts to post an answer, a popup appears recommending that they read the relevant meta posts or help pages? \$\endgroup\$ – mbomb007 Mar 29 '16 at 15:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mbomb007 I do not believe so. \$\endgroup\$ – GamrCorps Mar 29 '16 at 16:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ugoren I believe that we need to have a separate post for new users because the faq has some of the relevant information scattered throughout it, but it is a pain for a new user to sift through all of those posts to find the important info for them. Having the basic information in one post will not only be beneficial to new SE users, but new users of this community in general. \$\endgroup\$ – GamrCorps Mar 29 '16 at 16:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ @GamrCorps I couldn't agree more: it's so fragmented, and I have trouble keeping track of all the meta posts. \$\endgroup\$ – cat Apr 1 '16 at 19:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm a new user. I reached here. I went looking for some hints on how to format an answer, and it was a difficult search. Eventually I found this codegolf.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/1200/…. It could have been way easier. \$\endgroup\$ – Ed Wynn May 6 '18 at 21:57
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In principle yes, but what kind of post it should be is another question.

I don't see much of a need for a "Welcome to PPCG" new user post for answerers. You get the occasional breaking of one of the classic Standard Loopholes [which are no longer funny] (such as interpreting the challenge too literally, or downloading the output from the internet) where the new user genuinely thinks they are being fun and original, but these are rare, and the new user is usually fine when pointed to the Standard loopholes page.

For askers, what do we want to say? Give tips on writing a good challenge? Or say don't even bother till you've used the sandbox / answered a few questions etc? It won't stop the issue of brand new users rocking up with poorly thought out challenge.

That said, a general review/summary of the most important rules and recommendations already in place on this site (with links to the meta posts) would be very helpful

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Make this post featured.

Perhaps, this welcome page could take the form of the Frozen list of community consensus. Then, we could unfeature the sandbox, and have this post serve as a signpost to the sandbox.

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