Alternative for Helping Newbies (and not-so Newbies) Navigate the Confusion

Entering the Forum for the first (even the fifteenth!) time can be confusing. And what many people seem to do is either wander away or just post what they want to do instead of looking for the communities of people who are interested in the same thing.

I’d like to propose an alternative way to greet new (and not so new) users, posted as you enter the Forum. Perhaps a gentle way to steer people to what they’re most interested in. Something along the lines of

If You’re Looking For:

  • Swaps and Trades
    o Post Your Swap Offers Here
    o

  • Newbies – Tips and Tricks
    o Tips on Using the Forum
    o Hard to Wait for Incoming Cards? Here’s More Fun Things to Try
    o How to Build Your Card Collection

  • Games to Play Here with Other Postcrossers

  • Stamps for Trade or Discussions

  • Books Books Books

  • Tags and Round Robins on any topic you can imagine

  • Bugs and Suggestions for Postcrossing

Then these can link to the appropriate Forum threads.

I know this is similar to the thread posted recently at Direct new members to Round Robins but I think it is part of a greater problem so I thought I’d open the topic up a bit more.

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I think something along those lines would be helpful, although some of the sections are not visible to very new members, so I’m not sure how that part might work.

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Which ones won’t be visible?

I believe all the categories and sub-categories marked with a padlock symbol, so “Games and Activities,” “Trades Requests and Offers” and “Everything Else” sections.

So even if someone is coming here specifically to trade, say, they would still need to spend a little time browsing the open sections of the forum first.

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The parts of the forum which have a ‘lock’ in front of them in the menu are visible when a member has leveled up to TL1. So the ultimate beginners (TL0) cannot see these items yet.

More on Trust Levels here

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What if we imagine this like a ‘how to’ book? Create a “Newbie” section that has a clear Table of Contents, along the lines of @TwasBrillig suggested ‘chapters’ and sub-sections.
Of course, this means a lot more work for admin, @paulo and @meiadeleite.

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I think this is a nice idea. Another idea would be to have knowledgeable forum members volunteer to be pathfinders/buddies for forum newcomers

The system could offer a welcome message to the inbox of forum newbies like, welcome! Feel free to explore! here is a link to a list of Forum regulars [[a wiki that could be self-amended]] who are happy to help if you have qs or are looking for something in particular.

I’d volunteer to be one of those

1 Like