In general, I think new members are asking appropriate on-topic questions.

However, there are the first posts of others that are off-topic, and once closed, we never see the user again. I've attempted to add in my comments a note asking them to view the site, see the thousands of great Q&As and visit again. Else, sometimes the "closed/offtopic isn't really inviting to new users.

Floating this here, just thinking out load.

  • 1
    Agree. I think we should attempt answers as well if they are border-line ones and point out in comment.
    – Dheer
    Commented Nov 19, 2013 at 16:46
  • 3
    The recent changes to make it "On Hold" help some, I think instead of trying to answer, we should try to turn borderline questions into acceptable questions.
    – C. Ross
    Commented Nov 19, 2013 at 16:54

1 Answer 1


There is a limit with the amount of calories to burn on a new user with 1 rep. Things to consider:

  • Are they coming back, or did they have a single question?
  • If they didn't take the time to read the help, will pointing them at the help be fruitful?
  • How much effort did they put into their question to start?

For me, I hope I have a reputation for being fair and welcoming, but as our site grows towards that 10K visitors a day mark, moderation gets to become more and more work. Not just as an official mod with a diamond, but as our super users with all the powers of a mod.

I want this site to be welcoming, kind and patient. I also want this to be a community of experts who can teach me stuff and offer reliable answers. There should be a high bar set on the content here. I can be kind, patient and still have high expectations. I am hoping that other mod users and future elected mods think my ideas are the best.

Please Note:


As much as I want to welcome new users; putting a less than stellar question on hold offers up a new personality test. Were they nice about the hold and offer to fix it, or did they get defensive and call into question the rules and implementation of those rules?

As a first timer with a rep of one, how could they know how our community works? A rude or defensive response is less likely to illicit help from me because I don't think they are willing to join us so much as use us. While this site is a great resources to the Internet for anybody to use, that is a side effect of moderating for experts who generate content.

EXAMPLE 1 - I want to help out: Will I have to pay tax in India for a transfer into my account from the US?

EXAMPLE 2 - I am less interested in offering guidance: https://money.stackexchange.com/questions/26348/why-do-stocks-with-a-negative-beta-return-less-than-the-risk-free-rate?noredirect=1#comment38320_26348

Do you hate this answer? Leave a comment and tell me! I value criticism.

  • I don't hate the answer, I wonder if the one question poster would stay if welcome. If you feel the bad question and leaving is a sign of one who wouldn't participate anyway, that may be it. I'm trying to keep an open mind, especially when other groups have shut. Commented Nov 20, 2013 at 0:20
  • I think one of the issues is we have very few new users sticking around. Maybe one of the way to improve that is make users more welcome with the hope that they stick around. But quite a few users are one time users. Maybe its also the nature of this site, one either knows most of the stuff or doesn't know ask's one of questions and goes away
    – Dheer
    Commented Nov 20, 2013 at 3:30
  • @JoeTaxpayer and Dheer - consider how many would stay vs go anyway. And consider what the site becomes if people who aren't interested in abiding the format stay. I am not talking about making change from within, I am talking about not following the community set rules. But your points are taken and I will personally extend more effort to be welcoming. I will however keep on enforcing the rules in the fairest way I can.
    – MrChrister
    Commented Nov 20, 2013 at 14:48
  • @MrChrister - I'm in agreement. When I see a fast closed/hold/offtopic feel compelled to disclaim "Welcome to money.SE, I find your question interesting, but we have some tight boundaries for what's on-topic. Why not look around at some of the 5000+ questions successfully answered here, and see if you'd like to revisit in the future." Not suggesting any change to on-topic aside from ongoing discussion of other boards closing. (And I'm often voting to close these as well. Just because I find a question interesting doesn't make it on-topic) Commented Nov 20, 2013 at 14:54
  • @JoeTaxpayer - I think that is a good reply for when I can't find anything else constructive to say. I shall use it in the future. I will admit that the world could always stand to be more pleasant, so I will endeavor to lead by example.
    – MrChrister
    Commented Nov 20, 2013 at 14:57
  • money.stackexchange.com/questions/26366/… - That's what I'm talking about! Very nice invitation to the new member. Commented Nov 20, 2013 at 16:10

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