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Welcoming to the Monastery.

by benn (Priest)
on May 08, 2003 at 15:57 UTC ( #256567=monkdiscuss: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

There's been discussion of the Monastery Gates UI before, but I'd like to expand that to suggest a whole new 'main' section - Welcome.

Many monks probably skip the front page and go straight to Newest Nodes or something - it's interesting to see what people thought worthy of frontpaging, but I would suggest that basically it's for people new to the site. And it's not the *friendliest* front page, really. No "Hi, and welcome to the monastery. Please wipe your feet and read the following guidelines." Functional, I grant you - just not as welcoming as it could be.

Maybe slipping in a small section at the top of the page that included links like Welcome to the Monastery, PerlMonks FAQ, a line or two on using Super Search etc. would be helpful (castaway had a great suggestion about an "Ask a question" button that linked straight to the SOPW textbox). Another useful section / link might be something like "Top 10 questions *not* to ask" ("How do I make a binary / obscure my source...").

I know part of the initiation into the Monastery is the whole discovery thing, but I can't help but think that if more AM's were 'shown around' immediately (the Monastery Courtyard maybe :)), they'd be more likely to come back / create an account / get involved.

Cheers,
Ben.

Comment on Welcoming to the Monastery.
Re: Welcoming to the Monastery.
by LordWeber (Monk) on May 08, 2003 at 16:17 UTC
    Well, i find the pages quite good for new users can simply go to the FAQ section or any other help section by clicking onto the link in the right panel. But you're right, it could not harm to put the links also up on the top of the intropage. But telling a whole story about Super Search etc. is a thing i would not do. It's enough to put one line like "If you are new to the Monastery just visit our help pages: link1 link2 link3" on the top of the page.
Re: Welcoming to the Monastery.
by defyance (Curate) on May 08, 2003 at 16:21 UTC
    I must say that I agree with the "Ask a question" button that goes straight to SoPW. I think a "Here's how to help us help you" kind of section would be an excellent edition.

    --
    A conclusion is simply the place where someone got tired of thinking.

Re: Welcoming to the Monastery.
by phydeauxarff (Priest) on May 08, 2003 at 17:27 UTC
    Since the site is dynamically generated, perhaps it would be possible to change the Welcome to be a descriptive welcome as outlined, but allow monks to 'edit' their front-page so that it contained Newest Nodes, or whatever they wanted to see when they first logged in.

    This would allow the site to be welcoming and descriptive for new users but also dynamically modifiable to whatever would prove useful to more seasoned monks.

    Of course, I have no idea if this would bomb the server so the point may be just wishful thinking

Re: Welcoming to the Monastery.
by porkpilot (Deacon) on May 08, 2003 at 20:38 UTC
    I think Benn has made an excellent suggestion. This approach would not only ensure that rookie or would-be monks will feel more welcome and thus more inclined to actively participate, but also that their initial experience will be more more enjoyable for them and more beneficial to the larger community.

    As a long-time "lurker" myself, I think it's fair to say that the wealth of knowledge available in our Monastery can be staggering to newcomers. Not only that, but I think the caliber, reputation and sagacity of our monks can be awing if not intimidating.

    A nice friendly welcome, a quick tour of the monastery and then a primer on how to be an outstanding monk--these would likely cut down the lurker-to-contributor time cycle and make sure first-time contributions were in line with Monastery standards.

    It is my hope that this perspective from a recently ordained monk is of some value. :-)

Re: Welcoming to the Monastery.
by Abigail-II (Bishop) on May 08, 2003 at 21:24 UTC
    Maybe you could make a page showing how you'd like to see the frontpage. That makes discussing the idea easier than posting a few lines like "maybe slipping in a section..." do.

    Abigail

      Well, I *could*, but...
      (a) I'm no designer, and wouldn't want this discussion simply to become ayes or nays to *my* version.
      (b) I think (judging from other responses) the idea is straight-forward enough to be graspable.
      (c) It's not my call wrt content - again, a prototype design could just provoke "Why is X in there?" or "Why not Y?"
      (d) The discussion is about the *principle* of a 'welcome' section - good idea or not? The nitty-gritties of where and what are reserved for higher powers than I :) (Hence the deliberately wishy-washy "slipping in somewhere").

      Cheers
      Ben.

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