Routing visitors to useful resources

Posted on 2009-10-14 14:23 UTC by Randall Arnold. Status: Under consideration, Categories: User Experience,

A recurring theme in Talk that won't go away is quickly getting visitors, particularly newcomers, to resources they require.  Too often the questions are misplaced and interrupt the regular flow.  This is especially frustrating when the same questions recur at high frequency.

I believe we need to look at not only the conventional ideas but also the unconventional.

Talk link:

Solutions for this brainstorm


Solution #1: Maemo Greeters idea for

Posted on 2009-10-14 16:42 UTC by Randall Arnold.

One proposal is to identify members who consistently greet newcomers (example: Den in USA) and offer them a title of sorts: Maemo Greeter (or Guide, etc).  Along with this would come the stipulation that they identify themselves as such and include clearly-defined links in their Talk signature to common resources beneficial to newcomers.  For instance:

Hi! I'm a Maemo Greeter!
newcomer wiki link:
forum TOS:

This could either be a formal program as described or we (I) could simply suggest it in a new thread under Community.  I would lean toward the former, with the caveat that there need be no extra privilige accorded other than recognition that comes with being helpful (or perhaps even some measure of karma per greeting).

Since the "welcome new users" thread is a typical entry point in Talk, this enables greeters to easily and automatically route newcomers to helpful resources without having to actually post often; when a newcomer encounters any of their posts they would be drawn to the signature and see the useful links.

Based on response from preliminary discussions over this idea I may need to reiterate: this need not be seen as a formal, status-driving "position".  It would be strictly voluntary for members to insert the information into their signatures along with the understanding that this does not confer any additional rights or privileges.


Solution #2: Upfront check before newbie post

Posted on 2009-10-15 10:06 UTC by Ville Reijonen.

To filter the noise, have few more hoops for a newbie (for example registered <2 weeks) to confirm that they thruly are creating new content. After pressing a post or reply button there would be questionaire with a search box and link to a FAQ and some additional quetions which the poster would be required to answer:


If you have a question, it is probably already been answered:
<FAQ link to section device>
<FAQ link to section software>
<FAQ link to section xxx>

And check if there is existing thread for your issue:
Search: [________________] [Search]

Hereby I confirm, that
[ ] I have checked the FAQ
[ ] I have used the search
[ ] I'm the master of universe


[Ok, I'm a sane person - let me post]


After the newbie would have answered, s/he would be allowed to write. This procedure could be applied on those boards which have noise or periodically. If there is resources, there can be additional moderation, greeters etc.


Solution #3: Create category to wiki

Posted on 2009-10-15 10:25 UTC by Timo P.

Make category "Basics" in wiki to such a shape that the most basic questions would be answered only by surfing there. It would mean easier acces to information. Talk needs user account, wiki can be viewed without one.


Of course it could integrate with solution #1 so that numerous people would have link to the category as signature and further questions would be forwarded to talk.


Solution #4: Maemo greeter office

Posted on 2009-10-17 12:09 UTC by Ernesto de Bernardis.

Why not having a "greeter office"? Like a separate Lucy's psychiatric help desk... (the doctor is 'in')... separate from talk.maemo or wiki.maemo.

I.e. a page which looks like a helpdesk, with proper graphics, where noobs can go in and ask, and greeters or other goodwill users try to explain and/or refer to other sources. Chat style, maybe, or forum-style.

If there are enough greeters from any time zone, there could be at least one or two on service for h24. It could be sort of a voluntary effort for the community, and activity on the help desk could earn karma points.


Solution #5: Bounce to a greeter on posting

Posted on 2009-10-27 14:17 UTC by Steve Marsh.

Some folks just don't read the faqs or have a problem searching (it's not easy). So, they post and ask their questions anyway, which can result in problems.


I'd suggest a way to centrally manage greeters so that, if a newbie posts an obvious question, instead of getting mad at them, they could be easily bounced to a greeter who can handle their query/show them a way to get their answers/welcome them in a friendly manner. Greeters can get karma for this work.


The central management is to ensure greeters don't get overloaded (we could have a pool of them)


Solution #6: New users limited to posting "sandbox"

Posted on 2009-10-28 01:06 UTC by Randall Arnold.

When new users sign up, they would not see every section available in Talk.  They could be routed to a special section just for beginners, or be limited to a predetermined set of sections and subforums (General, Community, et al).  This would continue until a certain condition or conditions was met, such as search count, time, karma, etc.  When the conditions are satisfied, the full forum becomes available.

Of course, they would also see a persistent banner explaining the situation.

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