I've been monitoring closed questions for a few days now. I noticed a very common pattern emerging:
- The question is closed ("on hold")
- It was closed by a single diamond mod
- The mod closed it within 10-15 minutes of it being asked
- The user (OP) had one rep only
- The question is a poor fit to the site
Now, in all these cases, the only clue the poor mod left to this new user, who may not understand how SE sites work, is a generic statement under 'The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:`
While this is sticking to the technical and intentional design of the site, it's not helping. If the question texts themselves are an indicator of how poorly these users understand the site, they won't "get" why the question is closed.
What's worse is that many of these questions could be recast, salvaged, or even answered -- but all we're left with is, um, the close reasons. It's not intuitive, and I really don't think many of these users will edit their question or even come back.
Can we please be more friendly with new users who don't "get it?"
I suggest some small changes to our collective behaviour.
- Say hi, hello, hey there, or something that indicates you're human, and friendly.
- Indicate via a comment, if it's not bleedingly obvious from the reason of closure, why the question is poor
- Give some concrete suggestions for how the user can improve their question -- for example, narrowing down a code-block; specifying where their problem is, etc.
I think this is a good step toward helping new users of the site become long-term users and quality contributors.