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I still consider myself new to the world building stack exchange. From the three questions I've asked two got closed. I know by now what one can do when it happens, but since the information can only be found in the fine-print, it is easy to overlook it. I suggest that the first time somebody's question gets closed he should receive a message telling them what they can do about it.

Also it would be nice to tell them that getting closed is in the normal process of questions, so that they don't get frustrated.

EDIT: Is it possible to auto-send such a message in the inbox?

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    $\begingroup$ As someone who's recently gone through the process of learning how to ask questions that are a good fit for this site, I'm interesting in hearing your suggestions about how to provide more information to new users. $\endgroup$ – sphennings Aug 23 '17 at 16:53
  • $\begingroup$ +1 for the last part. Getting closed is not the end of the world. Getting downvotes is not personal. I wish we can help them to understand. $\endgroup$ – Vylix Aug 23 '17 at 18:08
  • $\begingroup$ Do you think the links on the banner of closed questions are not quite good enough to inform what's wrong with questions? I see one of your question is closed as "story based". Is the post referenced still unclear on how to improve your question? $\endgroup$ – Vylix Aug 23 '17 at 18:19
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    $\begingroup$ This is not an answer to the question, but I want to state here too for everyone who reads it: if you see a new users question "on hold" please write a comment explaining to them that this is pretty normal here and that their question automatically goes into a reopen review queue if they edit it. This is a process to help increase the quality of questions and to make sure questions conform the guidelines of the site. After that it's always a good idea to give specific feedback, in the best case referring to previous comments about what could be done better. $\endgroup$ – Secespitus Aug 23 '17 at 18:24
  • $\begingroup$ @Secespitus Ideally, there should be comments regarding the quality of the question prior to it being put on hold. Yet I still find myself having to remind users to leave comments if they vote to close. It must be especially upsetting for new users. $\endgroup$ – Frostfyre Aug 23 '17 at 18:30
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    $\begingroup$ @Frostfyre That's what I meant with the best case and why I only said it's the best case and not the normal default process. Sadly a lot of new users still have a first experience on many sites that goes something like "3 Downvotes in 5 minutes, and why does this guy just say 'opinion-based!!'? What does that mean? And why is my question suddenly 'on-hold'? I don't get it!" Everyone should try to be a bit more informative for new users - how would they know things that from time to time even confuses seniors? And I really like your close-vote reminder, though it's kinda sad that we need it... $\endgroup$ – Secespitus Aug 23 '17 at 18:33
  • $\begingroup$ @Vylix it wasn't meant to be a personal question. I never thought about improving that question since a) I didn't realise what put to hold means, after I saw that message I immediately thought it was "game over" and b) that question was a test on asking questions here and I didn't wanted to put much effort into it $\endgroup$ – lurch Aug 23 '17 at 19:10
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Don't add more automatic messages - the existing ones are being ignored enough

The problem is that the generic text in the boxes that are displayed on your question if it gets put "on hold" can only be that - generic text. There is no way to automatically give precise personalized feedback. The boxes already contain a number of links to helpful resources. For example:

put on hold as unclear what you're asking by <five people> <some time> ago

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

It's a big box under your question. That's already pretty clear and it takes you to the help center page explaining what this means. Automatic messages can't get much clearer than that.

Try to give personalized feedback when you want to help - especially when voting to close a question from a new user

This being said I think it's the responsibility of everyone who is voting to close a question by a new user to explain why the question should be closed and what this means. At least upvote useful comments already explaining this. If you are voting to close please remember what it was like when you started on the site. There is a lot new users need to learn and it's often quite hidden. Clicking on generic links is also not something everybody always does and reading all this stuff is still pretty confusing at first. We are just different from other forums that people may know.

You can often identify new users based on a quick look at their reputation. Everyone with less than 50 reputation is quite new and probably didn't go through the Ask_On-Hold_Edit_Reopen_Cycle too often. Everyone around ~101 might just have the association bonus and differences between sites can be quite high.

And for everyone: if you see a new users question being put "on hold" please write a comment explaining to them that this is pretty normal here and that their question automatically goes into a reopen review queue if they edit it. This is a process to help increase the quality of questions and to make sure questions conform the guidelines of the site. After that it's always a good idea to give specific feedback, in the best case referring to previous comments about what could be done better.

And also try to give feedback when not voting to close but suspecting others might want to close it

When seeing a question that is likely to be closed, for example because someone is asking about how something would affect society, please write a Welcome to WorldBuilding comment explaining what is wrong and link to useful resources. A specific comment with real advice towards the concrete question will always be far more useful for everyone than generic canned comments.

There is already a lot done through automatic messages. But it requires users to read obviously generic messages and people don't do that because they assume they won't get specific advise that might help them - which of course is true. So everyone reading this - please try to be a rolemodel when it comes to new users and guide them with specific feedback and links to the resources that are really important for the specific case you are reviewing - whether it's in one of the formal review queues or just because you came across the post through browsing the site.

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  • $\begingroup$ I agree of course that people should always inform new users about everything they need to know. However you are suggesting that we relay on people informing themselves that they should inform other people on the basics. Looks to me like it'll always fail in some cases. For instance: How do you recognise that it's the first halted question of somebody? An other example: I didn't know about the introduction guide up to now. And as you say some people will always overlook the generic messages. $\endgroup$ – lurch Aug 24 '17 at 10:42
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    $\begingroup$ @lurch Everything will always have a chance to fail if it involves humans. You can see at their reputation whether they should know their way around or not. Someone with less than 50 reputation is obviously new. Someone with ~101 reputation might just have the association bonus. Someone with 30k should have seen quite a few questions already. When signing up you are guided to the tour. Every closing message displays the links to the help center. If your questions get closed you should read the corresponding messages - otherwise you will ignore everything else, too and nothing can work. $\endgroup$ – Secespitus Aug 24 '17 at 10:50

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