I am currently in the habit of saying hello to users when they first post. I’d encourage whoever gets there first to do so ;)
Do you think it would also be nice to welcome back people who have not posted in a long time? There’s a little pop-up for that, too.
There are many people who lurk on the Forum, reading but only very rarely posting. Likewise, many who read but do not have a Forum account/profile. I’d like to make sure they feel welcome and that their contributions are noticed and appreciated.
Anyone have ideas to share?
Or, if you are a lurker – do you want to participate and post? Is there anything about the Forum that deters you from speaking? Or are you just perfectly happy reading ;)
I’m not sure if we need to welcome older users - they know the routine, and if they just want to lurk for a while, so be it! I’ll lurk for a while when I’m busy, or when I have nothing to say (rare, I know).
I prefer an ‘organic’ welcome. Answer their questions, respond to their ideas, keep the conversation going. Neither ignored or dismissed, works for me.
I think a greeting while responding is nice (as Diana puts it… organic), but a greeting alone I find to be a bit weird. It’s like that greeter at the door of the hardware store, they always make me feel weird! But then, I prefer to shop without disruption, and the idea of a store person approaching me to see if I need help creeps me out… I prefer it more if there is someone just there somewhere, that I can ask for help if I need it!
But that said, if someone is particluarly sociable and wants to personally greet new or returning users, I’m all for them being “allowed” to do that!
I’ll add, that when I first joined iNat some 5 or 6 years ago, I thought it was just an online system to map out where stuff was, and didn’t realise there was a “community” involved. I put up some observations, and dang if the system didn’t converse with me about what I had seen! The “welcome” I got from the NZ Bio-Diverisity Recording Network team was enough to get me hooked and passionate on iNat… and I try and “pay that forward” when I see new users or those returning… so for me it is something I very much do in iNat itself, where new users aren’t perhaps expecting a communitiy per se, vs here in the forum where I think new posters are very much aware it is a community (by the nature of it being a forum).
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