Greeting new and returning users

Hey all!

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 ;)

Blue

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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).

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I prefer an ‘organic’ welcome. Answer their questions, respond to their ideas, keep the conversation going. Neither ignored or dismissed, works for me.

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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!

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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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