Alternate Welcome Message

@avh4 wondered if our welcome message made sense give the “intentional posting” categories in this comment. I replied with a draft of an alternative welcome. I wanted to hear feedback before switching.

The following draft is edited based on feedback in this thread:

Welcome to the Elm discourse!

The goal of this forum is to encourage friendships, mentorships, and collaborations in the Elm community. Beginner questions are welcome. We love to help out!

There are three categories of posts on here:

We chose active verbs for each category because we want conversations to focus on accomplishing something. Learning something new. Deepening your understanding. Improving code. Etc. So posters should have some concrete goal for their posts and replies.

And always feel free to use the Elm slack to get more immediate feedback!

For more info on this forum, check out:


This got me wondering if other people will edit my post like in Stack Overflow. I’m guessing not, but the imagery I get from this sentence is 1. a post is made 2. the author edits it down later on - and I’m not sure if I’m understanding correctly.

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It looks like we can also customize the “new post” and “new reply” hints that show up on the right side of the editor. Here’s what it is by default:

Welcome to %{site_name} — thanks for starting a new conversation!

  • Does the title sound interesting if you read it out loud? Is it a good summary?

  • Who would be interested in this? Why does it matter? What kind of responses do you want?

  • Include commonly used words in your topic so others can find it. To group your topic with related topics, select a category.

For more, see our community guidelines. This panel will only appear for your first %{education_posts_text}.

That default is pretty close to what you’ve written, and the software can show it in the context where it would be most useful. So, would it make sense to put advice like that there as well as in the welcome pin?

@ento, I mean that the author has usually edited it down to convey their meaning concisely. I definitely do that a lot when I am starting a thread. I also do it when I am struggling to present my case in a calm and clear way. The goal is to encourage people to reflect and edit before pressing send.

Anyway, that language can be clarified somehow. Thanks!

@brian, I think it makes sense to add there.

I want to add a note about why I bold certain keywords. I do that because people don’t read anything. You get like five words max. IMO the bullets in your draft are way to long. You can have like five words per bullet. One bolded.

The 10% who are most conscientious (i.e. unlikely to need these notes) will probably read it all, and everyone else will not. So I think the best you can hope for is that the bold words create an ambiance. I personally think my thing is a bit too long to do that effectively.

The sample I pasted is just the default in Discourse. I expect we’ll change it completely.

Gotcha! Sorry for the confusion! Yeah, I edited the welcome so that we can save the questions part for the new post info.

I went and edited the info that shows up on posts and replies.

It looks like that only shows up the very first time you post or reply. Is there a way to have it show up other times as well?

If not, we should probably consolidate it somewhere. I guess the guidelines.

I think we can increase that number. Maybe just set it to something like 30? Or 10000 to be practically infinite?

Ah, cool! Let’s try it at 30 and see the level of complaints.

Folks will get annoyed by it on post N, at which point they may actually read it. So we want it to disappear on N+1 so that they read it and then it miraculously goes away.

My wager is that somewhere between 5 and 15 is the sweet spot for most folks, but let’s start high and lower it if the volume of questions about it indicates that we have overshot N by too much.

Also, if we could get it to show up every N posts, I think that’d be ideal. That way you get a message that seems out of the ordinary and look into it because it is odd.

Oooohhh, ideally it would be some sort of exponential backoff. So it shows on post 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, etc. :smiley:

Also, is there some way to show a message once there are a certain number of posts?

For example, if a thread has 30 messages, could we say “Hey, good time to break conversation into new threads” and if it is 30 messages with mainly two people say “Hey, good time to switch to slack!”

These are nice ideas! I posted in the meta discourse about this, and they asked us to keep them updated, since these ideas might be useful for more communities:

For now, it looks like you’ve already set the texts so I’ll change the post count to 30. If you can think of those extra things we need, let’s see if we can build a plugin to detect those conditions. I’m not sure how we’ll install it, but it sounds doable!

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Should the new reply post also include something like “does your post move the discussion forward?”