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Author Topic: Writing a welcome message  (Read 14211 times)
theymos
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September 23, 2018, 08:58:25 PM
Merited by RodeoX (2), xtraelv (1), Coin-1 (1), TheBeardedBaby (1), sncc (1)
 #1

Here's a draft of a welcome message for new users. The user will see it on the screen confirming their registration, and it'll also be available in the help center at any time.

Some text in the intro was obviously inspired by xtraelv's signature, which I really like.

Please provide your suggested additions/changes. However:
 - I don't want to put in a lot of exact numbers such as all of the merit/activity thresholds, since then I need to remember to update them.
 - I don't believe in creating definitive rule lists.
 - There's no need for this to be a complete explanation of everything on the forum. It's just the basics.



Welcome to bitcointalk.org, the Bitcoin Forum! You can access this welcome message from the "help" link in the top menu bar at any time.

As a member of the forum, you are surrounded by legends; phenomenal successes and catastrophic failures. The forum was created by Satoshi Nakamoto and saw the first exchange, the first altcoin, and the first ICO, but also catastrophic software flaws, massive thefts, and incredible scams. You too have an opportunity to become part of the forum's history: whether and in what way you do so is up to you.

Table of contents

The purpose of the forum

This forum exists to provide a platform for the free (but ordered) exchange of ideas. If you have an idea to express, then it is probably possible to do it here as long as you follow the rules.

A lot of people come here primarily looking to make money. The forum administration is very happy that people are able to use the forum in order to better themselves; indeed, one of the reasons for Bitcoin's creation was to break the artificial barriers which prevent so many people around the world from attaining prosperity. However, if your attempts to make money conflict with the forum's primary goal of enabling discussion, then you are swimming upstream, and you will not be sucessful in the end.

If you view the forum as some sort of "job" where you complete some basic tasks and get paid, then you will almost certainly be disappointed, and the forum administration will not be sympathetic. If you do make money using the forum, then it will be through innovation and entrepreneurship, not any sort of mindless busywork.

Forum rank

When you start out, you are a Newbie, and you will run into various annoying limits. These limits will be reduced to the point where you shouldn't usually notice them after you have participated in the forum for a few weeks. If you are on the forum to talk, then that's all you really need to know about rank. Don't worry about it too much, and you will eventually rank up.

If you want to maximize your rank, then you need to increase two statistics which are listed on your profile:
  • Activity, which is maximized by posting once per day on average. Posting more than that is useless in raising your activity.
  • Merit, which is gained by making good posts.

If you make ten thousand posts in a week, your activity will be capped and you will still be a Newbie. If you make ten thousand useless posts over any period of time, you will gain zero merit and you will still be a Newbie. You can rank up only by making good posts consistently. It's quality over quantity.

When trying to write quality posts, a lot of people act as though they're writing a book report for school: putting facts that we already know into their own words. Nobody wants to read that, and you will not get merit for it. Moreover, the length of your post and the quality of your English are only minor factors. In trying to write a quality post worthy of merit, you should offer new ideas, personal experiences, or perspectives that other forum users will actually find new and interesting.

Posting images and wearing signatures

Users of Newbie rank cannot post images or wear signatures. If you want to do these things, then you can either rank up (explained above) or pay for a copper membership.

Common rule violations

These are the most common rule violations that newbies make. There are other rules than these.

  • Plagiarism: If you copy some text from somewhere, then you should have a good reason for it, and you must link to the source. Doing otherwise is plagiarism. Changing a few words around doesn't matter. If we find that you plagiarized, then you absolutely will be permanently banned, even if we find it years after you did it.
  • Multi-posting: Do not post twice in a row in a topic. Instead, edit your old post.
  • Low-content posts: Do not post low-content garbage like "agreed!", "nice project!", etc. You can be banned for this, and it's also pointless if you want to increase your rank, since you will never get merit for such posts.

Languages

If you are fluent in any language other than English, then it is highly encouraged for you to post in your local board. These boards often have tight-knit communities which will be able to help you, and in some ways you might be at an advantage compared to English-only posters.

In the English sections, only English is allowed. It is not necessary to speak perfect English, though you should be understandable. Try your best. If you're unsure whether your English is good enough, ask in your local board or in the Beginners & Help section

Here are the local boards:

AUTOMATIC_LIST_OF_LOCAL_BOARDS

Beware of scams

This is a pseudonymous forum which emphasizes personal freedom and therefore also personal responsibility, so scammers are common. When trading, it's best to assume that everyone is trying to scam you, and act accordingly. Use an escrow, and take note of each user's trust ratings next to their posts and on their profiles. When you are more familiar with people around the forum, you should define your own trust list rather than using the default.

Getting help

First, search for your problem to see if anyone has asked about it before. If you don't find anything on it, ask in the Meta section. If you don't speak English well, either ask in your local section or PM the moderators of your local section.

If you think that a post is breaking the rules, use the "report to moderator" link on it. Do not PM moderators directly.

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September 23, 2018, 09:01:30 PM
Merited by theymos (5)
 #2

Escrow thread:

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=2439910.0

Forum legend Phinnaeus Gage has passed on. 
 His final wish was for financial assistance. 

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  Donations of any amount are appreciated.
 <-Click on that to read Bruno's request.
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September 23, 2018, 09:16:49 PM
 #3

Perhaps under "Common Rule Violations", after you say "There are other rules than these" it would be worthwhile linking to mprep's list of rules: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=703657.0

Also, a line about reading the stickied threads on various boards wouldn't go amiss IMO.

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September 23, 2018, 09:30:38 PM
 #4

~, ask in your local board or in the Beginners & Help section
Add a dot (.) at the end.

Quote
  • Multi-posting: Do not post twice in a row in a topic. Instead, edit your old post.
Can you add: "Also don't post the same message in more than one topic".

Quote
First, search for your problem to see if anyone has asked about it before. If you don't find anything on it, ask in the Meta section.
I think this will be interpreted as if the Meta section is the place to go to with any problem, instead of just forum-related problems.

Did you use hilariousetc's What should be included in a newbie welcome message? thread for suggestions already? I think at least "don't post referral links" and "don't beg for money" should be added.

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September 23, 2018, 10:01:11 PM
Last edit: September 24, 2018, 07:06:48 AM by DdmrDdmr
Merited by suchmoon (4), hilariousetc (2), LoyceV (1)
 #5

In addition to what had been said, I’m trying to get myself into the shoes of a person who is not very literate in English, and forseeing their obvious first problem which is understanding the content properly. Ideally, being English the default, the message could be selectable somehow (I.e. dropdown box or so). Another way round would be to link the translations next to the local board list you mention.
I’m sure the translations are not an issue, for there are enough volunteers around here to do that.

Edit 24/09/2018: Just one more thought. If you go head making this welcome message available in multiple languages, the ownership of them and the derived stickies should be yours (Admins). The idea is to avoid situations I’ve encountered on my local board where by rules are translated into the local language, but the OP is no longer active and thus the rule post is now out of sync (I’ve PMd the mods on my local there to see if it can somehow be fixed).

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September 23, 2018, 10:09:05 PM
 #6

It's very helpful for new users if they can select their mother languages for welcome message.
I think the most important part of welcome message is to notify new users of this forum's purpose and rules in brief. Therefore, welcome message should be understood as much as possible by their mother language.
At the very least, local board members will help to translate welcome message for each local board language.

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September 23, 2018, 10:29:09 PM
 #7

I would add a reminder to read the stickies, as some sections have specific rules and regulations.

Actually, reading the pinned posts will give you all the initial information you would possibly need as a newbie.

Happy to see one more crossed out from the list with suggestions Smiley





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September 23, 2018, 10:49:03 PM
Merited by DarkStar_ (4)
 #8

If i were a newly registered user i'd probably like to see forum rules:
Unofficial list of (official) Bitcointalk.org rules, guidelines, FAQ

Also, [Guide] Bitcointalk account security will help them avoid frequently made mistakes which concerns the security of their bitcointalk accounts.

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September 23, 2018, 11:12:15 PM
Last edit: September 23, 2018, 11:50:01 PM by xtraelv
Merited by hilariousetc (2)
 #9

I agree with ddmrddmr. A lot of users don't have English as their first language. I'd have to add to that : A lot of users have poor reading skills. They are likely to only skim the text or read the first two paragraphs. Not that they cannot read. Just that they often don't even read the previous posts above their own comments when they post a reply.

For this reason I would recommend fine tuning  and condensing the opening statement so it contains everything about the most important message that you want to communicate to the new members..

Also avoid using phrases like "swimming upstream" as they may not be understood by some users.

Being dyslexic I'm not the ideal person to give advise on this. The organised thought in my head doesn''t always end up expressed well in writing.  It also often causes me to miss things reading or misread things.

Keeping that in mind - it is good to keep the language as brief and simple as possible. Which will take effort for an eloquent writer like yourself. But the people that need the message the most are not necessarily able to comprehend a high level of English.

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September 23, 2018, 11:19:27 PM
 #10

Maybe mention machine translated post as the Common rule violations or Languages section.

Ideally, being English the default, the message could be selectable somehow (I.e. dropdown box or so). Another way round would be to link the translations next to the local board list you mention.
Good point, this will reduce confusion most of local members had.

It would be helpful for new members if the message includes these links to the rules and account security threads.
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September 24, 2018, 12:37:44 AM
 #11

Good to see that in the last weeks a lot has happened for the forum!

Devinitiv which was very good the change with Merit and newbies!
So it is good to greet the new users with a good welcome message, or at any rate make them aware of some of the things the forum is about!

Unfortunately, I also know of another site where I am active as a moderator, although many read the hints quickly (best example forum rules) but do not pay attention or take seriously!

But the hint is there and if you do not read these you are guilty!




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September 24, 2018, 12:51:26 AM
 #12

Maybe add Tomatocage Stake your bitcoin address here to reduce someone's who usually complains about account being hacked or stolen and maybe introduce the copper membership account and it's features comparing it to being a newbie rank.

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September 24, 2018, 03:31:33 AM
 #13

Please mention about the trust system, if you want to. It might be a little important for newbies to know more about it...

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September 24, 2018, 04:03:27 AM
Last edit: September 24, 2018, 07:33:51 AM by Steamtyme
 #14

While this is currently a touchy subject in itself. I think the message would benefit from having some information regarding account recovery.

An explanation about how it's not automatic or guaranteed at this point in time. This could be in the form of explaining why it's important to secure their password.

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September 24, 2018, 04:18:53 AM
Merited by mprep (1), LoyceV (1), hilariousetc (1), Coin-1 (1)
 #15

I think the message should be shorter - much shorter. Or at least have the table of contents expanded into more of a summary: this is a Bitcoin forum, not a job... don't post shit... don't fall for scams... etc, with links to more details on each point.

We know that people don't read, particularly 90% of people who register on this forum. So the "donts" for bounty hunters should be very prominent in this message.

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September 24, 2018, 04:29:22 AM
 #16

Maybe add the thread made by Lauda:
[General] Bitcoin Wallets - Which, what, why? so that they have informations on what wallets they will use. Since they are newbies, they don't have idea into which wallet is the safest to use.

Made in Mobile Cheesy

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September 24, 2018, 06:29:34 AM
Last edit: September 24, 2018, 07:08:08 AM by Coolcryptovator
 #17

1) Should add one more option to encourage people's for reporting spam post. This thread could be embedded for help new member's, Report effectively

Table of contant title could be; Help forum by reporting spam post
A new user should know how to report spam post so that he can avoid spam himself.

2) Title could be ; Read most useful post by users and I think this thread could be embedded [GUIDES] on Bitcointalk. Index thread (until there is a dedicated subforum?) . So newbie will able to read all useful post on one place. And there is all important post available.


I think the message should be shorter - much shorter. Or at least have the table of contents expanded into more of a summary: this is a Bitcoin forum, not a job... don't post shit... don't fall for scams... etc, with links to more details on each point.

I am agree with it. If message write too longer than member will discourage to read it. So it's better short discription with embedded link. So people will click link to read details. One more thing all clickable link should open new window/tab instated of redirect on same window/tab.


I don't think so escrow thread should suggeste by forum admin and shouldn't add on welcome message. If happen any scam who will responsible for that ? Theymos shouldn't involved with escrow system.





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September 24, 2018, 07:26:23 AM
Merited by Foxpup (4)
 #18

I think this is too long and filled with needless information. 90% of Newbies won't read it let alone understand it. Just keep it simple and concise and give the most important info but include many links to further/in depth information so the info is there if they do want to investigate further and so they're not overloaded by text or things they don't even understand or care about. You could put half of this stuff in some other thread that is linked to and they can read that if they wish, but most will just gloss over it if you're trying to give them the entire history of the forum which isn't necessary for a welcome message.


 - I don't believe in creating definitive rule lists.

We should probably get rid of half the rules here if you don't care that much about them. Most of them aren't enforced or to standard that is effective such as ban evasion. If rules aren't gong to be enforced properly then just get rid of them as it's a waste of time for staff and some users are punished unfairly whilst others get off completely free or given a free pass. I don't think getting rid of rules is something we should do but rules are useless and become a joke when they're barely ever enforced or just selectively.

A lot of people come here primarily looking to make money. The forum administration is very happy that people are able to use the forum in order to better themselves; indeed, one of the reasons for Bitcoin's creation was to break the artificial barriers which prevent so many people around the world from attaining prosperity. However, if your attempts to make money conflict with the forum's primary goal of enabling discussion, then you are swimming upstream, and you will not be sucessful in the end.

The majority of people who come here these days speak very poor English. They're not going to understand half of this. You could cut this down to a much simpler sentence or two that gets the point across.


If you view the forum as some sort of "job" where you complete some basic tasks and get paid, then you will almost certainly be disappointed, and the forum administration will not be sympathetic. If you do make money using the forum, then it will be through innovation and entrepreneurship, not any sort of mindless busywork.

Why even say things like this and the above when they're really just not true (unless you've got some huge changes planned on how people can earn here)? Unless things change to how ICO campaigns can operate here then users won't be disappointed. They'll be overjoyed by being here and how easy it is to earn from doing little to nothing. People can still get paid for either copy and pasting posts or writing mindless drivel that is text-spun over as many accounts as they like and requiring one merit isn't going to stop this. People who are farming hundreds of accounts copy and pasting with bots are never looked into so is that what you call 'innovation and entrepreneurship'? This just seems like a hollow threat that won't be enforced just like half the other rules so it's pointless even saying unless we're actually going to be cracking down on the huge abuses here which are only going to get worse the longer we do nothing about them.


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September 24, 2018, 08:07:56 AM
Merited by LoyceV (1)
 #19

I think the message should be shorter - much shorter. Or at least have the table of contents expanded into more of a summary: this is a Bitcoin forum, not a job... don't post shit... don't fall for scams... etc, with links to more details on each point.

We know that people don't read, particularly 90% of people who register on this forum. So the "donts" for bounty hunters should be very prominent in this message.

Exactly, nobody reads the T&C with Google, Yt or Fb, let's not fool ourselves believing they will read this if it takes more than 1 minute.

Quote
If you are fluent in any language other than English, then it is highly encouraged for you to post in your local board. These boards often have tight-knit communities which will be able to help you, and in some ways you might be at an advantage compared to English-only posters.

In the English sections, only English is allowed. It is not necessary to speak perfect English, though you should be understandable. Try your best. If you're unsure whether your English is good enough, ask in your local board or in the Beginners & Help section
vs
Quote
If you are not able to speak English at a basic level please use ONLY the Local Boards, do not try to use automated translation services.

The only way to make sure they will go through all of it would be to put captchas after each paragraph.

PS.
I don't remember reading those T&C myself, I didn't even read the entire mortgage contract as it was 70 pages long...

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September 24, 2018, 09:06:54 AM
 #20

I agree with a lot of the comments, and especially the ones referring to the length.

I think a short punchy message would be enough, and it should include links to a couple of stickies. Follow that with a statement such as
" Read the contents of those stickies carefully, breaking the rules will probably lead to the loss of your account, and a permanent ban from the forum".

I want to buy some Bitcoin in £100 blocks from trusted UK forum members.
Payment by Sterling faster payments to a UK bank account.
Exchange rate at the quoted rate by xe.com at the time of contract arrangement.
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