I came across this post yesterday and it bothered me enough to bring this to meta.
First take a look at how the question looked originally. Granted it was a lousy question. There were many problems with it: useless title, unclear, and multiple questions.
moonboots pointed out that is was unclear, and suggested more pictures.
Ray Mairlot pointed out that we only want one question per post.
Then it got DVed (not too surprising).
When the actions taken on this post are listed out and looked at it seams perfectly normal, but yet this user deleted his or her account just hours after creating it and posting their first question (and they will likely never see the answer).
Why did this happen? How can we do better?
When I read that question I saw a brand new blender user who knew nearly nothing. They did not need their question answered, they needed to know enough to know why they should not even need to do that. I perceived that even though they had a numbered list, there two questions really could be answered together.
Further at this level of beginnerness, how can we expect clear questions. It always is going to take some amount to decipher what the beginner really wants to do (XY problem).
Yes we need to keeps the site standards up. Yes we need clear questions. Yes there should only be one question per post. However, from the outcome of this question, what played out obviously was not quite the right approach.
Think back to when you were just starting out with blender, you probably felt overwhelmed, and daunted. (You might of gotten a mini dose of that when you opened up 2.8 for the first time.) At that stage none of us want "stupid elitist rules" pushed, WE JUST WANT AN ANSWER. That is the disconnect. It is between (some) new users and the curators of BSE.
I feel that some of us (myself included) have fallen into a warden roll. We know how this site works, and efficiently act on anything that falls outside of the target.
noun: warden; plural noun: wardens
a person responsible for the supervision of a particular place or thing or for ensuring that regulations associated with it are obeyed.
We need to step away from that mindset and become more of an usher.
- show or guide (someone) somewhere.
- cause or mark the start of something new.
Definitions from google
I really like the second definition of usher "the start of something new." When we help a new user we are starting his or her journey with blender. However when a new user gets frustrated and quits, we might be ending their journey.
In the example question if you know the answer, answer the question (even knowing the problems with the post). But also leave those comments saying that you should only have one question per post. Or editing to give it a better title.
A new user like this is new to blender and BSE. Answering the question teaches them blender, comments and interaction teaches them BSE. Ideally the two should not be exclusive, nor should one be more important then the other.
Saying all that I'm not at all suggesting that we abandon all our "rules" just because someone has a
stupid shiny "New Contributor" indicator under their name. We expect new users to learn the ways of BSE the same as we had to learn the ways of the road to get a license.
Ever hover over that new contributor indicator? It says something like:
UserX is a new contributor to this site. Take care in asking for clarification, commenting, and answering.
OK so answering should be no different, but asking for clarification and commenting. There in lies some wisdom.
Give them (new users) a tad bit of grace. Help them along, be a usher not a warden.