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16 votes
5 answers

What should the modal window for first-time askers say?

When a user asks their very first question on a Stack Exchange site, they are shown a modal window with some introductory advice. As explained in the March 2020 announcement of this feature, there is ...
Tim Campion's user avatar
  • 62k
25 votes
4 answers

Should users be shown some basic information before posting the first question? [duplicate]

In an answer to another question discussing possibilities how to decrease the number of off-topic questions1 it was mentioned that: Perhaps we should force a person to read the rules before posting ...
Martin Sleziak's user avatar
21 votes
4 answers

Customize the modal window for the first-time askers [duplicate]

When a user asks their very first question on a Stack Exchange site, they are shown a modal window with a short advice. The content can be either a generic message or it can be customized for a ...
Martin Sleziak's user avatar
22 votes
3 answers

Measures to separate math overflow from the rest of the stack exchange network

It seems that there is a widespread concern about the influence that in many ways the switch to the stack exchange network has on this site. I infer this from the many questions on meta on this ...
Joël's user avatar
  • 25.8k
81 votes
3 answers

Should we exercise a bit more tolerance towards newcomers?

What bothers me quite a bit is that many people come to MO to get some help with their mathematical problems and are met with nothing but our standard "closed as not research level" verdict and a few ...
fedja's user avatar
  • 60.3k
45 votes
4 answers

"Stack Overflow Isn’t Very Welcoming." --- are we?

There is a new posting on the Stackoverflow blog, entitled Stack Overflow Isn’t Very Welcoming. It’s Time for That to Change. A quote: Too often, someone comes here to ask a question, only to be ...
Carlo Beenakker's user avatar
10 votes
6 answers

Revising the help page on "What topics can I ask around here?"

This is a freestanding post taking its content from a previous discussion on the modal window for first-time askers. Thanks to Martin Sleziak and Tim Campion for the encouragement to post it ...
user avatar
20 votes
1 answer

Traffic from the list of hot network questions

To better understand the advantages and disadvantages of having MO questions featured in the list of hot network questions, as discussed here and here, it would be useful if Stack Exchange could ...
François G. Dorais's user avatar
23 votes
2 answers

Featured MO questions on the hot list: what benefits, if any, do these bring?

“Measures to separate MO from the rest of the stackexchange network”, and various other recent meta questions, have discussed (among other things) opting out of the stackexchange-wide hot list. I’ve ...
Peter LeFanu Lumsdaine's user avatar
56 votes
4 answers

Flood of Similar New User(s)

The following thirteen(!) users: goingfullscheme valua_aint_no_galois going-full-isomorphic logicians_rule, martintzar royalroadtogeometry bundlist compactbut faptoint you_dont_mess_with_ron ...
Steven Landsburg's user avatar
16 votes
2 answers

Feature request: add short "about MathOverflow" section to the front page

Until a few years ago MathOverflow front page had a short section at the top describing what the site is for. I am not sure when it disappeared or why but I would like to see it restored. Currently ...
Vitali Kapovitch's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer

Reword "What topics can I ask about here?"

Another time recently, an user has asked a question which is very far from research level, and has been reprimanded for not reading the FAQ. However, I realize that there might be a problem in the ...
Federico Poloni's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer

Should there be a banner with some basic info about MO in the right sidebar?

A recent discussion about customizing the "Draft your question" panel reminded me of an older one here: Feature request: add short "about MathOverflow" section to the front page. ...
Martin Sleziak's user avatar
6 votes
4 answers

What should the "hover text" for the MathOverflow link on all SE sites be?

If you go to the bottom of any page in the SE network (e.g. this one!), you'll see a list of SE sites. In particular there's a link to MathOverflow, that is potentially seen by a large number of ...
23 votes
4 answers

Encouraging new users to provide a name or a nickname

After the transition to MO 2.0, I noticed an increased influx of anonymous users, with user names like user####. Of course, people can have all kinds of reasons to ...
Igor Khavkine's user avatar
12 votes
3 answers

How to make welcoming comments on "homework-like" posts that will be closed?

We get posts here that are phrased as if from a textbook or homework; the one I have in mind is Find the recurrence relation, but my question is more general. Such posts will certainly be closed. A ...
LSpice's user avatar
  • 11.6k
7 votes
1 answer

Would it be appropriate to ask why a new user chose MO over MSE?

With the move to Stack Exchange 2.0, some people feel that there will be (have been?) many more first time users asking questions on MO which should instead be asked on MSE. Presumably, such a user ...
Michael Albanese's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer

Should posts sitting in the "First posts of new users" review queue be hidden from view until they have been approved?

Presently, questions from new users are shown and can be answered immediately, although they also go into a dedicated review queue ( Since a significant ...
Stefan Kohl's user avatar
  • 19.5k
6 votes
0 answers

Might featuring some FAQ posts on meta be useful?

Among the things on the site which can be directly influenced by the site moderators (without any involvement of Stack Exchange staff), probably the community bulletin has the most visibility. The ...
Martin Sleziak's user avatar