Warning, dropping a bombshell here. Expect subjective and niche opinion. I do not intend to offend or humiliate anyone, but prepare dry ice for applying to burned areas.
From my personal experience these welcoming correction comments don't matter. If anything, they create more work for mods because they either:
- are ignored and are left hanging for years (typical for "unregistered" users who log in once to post the question and vanish);
- provoke extended discussion which could be avoided if the new user decided to take the tour or simply peeked at a couple of related Q&A pairs;
- generate flags and conflict situations.
You don't have to look far for an example: a one has just been posted by the new user:
A person thanks for correction, doesn't improve the question at all or promises they get it right next time, and eventually someone else (here, Mithoron) edits the question so that it becomes more adequate.
You need to realize that the new users whose questions need serious improvement en masse do not care about improvements, they want an answer, and preferably now.
Neither a "safe space", let alone an illusion of one, is helpful in any shape or form. You empower the users by making them think and be independent, not by virtue signaling via calming comments and blind approval of whatever they post.
Further, I tried different comment styles before, and the spectrum of reactions I received in over 95 % of all cases were:
- display gratitude and ignore;
- flag the comment suggesting improvements as rude or abusive "bcoz its cHemstre not inglisch class" or "gimme a break, will ya".
Quantity over quality is the new motto, and keeping populations barely educated is beneficial for the majority of governments. The bar is dropped pretty low these days. We, however, cannot afford dropping it further down in the community where relatively high-quality answers are fueled by the ideas of enlightenment and enthusiasm. Those who devote their time — a non-renewable value — to improve the site and provide answers have the right to participate in literate written communication.
So, we have two non-collinear vectors:
- a new user who only cares about getting an answer ASAP (or any response);
- a selected pool of users who can and want to answer a clearly and literate on-topic question.
I only managed to find one way to combine these vectors so that the resulting vector points towards mutual development: if the question is on-topic and can be salvaged, roll up your sleeves and fix it as quickly and as completely as possible in a single edit.
And by "completely" I mean exactly this. Not an edit for the sake of edit that changes a couple or prepositions and tweaks some tags — this bumps the question to the top and frustrates the users, and such edited question is likely to receive even more downvotes. I mean real edits including conversion of images to text, redrawing chemical structures, cropping and scaling images, formatting data in readable tables, rewriting entire paragraphs for clarity using academic style, finding sources for quoted parts, adding readable references and much more. This is hard and demanding and is essentially "plumbing"-grade work, but is the ultimate solution for creating an environment pleasant to work in.
Once the cleanup is done and the community has a new question that is pleasant to read and to simply look at, optionally suggest the new user to have a look at your edit and provide concrete details as to how they could do this themselves.
Unless the new user is pea-brained, the curiosity usually takes over, and they naturally and gradually start to integrate into the community and adopt the rules. The beauty in doing this fast edit for the user is that it allows them to feel more welcomed than if they received a canned "welcome to Chem.SE" comment with approving empty words. An edit is personal, caring, and creates an exemplary behavior. Also, in the end of the day monkey see — monkey do. Sounds rough but works.
One should probably develop a habit of taking such editorial care of the question they answer. Rephrasing
When you've finished washing and dressing each morning, you must tend your planet.
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince
When answering a question, spend a little extra time and effort in order to bring it to an exemplary form — after all, with your answer you show that you perceived the question as worthwhile, and therefore leaving it in an indecent form was negligence on your part.
A few notes on problem statement:
Most questions asked by new users are closed, and not as duplicate.
Closing is not a final act, and can easily be undone once the post is fixed. Closing should not be an issue for the new users, rather a motivation to improve upon.
When I was a new user, I did not take the tour, I did not read the FAQs, I just answered a question. I did not pay attention to when it was asked, or research other questions on the site.
I would count this as a survivorship bias. I also don't like reading rules, but I spent a good couple of weeks reading Q&As and got a basic understanding by thinking and doing my homework on behaviorism studies. In the meantime I got a warning for target upvoting (the poor soul was orthocresol, long story with a good end:) )
As the result I pretty much never got unexplained downvotes or got involved in serious miscommunication (and I'm not a native English speaker), so personally I wouldn't recommend a cold dive (i.e. posting anything spontaneously) for the new users: at least look around first and see how the site works.
In 2022, new users probably are on their phone
This is a conscious choice, and the person is supposed to hold responsible for their choices. Smartphones these days are still not meant for any serious content creation, only consumption. Sorry, but if you are using a phone for making posts which are supposed to be formatted properly and you fail to do so, it's a glaring sign that you are using the wrong tool for the job.
If you are still doing so and you are proud of it, or constantly complain how unfair norms of typography are, you are likely either a hypocrite, or a masochist. There is virtually no excuse not to use a refurbished and rock-solid Dell/ThinkPad laptop from 2012–2015 era which would cost \$50 to \$100 which is cheaper than any entry-level smartphone.
they probably click impatiently through the steps to ask their question (as a guest or as a newly signed-up user), and expect an answer in the next couple of minutes.
I completely agree. At this stage if you want to keep user around, it's more important to shift the focus from improvement to asking refining questions in the comments or suggest crude solution or post a DOI to the related work. A new user expects a reaction, and, in many cases, reaction time matters more than the response itself.