I notice that some other stacks, like area 51 and stack exchange central, have an introduction box on their homepage's (stack central's is removable).

Perhaps if we introduced a feature like this we could use it to better explain the line between ourselves stackoverflow and serverfault, thereby avoiding so many inappropriate questions, better educating our newbie users and providing a better experience overall.


  • 1
    You already have something like this that appears for new users: i.imgur.com/3qCXt.png
    – Aarthi
    Commented Feb 23, 2012 at 16:34
  • Indeed we do, but it is well outside of the space which user normally pay attention to and doesn't address what KIND of questions to ask. Commented Feb 23, 2012 at 16:39

2 Answers 2


I have a better solution, which has been implemented on stack overflow (it only shows for low rep users)

how to ask stack overflow page

We could implement something like that too.


Here is a draft of what the introductory tect could look like. Feel free to edit it and improve it (based off of stackoverflow's)

How to ask

Welcome to Webmasters Stack Exchange!

We’d love to help you. But not every question on Stack Overflow gets answered. To improve your chances, here are some tips:

Do your homework

Have you thoroughly searched for an answer before asking your question? Sharing your research helps everyone. Tell us what you found and why it didn't meet your needs. This demonstrates that you've taken the time to try to help yourself, it saves us from reiterating obvious answers, and most of all it helps you get a more specific and relevant answer!

Be specific

If you ask a vague question, you'll get a vague answer. But if you give us details and context, we can provide a useful answer.

Make it relevant to others

We like to help as many people at a time as we can. Make it clear how your question is relevant to more people than just you, and more of us will be interested in your question and willing to look into it.

Be on-topic

Our community is defined by a specific set of topics in the faq; please try to stick to those topics. If your question is about the site itself, ask on our meta-discussion site. If you’re looking for a different topic, it might be covered on another Stack Exchange site.

  • It's not a bad plan, but doesn't that show up on our site during newbie sign up? Commented Feb 24, 2012 at 1:05
  • @toomanyairmiles No, it doesn't.
    – user6901
    Commented Feb 24, 2012 at 1:11
  • As long as you make it attractive enough and simply worded so people will actually read the damn thing. Btw, +1 to toomanyairmiles for his comment on danlefree's answer... first impressions DO matter. Commented Feb 24, 2012 at 8:37
  • @toomanyairmiles feel free to edit this text and improve it.
    – user6901
    Commented Feb 24, 2012 at 22:21

I do not believe that the introduction box should be used to direct askers off-site, though I am not against the idea of adding an introduction which defines the scope of questions this site hosts (perhaps with a link to the FAQ for further reading?).

  • 1
    Agreed. Though our audience seems in large part to be newbies for whom English isn't a first language. Stack as a whole and our site in particular may be better off bringing them in to the fold with the right directions, rather than leaving them with a frustrating experience - first impressions matter. Commented Feb 23, 2012 at 12:13

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