First, let me tip my hat to all the community members who regularly contribute. You know who you are because I try to reciprocate where I can contribute and also recognize each contribution I witness with a thumbs up.
I agree with the main point that there is room for improvement to make the experience softer and less jarring for newcomers. However, on balance, I feel no need to accommodate those individuals who show up and demonstrate zero desire to help themselves figure out what works and what doesn’t.
The consequences of what happens when you have no probationary period
If we had no probationary period, what will happen is that spammers and troublemakers will flood this forum. If it were too easy to join and start posting, people will—without a doubt—set up multiple accounts just to create mischief. I know this because it has happened in every forum I’ve been involved in if they didn’t establish such precautions. I’ll repeat, this has happened in all my experiences without fail.
A little Internet Background
I’ll freely admit that I might be a bit biased because I started using the internet long before the World Wide Web even existed. Back then, we had civil discussion groups on USENET. But that all changed when AOL ruined it.
During the early days of the WWW, I created one discussion group, moderated two others, and was part of many more. My fellow admins and I tried to recreate the decorum we missed upon the demise of USENET. I know firsthand how challenging it is to moderate a discussion forum.
We are welcoming, believe it or not.
Why bring up the Internet of the past? Because, in terms of entry rules, this forum is one of the most relaxed in my experience. All a newbie has to do is follow the guidelines, but that does require taking the time to read them, doesn’t it?
People who have shown up here stating that they are a newbie and asking for help, the members here have demonstrated that they are willing to respond kindly and offer help.
Digital Literacy and the spirit of entitlement to be spoon-fed.
On the flip side, if someone is unwilling to learn digital skills due to laziness, they’re responsible for their situation, and I can’t feel sorry for them. Similarly, if someone joins a discussion forum and shares a poorly written, unclear, and unhelpful message without trying, I believe the group isn’t obligated to be welcoming. You receive what you contribute.
The idea is, if lazy individuals feel unwelcome upon their arrival here, maybe they should seek out one of those “safe spaces” that people like them believe they have a right to, and for their own well-being, stay away from the internet, as they won’t find many friendlier places than this one.
Last but not least. If someone is truly dissatisfied with their experience here, then maybe they should request a refund for the entrance fee from the admins.