I was in the process of writing a similar question then this surfaced as a duplicate. So this is a kind of "me too" answer with some constructive suggestions (though JCs answer may have burst my bubble a bit as its spot on). But i am looking at it from a slightly different angle.
Badly written and ambiguous questions are “par for the course” for a site like this and everyone does their best to police and edit them as well as flagging when inappropriate. This is especially true for new AU subscribers. I am relatively new here myself and I feel we should encourage those who are willing to answer questions or make constructive comments to give obvious “newbies” a break and be more helpful
I agree some are quick to down vote badly written questions without attempting to edit or seek clarity, get a better understanding of what they are looking for or comment that it is a possible duplicate without addition explanation. Keep in mind I am only talking about new subscribers to AU where it is obvious they are first time Ubuntu users. I am not naive, I do understand there are new subscribers who are experienced and revisit the site with a new user name and login etc.
Maybe it’s not the role of this site to encourage new Ubuntu users to “stay the course” and maybe we should just stick to answering the question presented. I am in no doubt you guys who have been around here a lot longer than I have tried and failed many things. I just think that during my short experience here there is a gap and that some of us can encourage others to be more helpful and lead by example. I have noted evidence of answers to “first time” questions being vague, mild abuse in comments short of calling the new OP stupid.
Some of my own thoughts are
- Always, welcome new subscribers (who bother to complete a profile and
give themselves a user name)
- In the welcome comment or note maybe a provide a link to the “highest
voted” question list, encourage them to browse there while waiting on
their first answer. (a learning curve to encourage self research and expose them to well
written questions and answers).
- Prevent those under a certain Rep score from answering/commenting
on a new subscriber’s first question.
If my answer makes the readers think a bit more about being more helpful to so called “newbies” then I have achieved an objective.