My first experience of SX/SO was terrible. I wanted to help get my points up to help the Area51, but I was constantly dogged by hoops I had to jump through - couldn't comment until my reputation was X, etc and so on. What's the best way to make these things clear so we can lessen the rude shock some people might have?
Maybe this page is a good starting point: https://joomla.stackexchange.com/about
The "hoops" seem to be a double-edged sword to me. In one way, the restrictions due to a lack of privileges is an irritatant to new users. For users with thicker skin and the will to succeed, the restrictions are motivators to invest in the community.
The reason I started volunteering in the SE, was a mixture of:
- wanting to give back to a community that had helped me countless times.
- wanting to have a public way of expressing my knowledge to people who may wish to employ or contract me for work.
- wanting to compare my skills against other developers from around the world (because I am a self-taught developer).
- wanting to challenge myself to think very deeply and question every line of code that I write and ask myself, "Is this the very best version that I can produce? What might someone argue about my solution?".
Many of the road blocks that I encountered were annoying, but I quickly realized that there were thousands of questions where I could post valuable answers. The way to overcome the adversity is to be patient and continue looking for available avenues to help. Initially, users can only ask and answer, but eventually users earn the privileges to edit and review.
The help and tour pages do a fair job of explaining things. What veteran volunteers can/should do is soften the irritation.
For instance, when someone posts a comment seeking question clarification as an answer, kindly thank them for taking an interest, post a comment on their behalf under the question, and encourage them to earn points by answering any of the other thousands of questions that do not need clarification. Explain that their post may be downvoted or flagged and that it is just a matter of appropriate site maintenance and not a "go away" action.
The best thing we can all do is tell people to stay calm, nudge them in the right direction, and just keep helping. This level of courtesy is seldom seen on StackOverflow, this can be where JSE wins users over by being "more human".