Well, so much for the "most friendly, welcoming forum on the web".....
The problem isn't the neophytes per se, it's those among them that ask the same old question, time after time, without ever checking to see if it's already been done ad nauseam.
There is no need for anyone to ever ask the 'What sort of concertina for a beginner?'; the info's there to be read in the forums. I don't think it needs a separate forum so much as a 'You can't post here for the first time until the system has registered that you performed a search.' function.
Better the question is answered nicely, than to put someone off, I agree, but it does get repetitive and seems like a waste of everyone's good intentions. Perhaps 'cut and paste' is the answer?
As a double newbie, whose elementary questions were indeed answered nicely, and in a most welcoming manner, let me add my perspective. By double newbie, I mean that I am new both to the concertina, and on-line forums such as this. I suspect from some comments I've seen in various threads (even from some non-newbies) that not everyone on this forum is super-comfortable with the technology (and etiquitte). In fact, I'd bet this board harbours more than its fair share of card carrying Luddites!
I think an up-dated and clearly labelled FAQs, or "Newbies read this first " page would be a good idea. I found the home page a little bewildering at first, and the info contained appeared out-of-date (eg Rochelle is not really discussed in Buyer's Guide). And the search function didn't seem to work very well for me.
But I would discourage anything that limited the mingling of the tyros and old hands. I have noticed that with the patient forebearance of the veterans, newbies here do seem to get up to speed pretty quickly!
Edited by Bill N, 08 October 2008 - 04:13 PM.