I've been here for a little while. I am still a low-reputation of SE, with most of my involvement being here. I know that each SE has it's own personality, somewhat derived from the charter, somewhat from the written standards, and somewhat determined by the customary practices in the community.
I have found from reading many answers that the first line is often "soft". A welcome to a new user. A word of appreciation for the question. A social throat-clearing before jumping into the substance of the answer. Over time, I have adopted this form myself, especially with a user who is new to 3D Printing SE.
Three days ago, one of my answers was edited to remove the preliminary social lubricant. I'm fine with this, and I understand it is in keeping with the position that the value of SE to the investors is in the responsive content of the answers, not in the social glue. I would have approved the edits myself except that one can not do that from the app. Today, I connected through a desktop and found that the edit had been auto-approved. Again, no problem.
But to the question.
We want to be welcoming to new users, and we hope they will stay close to the site and become active members. To do so requires communication, the informal, person-to-person communication that builds oxytocin rather than facts. This doesn't fit the business purpose of SE, but it is necessary to support the mission of SE which must succeed for the business to succeed.
Is the right method to:
- Welcome people in an answer,
- Welcome people in a comment, where it is also not appropriate,
- Do not welcome people -- just stick to the facts, or
- Welcome people in an answer but go back later and strip it out?