I'm noticing that some new members get overwhelmed upon arrival, and don't know where to start. I have been there, done that, got the t-shirt--it took me forever to get comfortable with LiveJournal, for example. I'd like these people to be able to call on a network of contacts for one-on-one help, mentoring, whatever, until they get the hang of things. Sometimes the FAQs just aren't the right solution, and I'd like to offer the alternative.
Here's how I think it would work:
-- I'd establish a list of volunteers who were already comfortable with snarfing and the site, and could coach others throught it
-- Each volunteer would let me know how many people s/he was willing to look after at a time
-- With the sign-up and the welcome letter would be info about the buddy system and a place where they could opt in
-- I would attempt to pair up buddies with newbies
-- When a newbie felt ready, he or she could let his buddy know, and thus the buddy would become available.
-- Buddying could be done through Marker Mail to protect privacy.
-- Both parties would agree that it's ok to switch buddies if the chemistry isn't quite right.
How does this sound? Is it good? Would you have liked something like this when you were new? Any suggestions or changes?