When you pass 500 reputation you gain access to the Review Queues. One of them is the "First Post" queue.
What is this queue, what purpose does it serve, and how should I process items in that queue?
The first question a user asks, and the first answer a user provides, will be automatically added to this queue. First posts may also be added to the 'late answer' queue (if the question was asked a long time ago).
This is the first real interaction that new users have on the site. They have no experience. The purpose of the queue is to identify crap (spam, offensive posts, etc), and eliminate it fast, and for the rest of the first posters, the idea is to set or reinforce the expectations for the site.
Assuming a non-spam/offensive post, the goal of the queue is to:
VOTES: Remember, new users who ask a question often have 1 rep. This means that user can: comment on their own posts, and accept an answer. They cannot vote until they obtain 15 points!
Voting is a critical part of the health of this site, and, unless the asker can vote, the answerers will get less rep. It is in everyone's interest to get positively contributing users to the point where they can vote. Therefore, anytime you see a first post that is any good at all (a question that is on-topic or an answer that is reasonably correct), please upvote generously until they obtain at least 15 points. Think of the 15-point threshold as a crude spam and garbage filter.
upvote, perhaps comment with:
Hi, welcome to Code Review. This is a great question/answer and you have passed the first-post review with flying colours!
(OK, maybe you don't need to be so colourful.... ;-) )
leave a comment welcoming the user, and suggesting things the user can do to improve their question/answer
Hi, welcome to Code Review. Your answer came through the First Post review queue, but your answer does not review the code, it just provides a different solution. This is not a review, but, if you show how your code is different, and why your code is better, it will improve this answer.
leave a comment. Indicate that the post came from the first-post review queue:
Hi, welcome to Code Review. Your question/answer has just come through the first-post review queue, but your question/answer is off-topic because xxx and it is likely to be closed. Please edit your question/answer to add the missing details/fix the errors, and the post will then be reviewable.
vote-to-close if it is off-topic.
Note, in no instance above is the No Action Needed appropriate. So, when is the No Action Needed appropriate then?
When you have already seen the post in some other context, and:
In other words, when you have already been the 'welcome wagon', then no action is needed.
If you don't feel like you can be the welcome wagon for a post, and improve, comment, or vote on it, then Skip the post, and let someone else do it. Don't just press No Action Needed because that removes value from the system, and new users do not get the direction they may need to be successful on Code Review.
The purpose of the First Post queue is to welcome people and get them on track. Make them positive-contributing members in the community:
You are the welcome the user gets, it is a responsibility, not just a way to a badge. Make it work for everyone.