Yes, there are some saintly souls who gently direct users to the FAQ and other missives, but surely it isn't beyond our ken to force users to agree to a minimum number of checks when they make their first post. It would save everyone so much time.
I realize the improbability of this suggestion being acted on.
We've got review audits for close vote queue. Make one for new users. I am inspired by Sesame Street... o/` Four of these things are not like the others o/`... (those are supposed to look like notes)
- Pick 10 questions. Six off topic or otherwise closeable (including migrated questions) and four on topic.
- All questions should be a similar length
- The user is to select the four that are on topic with a score of 75% or better.
The hope would be that seeing questions that are like the ones that they want to ask and are in the "don't ask this - off topic" area they would get some hint that asking such a question would get closed too.
After having one question closed on the site or a network wide "doesn't understand" flag is set, they need to pass the test before asking another.
This "doesn't understand" flag would be set when the user has two questions closed on a site of a given topic area (technology, culture, ...) and would then have the quiz on all sites of that domain.
This test remains in effect until their unclosed questions older than five days (want to give enough time for close votes to kick in) outnumber their closed questions by some margin.