I agree with everything you said, but I wonder if we were a little hard on him. It is usually a good thing, particularly with new posters, that, in addition to critiquing them, we also find something good to say. That's been my experience as a Creative Writing teacher. Something like:
Welcome. It's good to get fresh ideas. You showed good enthusiasm, but your subject was kind of cliched. After all, mad gnomish inventors with their flying machines are very common. You would probably do better if you hit 'Edit' under your sub and tried to come up with something new and different, such as ........
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What do you think? I agree that it wasn't very good, but if he never comes back, he'll never get any better. Don't we have a duty to encourage as well as critique? Or is my teacher mode getting the best of me?