I've noticed lately that the number of welcomes in the newbie nook are dying down. I'll never forget when I joined, Ms. Barbie welcomed me with a short personal note. It made me feel so special that I try to do the same with every newbie.
Sometimes I get a little behind, but try at least once a week to welcome them personally before giving my patent-pending tour of things to check out. We need all the members we can get so take a minute or two to welcome a newbie, tell them about your favorite thing on FW. It does make a difference.