Writing Community Guidelines


(Sarah Hawk) #1

I'm in the process of setting up our Discourse community and I'm writing guidelines. I've done this a couple of times before, but things are a bit different here.

My gut feeling is to strip things right down to the bare minimum, but I don't want people to feel like they don't know what the rules are.

The only thing I've come up against here to date is self-promotion (someone apologising for doing it, when I actually think it's ok here, within reason).

What are your thoughts?


Community T&C or guides - what to include
What is your position on bumping old topics?
(Jessica Malnik) #2

I actually think I may have been the one apologizing for a bit of self-promotion in a thread. Oops. 

Anywhoo, I'm all for keeping the community guidelines simple and more bare bones. Maybe I am bit naive (since I have never managed a gaming community in particular), but I generally believe that most people are inherently going to try to play by the rules and behave in the community. So, keeping it to the bare minimum with points like these three usually works: 

  • No spam. 
  • No pornography. 
  • Keep it positive and constructive. (i.e. No personal insults, threats or excessive whining.) 

Thoughts? 


(Liz Crampton) #3

I think simple is best. No doubt if you post what you've got, it'll spark ideas, and members will weigh in.

As you said CMs are going to be aware of all the usual rules (be respectful etc) but it might be worth spelling out any cultural ones? Which is something I've found slightly murky. I don't have a strong sense of the group identity here. Any more clarity around 'style' or core community values (are we about offering insight? Being supportive? Being helpful? Sharing new content?) would be useful to me...

 


(Bas van Leeuwen) #4

For me the best rules are simple and built out where needed


(Sarah Hawk) #5

I actually think I may have been the one apologizing for a bit of self-promotion in a thread. Oops. 

It was you, but that's my point really – no apology was necessary because I think what you posted was valuable and relevant, but the fact that you felt the need to apologise means that the guidelines aren't clear enough.

Any more clarity around 'style' or core community values (are we about offering insight? Being supportive? Being helpful? Sharing new content?) would be useful to me...

Excellent suggestion.

Ok, I'll write something up today and post it for feedback.


(Sarah Hawk) #6

Ok, here is what I've come up with. Feedback? 

 

The 3 Golden Rules

This community differs a little from most in that you – the members – are community professionals who know the drill. For that reason, a long list of what you can and can't do probably isn't necessary.

So to keep things brief, there are three guildelines to note:

  1. No spam
  2. No pornography
  3. No personal attacks

Make this your place

Rules aside, there are a few things that we hope you'll do around this place. They are:

  • Don't be afraid to ask 'stupid questions'. Someone else will learn from every stupid question that you ask.
  • Be positive and constructive.
  • Share your challenges and wins.
  • Share your plans, strategies and goals.
  • Tell us about events that you're planning on attending.
  • Offer your feedback on what happens here. This community belongs to all of us.

Your Participation Counts

The conversations we have here set the tone for everyone. Help us influence the future of this community by choosing to start (and engage in) discussions that make this forum an interesting place to be.

Discourse provides tools that empower you to collectively identify the type of content that you want to see. Please use those tools. Here are some examples of ways that you can do that:

If You See a Problem, Flag It

Flags on Discourse behave a little differently from flags on more traditional platforms. If a post is flagged as inappropriate by more than one person (of TL1 or above), the post is automatically hidden and:

  • the post author sees

Your post was flagged by the community. Please see your private messages.

  • the community sees

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden. View hidden content.
staff sees the actual post, as posted, in a dimmed state to indicate it has been hidden for others.

A friendly private message is sent to the author of the post, describing what happened, and letting them know that a considered edit of any kind is enough to un-hide the post.

Use the Like button

Fairly self-explanatory... Discourse provides an 'anti-fluff' mechanism in the form of a Like button.

Reply as a Linked Post

Rather than taking an existing topic in a radically different direction, use Reply as a Linked Topic (to the right of the post body)


(Bas van Leeuwen) #7

*clicks like*


(Darren Gough) #8

Looks good Hawk. 

I'd possibly be tempted to flip the first two parts the other way around so we start on the positive engagement piece.


(Sarah Hawk) #9

Good call Darren. Done.


(Liz Crampton) #10

Nice, I think they're great. I particularly like 'Make this your place'.

The only thing I see that's missing (maybe it goes without saying, maybe it doesn't) is reciprocity- if we're all talking about our plans, goals, wins etc, it'll be a 2 person convo with us and you. I'd explicitly say something about helping or commenting on others' threads? Give a little to get a little type thing.

Sometimes I'm not really sure about how much to do that - virtually all of the content here is relevant/interesting, so I feel like I could comment on everything... but that'd be overkill. Plus, we all battle with regulars dominating convos in our "day-job" communities... then again, maybe that's fine!

 L


(Bas van Leeuwen) #11

Come to think of it, since this is a closed space, it might be nice to institute something akin to the Chatham House rules so we can all freely share semi-sensitive info here (though I feel that's already being done)


(Darren Gough) #12

"Give a little to get a little"

I like that way of saying it, Liz!


(Rebecca Braglio) #13

Following up on this HAWK - and maybe this is a whole new thread -- does anyone have a cheat sheet of documenting when these get violated by a user?

Our community is on an ancient platform, and there is currently no system to document violations. Up until now, the previous CM would just delete a post and maybe tell the author. Of course, that's all going to change.

We'll still have to take screen shots of the alleged violation, but I'm looking for what to include in a template when it's violated. or a post gets flagged. So far I've come up with:

Date of Incident

Documentation of violation (screenshot, private message, etc.)

Nature of Violation

Moderation decision (remove post, private reprimand, temporary ban, permanent ban, no action)

Date notified member

Member acknowledgement Y/N or no response

 

Can you think of anything else?


(Sarah Hawk) #14

The only thing I see that's missing (maybe it goes without saying, maybe it doesn't) is reciprocity.

That's a fair point. Maybe it goes without saying for some people, but if we're purporting to follow best practice, then I need to add it in. I'll do that shortly.

Sometimes I'm not really sure about how much to do that - virtually all of the content here is relevant/interesting, so I feel like I could comment on everything

I know exactly what you mean, and it is perhaps more pertinent for me because I'm CM and it's a fine line between acknowledging people, and answering for the sake of answering. That's one of the things that I'm looking forward to the most about our move – having a Like button.

@Bas - that's a very interesting idea and it has gotten me thinking. Discourse has a private lounge category for people that reach a certain 'trust level' and there is potentially something that we could do along those lines with that. I'll do some thinking on it.


(Sarah Hawk) #15

@Rebecca – excellent question. I think it would make sense to start a new thread in this sub-forum and we can see what people have to suggest. I'll dig through our resources and see what I can find.


(Liz Crampton) #16

@HAWK, totally agree! Looking forward to the platform move... :)


(Jessica Malnik) #17

@Hawk: Agreed, love these guidelines. Looking forward to the new platform. :)  


(Nick Donoghue) #18

looks great. love the "Give a little to get a little" mantra


(Alessio Fattorini) #19

I steal part of your amazing list for my community, hope you don’t hate me :smile:
http://community.nethserver.org/t/welcome-to-nethserver-community/8


(Sarah Hawk) #20

No worries. If it helps, then I’m all for it. :smile: