Ok so I just created this board and it's only accessible to Full Forum members -- post count being >100 posts. Why the elitist move?
Well, the truth is that I'm just not capable of managing this forum by myself. Between email management (fielding questions), submissions management (blog posts), and just getting the site to keep working, I find I'm left with little time to manage the forums. Thankfully, you all (and others) are great members and doing a ton already.
That said, I need help in a more formalized way, so I wanted to create this board to talk about that with you all. Essentially, there are two things I'd like to implement on this forum:
1 - a "constitution" -- basically ground rules that cover forum behaviors. I want to have a document we can point to when we need to make decisions that a member may find disagreeable. In other words, if someone steps out of line and needs to be banned, I want to be able to say "look you broke this rule -- and that's that." I think this is a good way to stay impartial about abuses -- and thankfully we don't really have bad members, but it can happen and I want to be prepared in advance. Additionally, I think the doc could cover some ground rules about trolling, taking out negativity on the forums, flaming, etc. We want to keep this a postive place.
2 - moderators. We've talked about this a bit before, but I think it would be helpful to have some other members moderators, and you guys being the veterans either know who to tap (and they don't *have* to be a Sr. Member) or may want to take on the job.
2 should follow 1 -- as in, let's nail down 1 first and then we can tackle 2.
So let me open the floor: what rules do you think should be in our Forum Constitution?
- Engage other forum members with respect. This means tolerating different viewpoints from your own and as a general rule of thumb, engaging others as you would if you were talking to them face to face. If you'd not say what you're posting to their face, don't say it at all.
- Avoid overly sarcastic remarks. Electronic, written communication is frequently misunderstood, and sarcasm is one of the biggest culprits. This isn't a ban on sarcasm, but if you are being sarcastic, make it obvious -- wrap your sarcasm with <sarcasm></sarcasm> or use a lot of smilie faces to denote you're kidding. You have to over-emote on forums or risk miscommunication, which can lead to unnecessary offense or arguments.
- Don't post just to post. Post counts are just that: counts of how many times you post. If you posted one-liners 1,000 times, you'll have a high post count and also have added a huge amount of noise to the forums. Forum posting is about quality and not quantity. Focus on posting quality comments and you'll quickly build a reputation as a quality forum member.
- Post topics in the appropriate forums.
- Avoid negativity. Sometimes we just want to vent. That's fine, but if it becomes a habit and you are venting all the time on the forums, you bring down the tone of entire community. If you have a gripe, make it known but do not beat a dead horse.
- If you are taking issue with another forum member, elevate it to the attention of the moderators. DO NOT TAKE MATTERS INTO YOUR OWN HANDS. Moderators are here to mediate discussion when things get heated. If someone is doing something offensive, let the mods know! That's what we are here for.
Ok that's what I got off the top of my head. Thoughts? Additions? Clarifications?