18 votes
Accepted

What are techniques that encourage new members to familiarize themselves with community guidelines?

Great question! Silly answer: ask them to. Not with a big red flashing banner or a checkbox that says "I have read all these guidelines", but in the form of genuine human interaction. I think that any ...
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  • 778
15 votes

How can you prevent 'rule creep' when moderating a community?

If you make rules to address every situation that comes up, you'll be making rules forever (because users will keep coming up with new ideas) and then you'll end up with a large, unmanageable pile of ...
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12 votes
Accepted

Astro Turfing to help jump start a community

The big problem with Astro-Turfing is that the questions may well be of questionable quality or not even real questions at all. This is because you are sitting there thinking of theoretical issues ...
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  • 6,595
9 votes

How do we maintain answer quality when everybody thinks they're experts?

I guess you are well-aware that we on such a SE site. Community Building is a subjective topic as DIY or Physical Fitness are. You must make clear that not every answer is suitable for every question....
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  • 3,795
9 votes

The forum deleted a post without saying why

Anybody can set up a forum using whatever rules that person wants. There is no overall authority over forums. Forum owners are bound by the laws where they and their servers live (for example, laws ...
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8 votes

How bad it is to enforce rules "just because", while refusing to even substantiate them?

Generally it is a bad idea to have "because we said so" rules. Having a rationale for the rule makes it easier to follow and easier to justify. However in this case it's clear why the rule was put in ...
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  • 6,595
7 votes

Should I display to a user for how long he is being banned?

Ultimately I think it boils down to how often you want to be contacted with the unban requests and questions about when the suspension actually ends. If you're a relatively small community then the ...
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  • 6,595
7 votes

How is trolling dealt with within the Stack Exchange's ecosystem?

I think ChrisF's answer was fantastic so I won't rehash what he said, however another part of it is simply that SE content doesn't really lend itself well towards trolling. The rate of view on any ...
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  • 5,993
7 votes
Accepted

How is trolling dealt with within the Stack Exchange's ecosystem?

One of the strengths of the SE system is that it puts tools into the hands of regular users that allow them to police the site without relying exclusively on moderators or other users with ...
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  • 6,595
7 votes

What are techniques that encourage new members to familiarize themselves with community guidelines?

StackExchange has some built-in safety nets to help catch people who are about to do something wrong, which gives them a chance to look up what they should be expected to ask. For example there are ...
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  • 526
7 votes

I broke the Christmas tradition!

Deciding if you want a party Almost every community has some end goals, but that doesn't mean that everything your community does has to be a step towards achieving those goals. Don't overlook the ...
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6 votes
Accepted

Should I display to a user for how long he is being banned?

Best practice depends on the community in question. I once was part of a big community centered around a game. We kind of were a small community with strict rules. You do not harm others or you are ...
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  • 3,795
6 votes

What are techniques that encourage new members to familiarize themselves with community guidelines?

Encourage them to browse the site either before their first posting or as soon as possible thereafter. Some ideas that spring to mind: Only unlock the ability to post more than n times a day once ...
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  • 6,595
5 votes
Accepted

I am looking for examples of online community growth

It is one of those questions which are incredibly hard to answer adequately due to the vast amount of unknown factors and - to some degree - the element of luck. You should ideally experience a ...
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5 votes

I broke the Christmas tradition!

First and foremost, figure out what the community wants. Running on hearsay about what people want isn't a good way to make decisions. Ask people for their honest opinions and make sure that you ...
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  • 5,993
5 votes

How can you prevent 'rule creep' when moderating a community?

This list of techniques was tested in a huge amount of communities, they all work very well and prevent a lot of moderation workload. I am mainly referring to my experience in communities related to ...
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4 votes

What are techniques that encourage new members to familiarize themselves with community guidelines?

The bulk part of most community rules are, save for exact wording, the same across most internet communities. This is a big part of the reason why people tend not to read them, they mostly say ...
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3 votes

How can you prevent 'rule creep' when moderating a community?

Simple is better. Manage expectations from as early on as possible that moderators exist for avoiding rule creep, not simply being rule enforcement robots. Set guidelines for atmosphere. Things ...
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  • 5,993
3 votes
Accepted

How can we encourage users to report misconduct correctly?

I would do this behind the scenes one of two ways, depending on the nature of the report and person who reported it. For users who are trying to be helpful I actively encourage them by thanking them ...
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2 votes

What are techniques that encourage new members to familiarize themselves with community guidelines?

In addition to asking them in comments and providing contextual warnings, it's important to give them relevant information in digestible chunks. Nobody but your most dedicated users is going to read ...
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1 vote

Community platform - How to trigger interaction with e-commerce developers?

Know your target audience. Meaning, use proper tools, community design, and interaction methods for the audience. For example, if it's going to be primarily used by English-speaking members (at least ...
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  • 11
1 vote

Astro Turfing to help jump start a community

When I started my first online community, a friend and I made a point of posting and responding to each other's posts until we got others to participate, as well. People do respond when they think ...
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