mathowie's community tips May 15, 2007 9:16 PM   Subscribe

mathowie: Some Community Tips for 2007. Metameta, yeah, but I thought it was worth linking for those who haven't seen it, for some insight into how Matt tries to run the place.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken to Etiquette/Policy at 9:16 PM (19 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

I will say that I thought "Capture errors on your site and make them friendly to users instead of the default language-specific cryptic messages" was a little funny-ironic, given the legendary status of the holy JRUN on Metafilter.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:44 PM on May 15, 2007

I was an arts major.
posted by Dizzy at 9:49 PM on May 15, 2007

Yeah, stavros, I forgot to mention that the specific advice in that comment was something I was terrible about. I was aiming more for people running delicious or twitter -- I get weird ruby or python errors there every so often that make no sense.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:50 PM on May 15, 2007

Thanks for the post, stavros. It was indeed interesting to read mathowie's reflections on moderating.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:55 PM on May 15, 2007

"Act like a human" is the best advice; "guidelines not rules" and the rationales for that are also great. Thank for pointing me to this, stavros, and thanks for posting it Matt.
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:24 PM on May 15, 2007

By the way Matt, I think you are totally spot on in your ideas about generic comment boxes, driveby commentshouting, and how to make (for example) commenting at the NYTimes site into something very new and very different (and a whole lot better).
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:32 PM on May 15, 2007

Wait a minute, you're telling me Matt runs the place? I thought it was a collaboration between cortex and dios!
posted by wendell at 11:45 PM on May 15, 2007

Most every community that I contribute to offers a comprehensive user profile/history page, letting members customize to their hearts content and allow their profile to reflect their personality.

Can we have that too? :)
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:10 AM on May 16, 2007

That was a really good read.

(From the comments:

Sure Julio, if you think the same lessons apply across languages, feel free to translate [into Portuguese] and post a link to it here as a new comment.

Why wouldn't they be applicable in a different language?)

posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 4:42 AM on May 16, 2007

I thought it was a great essay and applicable to more than just running web sites. There are some good general community-facilitation ideas in there. I linked to it yesterday from a blog I write for a national organization of state GIS coordinators.

And I agree with Stavros; the newspaper website comment issue is getting ugly. It would be nice to have useful commenting on news stories on the newspaper sites. What we have now is giving collaborative news a bad name.
posted by mmahaffie at 6:30 AM on May 16, 2007

The advice on community, and what that word can mean, should mean, can aspire to actually made me a little teary! All the other stuff, interesting, but not so much teary as the first bit.
posted by typewriter at 8:29 AM on May 16, 2007

Very interesting insights to read.


Manage the users of your website much like you would a group of people face-to-face*, was my take-away message. And as little as possible. Which oddly enough does not seem to be a prevalent insight on the interwebs. I often get an impression that the human element is being treated as an aside or a set of issues to be resolved, and not the actual substance of things.

*Scaled up to 52,000+ and adding computers, of course. Piece of cake, right?
posted by Tehanu at 11:15 AM on May 16, 2007

Very interesting. Although the idea of a set of rules for administering a good community is analogous to social contract theory.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 5:29 PM on May 16, 2007

... a comprehensive user profile/history page, letting members customize to their hearts content and allow their profile to reflect their personality ...
You just put that in to rub salt into the wounds of those who formerly had customised user profiles, right?

The data-crunching of flags sounds like fun - if you like that sort of thing, which I do. I imagine a whole wall of screens, with flag indicators falling down the screens like the matrix and an interface that allows you to simply point to a stream of flags and delete a post or ban a user. Please tell me it's just like that.
posted by dg at 6:36 PM on May 16, 2007

Actually he styled it up like the hex-editing scene from Hackers instead.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:04 PM on May 16, 2007

"like the hex-editing scene from Hackers"

wouldn't it be cooler if it was like the light cycles in Tron?
posted by Megafly at 5:16 PM on May 17, 2007

We tried that, but I lost control of the bike and took out a whole swath of posts.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:23 PM on May 17, 2007

Interesting stuff for this someone who runs a couple communities. Given me much to think about. Thanks!
posted by susanbeeswax at 11:58 PM on May 17, 2007

Samuel Farrow, how is it like social contract theory? My understanding is that social contract theory is mostly concerned with justifying the legitimacy of group consensus-based governance of individuals, not on defining whether the governance should be explicitly rule-based or implicitly norms-based.

Maybe we're thinking of the term in different fields (ie. I'm thinking political philosophy, you're using it from something else?)

personally i've never been convinced of the ultimate 'well if you don't like it you could leave' concept behind the social contract
posted by Firas at 5:43 AM on May 18, 2007 [1 favorite]

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