if so, could you share them with me? i need to come up with some, but not really sure exactly what. Personally, I hate rules, I like to think people can police themselves, but you never know. right now, i have these 2 in mind
but im just at a loss as to what else to add to it. i know there are things i need to cover in this, and would like to do it alll at once.
I have a list of guidelines and under guidelines there are some strict rules.
Do I have rules??? OMG... LOLOL I have a whole group dedicated to them. And they're like the Constitution: they're a living, breathing document that is subject to change.
I have a lot of younger members, SR, and rules have to be spelled out plainly for the young ones (but also for some thick-headed adults, too).
Here is a very abbreviated version of what is in my rules:
1) general rules of behavior in a public forum (ex. no fighting in public threads, no "digs" at other members, no criticism of admins or the site in public threads, no ugly comments on people's profile walls, etc.)
2) the fact that all suspensions are final. There are no second chances to exhibit good behavior
3) what is considered pornographic content
4) rules regarding mature content that is NOT pornographic
5) the requirement for all fiction stories to have a rating on the title line
6) the use or non-use of disclaimers
7) proper behavior in chat (no excessive cursing or sexually explicit language in PUBLIC chat)
8) explaining exactly what I consider internal spam
9) the "haters" rule (basically you don't hate on other people's obsessions or you're gone)
10) copyright issues
11) chain letters forbidden
12) flamers will be banned (this is extremely UGLY commenting on author's stories. It's hateful and mean.)
13) rules about using our site as a link drop while not contributing any content
14) the fact that all stories must meet basic grammar criteria (no chat speak or stories with no capital letters)
People need to know what is expected and the consequences of their behavior. (comes from me being a teacher.)
Also, might I suggest you create a group for your older members that is private, invitation only. We have one and it has its own chat room. We can go there and get "mature" in private without worrying about teens. LOL
Personally I think you might be going about this the wrong way round. After all, all communities are different and different rules will be needed.
Why not start from the position that all rules are bad, and only absolutely vital ones should be introduced. Then, run your network, and see what problems occur. If it's a really serious problem which negatively impacts on your site, then add a rule to ensure that if it happens again you have the power to act.
Make sure you don't add a rule as a "knee-jerk" reaction to some petty problem that will probably just pass in time. Most problems are very temporary and don't require a rule.
This way, after running for while, you'll have the absolute minimal set of rules that your community needs in order to thrive. And the rules will be tailor-made for your site.
my rules are minimal, i just wanted a think tank to go by, i don't plan on copying anyone's set of rules, just needed areas to think about
I disagree that rules are bad. They're not bad, they're NECESSARY to maintain and enforce a standard of behavior for your network. What is bad is a LACK of written rules! If someone does something wrong and you're forced to warn or suspend them, then you must have this written backup to justify your actions (see Rule #9, for example and you link them to it as the reason they're being fussed at). That way it doesn't appear that you're just "picking on them" because you don't like them.
Just like in the law, ignorance of the rules is no excuse for bad behavior, especially when you make a point to LINK them to your site rules upon joining. If they fail to read them then that's their problem.
If you have younger members you MUST have rules/guidelines in place. Think of a school with no rules. It would be chaos. Granted, MOST people (young and old) know how to act on a public forum, but there are always those who don't or those who like to "push the envelope", hence the need for a set of written rules.
Also, your rules must be reasonable and you must be able to enforce them! The thing you mentioned about no one under 17 allowed in chat after 9PM....how will you enforce that? Think about it. You'd have to know the age of every member on your network at the drop of a hat. Also, how will you handle violations of that? Suspend them from chat??? That type of rule isn't easily enforced and would cause you more headache than anything else. The "private adult group" with it's own chat room would be a better option and just let the young ones have the public chat in the evenings.
So, before making a rule, make sure it's something that can be easily enforced, and also consider that it will apply to EVERYONE, not just certain groups or people you may be targeting with the rule. And you have to be prepared to enforce your rules and never let ONE incident slide. Once you do that, your rules mean nothing. (Years of experience in the teaching profession talking here. LOL)
But in actuality, what you need to do is target specific behavior that you see going on on your network that you don't particularly like and create your rules to support those beliefs you hold. On mine, young kids can be very immature and tend to say whatever they think without considering the consequences, so my rules set forth specific behavior that I expect (no fighting in threads, no putting people down, no "digs", etc.) This is common teenage behavior.
I do have some rules for my network, and they are aimed at the problems that I see as possible developments. The thing I am promoting is a very rare form of lace making that is difficult and requires a long time for sufficient skill to develop. Therefore I want a narrow focus in my network, without other more common forms of lacemaking taking over all the content. I am not opposed to those more common forms: I just want my network to foster this one rare form. I use the NOTES function to contain all the policies and I also used NOTES to explain how parts of the software work. See this and that and one more. I should also say that I've made my network public so that outsiders who find us through search engines can explore the site and see if they can find something to entice them. If they love the lace, they won't be able to restrain themselves. My purpose is to foster and educate and therefore public access, a positive tone, and a clear focus are all important.
If you find inappropriate content message Hoop City and include a link to the content.
Remember, we have members as young as 10 on this site.
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Here is mine: http://thehumantouch.ning.com/rules
wow thanks everyone!
Your guidelines are very well expressed and positive in tone.