Issue 20

In this issue of conduit:

1) Featured Question and Answer: "Proposing to Moderate?"
2) Your Community Answer:  When a community lacks moderation, should members take moderation into their own hands?
3) Community Voice: Community: does it suffer from an image problem?
4) Community Wire:  Online Communities Receive Praise

This Issue's Quote: "What makes something special is not just what you have to gain, but what you feel there is to lose." -Andre Agassi 

Featured Question and Answer:

"Proposing to Moderate?"

In this issue of the conduit we address the question of how to propose moderation on a site: 

"One of my favorite sites offers community. We have a great group of people that visit, but from time to time we have people who take it upon themselves to create trouble. This would not be so bad if there were folks that managed the boards to help with the problems when they occur. What is the best way to convey this to the site owner?"

For the question and response, please read "Proposing to Moderate?".

Are you searching for information on a particular topic? Check out our searchable archive  of past question and answers.

Your Community Answer

When a community lacks moderation, should members take moderation into their own hands?

What do you think? Please feel free to share your opinion.  

Community Voice

Community: does it suffer from an image problem?

In the last issue of the conduit our article focused on some of the most common misconceptions regarding building community, but what about perceptions of community and its use in general?

You are probably wondering why we ask such a question.

This week we had a discussion with a political candidate about the internet and how to use it to gain exposure for his campaign platform. When we broached the idea of using community to add support to his campaign efforts, his first response was that he really did not know anyone who accessed online communities aside from a few "lonely hearts" who were looking for companionship. He went on to share his past experiences with online community, namely that he had found people being abusive to one another for no apparent reason.

It dawned on us once again that community can be rather misunderstood and we wondered how many other people shared this politician's perception. Or perhaps even worse, share the perception which might be gleaned from tabloids that online communities are unsafe, unruly and unpalatable. Sensational news stories do nothing for the image of online community, that is for certain.

Do people see community as just a virtual "meat market"?
A place for foul-mouthed individuals to spout off?
Or simply unsafe and unsavoury?

We have been in the community development business for a combined 16 years, and during that time we have seen and worked in communities that have provided support for the parent whose child is misbehaving, resources for a small business owner trying to develop a strong business plan, spirtual guidance to a person looking for life direction, exchange between fans of a popular television show... gosh, the list could continue. While yes, some of our community travels have gone into the territory of the "lonely hearts" or "foul-mouthed" souls, they have also been paved with some enriching and encouraging exchange.

Now, you are probably asking yourself: "OK, and the point is...?"

That is a fair question. The point is continuing to educate people as to what online community is and what it is not, the benefits of it and how it can be used. We commend all community development specialists, community managers and moderators for their efforts. Each positive community is a step towards educating and providing rewarding results for online community.

It's very easy for people to form their perceptions based on piecemeal experiences or on tabloid headlines. But, if we can eradicate the negative perceptions by building enriching and supportive communities, more and more communties will be developed and fully utilized. Such commmunities epitomise the great opportunities which the internet offers and will in turn educate people as to the power and value of online exchange.

Keep up the excellent work! We look forward to hearing from more people who have changed their minds about online communities and now view them as wonderful resources rather than places where only the lonely or disruptive are invited to participate.

Community Wire

Online Communities Receive Praise

Lets hear it for online community spirit!! SustainIT with backing from British Telecom have developed eWell-Being, an award that recognizes the efforts of technology in benefitting the community.

For more information on the award and some of the winners, please read, "Awards celebrate online community spirit". or visit the SustainIT site

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