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July 16, 2014

Community Guidelines are a Living Breathing Document

by massmarotta
Breathing Document

Your online community has launched and registrations are growing at a very satisfactory pace. It’s extremely active with several 100 posts a day and everything is peachy. Time to sit back and relax right? Heck no! One thing you should know, there’s no relaxing as a community manager. Don’t rest on your laurels and never let your guard down. There is a cost with being a large successful community. You become a target.

Spammers, hackers and solicitors alike are becoming savvier each and every day.  You have to take pro-active/pre-cautionary measures to protect the integrity of your online community and its members. The community guidelines you crafted at launch may no longer be relevant today.  It’s time to revisit them.   

Think of your community guidelines as a living, breathing document that requires attention at the very least, annually. It needs to adapt as members’ behaviors change and as your community becomes a target for linking trolls, email extractors, spammers, hackers and solicitors. These fun and courteous visitors (I’m laying the sarcasm on pretty thick) find loopholes in your guidelines and expose vulnerabilities in your community platform. They wreak havoc by exploiting both. Start plugging those [loop] holes.

A couple months ago, I blogged about Community Management of an Online Gym and provided some community guidelines for members to follow. It’s time for me to revisit them now that member behavior has changed.

Locker Room Etiquette

Avoid invading another member’s personal space; observe a two foot buffer

Keep your eyes on your own goods. Other members are not on display for your viewing pleasure

Your gym bag does not need its own seat on the bench. Place your bag on the floor and make room for others   

When was the last time you revised your community guidelines? Are they still applicable? How often do you think they should be updated?