MAKE’s new commenting guidelines, good stuff… Also, Engadget updated theirs – if all else fails, just get rid of comments on sites with this “hack”…
2010 is shaping up to be a good year for beginners to jump in and share more of their projects we think.
Maker Community Guidelines
Make: Online is a community of engaged makers. Makers of all walks of life, of all skill levels, and of diverse DIY interests and talents, are made to feel comfortable and expressive here. To that end, we moderate our comments to help create an environment where people can share their ideas and enthusiasm, ask questions, connect with fellow DIYers, and generally feel connected to a wider maker community. Please keep these guidelines in mind when commenting:
- Useful input – Ask yourself: “Is this useful?” If it’s not useful, why post it?
- Help people “learn out loud” – Help us create an environment where people feel free to ask questions, on any skill level, related to making, from the most rudimentary to the most complicated. And if you respond with your knowledge and expertise, try and speak to as wide a spectrum of “students” as possible. Try to bring newbies up to speed, rather than making them feel bad for not knowing something. Be “generous” with your help and your support.
- Additional information – If you know something more about the posted item, or what’s being discussed in the comments – a similar project, a useful datasheet, a trusted supplier, etc. — please share it.
- Clarifying errors – We welcome the correcting of mistakes, in the posting, or in the ensuing discussion, but please do so in a respectful manner.
- Support – Part of building a community of makers involves creating a supportive environment in which people feel like their projects and ideas won’t be laughed at or summarily dismissed. Comments are a great opportunity to congratulate a builder on a successful project or to help someone brainstorm an idea further or to overcome a stumbling block.
- Constructive criticism – Criticism of a project or idea is always welcome, as long as it’s constructive and not mean-spirited, sarcastic, or dismissive. Again, apply the: “Would I say this to this person’s face?” test.
- Spam – Self-explanatory.
- Offensive content – of any sort: racist, sexist, profane, sexual, off-color humor, etc.
- Political discussions – MAKE is a technology site. We know that we have readers from across the political spectrum. We like that. But we know that this can easily lead to scorching flame wars if overtly political topics are brought up. Please don’t bring them up. Let’s focus on something we can all agree on: the joy of making.
- Personal attacks/mean-spirited remarks – Calling people names, making fun of someone, dissing their project, or otherwise commenting where the sole purpose is in making the person feel bad.
- Sarcasm/snarkiness – Unnecessary sharpness and dismissiveness in tone is frowned upon.
We use as light a hand as possible in moderating comments, but feel that creating a supportive environment for the MAKE community is ultimately more important than completely unmoderated freedom of expression. There are plenty of other sites online where free-for-all posting is allowed.