It’s been about 15 years since I’ve been involved in online communities. Over the years they’ve called it many things. Web 2.0, social media, chat rooms…
And I am proud that on Tamebay we’ve always kept the rules lax and encouraged comment. We don’t call for registration or verification and when it’s going good we get such high quality contributions and queries that I know that approach works.
We saw it last week on a post about templates and the like.
I raised a question, made a few points and then we got loads of good ideas. This was classic Tamebay: a genuine exchange of ideas. It was a good day. And I fear a bit rare.
Recently what I’m not mad about is how some people behave on Tamebay in comments. We have a small cadre of male, dull, whinging, repetitive commenters who are neither conversational in their comments or indeed welcoming to differing points of views.
They are also never friendly to newcomers.
Indeed, I’d go further. This gang just rattle off some old complaints, don’t back their statements up with facts or examples and show very little politeness or grace at all.
So it’s time for a discussion. A real one.
Is it time on Tamebay to require more stringent registration in order to make a comment? Should we require email verification or a link to an ecommerce concern?
How do we get more women to join in the discussions? We have lots of female readers and hardly any comment from them. That’s a worry. I personally think the dullard male dominance is to blame there.
We could remove comments altogether? But I do think them useful. Or we could moderate every one and require a useful contribution in each comment. (That would be a dull job for Chris and I.)
We could give precedence to those commenters who have a track record. I am quite open minded.
For me, comments and discussion are totally what we do. The tips and advice provided are invaluable. I know I learn a lot from the good stuff. I’m just concerned the good stuff is being squeezed by the dull whingers. Do you agree?
We want more more people talking on Tamebay. Full. Stop. How do we do it?
Which is why I ask the question. And I’d like you to comment on how we should deal with comments. Don’t be shy. Be brave and tell us how we make the crowd the better part of Tamebay.