Community guidelines: Fostering valuable contributions
Launching a community space as an independent publisher can feel like a leap of faith. Providing your members with a space to have valuable conversations is important, but how do you ensure that it remains a safe and collaborative space?
That's where community guidelines come in. A set of tips created by you, the publisher, to guide members towards a set of shared values.
If you're planning to use the native comments feature in Ghost, or creating any type of community around your creative work using third-party tools, then you're probably already wondering how you're going to foster valuable contributions from your members.
To give you a head start, we've created the following set of community guidelines that can be used and adapted as your own.
One of the best things about sharing work online is being able to engage with the community that forms around it. That's you!
The comments section on this site is a space for you to chat with other members, share knowledge and experiences, and share what content you enjoyed the most.
To help keep the community safe, constructive and fun, here are a few best practices to keep in mind. Thanks for your help & support. ❤️
Respect each other.
This should be a safe and inviting community for everyone, so it's expected that all members be civil and respectful in their interactions.
Like any online community, we're a group of people with a range of experiences and beliefs, many of which may differ from your own. Consider this a gift — interesting and challenging perspectives can open doors you didn't even know existed.
Share your real name and expertise.
When you publish your first comment on this site, you'll be prompted to complete a member profile, with your name and expertise. You can also update this any time.
Using your real name and sharing your expertise or lived experience helps give context to valuable discussions. Sharing these extra details alongside your comments shows the perspective from which you are joining the conversation.
Stay on topic, and share your sources.
A new post might prompt a dozen different types of responses, from a reader sharing a personal story to a newcomer asking for clarification. In every instance, do your best to stay on topic, support your replies with additional context or sources where appropriate, and focus on discussing the ideas presented.
- Link to trustworthy articles, reports, and sources to support your arguments.
- Only share links to your own content when it directly adds to the conversation. Please don't spam. Nobody likes spam. Nobody.
If you've contributed to the conversation and someone else replies to your thread, you'll be notified by email. You can choose to switch these emails off in your member account settings, under email preferences.
Keep it constructive and kind.
Constructive contributions are the best kind. If you have knowledge that places the topic of the post in a new light, or if you have feedback about the subject matter — it's best shared in a way that helps everyone feel like this is a space where new ideas are respected and valued.
With every comment you make, you add to the dialogue. Many people may read your words and use them to shape their ideas and feelings about a topic, event, or person. Employ that influence wisely. Move the collective conversation forward, and invite others to follow your lead.
Flag inappropriate interactions.
As a member, you can help maintain a safe and inviting space by reporting any behaviour that goes against these guidelines.
If you see someone being rude, negative, hateful, divisive, or combative in the comments section, flag it. All you need to do is click the three dots next to the inappropriate comment, and then click Report comment. These reports are taken seriously, and there's a zero tolerance policy for abusive behaviour.
Be the you online that you are in-person.
Most people are kind and well-intentioned humans. Although it may seem like the opposite is true on the internet at times, the reality is that people tend to follow the majority. You can help keep the tone of this space friendly and fun if you lead the way with insightful, humane language.
Let's keep this a space that you want to spend time in.
That’s it! If you’ve scrolled this far, thank you for being a valued member, and see you in the comments!