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The best way to shape the behavior of any community is by setting an example that members willingly follow.

Lead from the front.

The problem is this takes time.

So, people try to rush the process with RULES and REGULATIONS and PROCEDURES, you know like the elected officials do to the citizens.

The result is a community that reacts like the movie office space.

They learn to do just enough to get a little credit and not get in trouble.

Patrick O'Keefe

Thanks for the kind words. Glad to have you. :)


Tommy T

When starting my community I wasn't too sure what the rules should be. I wanted a clean & friendly community.. ie: no perverts or abuse

But I also wanted a creative & fun community.. ie: people free to joke, banter, wind up, tongue in cheek naughty comments.

So instead of writing the rules myself, I just asked my 6 founding members to write a set of rules each and send them me.

The rules that came up the most in their submissions became the site's guidelines and it was stressed that banter, jokes, off-handed jovial mocking etc was fine.

It's too early to say whether it worked or had any impact yet - inception stage.

But my members certainly appreciated how important their input was regarding the behaviour of the community.

Now that I know what behaviour my members are more geared towards, it makes it a lot easier for me to 'nudge' topics and posts in that direction.

One thing I can't stand in online communities, is when people are having fun, enjoying themselves, then someone comes along and starts going on and on and on about how depressing and crap their life is.

"Yes mate, we live under the same government, all our lives are crap - but we're here to forget the real world and have a bit of fun !!"

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