The Internet Community.
Positive contribution on the Internet enhances the experience for everyone, increases it’s value and encourages others.
The lawmakers have been actively kept away from influencing much of the Internet over the last 20 or so years, for good reason.
Freedom of speech, freedom of opinion and the open transfer of ideas is what drove the adoption and expansion of the web in the 1990’s. But a newer breed of Internet users don’t always understand how fortunate we are to have this massive, largely free, resource.
Many web platforms are open now, and I don’t just mean Facebook and Twitter. The world has adopted two-way communication on content by embracing platforms such as WordPress that actively encourage discussion on content (Note: other CMS are available, including Drupal and Joomla)
And that’s why we have guidelines. When making comments or communicating openly through many of the collaboration platforms we use the following guidelines. Feel free to use them, copy them and distribute them.
The Golden Rules of Contribution
There really are no bad ideas, they are at worst opinions or poorly placed. So stick to the subject being discussed and your contribution will enhance and add to the experience.
Less is more
Keep it to the point, it’s more likely to encourage conversation as it’s more likely to be read. No-one reads long waffly rants.
Mind your manners
Opinion can get heated, thats good, but should never get personal. Try to respect the views of others and understand the environment you are are contributing to.
Enhance the conversation
Bring value to content as a whole by providing useful information in support or countering it. It’s nice to “like” something or gives a thumbs up but it rarely enhances the value of it.
Proof read your work
It keeps the grammar police at bay and is more likely to be taken seriously. A short comment takes no more than 2 mins to re-read to make sure you’ve not made a glaring error.
We all (mostly) love our jobs and the industry we work in but it’s safer to avoid blatant promotion unless it makes sense within the context of the discussion.
No to threats, no to hate speech. Stay within the law.
The one area the lawmakers have got involved especially on topics of race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or medical condition. Avoid at all costs, and remember whatever you write today will be still available on the web in 50 years, so go easy. The same goes for breaking the law, naturally you’d avoid that at all costs!