It’s been found that healthy online communities are communities that talk about themselves. If you haven’t seen our recent announcement about the future of Spectrum commenting, please read this first. When you sign up for Spectrum Conversation, what you’ll find at first will be a collection of questions under the category ‘Meta’.
The purpose of these prompts are to encourage discussion about ourselves, and what we would like this community to be. We ask things like ‘should comments on articles be closed after a period of time?’, ‘should commenters be able to create their own topics?’, ‘how can we encourage each other to be civil?’, ‘what are your thoughts on the Spectrum commenting community guidelines?’. The Spectrum team will be listening and participating in these discussions, but we really want to hear what you have to say.
One significant change we’re introducing is the requirement to use your full name, with a few caveats. We understand that some of our readers are in a position where anonymity is necessary to protect them from losing employment. We’ll make exceptions in these and other sensitive cases. To be considered for exemption please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Second, some have been asking how to contribute to moderation. Discourse gives us a tiered membership system that increases your abilities as you read topics and contribute to the conversation. For example, someone who has created a brand new account can’t post more than two links in one post, as this might be spam, they also can’t flag other posts as being against are posted commenting policy, or send a private message. But once a user has participated in the conversation some, they get these abilities. This is so that ‘fly-by’ users don’t disturb the conversation too much.
In this way, we’re hoping you can take part in creating the kind of online space that everyone can enjoy. The work of creating community is not done in isolation, and it’s not done overnight. The Spectrum blog is one of the only spaces in the Adventist diaspora that has consistently tried to bring together all voices. This work provides its own challenges, but is invaluable and, in the end, deeply rewarding. We’re asking you to help us continue this work.
We plan to launch Spectrum Conversation for all articles Monday, September 15th.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/6251