I have a bit of experience running an online community and have loads of experience being apart of one. I got my first e-mail address when I was 11 and have been apart of message boards since then. I wasn't sure if I wanted to write a blog but the previous ones written buy AKK and nekobun were really interesting and I want. One thing I've noticed with game communities is they like to complain a lot.
I won't get into people complaining about Activision being greedy or PS3 vs. Xbox 360 but how community members don't get along. Now I love the internet with its free speech and anonymity. But some seem to get really hurt by words. If I disagree with someone I will either respond with a thought out counter argument or ignore them. though I must admit I do get a chuckle out of post that are made to intentionally get a rise out of people, especially when I'm apart of the group being attacked.
Now I can see why others would be annoyed by others on the internet. People act different on the web. Most would not act the way they do with their internet personas. And there are some who expect others to act just as they would in person. Yet when confronting these hostile individuals they stoop down to their level.
I was on a board where this one guy kept complaining about the number of topics I made yet would always respond to them. As many of you know when replying to a message board topic it floats to the top. If they guy really thought my topic wasn't worthy of discussion he should have just let it sink to the bottom yet he felt compelled enough to open the link, read the post, and make a reply chewing me out.
We have to find boundaries in web communities. Laws don't exactly apply the same way as they do in "real life". We have to remember we're all on a privately owned website and in the end the owner makes the rules. But I don't always agree with moderators or administrators. I believe the community should have a big say in what flies and what doesn't.
There should be set guidelines on the big things that are "illegal". Obvious things would be racism, death threats, and pornography (Unless it's an 18+ community) just to name a few. For smaller things like flaming or arguments the community should decide.
I had touched on this before but if you don't like what someone is saying stop replying to them. When you reply you're justifying their words and have no right to complain about what they're saying. Now I know it's real hard to ignore a complete idiot. I am interested in the BBS function of "sage". If you don't know what that is it's basically a way to reply to a post with out bumping it. Therefore you can speak your mind with out give someone the satisfaction of a front page post. I had looked for this function for my PHPBB board but to no avail yet I'm sure there's one somewhere.
As I've said I have a bit of experience running online communities and have my own outlook on it. I really love the whole "for the people, by the people" concept. Now I have an account on YouTube and GameTrailers. Both sites have a "thumb system". On YouTube if you get enough negative thumbs your comment is no longer visible unless someone clicks reply. On GameTrailers your comment stays visible yet your score, either negative or positive, stays with you.
Now on both sites I got replies that were both commenting on my race. On YouTube they comment "That's actually a health hazard to drink, but can't blame that n***** for being so stupid." was immediately marked as spam after -12 thumbs. It wasn't till the GameTrailers comment reached over -100 thumbs that it was removed by a moderator. I hadn't thumbed, marked as spam, or asked any moderators to deal with either of these people. Honestly I don't care what they say because it doesn't effect me and if they community doesn't like it they'll handle it.
I hope you like my first blog. I really didn't expect it to be so long. Thanks to those who read it all.