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Pattern Group A. Site Genres > Community Usage Policies

Community Usage Policies

Managing online communities is not easy. It is far easier to set up MESSAGE BOARDS (D5) and let things just happen. Making any community conference work takes time and effort to organize, invite, give access, monitor, and facilitate. Which rules are important to the community? Should you remove off-topic comments from a discussion thread, or should you archive them to a separate location? What kinds of things are acceptable for people to post? What happens if a member breaks the rules?

Every community must declare its own standards and enforce those standards. Every community must also establish a set of FAIR INFORMATION PRACTICES (E3) on how personal data will be used, and communicate these practices through a clear PRIVACY POLICY (E4). Getting the members of your community to agree on rules can be time-consuming (see Figure A3.2), but once they have done so, our experience shows that their discussion will be more thoughtful and enlightening.


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