The discussion forum is public and therefore so is moderated by a few dedicated & friendly community members. Sometimes it’s a day or two (or three - eek!) before one of us can approve a message.
Some basic groundrules to keep the conversation valuable:
Everyone is welcome in the conversation. Just be friendly and helpful, and add to the conversation. Keep the community guidelines in mind at all time.
While vendors and consultants are welcome, this is NOT a promotional channel for vendors & consultants, or anybody for that matter. While we trust that you know what that means, here are some explicit boundaries for what is appropriate:
If someone asks a question about YOUR product or service, and you can provide a helpful answer, that’s ok. (Please don’t try to puppeteer this by asking your friends to ask a loaded question for you, we can tell )
Please do not Direct Message members to sell your products or services to them. You will receive a single warning, then your login will be suspended.
You may NOT suggest your own products as alternatives to other products.
Sharing links (including your own content) is okay but your posts MUST contain value for people even if they do not click over to your website, with your link being a supplement. As a rule of thumb, you should be contributing to the conversation more often than you are linking to your own stuff.
So what are we looking for during moderation approvals, and how are decisions made?
1. Obvious spam gets deleted
None of us need to see any more spam messages about watches, car insurance, or that little blue pill that rhymes with Niagara (even if I type it I fear it will attract more spam), so we delete and ban those automatically. Sales emails and promotions generally get rejected.
2. Real messages from new people get approved
All new users’ first few posts are manually reviewed before being posted.
As long as you are considerate of the guidelines above, your posts will go through quickly and eventually your posts won’t need to be moderated anymore!
3. Real messages from new people marketing their space to us get asked to introduce themselves instead of market their space
This one is tricky, but it’s usually something along the lines of “We’re a new coworking space in [city], and we’d love to have you sign up for a membership.”
Note that the majority of the people on this list own or manage a coworking space. We’re professional colleagues, not a target market, so chat with us instead of marketing to us.
Please use the #new-member-intros category to introduce yourself by name, announce your space if you like, and share your website link. (You can also use one of the subcategories for #new-member-intros:founders, #new-member-intros:staff #new-member-intros:journalists-researchers and of course #new-member-intros:members)
But also tell us what is unique about your space, why you decided to start a coworking space, who some of your awesome founding members are and what they do.
Ask questions, ask for help, bounce ideas off of us, and offer help others based on YOUR experiences.
This is all meant to be very supportive guidance to help the community learn who you are!
4. “Linkspam” aka posts with little-to-no content besides a link.
This has become a large % of the posts that we moderate, almost always from vendors or service providers. And this one is also tricky, since sometimes the links being shared can be valuable resources.
We want to encourage productive discussions, and an environment where coworking peers can help each other solve problems. So in general, we do encourage sharing! It’s how we learn what’s going on, and help each other. Sharing stuff you create is okay, so long as it’s not the only thing you ever post.
But “drive-by” promotion does NOT help the community, so please try to avoid it.
Our rule of thumb is that especially if it’s your first post, we discourage posts that link off-list to products, services, and blog posts UNLESS the post offers value in the post contents first.
Instead, we encourage you to join in the conversation, say hello, make an introduction, even share other people’s stuff that you’ve found useful/helpful. Just remember to talk about how you used it, etc.
5. Other miscellaneous - Then there are other odd messages here and there, like a message from someone at a new coworking space asking if this is the right place to post messages, duplicate messages, messages asking if the first one got through (especially if the first one is still in the moderation queue), and requests to unsubscribe, etc. Those are all addressed directly depending on the message.
If you have any questions about the moderation process or why we do what we do, please ask!