New registerees to the website are presented with a welcome message as follows:
Welcome to VTK Discourse — thanks for starting a new conversation!
- Does the title sound interesting if you read it out loud? Is it a good summary?
- Who would be interested in this? Why does it matter? What kind of responses do you want?
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For more, see our community guidelines. This panel will only appear for your first 2 posts.
This message is shown the first 2 posts someone makes (we could raise that number). It is not displayed for longtime users.
I had also forgotten about the default guidelines page that ships with Discourse. I’m not sure it is linked anywhere easily accessible from the front page, but it could be linked to the Welcome to the VTK Discourse forum topic if we wanted.
Now, as to the idea of having a code of conduct. I think it can be a useful tool for some sites where abusive behavior can be a major problem. The issue I have with them isn’t so much it’s presence or lack thereof, it’s that the enforcement of norms would be about the same as if we didn’t have one. That is, someone sees a problem and does something about it. Usually this doesn’t rise to the level of requiring special administrator privileges, and ideally that’s how we would keep it.
I think a baseline of don’t be a jerk is reasonable and actionable. Having a Code of Conduct invites a potentially long, tedious process of litigating how a post violates or does not violate it, and I for one don’t have the time for that. Look at the knots Twitter gets itself into over banning certain types of content versus others. I don’t have a problem letting someone know that an example image is problematic or that they are being a jerk, and hopefully there are enough of us around with the same mindset. I think in most cases that handles the issue. We haven’t had many repeat offenders with any frequency.
Anyway, that’s my 2 cents.