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Etiquette in the groups

By Russ Freeman, written 1363427774.

Online communities can thrive with lively discussion and it’s often perceived as the lifeblood of them. Read on for things to avoid and things to do more of :-)

Summary

  • More people read than post. The opinions you read are often the minority and are just opinions.
  • Be nice. It's easier than being nasty, it reduces your stress levels and make you feel good.
  • Arguing is pointless.
  • We're a community and should be helping one another.
  • Don't fall foul of the rules otherwise bad things may happen.

Post in the right place

On PurplePort our members can leave the groups they don't like.

There are lots of groups on PurplePort so please do take the time to find and join the correct group for your new post!

Don't...

  • Post casting calls in the groups.
  • Post events in the groups.
  • Don't name and shame.

Who's reading and who's contributing

There are fundamentally two types of people in on-line communities;

  • Those that post and read.
  • Those that only read. In the old days of the Internet they were affectionately known as ‘lurkers’.

The pareto principle suggests that the ratio between lurkers and posters and is 80/20 and our stats back that up. So for every 1 person that posts 4 don’t. This is ONLY those that look or post. I don’t have, but could have, stats to say what portion of our thriving community completely disregard the groups.

Many people on sites like PurplePort don’t bother with the forums/groups because they have had a bad experience elsewhere or they are too afraid to put themselves in a position where they might get attacked. I’d like to change this. I’d like our groups to be welcoming and friendly.

There are a couple of things we can all do to help those that either have had bad experiences elsewhere or are too shy to post on PurplePort.

Realise that opinions vary

Opinions vary and can be based on facts. They can also be based on facts-as-you-know-it, or based on hearsay, or even based on what has been drunk that night. It’s still just an opinion.

No-one is charged with changing the opinions of others. It’s not a God-given-duty to correct the wrongs posted on the Internet. Often it will result in arguments.

If someone posts an opinion that you disagree with by all means post your alternative opinion and leave it at that. When you start arguing you have already lost.

Arguing on the Internet

Generally speaking arguing on the Internet is a useless pastime left only to those that have way too much time on their hands. I remember when I was responsible for tech-support having a conversation with a little old lady who informed me that she would argue until the end of time because it’s all she has to do. That was the end of the conversation for me and the beginning of the realisation that arguing on the Internet, or really with anyone, is a pointless exercise unless it’s a life or death issue - and to be fair that’s quite rare.

If you feel compelled to argue then use the messaging system. Don’t air your laundry in public. Honestly we don’t want to see it. No-one does and it can make you look bad. You don't want that and you don't want readers to form negative opinions of you based on a 4 year old group post.

The futility of Arguing

Whether in real life or on-line arguing is generally a waste of time. The very best that will happen when arguing on-line is that you might convince the other side that you are right but you will also disenfranchise them and so won't win a new friend.

It's rare to find a situation where you will win a new friend by publicly correcting their errors or mistakes. Instead send them a message saying that they are wrong and that you didn't want to embarrass them in public. Maybe they will edit their post and correct their error - and they will certainly be grateful to you. This approach is less painful and you may win new friends :-)

We’re a community, act like it

I didn't start PurplePort because I wanted to duplicate our rivals. I was sorely disappointed with them all in many ways. I took a blank piece of paper and designed a system that I thought was much better, embracing ideas and influence from literally hundreds of places, real and virtual.

One of the things I particularly disliked about some of our rivals was the behaviour in the forums. Just the name, “forum”, sends shivers down my spine as it does many people. I named ours “groups” to better convey what I wanted; For us to be a community, a ‘group’.

We help each other, we encourage and support each other. We don’t attack each other. Individuals within a group simply don’t attack each other in the real world so why would they in our groups? Makes no sense to me.

There is nothing to gain by attacking our neighbours. We don’t get more land on PurplePort by winning an argument. We are not perceived to be more of an alpha male, or dominant female, because we have trounced someone else’s argument. It’s often the opposite despite our best efforts. Take that into account when you post your rebuttles.

We do have rules

We do have rules but our rules are not draconian. Our rules are to help not restrict. Honestly, if your mouse is hovering over the “post reply” button whilst you deliberate your reply no amount of rules are going to stop you. If you are deliberating then you probably shouldn't post. If you need a refresher then our terms of use, in plain English, can be found here:

https://purpleport.com/articles/38/terms-of-use-for-purpleport-1/

Suspensions happen but they are different here

Sometimes we will be forced to suspend someone from doing something, either for a time or permanently.

On PurplePort many things are different to our rivals and getting suspended is no exception. On PurplePort the punishment fits the crime. If you are abusing the groups then you lose the ability to post in the groups. Simple as that. If you later send me abusive messages then you will indeed lose your account, permanently, as a few people have discovered.

https://purpleport.com/articles/34/how-does-getting-suspended-work-on-purpleport

https://purpleport.com/articles/82/group-participation-suspension-and-ban-policy

Buried replies and The Sin Bin

We will delete posts at the drop of a hat. Honestly if we don't think it belongs on PurplePort or has headed so far south that it is offensive then we'll delete it.

We will routinely delete posts that are casting calls/events, or look like casting calls/events, smell like them or have a hint of them. By all means moan on Facebook when we inevitably delete your well crafted casting call in the groups but repeatedly doing this will result in a period away from the groups and may lead to loss of group post privileges altogether.

The same goes for your replies to posts. We will bury them and if you get into a habit of writing stuff that gets buried we'll reduce our own workload by suspending your ability to cause work for us.

Work together, it’s the only way

We’re a small community. We will always will be, even when we have eclipsed ModelMayhem in active membership because even ModelMayhem is a small community. We need to act like it and work together.

Help each other not attack each other. Support each other, be the change you would have liked to have seen when our rivals were at their peak. A small community needs to be supportive to blossom because anything else just attenuates our combined ability to grow - both as a community and individually. Think about how good things could be if we did indeed mentor the newcomers, show them the things we only discovered after years of effort. Think about what they will share with us once they find their feet, what we could learn from them!

It’s not the only way, and may not be the best either

I don’t claim to have the only view that is workable, and it may not even be the best way. I’d like to try it though and since the beginning it’s something I have encouraged, and it’s ingrained into most things we do from the greetings and signoffs in our emails through to our approach to making things you want even though our rivals consider it to be suicide.

PurplePort is about helping people to create awesome images. It’s never been a portfolio hosting service. It runs much deeper than that. It needs to because, honestly, it’s what we all want.

Bringing like minded and creative people together is always going to cause some friction and that’s acceptable. It’s not acceptable to attack one another no matter the disagreement.

Play nice, be nice. Make awesome images, learn, help, explore and socialise. Anything else should probably go on another site or, more likely, in your deleted items :-)

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