16 Replies Latest reply on Jun 15, 2011 4:17 PM by rdellimmagine

    How do you handle 'soapboxers'?

      I'm curious how others manage the occasional extreme personality in a community: someone who answers every reply—possibly multiple times, who posts just to hear him/herself talk, or who offer extreme viewpoints that may turn off other members.

       

      Would love to know whether you've been able to turn these into productive relationships, if you've created guidelines to prevent, or if you've excluded folks like this from your community!

       

      thanks in advance,

      Christine

        • Re: How do you handle 'soapboxers'?
          daniel.marotta

          Hi cmcguiness,

           

          We have a similiar member who seeks to respond to every post within their immediate area of expertise, sometimes posting just for the sake of posting within a thread to show presence. He's gone so far as to use explicit and derogatory statements towards other members if their viewpoints differ.

           

          We continually try to be cordial with him by having one on one communications asking him to tone it down and respect others opinions, continuously reminding him of the community guidelines. He settles for a week or two, then gets right back at it again.

           

          Although he conducts himself in such a way, he produces some great content and does help other members with his solutions.

           

          So, we have explored placing his posts into moderation (every post is moderated) for a probationary period. Not so easy to implement however. Toyed with the idea of suspending his account. But if we go that far, might as well be a complete banning?  I really haven't answered your question, but I guess we're at the same crossroads.

           

          -Dan

          1 person found this helpful
            • Re: How do you handle 'soapboxers'?

              Yup, sounds like a similar situation. Although it's lucky for you that his content is valuable!

               

              I think what we're experiencing is someone who posts lengthy initial discussion topics not to elicit answers from people, but mostly just to rant. After a few warnings he became excessively polite to people who posted responses, but has also 'baited' them with more questions. In other words, he's not truly in the community to get others' opinions, he's just there to tell people his opinions. Which are pretty extreme.

               

              Like you, we've debated what to do, since he doesn't add to a positive and productive environment, but we also haven't come to a breaking point.

               

              Keep me posted if you have a breakthrough!

               

              Christine

                • Re: How do you handle 'soapboxers'?

                  Do you have any conduct guidelines that you could politely point him to? Not sure what those guidelines might include that would address this situation, but maybe something about an authentic desire to learn from and share with others in an egalitarian way (i.e., I share my opinions, but honestly listen to yours).

                   

                  Which reminds me - we need a "code of conduct" guideline for Jive Community.

                    • Re: How do you handle 'soapboxers'?

                      We do...we've even made some up as a result of his actions! These are two our list:

                       

                      Listen. Allow people to  discuss a topic without "interrupting" (replying to each new post),  dominating, or monopolizing the conversation. A member who posts more  than five replies to his or her own question, or who appears to create  an unnecessarily aggressive or argumentative atmosphere, may have their  post(s) reviewed, may be asked to post less in order allow other  community members to have a say, and may have the discussion closed or  removed.

                       

                      Stay on topic. The focus  of the Community is education and technology.  Related discussions should be posted in the Lounge area. Off-topic  discussions (for example, posts on politics and religion) may be  removed. Reflect before you post, is what you are saying relevant to the  discussion you are posting it to?  If in doubt, start a new discussion  or post to a more relevant area.  Most of the community discussions are  read by busy members and hijacking thread topics is disrespectful of  everyone's time.

                       

                      Christine

                    • Re: How do you handle 'soapboxers'?
                      daniel.marotta

                      Christine,

                       

                      I wanted to follow up.

                       

                      We ultimately banned this user from future contributions. This one members was consuming way too much of my team's time and the pros just didn't outweigh the cons.

                       

                      I'm happy to report though that as a result of the banning, many new members of that sub-community have since emerged as contributors and we haven't regretted the decision for a second.

                       

                      All good in the hood

                       

                      -Dan

                    • Re: How do you handle 'soapboxers'?
                      rdellimmagine

                      I had almost the exact same situation as Dan describes.  After dealing with it for several months, I finally had to give the user a month-long ban, because it was too time-consuming for me to remind him every two weeks to be polite, and he was considered disruptive (even though he had significant knowledge) by other power users.  I emailed him an explanation with concrete examples of why he got the temporary ban, and I made it clear that if he posted anything disruptive after the temporary ban or if he posted under another account, he would be permanently banned.  I expected to lose him from the community, but on day 27, he emailed to ask when he would be re-instated.  And from then on, he behaved (ok, I had to reprimand him once about a year later, but I took that to be a minor slip).  Had he not reformed, I definitely would have given him the permanent ban -- no person's contributions are worth the community manager effort and the community disruption caused by this type of behavior.  And in the future, I won't put up with the warning / reform / slip-back-into-bad-behavior cycle nearly as long.

                       

                      Regards, Robert

                      1 person found this helpful
                    • Re: How do you handle 'soapboxers'?
                      rdellimmagine

                      Here's an interesting idea that hadn't occurred to me: hellbanning.