Manners are everything.

Recently, I've been thinking about conversation and the best ways to have it online. I am hardly the world's greatest advocate for for reasoned discussion. I am particularly good at taking a strong position and working to defend it. I know, however, that my favorite approach is only useful in limited circumstances. More often, reasoned conversation is the way to effective communication.

It's really hard to do that online. The competitive struggle for attention favors assertive stances. You get more attention if you sound really sure of yourself. It's hard to maintain a posture of "I sort of wonder if this might be true." It often gets you insulted or ignored, rarely respected.

So, the airwaves get dominated by personalities who are always on broadcast and only a little on receive. It's good for big puffy egos and really bad for community. The celebrity of the moment tends to have little ears and high output.

With a couple of recent dust-ups and a broad influx of new members, it's a good time to think about what makes for effective online community and conversation. (I've covered this issue elsewhere recently.)

I was talking with Jason Davis about this question this morning. We talked about the most important things for developing a sense of community. I walked away from the conversation and came up with these notions:

  • Remember that those words and letters on your computer screen are a person.
    This is really easy to forget. In the heat of the moment, alone with your thoughts and reactions, it's hard to recall that the text you are mad about is another living, breathing human with feelings. It's easy to say harsh things that are hurtful. Try not to do it.
  • Understand the person who is receiving your message.
    You know what happens when you confront a liar with his lies, right? He always denies them. Always. Many responses to your online postings are that easy to predict. If you are going to draw fire for what you say, be sure you know why you are doing it. If your writing is obviously hurtful, write it but don't publish it.
  • Use the right function for the message.
    RecruitingBlogs.com has blogs and forums. If you want a conversation, use the forums. If you want to confront, to post a commercial message, to have a one sided dialog, to preach, use the blogs. Free speech is important at RecruitingBlogs.com. Manners dictate the appropriate forum.
  • The Forum is for Conversation
    This is where the community gets to know you. We work together and collaborate here. It is a place for talking and moving toward shared opinion. Celebrate and incorporate diverse views. It makes for richer conversation.
  • Your Blog Is Your Own Personal Kitty Litter Box.
    Okay, that's harsh. The idea is that this is your own personal theater in which you can yell "Fire" if you want to. If the forum is the living room, the blog is your office.
  • Use Email
    Not everything needs to be available to everybody. Finding the balance between public and private is part of learning how to adopt to your new home on RecruitingBlogs.com.
  • Find Ways to Meet Other Community Members Face 2 Face
    It's amazing what happens when you can remember a good laugh, a great story or the general tenor of your last conversation with someone you know mostly online. Part of the point of the Recruiting Roadshow project is that online community depends on physical community.
  • Always Reject Intolerance
    Respond quickly and strongly to mass generalizations about groups of people. Remember that this is a public place and our behavior reflects on our profession. It's a bad idea to give the world the impression that we think discrimination is okay, that bullying is acceptable or that shirking responsibility and whining should be tolerated.
  • Be slow to judge, quick to forgive
    Until you've been on the receiving end of harsh online criticism, you can't understand how awful it feels. People make mistakes and good community is all about incorporating it it while encouraging even more risk taking.
  • Be Positive. Encourage People To Participate. Praise heavily.

One thing I can tell you for sure is that I've gotten some things wrong and missed others. I'd really appreciate your help fleshing out this list and making it better.

(Here's a little known, very useful guide to building online community. Scan it. It's an easy, quick, value-laden read. It's by John Coate who was the director of community experience at the WeLL. I reread it - and let it influence me - as I pulled this piece together.)

John Sumser is the CEO and founder of the Recruiting Roadshow. To see more of his work, check out JohnSumser.com.

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Thank you, Karen, for bringing us back around to your original post, because I’d like to respond to that one. Kudos for expressing your thoughts in a thoughtful and well-constructed manner; I agree with you on several points made about the need for freedom of expression. The fact that we can have this discussion publicly is testament to the power of that right.

But my Danger! flags went up when you said,

“John, I would appreciate us to be “nicer” on this site? But who is to dictate what is nice or what isn’t…”
Your words contain a strong implication that because no one has the right to define “nice” for everyone, the group can’t come to a collective decision about rules of engagement for all, and consequences for not doing so.

Nowhere on John’s list did I read “Be Nice.” This is what I understood in his post:

1. Posts are words. Don’t forget there’s a person behind the post.
2. Don’t be intentionally hurtful in what you say.
3. Choose the correct tools in the community to express yourself.
4. Use good judgment about when a conversation should move offline.
5. Find ways to meet in person – which leads us right back to number 1.


You speak a lot about individual rights, Karen, and I appreciate your perspective because it tends to make me think and test my own assumptions. Rights, however, are a by-product of a democracy; so what is democracy? The Princeton dictionary defines it in several ways, but the definition most applicable to this conversation, I think, is this:

Majority rule. The doctrine that the numerical majority of an organized group can make decisions binding on the whole group.

Like it or not, every human community creates structure for its inhabitants. From our bloody birth as a country, the great and ongoing debate in our (US) culture has been the boundary between individual and collective rights. You espouse the laws that protect freedom of speech, but who created those laws? That’s right: the majority, through the power we give to those that we ourselves choose to represent us.

Those laws are there to create boundaries, or consequences, for the actions of those who overstep the bounds of acceptable behavior. Acceptable to whom, you might ask? That’s right: the majority within that community. If I don't side with the majority, then it seems to me I have two options:

1. Accept the will of the majority; or
2. Work to create change through influencing others.

Either way, I think that John’s post simply put a spotlight on the issue of how we interact together; it was a call to self-management to allow continued freedom of speech here in this community. And frankly, I can’t find a thing in there to disagree with. I’m surprised that you can.
Man.... I get caught up in this every time. I tried not to hit the "reply to this" link.. because I knew it would take me 30 minutes to write a reply... but, this drives me crazy.

I am building my own community... and... I'm trying, very hard, to determine how I will moderate activity. I want to have a plan in place before my community grows beyond my grasp. There is NO easy answer. I KNOW that I will NOT leave it as "anything goes"... which, in all reality... free speech really means. As long as the individual is willing to pay the price for what they say, they should be able to say it. (that's my simple interpretation of free speech). There are too many individuals out there who find happiness in vandalizing a network. Why.. well, any answer would be speculative. But, in my mind... it's a fact that they will... and that fact alone means I must protect myself, and my network, from being vandalized. To me.. that's a simple truth. Note: this is MY truth and I do not insist that anyone reading this "buy off" on what I'm saying. But, if you're curious... please read on....

That brings "rules" into play. Break the "rules"... there's consequences. The concequences are designed to protect the network and it's purpose and are administrated by the moderator. Now, once "rules" are required, someone must decide which rules work and which rules don't. How they make their decisions is up to them. That's the freedom they have. That person, or those people, must then moderate accordingly to maintain the continuity and purpose of their community. And, if they discover that a rule needs to change to maintain the continuity and purpose of their community, well, they then must decide if the change, and the consequences of that change, are in the best interest (in their judgement) of their community. The best part about all of this is that we, as members, are FREE to come and go from any community at will.

Kudos to Ning for leveling the playing field. If anyone thinks they can do a better job than the moderator or moderators of a community they participate in, they can simply start their own and "Become the change" they wish to see... FOR FREE. Then we (members) can come participate in that community (assuming the invitation is open) and determine for ourselves if we like those rules (or lack of rules) better. That's freedom. And, interestingly, it is Ning who decided that the "delete" button was appropriate for all communities... not the community creator.

I found many of John's thoughts (someone who I've never met, spoken to on the phone or exchanged email with) to be of significant value in my quest to decide how I will moderate the community that I have created. I will use the best of what I find and discard that which I think does not fit. And, as the community creator, I must make those decisions because I know that each and every community member is free to leave if they do not like my decisions. That is the power the Internet, and certain software, has given us... like it or not.

Karen.. if I may cautiously address you directly....

I have seen you as a very active person with respect to what you think is right and wrong within a community. I... and I mean "I", not "we", would be very curious to see how YOU would moderate a Ning community. I would be intensely curious to see how your decisions would hold up as your community became of significant population. I make no prediction as to what that reality would look like. If you do have an open community I could join, please advise. I'm a member of many and may have already joined yours (and simply don't remember). I would gladly pay more attention and would do the same as I do everywhere I go; I will look for the best and discard the rest (in my sole discression). I follow no one person or group. And, I certainly don't belong to any clique. I'm simply always on the hunt for solutions and answers.

If you don't already have a Ning community, and don't intend to create one, please consider writing a blog post outlining what you would do and how you would structure and moderate YOUR community. I hope you do not view this as an attack... but as the quest for solutions and answers as it is intended by this author to be. I can't control your perception.

.... done addressing Karen directly.

In closing... I do appreciate the answers I have found within this post and the replies. Thank you all for your contributions. I don't expect to create a "perfect society" in my community. I simply want to try to create the best location I can for members to spend their time... within the confines of the purpose and intent as established by me, the community creator.

Sadly.. this took about over an hour to write. Optimistically, I hope to make further progress towards my stated objective. Time well spent? .... only "time" will tell.

Forgive my spelling errors.. if any. My Google spell checker failed to run... and I'm a very bad speller.

See you all around.
Kindly,
- Jim
Karen, again you have brought your paranoia and fear into a great post and wrecked it. I told you last weekend when you called me that if one were to read your posts and comments they may come to the conclusion that you are crazy and that you are paranoid. It is not fair to come and bring your issues and fears into a post that is clearly for the purpose of good. You may agree but I'll tell you what, this site was not built for you. I would be happy if you never ever came back and hijacked posts for your personal wanking pleasure. And you want to know what? You can go ahead and tell the whole world about how you are being treated unfairly by RecruitingBlogs.com and myself. It don't take a genius to see what goes on in your head. I would be happy like I said if you would remove yourself from recruitingblogs and take your rants of injustice to your own site. If you don't know how to do it, let me know I can help you with it.
I am fairly inexperienced in the "blogging and forum world." Years ago when email was the "new communications medium" we had to learn not to capitalize, since this comes across as SHOUTING!

I think the golden rule certainly applies - "do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

I also believe that online communication allows sharing thoughts openly - even divergent thoughts. Thanks for giving food for thought on this medium of commuication I am still "green" in...
Will... stepping up and typing is the first step to finding "your" footing in the online world. Keep posting and you will find your way. Follow the lead of those you come to respect and then set a tone for other newbies to learn from as you become more experienced. There will always be someone more seasoned than you and there will always be newbies. Just take your place in the flow and learn as you go.

See you around.
Kindly,
- Jim
Hi Karen,

I would like to discuss things in a simpler way. [Pls. don't counter attack for this also.]

"Freedom of Speech" - It doesn't mean we can talk whatever we can talk and defend also., we should always think about other's and make sure it won't hurt them.

Just because of the sake of discussing something (or) opposing something, I feel we shouldn't write stories. When we write some content it should be understood by a layman., I am not able to understand most of your content., it's only yours.

When most of them agree for some point of view, your disagree, when most of them disagree, you agree. It's not good all the time being contrarian. Our life is short, we should move along with the world. Nobody gives any award for being contrarian all the time., you are hurting yourself.

This is not a Street fight (or) We are not politicians.

We are here to learn new things in the Recruiting Industry.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Your take >>Regarding Gopi's intent, would it not be best to allow Gopi to have spoken for himself?

My take -- The comment which I posted was for John Sumser, not for you, would it not be best to allow John Sumser to have spoken for himself to my comment?.
When Amitai was supporting my take, you are questioning him why he is speaking instead of me?, but what about you, the thread has started from you only, you are the one in the first place provoked this argument for my comment to John Sumser.

I agree with Amitai and Thanks a ton to him on whatever he said on my behalf., Yes it was 100% offensive.(Indian Racists.) I can say this anytime, anywhere.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Your take>>Gopi, you mentioned a post that no longer exists and say that the individuals said that all Indians were racist - forgive me, but I read that post, and dont' remember the author implying or saying that anywhere in his post!

My take -- Can you remember what he was saying?.

Indian Racists - Not Canadians, Not Americans.......(This is what i remember.)

He even added that Yes I said, Indian Racists.

If he would have got a Spam msg in his comment box or e-mail it would have been sent by some people., for that he should not have pointed the whole community.(Indian Racists.) He should have used the words - member's from particular country (or) most of the Indians (or) Indian Race instead of using Indian Racists. [There is a lot of difference between Race & Racists., the meaning changes.]

I am 100% confident you are going to reply a 2 page novel for my comment., but don't expect a reply from me.

It's good for nothing. (Only you are wasting everybody's precious time. - I apologise everybody as I am also a part of it., on the first place I shouldn't have posted my comment., thats the reason I haven't posted any comment for the person who started the Indian Racists thread couple of days back., just we will be going back & forth. - Today I made a mistake., It's a good lesson learnt.)

I have certain set of people whom I am comfortable within RBC, I can move along with them.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Regards,
Gopi.

Karen Mattonen CAC CSP said:
Again, simply. what does this have to do with my orginal post? and what I meant in regards to freedom of expression.. Actually your response is totally contraire to what I actually had suggested..

Taking small elements from my post to make a point to justify a position unfortunately changes the whole conversation and intent of my post..
here is an example In a recent/body>
I am totally disgusted. I have read the last comment by Jason Davis and cannot comprehend that kind of personal attack. I have read and re-read the conversation on this forum and have seen two things that I feel important to bring out. This has been a heartfelt and passionate discussion of issues but there have been some comments that were written by Amitai and Jason specifically that were nothing more than personal attacks, comments like "I had to hang up on you ", "have you considered the virtue of not saying anything?", "this site is not built for you" "I would be happy like I said if you would remove yourself from recruitingblogs and take your rants of injustice to your own site."

The discussions had encouraged exploration of thoughts and sharing of views but what good do you expect to contribute when you choose not to participate in the discussion only to attack someone viciously. Just because Karen disagrees with your point of view, doesn't give you the right to insult and belittle her or anyone else for that matter. Is this the kind of site recruitingblogs is? If I don't express views that agree with you will I get kicked off too?

Karen, do not get discouraged. I appreciate the fact that you have focused your discussion on issues that shape our industry and that you left the mudslinging to others. I am a fan of yours as you articulate well researched and well thought out provocative comments. Keep your chin up and smile.

Moises Lopez
Moises, thank you for adding your voice and sharing your point of view. I'm not sure I have the energy or the desire to go through a rehash of who said what, what they meant, why they said what they said and ad infinitum. The record here stands.

I cannot speak for Jason. I know there are many people who will share your surprise and upset over his reaction to Karen’s comments. The irony in all of this is that the very brouhaha that John’s post was designed to avert has been overshadowed by the commotion which Karen appears to have consciously decided to ferment in favor of letting the post fulfill it original purpose.

Without pointing fingers or name-calling I think Karen’s insistence on using this forum to grind out her agenda is selfish and inconsiderate of the general population. I can only assume that is the reason for the ire in Jason’s reaction when most would expect his usual tolerant and considered response.

To be clear, my asking Karen if she had considered not saying anything in response to her complaining about being misconstrued, misquoted, and misrepresented was not an unreasonable question. An unrelenting ranting is not an effective way of persuading anyone to your point of view. It seems to me that if ranting is all that comes forth consider the alternative: shut up.

I have no desire to silence to Karen. That runs contrary to everything I stand for personally, as a blogger and as an advocate of constructive [and sometimes destructive] dissent. I believe I echoed John’s suggestion that Karen’s point of view would have been better expressed on her blog where we could have had gone down the path she wanted without diverting the course of this post which, I might add, should have been memorialized for its reasoned advice not the” injustice” meted out to Karen and which has sapped the energy out of me for one.

I have not changed my position. Karen can say what she likes on her page here and take it from there. She should have exercised good judgment in reading the sentiments of the people commenting here in stead of seeing this forum/discussion as a platform for pressing her own agenda.

Again, to set the record straight:

1. Karen suggesting free speech is more virtuous than removing posts at the authors request is plain bull-crap. Notwithstanding she is entitled to her opinion and is not restricted in voicing it on her blog, anything published here that promotes ignorance, intolerance, and unbridled racism will be subject to the community's self-regulating systems. In this instance it seems to me that self-policing worked perfectly, at least up to the point that Karen decided to take it to the next level…

2. Suggesting that Karen is the voice of reason and articulates what the majority think, especially as it relates to the post in question, is double bull-crap.

I don’t question there are many who agree with Karen on one position or another. I am one of them. But at some point you need to step back and ask why is that of all the vocal, opinionated, obnoxious and irritatingly obstinate people in this space – and we are not that few in number – it is always Karen who comes back for a martyr's crucifixion.

3. Again without name-calling or passive-aggressive intent what was the definition of insanity again? Jason suggesting Karen is insane may have no basis in its clinical diagnosis but if he is suggesting Karen is insane based on conventional wisdom, you are more than welcome to argue the point. If you rehearse the same rant over and over expected something other than what has happened countless times before, well, I rest my case with Jason's.

4. Karen will attest to the fact that I have spoken with her on each and every occasion in the last 2 years that she has been “victimized” online. I have counseled her on more than one occasion to not be discouraged and to press on as best she can. In principal, Karen and I are aligned on many issues. I have no ill-feelings toward Karen, to the contrary. More so the reason I am disappointed that she continues to do herself and her cause more harm than good.

In closing, Jason has been the poster boy for thinking out of the box. He has created a space here for everyone and anyone to participate at any level that suits them best. He is seminal in his blog-think and trailblazing. What Karen has confused is “thinking out of the box” and “crossing the line.” She has crossed the line and made herself unwelcome here, by Jason at least. You know as well as anyone, that takes some doing.

If Jason crossed the line in his response to Karen, while I cannot excuse it, I can understand it completely. If Karen has any consideration for the people unfortunate enough to have been mired in this mêlée she’ll take the conversation off this thread and place it where it belongs, on her personal blog.
Intelligence is widely distributed in this community, wisdom however is not. I am here to attest that I have corresponded with Karen over the last three years and in that time I have both disagreed and agreed with her whenever merited. This past year I have disconnected myself because of the exhaustive energy it has taken to listen to another victimization story. Karen, as a friend, and I do mean this sincerely, you can deny it all you want, however as an observer you are addicted to drama.

I disagree with my friend Moises, in particular. In his retort to the 'name calling' he refers to Jason's statement "I had to hang up on you. " - Moises and I both spoken in my car about her inability to cut a conversation when time and patience grew weary. We have both made excuses to get off the phone only to be held on for another hour ... and it would not be the case if Karen would have something positive to say, or rather, not another conspiracy or victimization tale. People have limits on hearing negative tales. I know we both agreed this was one of Karen's unfortunate attributes. Moises, I respect your reply but it isn't consistent with what we discussed directly. Moreover, Jason stated that he warned Karen he had to get of the phone, she continued, and he followed through. Anyone who has had these conversations will attest to this pattern. It is disrespectful when someone needs to return to work and they are refused the opportunity to close the conversation and proceed to something more productive. I have personally witnessed this disrespect on several occasions.

Gopi stated it simply ... being a Contrarion need not be a vocation. I had misgivings on the ERE drama and stated as such, however, there are times when troubles follow that some serious reflections in the mirror are positive therapy to employ ... the pattern is unmistakable not in the 'usual suspects' but in the usual drama that follows when they need not be the case. Sumser wrote a significant article which should have stood on its own merit as widely noticed within the community. Rather than direct your own divergent subject within a blog post of your own, this one has been hijacked by noise rather than the caliber of exchange it deserved.


Karen you state time and again, that 'countless' emails of support outside the community exist but it seems highly unusual that none of them have the wherewithal to show it publicly where it belongs. It seems to be in every defensive response, every controversy which follows and yet, we never see them raise there hands. I will grant you the likelihood they exist, but freedom of speech also suggests the bravery to stand by someone or something, and with allies like this, I would personally find it a hollow alliance. Now on your second community with similar patterns of hostility emanating in the exchange surrounding you, I fail to understand why you cannot look from within rather than simply saying time and again it is other people's fingers pointing at you. A pattern is unmistakable.

You suggested in many emails exchanged over the last controversy that somehow this cabal was coordinated against you, when the reality was that Jason was with his family in the Canadian wilderness, Animal was on holiday and I was at a birthday party with my 2 year old. It is rather insulting to suggest conspiracies to begin with that don't exist, and the opinions gravitating towards you or against you seem wider in distribution that a small chosen few. I can state of my own volition I have neither had the interest nor the time to expend on following this petty series of diatribes. I chose to respond only because I for one, will defend Jason understanding that he speaks from pain not hostility to any one person, given his passion for community. This is a painful exercise to see what he builds diluted in such pettiness, and this is the origin of his unfamiliar tone.

I am speaking here as a friend, with sincerity Karen, that rather than speak against, tell us what you are for, and not who is against you. If you cannot find it here, no one is imposing the platform from which to brand yourself and your agenda. You are welcome to find an environment which suits you best. Jason and I have debated many times on the issue of banning individuals, and I can say that no one is more well suited to personal restraint. To have Jason make such an impassioned response, is one that bears observation, even the most tolerant and forgiving amongst us, has his own limits, and he speaks from frustration.

Share ideas not arguments or find a venue of your own making to share them from.

As someone who has taken great personal risks as of late to pass it forward consider me one of the exhausted and I will for one take this opportunity to state it publicly. I have supported you in the past Karen, but I cannot do so today. I have had enough drama.
As the Editor I have decided to close this discussion. Frankly, I'm disappointed at having to do that but it seems at this point that is the best thing for the whole group.

If anyone wants to continue the conversation please feel free to do so on your own blogs. That is also as good a place as any to protest my decision if you'd like. No problem. I'll be happy to put together a digest if it serves some constructive purpose but at this point we're going backwards and it serves no purpose at all.

I'd like to close with this excellent advice from someone whose silence speaks volumes and whose sage advise I deeply respect:

Manners are everything. Recently, I've been thinking about conversation and the best ways to have it online. I am hardly the world's greatest advocate for for reasoned discussion. I am particularly good at taking a strong position and working to defend it. I know, however, that my favorite approach is only useful in limited circumstances. More often, reasoned conversation is the way to effective communication.
It's really hard to do that online. The competitive struggle for attention favors assertive stances. You get more attention if you sound really sure of yourself. It's hard to maintain a posture of "I sort of wonder if this might be true." It often gets you insulted or ignored, rarely respected.

So, the airwaves get dominated by personalities who are always on broadcast and only a little on receive. It's good for big puffy egos and really bad for community. The celebrity of the moment tends to have little ears and high output.

With a couple of recent dust-ups and a broad influx of new members, it's a good time to think about what makes for effective online community and conversation. (I've covered this issue elsewhere recently.)

I was talking with Jason Davis about this question this morning. We talked about the most important things for developing a sense of community. I walked away from the conversation and came up with these notions:

* Remember that those words and letters on your computer screen are a person.

This is really easy to forget. In the heat of the moment, alone with your thoughts and reactions, it's hard to recall that the text you are mad about is another living, breathing human with feelings. It's easy to say harsh things that are hurtful. Try not to do it.

* Understand the person who is receiving your message.

You know what happens when you confront a liar with his lies, right? He always denies them. Always. Many responses to your online postings are that easy to predict. If you are going to draw fire for what you say, be sure you know why you are doing it. If your writing is obviously hurtful, write it but don't publish it.

* Use the right function for the message.

RecruitingBlogs.com has blogs and forums. If you want a conversation, use the forums. If you want to confront, to post a commercial message, to have a one sided dialog, to preach, use the blogs. Free speech is important at RecruitingBlogs.com. Manners dictate the appropriate forum.

* The Forum is for Conversation

This is where the community gets to know you. We work together and collaborate here. It is a place for talking and moving toward shared opinion. Celebrate and incorporate diverse views. It makes for richer conversation.

* Your Blog Is Your Own Personal Kitty Litter Box.

Okay, that's harsh. The idea is that this is your own personal theater in which you can yell "Fire" if you want to. If the forum is the living room, the blog is your office.

* Use Email

Not everything needs to be available to everybody. Finding the balance between public and private is part of learning how to adopt to your new home on RecruitingBlogs.com.

* Find Ways to Meet Other Community Members Face 2 Face

It's amazing what happens when you can remember a good laugh, a great story or the general tenor of your last conversation with someone you know mostly online. Part of the point of the Recruiting Roadshow project is that online community depends on physical community.

* Always Reject Intolerance

Respond quickly and strongly to mass generalizations about groups of people. Remember that this is a public place and our behavior reflects on our profession. It's a bad idea to give the world the impression that we think discrimination is okay, that bullying is acceptable or that shirking responsibility and whining should be tolerated.

* Be slow to judge, quick to forgive

Until you've been on the receiving end of harsh online criticism, you can't understand how awful it feels. People make mistakes and good community is all about incorporating it it while encouraging even more risk taking.

* Be Positive. Encourage People To Participate. Praise heavily.

One thing I can tell you for sure is that I've gotten some things wrong and missed others. I'd really appreciate your help fleshing out this list and making it better.

(Here's a little known, very useful guide to building online community. Scan it. It's an easy, quick, value-laden read. It's by John Coate who was the director of community experience at the WeLL. I reread it - and let it influence me - as I pulled this piece together.)

John Sumser is the CEO and founder of the Recruiting Roadshow. To see more of his work, check out JohnSumser.com.

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