synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
[personal profile] synecdochic
I wrote the first draft of the community rules (in the community profile) based on two things: my experience with being the admin for other communities (and seeing what sort of problems come up and what kind of misunderstandings are more likely than others), and my experience being on the LiveJournal Abuse Team during various previous waves of perfume-discussion revival on LJ and seeing what kinds of things came up there.

In particular, that's why I decided to completely ban all forms of selling, and restrict trading/swaps to being an incidental thing rather than a main focus of the community. Over the past decade+ of involvement both personal and professional in comms that are discussing a physical item with heavy collectability, I've definitely seen every single possible way that selling and trading could go bad, from people walking off with hundreds of dollars of other people's money to people setting up a bunch of trades, collecting the stuff sent to them, and then disappearing without sending out their half of the agreement (usually to discover later that they never had the thing they promised to send out). I'm definitely not saying that's guaranteed to happen here if that sort of thing were allowed, but all it would take would be one case of it happening for the lovely friendly vibe we've had going on in the more ad-hoc discussions to evaporate, not to mention the admin(s) of the community to have to spend a ridiculous time cleaning it up. I also don't want the community to start as a general-discussion comm and wind up full of nothing but "in search of X" and "here's my list of stuff for sale or trade" type posts.

So, I wrote the rules to be very restrictive on that sort of thing, but if people think they'd rather we be a bit more lenient, tell me! For instance, we could do a weekly post for people to post their in-search-of lists and their willing-to-swap lists in the comments, that kind of thing. I still don't think we should allow sales of any kind or put any sort of official comm stamp on money changing hands, because that's a very quick way for things to get out of hand, but as long as people understand that trading/swapping is entirely at their own risk, I am less adamant about banning it.

Likewise, if there are any rules/guidelines you think are missing and should be added, or any rules you think should be revised or rephrased, let me know. Or, if you read the list of what's allowed and not-allowed, and think something should be added, clarified, or revised, let me know that, too!

Meanwhile, I do have many many ideas on how to usefully tag posts to help build a comprehensive database, and the community itself is paid (and will remain so) so people can search for both posts and comments. (The search box is part of the community's layout, too.) Give me a few days to finalize my thoughts and I will make a bunch of tags and write up the tagging guidelines. Once I do that, I'll probably be on the lookout for somebody to help manage the tagging, but working up a tagging system is a prerequisite there.

And finally: What kind of "useful resource" type posts do you think would be a good idea to have? I'm thinking things like building a dictionary of "what we mean when we say X", "here is the master list of blogs that talk about perfume", and "here are links to places to buy all the things that people talk about", and I don't know if it will make more sense to do them as DW posts (advantage: discussion can happen right there; disadvantage: only the poster can edit them) or as Google Docs (advantage: multiple people can edit, disadvantage: reliance on third party provider) or, I don't know, a version-controlled Github repository (advantage: multiple people can submit changes, but there's still oversight and version control so there'd always be backups and we could always recover something deleted accidentally; disadvantage, harder for people to jump in and contribute without going through somebody who knows how to use version control) or something.

March 2019

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