Cyber-Community Rules How to create order on your discussion boards

Online communities are probably one of the most incrediblefeatures of the Internet (besides e-mail, of course). A communityposting board on your Web site can be a great way to encouragerepeat visits and to build loyalty to your site. But everycommunity has its ups and downs, and in Web communities, the downsare when someone posts something inappropriate or a heateddiscussion between members turns ugly.

How can you manage your Web community? Start by posting a set ofcommunity rules, both in legalese (written by a lawyer to limityour liability) and a Top 10 Rules list written in plain English.Examples of rules include:

1. If we feel your post violates the member policies, we reservethe right to remove it.

2. All language in the forums must remain PG-rated.

3. Harassment is not tolerated. Your membership will bediscontinued.

4. Commercial advertising is not appropriate and will beremoved.

When someone registers to join your online community, set upyour registration process so they must read the rules and thenpress a button that says "I Accept." And post a prominentlink to the rules.

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