Wednesday, May 27, 2009

More controls for community owners

(From Orkut Blog)

Like many of you, a number of us on the orkut team are proud owners of active communities on orkut. While we love to see the discussions and divergent opinions that often come up, there are definitely times when the passion of our community members becomes overwhelming. Members sometimes start flame wars – creating new topics or polls to get their point across on the community home page, topics list and polls list pages. This degrades the overall experience for the other community members and often leaves us searching for ways to keep things under control. 

To help with this issue, I developed a feature that does exactly that. Community owners now have access to a new setting: "only owner and moderators can create forum topics," which they can turn on and off as they wish. If you want to give it a try, just go to the "edit profile" page of your community.

When passions run high, you can now make use of this feature within your community. You can also try creating a few new forum topics like "Rant Room" or "Suggest new forum topics," where community members can continue their discussions without affecting everyone else's experience. 

Sometimes the moderators on our communities even create new polls or forum topics to gauge how things are going. We've found the question: "Which member do you find most disruptive to quality conversations in the community and should be kicked out?" to be a particularly effective way of making sure that things stay civil.

We hope this new feature makes it even easier to maintain active and engaged communities on orkut. Have feedback about this feature or other advice for how to keep a community cool during heated discussions? Head to the orkut U2U group and give us a heads up.