Keeping the peace in online forums

trollBoing Boing co-editor Cory Doctorow writes in InformationWeek about how to successfully manage online communities and not allow the jerks (or “trolls”) from taking over the discussion. From the story:

It can be distressing. If you’re part of a nice little community of hamster-fanciers, Trekkers, or Volkswagen enthusiasts, it’s easy to slip into a kind of camaraderie, a social setting in which everyone talks about life, aspirations, family problems, personal triumphs. In some ways, it doesn’t matter what brought you together — the fact that you’re together is what matters.

Then, almost without warning, your community goes toxic. Someone in your group undergoes a radical personality shift and begins picking fights, or someone new comes to the party with an agenda.

Check out the full story for more guidance on becoming a “troll whisperer.”

[Via Etaoin Shrdlu]
[Troll photo by aboveallprecious]

Author: Danny Sanchez

Danny Sanchez is the Audience Development Manager at Tribune's and Danny has been with Tribune since 2005 in a variety of editorial, digital and product development roles in Hartford, Orlando and Fort Lauderdale. He has also previously worked in the newsrooms of the Tampa Bay Times and The Miami Herald.