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First, I want to give thanks to the community. When Ben and I started talking about Fluther in 2006, we never imagined that we’d have such a vibrant community so quickly. So, thank you to our amazing, intelligent, curious, and open-minded users for making Fluther such a wonderful, entertaining place.
I also want to apologize to everyone, both new and old users. When we made the iPhone app, we imagined it as a satellite to the main Fluther experience; we never expected it to be Apple’s featured social networking app for nearly two weeks. As such, we didn’t flesh out the story of Fluther on the iPhone… we assumed people would already know how to use the site. So, I apologize to our new users for not giving them enough tools to really understand how Fluther works before they ask a question.
While I was at SXSW, I followed the various threads, from how we should accommodate new users to how we should determine what questions are appropriate for Fluther. Throughout the conference, I’ve been in awe of how passionate the discussions were and how many wonderful ideas were being generated.
And my heart broke with how many people were frustrated by the site.
So, in that light, we’ve decided to rework the question and response guidelines and make them more accessible for new (and old) users. We’ve re-opened the Man o’ War campfire chat for discussion about the site (feel free to vent).
As we think about how we can maintain our community as we grow, keep this in mind:
It’s natural to be protective of the culture that we’ve created on Fluther, especially as we go through periods of growth. However, in order to protect the culture of Fluther, we cannot create a culture of exclusion. We can’t cross the line from good-natured snark to being rude, because then we not only alienate new users, but we also alienate existing users who become afraid to post because they’re worried that the community will tear them down for asking a “stupid” question.
I’m excited to hear your responses. Please respond in Man o’ War.
And remember, this community is truly awe-some.