Facebook Wedding Photographers has grown to almost 23,000 members and up until recently only had two administrators, Chris Fawkes from Australia and me. Chris and I have become good friends since he asked me to help three years ago when the forum was at 2500 members. Recently we brought in two more administrators, good pals, Steffi Smith and Brian Malloy.
Well, the topic of discussion last week became the need to take a harder stand with members whose parents never taught them to play nice! Yeah, it's that simple. So, we set some ground rules, and we're simply showing people the door when they can't be civil. We pinned a post announcing our new stand and in just two days it had almost 800 likes and continues to grow in readership and comments.
This morning's post is a combination of things:
- First, it's an apology to those members of the forum who had been beaten up in the past when the "Arrogance Squad" swooped in and tried to crush you.
- Second, this is a warning to those of you who think your opinion is the only one people should hear. Sadly, you're not exclusive to just this forum. Go find another forum or, join us and accept that we're all here to help each other raise the bar and everybody has a right to the speed of their own growth curve.
- Third, to those indignant because we're showing you the exit door - get over it. It's not your forum: it's ours and by "ours" I mean Chris's, Steffi's, Brian's and mine as administrators and the members as participants! We're out to continue the goal that Chris started in the first place, to build a safe forum and resource for wedding photographers wanting to improve their skills in technique, business and marketing.
I know the problem we've had isn't unique to online forums. We're an industry that faces so many different challenges because of the economy, trends and technology. If we work together, there's no reason we can't make the world a better place - one wedding at a time!
Note: I found the illustration above when looking for something to make the point about people who bully their way through one forum conversation after another. I hadn't heard the word "netiquette" before, but it's perfect for describing what the rules of engagement should be in so many different forums.