dooce.com and other sites operated by Armstrong Media, LLC are intended for personal use for people to read, relate, reach out and share. While some of the topics might be serious, the idea is to create a fun destination for dooce readers and fans. It’s for entertainment, enlightenment and to help one another.
What to do
Do be nice
Community members are people with feelings. We are all different, but we all deserve to feel comfortable. We may not always agree, but we need to agree to disagree with respect and courtesy. Be polite and considerate. We may not always understand what makes someone uncomfortable or feel threatened, but the goal of this site is always create a space where as many people as possible feel comfortable participating.
Do share tips and pointers
The whole idea of a dooce community is to connect those who like to read dooce.com and who are very smart and resourceful! We want to give you a space to help others with your vast knowledge of the world. Remember that not everyone is as smart as you are about things you know. Use good words to share with others who need help and you’ll be amazed at the results.
Do self-moderate what you share here
You need to take responsibility for your words and the tips, links and pointers you share. We’re not saying don’t be funny or clever. We are reminding you to think before you post. A lot of the site is designed to facilitate this. In some cases we’ve intentionally added a step or two to slow down the process so everybody has time to think before posting something you might regret later.
This site is on the public internet. That means people can find things via search engines, including user names, account pages and in general any contributions made to the site, with the exception of private messages. We allow search engines to index the site (but not private messages) to improve the experience of new members and to broaden the helpfulness of the question and answer format.
In the general community site, please ask questions where the site directs you to do so. Try to avoid general statements and rephrase into a question. You’ll get a better response and those responses will help a larger amount of people and endear you to the community at large.
In the general community site, answer questions in a way that is helpful. We love humor, kindness and support.
Use smart tags. Generally speaking, tags over the length of 4 words diminish the usefulness of tagging. Yes, we love the humor in smartass tags as much as everyone else, but the purpose of tagging is to let people know the subset or subcategory your question is directed and improve the response to your question.
Use Groups to have conversations
We’ve built a space for those times when people want to group together to discuss a topic or converse in general outside of the question and answer format. It’s called Groups and it is accessible from every single page on the site.
Recognize that while we hope that questions get useful answers, sometimes the problem is within ourselves and be open to the suggestions from others that this is the case. Conversely, recognize when you answer questions that many members have been drawn to dooce.com because of the candor with which mental health is discussed and temper your remarks where someone has been particularly brave in sharing.
Recognize that everybody has “off” or “bad” days.
Do enjoy yourself!
We built this so people who read dooce could have a good time and maybe help a few people as well as get some help from the mundane to the serious. You will get out of the community what you put into it.
What not to do
Don’t solicit cash or web traffic
Do not actively solicit donations for yourself, an organization you belong to or represent in any way.
Do not put a link (URL) in your question, group title, or group discussion title. These are subject to editing or deletion without warning.
Do not put spam links in your profile. Your account will be blocked and the links removed without warning.
Do not put a “signature” link or other unrelated link in your answer or comment. This includes blog links.
Don’t steal other people’s questions, answers, icons or comments
This includes reposting of other members stuff.
Don’t show nudity in your avatar/buddy icon
Despite the grown-up nature of Heather’s word choices on posts, we expect that many people read the sites with small children around.
Don’t use a URL/web address as a user name
You’ll be asked to change it and if you refuse, the account will be deleted.
Don’t use a company name as a user name
You’ll be asked to change it and if you refuse, the account will be deleted.
Don’t share illegal stuff
If you do this, your account will be blocked. You will also be reported to the authorities if it’s that severe.
Don’t harass people
This isn’t the place to lash out, abuse, impersonate or intimidate others. If we receive a valid complaint about your conduct, depending on severity, you’ll be warned or your account deleted.
Don’t be a creep
Most people admit to enjoying Radiohead. And that song about the creep and the thing is a good song. But it’s not good to be a creep or creepy. Don’t stalk people. Don’t actively try to “make people uncomfortable” because you have a strong opinion and everybody else is wrong according to your views or opinions.
Don’t be anti-social or encourage others to be anti-social. If you are struggling with the notion of having your contributions to the site seen by others, then perhaps this isn’t the place for you to contribute.
When to report questions, user accounts or user contributions:
In general, don’t report unless it’s spam. However, if the content is offensive, harassing, demeaning or in any way threatening, then it needs to be reported. This is not “tattling” or “snitching”. This is helping the community be a better place. If you click one of these links by accident, you may click it again and your reporting event will be undone and cancelled.
The admins and moderators will do their best to help keep the site free of spam. However, there may be times when spam questions appear or spam accounts are created and are missed by the admins and moderators. In the case of questions that are clearly spam, simply click the link “Report This” and the admins and moderators will be notified. In the case where a user account has sent a spam message or has posted a spam question, visit that user’s profile page and you should see a “report this account” link on the account profile page. If you click this link, admins and moderators will be notified that the account is suspect and will take the appropriate action.
The world is big. There are things you might read or see here that offend or upset you. In some cases, a simple click away will take away the offensive thing from your eyes. However, if the content appears to be something that hasn’t been properly moderated or vetted, we offer the options to report in the section of this document called “Reporting”. You can click these buttons/links and know that staff will review that content for violations to these guidelines as well as the Terms of Service.
Don’t panic if you see things that upset you. If someone has re-posted your question or answer or comment, contact them directly and ask them to please stop. If you don’t get a response, escalate the issue by sending an email to community [at] dooce dot com or message an admin or moderator.
If you need help on an issue that’s not about other people, but maybe your browser is acting up or we made a tweak to the server that’s causing you problems, please post a question in the “Support” category. Hopefully not just dooce staff, but the community can help you resolve any browser issue you might have. Sometimes, it’s as simple as rebooting your computer or device and the problem goes away. Sometimes it’s helpful to click the “Log out” link and then log back in.
If you have any questions or comments that you’d prefer not to ask in the Support category or in a public way, send an email to community [at] dooce dot com and someone will get back to you and help you.
Thank you for your participation! This place is amazing.
Heather B. Armstrong