#CMGRHangout presents: Online Community Policies (Preview)

November 17, 2015 — by Sherrie Rohde0



#CMGRHangout presents: Online Community Policies (Preview)

November 17, 2015 — by Sherrie Rohde0

Lets think for a moment about how much more chaotic driving would be without the rules of the road. Online communities are really no different when it comes to creating and enforcing policies that set the stage for your community members.

I’ll be honest, I’ve started and stopped and deleted and retyped the intro for this week somewhere around 20-something times, but I couldn’t trump what Patrick O’Keefe said in our email exchange for this week’s #CMGRHangout:

Community guidelines are a living document. I see them as both a necessity for fair and forthright community management and as a vision statement of who you want to be and attract. They should be detailed enough to be applicable, but flexible enough to allow managers and moderators some discretion.

With that in mind, what experiences have you had when creating online community policies? What questions do you have around creating or enforcing them?

Join us for this week’s #CMGRHangout panel on Friday, November 20th at 2pm EST/11am PST to talk about what you should be looking for when creating and enforcing policies for online communities.

Jonathan BrewerDom Garrett and Berrak Sarikaya will be hosting the hangout with David DeWald, Patrick O’Keefe and Sarah Robinson as panelists. Christin Kardos and Carrie Keenan will be moderating the Twitter chat using #CMGRHangout.


David DeWaldDavid “Historian” DeWald
Community Manager at Bit9 + Carbon Black

David has over 15 years of experience with working with web based communities starting with early fan sites to large multi-community web sites, he brings his unique knowledge of social interactions to everything he does.

Connect with David on Twitter at @historian or on Google+. 

Patrick O'KeefePatrick O’Keefe

Founder and Owner at iFroggy Network

Patrick O’Keefe has been managing online communities since 2000. He is the author of Managing Online Forums, a practical guide to managing communities, and Monetizing Online Forums, a blueprint for generating revenue in the right way. He writes about community management at

Connect with Patrick on Twitter at @patrickokeefe or on Google+.

Sarah RobinsonSarah Robinson
President and CEO of Sarah Robinson Co

Sarah Robinson is President and CEO of Sarah Robinson Co. She is a seasoned business coach, strategist, advisor and speaker who helps business owners set their companies apart from the pack. Based in Birmingham, Alabama, Sarah advises her international clients on how to build a thriving, successful community, how to increase social media effectiveness, and how to develop a remarkable online and offline business presence.

Connect with Sarah on Twitter at @sarahrobinson or on Google+.

Discussion Questions

  1. What types of policies are essential for online communities?
  2. Where do you start when creating policies for your community?
  3. Which stakeholders should you consult when creating community policies?
  4. How do you make sure your policy is simple and clear enough that it will be read?
  5. How do you encourage your community to read, or be aware of, your policies?
  6. How do you enable your team to enforce community policies?
  7. What is one of your favorite examples of online community policies?
  8. What else needs to be considered when working with community policies?

RSVP & Watch the Hangout

Want to RSVP for the Hangout? Visit #CMGRHangout presents: Online Community Policies and let us know you’re going to watch. This will add the event to your calendar and remind you to attend! If you want to be on air, please let us know in advance by commenting on the event page. Let’s discuss ways you can attend:

  • Watch: You do NOT need to join the hangout. Just stay on the Google+ Event and you’ll see the video on YouTube. (Don’t worry, it will be there and start playing as soon as the broadcast begins.)
  • Talk and Be Seen: If you decide you want to talk, not just watch, please let us know in advance. (We will only invite a few people for this event, so let us know why you would like to attend.)
  • Chat: You can chat here and/or follow the conversation on Twitter using #CMGRHangout.

Any questions? Just let us know in advance. Please don’t wait until 2pm EST to ask questions.

If you join us on the hangout, a wired internet connection is preferred and if you have a headset with mic or earbuds, that works best for the audio. You will also need a working webcam.

Not sure what time this is for your location? Use

Sherrie Rohde

Community Manager at Magento
As the Community Manager for Magento, Sherrie connects people with resources and with each other, and, since she’s just a bit passionate about the topic, she also co-produces a monthly broadcast for community professionals called #CMGRHangout. An ENFP, Sherrie is obsessed with innovation, terrified of status quo, and motivated by adventure. Reach out on Twitter at @sherrierohde. 