In case you have been living under a rock the last week (unless you were out searching for some Onix), Pokémon Go is all the rage right now.
If I were to ask 10 people on the street what they think about comments online when it comes to politics, I’d likely hear that political opinions online are often loud, colorful, and most-often uncivil.
Name calling, finger pointing, and relentless ridicule are often what people expect.
But that isn’t always the case.
If you’re a community leader on the Internet, chances are you've been accused of censoring those whose comments you've deleted. Of course, you probably don't want to come across to your site visitors as an authoritarian dictator-type, and you probably don't refer to yourself as "Big Brother" in your About Me page. But after enough accusations, you might start to wonder… “have I gone too far as a community moderator?”
There’s a golden age in every nascent community. A period when social norms are still forming, the membership is small enough where you can still keep track of who’s who, and the interactions still feel very personal.
We love talking with communities. It’s even better when we get to use our own product to talk to customers in real-time. That’s why, we’ve recently been jumping around to our favorite communities to host AMAs (ask me anything) where we answer all of the burning questions people have about our product.
Illustration by Luigi Savino
Getting help from an Internet stranger is a pretty surreal experience. You open a browser tab with beads of sweat trickling down your brow, and find your way to a support forum in hopes that your burning question will be answered by some noble human who has more knowledge than you.
I’m Jim, I’ve been working with startups since the mid-’90s, most recently helping publishers be more successful with Disqus. I may also be the most active commenter currently employed by Disqus.
I recently recapped an AMA we hosted with Andreesen Horowitz’s Benedict Evans during Business Insider’s IGNITION 2014. In this post, I wanted to walk through the process for running an AMA in your own community.
Earlier this month, Disqus was in New York for Business Insider's IGNITION conference which brings together folks in media and technology to explore the future of digital. As one of the sponsors, we built a discussion channel for attendees to encourage people to start and join discussions about topics covered in panels and interviews.