The VP Way

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Post  Admin on Sun May 04, 2008 10:34 pm

The VP Way
A community philosophy based upon understanding.
Forum vs Community
Back in 2008, I was a member of about 5 webmaster forums but only two real large webmaster forums.

During the course of my postings on those forums, I noticed several things that I felt were wrong their administration.
One of those things was over-moderation.

For example, when a member noticed that Google had dropped the home page of site X in a Google search for site X, and instead returned some obscure page from site X for that search, the member posted the name of the site.
Moderators immediately deleted the name of the site, and replaced it with a vague accusation of spamming.
I had to send a private message to the member to ask which site he was referring to in order to investigate the matter.
And that's how things still progress on that site.**

I felt that this kind of moderation - the prohibition against mentioning any site or website URL, no matter how much that impedes the
discussion - was uncalled for. I also felt that that way of operating a forum was admin-central.
Forums are about the members, not the administrators - if you run a well design forum and you have no members - where the clue?

Another thing I noticed on both webmaster forums I frequented was a lack of humanity. I use the word humanity for lack of a better word.
The word that I would prefer to use would imply humanity, compassion, understanding and a sense of community.
It was as if a group of people, not wanting to know each other, nor caring one about each other, sat on the forum
and replied to posts made for no other reason than to show one another up.

Both forums shared this heartlessness, and it was something I felt I didn't want to invest my time in.

The Birth of the Webmaster Forums
In the year 2008, we got a free forum software phpBB and put a forum together using the free phpBB script.

From the start, the forums were not very active. At that time, we operated a lot of other forums which i do not want to name here.
The probleme was, that we had no users - only some friends of us and sometimes there registered some spammers.

Another factor in the success of the community was a laissez-faire administration. While we, the administrators, removed genuine spam from the forums, we allowed members to post in whatever manner they chose. Some members use different colored fonts; some have nonconventional views on politics; some believe that the Moleman is a Supreme Being.

We respect the members of the community, and show that respect by allowing members to express themselves as they choose,
in a manner in which they choose.

The VP Growth
In our continued growth as a community, we have met many challenges that have solidified our philosophy.
We've also changed the address a few times, too and then changed the forum software - we went from the free phpbb script to
vbulletin, which the biggest forums were also using - that was a big invest.

So we changed the address also from (we had a chatroom on the board), we came to http// (also using free phpbb). Then we got a name and named ourself FEC - Free English Community
we became finaly - plus also the other domains caming to the smae target.

The move from http// to represented a renewed focus on Internet marketing,
and it was at that time that we began adding articles to the website and non-forum content.

That move, however, was not widely appreciated by those members who were more interested in graphic design, hosting or coding.

Realizing the error, in March of 2008 we began work on a website that could host the community and serve all of its needs -
from search engine optimization and Internet marketing, to graphic design, coding, usability and more.

Virtual-Place was the chosen name, and since that time we have continued to grow.

The Philosophy
We at the VP believe that the Internet is more than a medium. We believe it is more than a marketplace. The Internet is a community. Much more than some communities based on geographic location, the Internet is a community of real people sharing real experiences in real time.

Our first priority as a community within a community is to nurture the growth of our members. We share, educate, learn and debate as members of a community sharing the common goal of growing as individuals and as web professionals.

As a community, it is of paramount importance that we respect one another. We treat each other as humans should treat one another. We are committed as a community to treat each other with understanding, kindness, respect, and to hold ourselves to a higher standard.

Having said that, it must also be said that a community without conviction is a shallow community. A community without integrity is worthless to its members. For this reason, we will never shy away from addressing the issues that confront us as professionals.

We have in the past confronted the controversial issues. We will in the future continue to confront these issues head on.

**I'm sure many people know which site I'm referring to, and I want to make it clear that I hold its owner in high regard;
I simply believe his way of dealing with potential spam is not the way I prefer to deal with it.

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Number of posts : 114
Location : Germany
Registration date : 2007-09-11

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