commenting guidelines

These words are adapted by Cassandra from Ghost's Community Guidelines Template

As of Friday November 4, 2022, Be With Cassandra is offering the space for members to write comments on published notes. These living and breathing guidelines are here to lay the groundwork for a respectful online space that is joyfully and mutually beneficial.

One of the best things about sharing work online is being able to engage with the connections that form around it. Those connections wouldn't exist without you!

The new comments section on this site is a space for you to chat and co-create with other members, share your experiences, and share what's resonating here with you.

I have lightly adapted these guidelines from what Ghost (the hosting platform I use) offered as a template with the recent introduction of an in-platform commenting tool. You may sense that some of this writing is in my voice and some is in someone else's voice. I'm choosing to flow with this choice as I am eager to open comments to members and see the value in offering guidelines.

I welcome your ideas and questions in the comments on this note! These guidelines are living and breathing, just like we are. This means they can and will change over time to meet our needs and wants.

I am sensing that I'll wish to shift more of the language over time and offer more clear invitations for co-creation. I'm letting this unfold and I invite you to unfold it all with me.

To help us lay the groundwork of fostering a safe, constructive, joyfully and mutually beneficial space, here are a few best practices to keep in mind. ❤️

Common ground.

Let's first get clear on the what and how.

If you are a member of Be With Cassandra, you can post comments on any note that has commenting available. The simplest way to post a comment is to click 'View Online' that always lives below the header image of the email you receive.

Once you submit your comment it will be instantly viewable by both non-members (someone who comes upon the small corner of the Internet known as the Be With Cassandra website) and members.

If you are not a member of Be With Cassandra, you can read comments on any note that has commenting available. You can become a member right now if you want. It is free and simple to join.

Respect each other.

Let's make this a safe and inviting space for everyone. All members need to be civil and respectful in their interactions.

Like any group space, we're a group of people with a range of experiences and beliefs, many of which may differ from your own. Consider this a gift — interesting and challenging perspectives can open doors you didn't even know existed.

Share your real name and expertise.

When you publish your first comment on this site, you'll be prompted to complete a member profile, with your name and expertise. You can update this any time.

Using your real name and sharing your expertise or lived experience helps give context to valuable discussions. Sharing these extra details alongside your comments shows the perspective from which you are joining the conversation.

You may simply write your first name if you'd like to have some degree of anonymity. You are welcome to play with the expertise section! Share what feels good to you. It has a tight character limit but that doesn't mean play isn't possible.

Stay on topic, and share your sources.

A new post might prompt a dozen different types of responses, from a reader sharing a personal story to a newcomer asking for clarification. In every instance, do your best to stay on topic, support your replies with additional context or sources where appropriate, and focus on discussing the ideas presented.

  • Link to trustworthy articles, reports, and sources to support your arguments.
  • Only share links to your own content when it directly adds to the conversation. Please don't spam. Nobody likes spam. Nobody.

If you've contributed to the conversation and someone else replies to your thread, you'll be notified by email. You can choose to switch these emails off in your member account settings, under email preferences.

Keep it constructive and kind.

Constructive contributions are the best kind. If you have knowledge that places the topic of the post in a new light, or if you have feedback about the subject matter — it's best shared in a way that helps everyone feel like this is a space where new ideas are respected and valued.

With every comment you make, you add to the dialogue. Many people may read your words and use them to shape their ideas and feelings about a topic, event, or person. Employ that influence wisely. Move the collective conversation forward, and invite others to follow your lead.

Flag inappropriate interactions.

As a member, you can help maintain a safe and inviting space by reporting any behaviour that goes against these guidelines.

If you see someone being rude, negative, hateful, divisive, or combative in the comments section, flag it. All you need to do is click the three dots next to the inappropriate comment, and then click Report comment. These reports are taken seriously, and there's a zero tolerance policy for abusive behaviour.

Be the you online that you are in-person.

Most people are kind and well-intentioned humans. Although it may seem like the opposite is true on the internet at times, the reality is that people tend to follow the majority. You can help keep the tone of this space friendly and fun if you lead the way with insightful, humane language.

Let's make this a space that you want to spend time in!

That’s it! If you’ve scrolled this far, thank you for being a valued member, and see you in the comments!