- Assume the best of every user. Try not to react to newcomers with suspicion, particularly those from another country. People who venture into chat are often nervous, like the new kid trying to find a place at the lunch table. A warm welcome goes a long way. If a regular commenter misbehaves, give him/her some slack. We all have bad days or exercise poor judgement at times.
- Use a light hand. If a comment isn’t offensive or inappropriate (i.e. it’s off-topic, childish, or annoying), do not delete it. If other chatters react to the comment in a negative or unproductive way, step in to distract or to steer the conversation in another direction.
- Explain the violation and your actions. If you must delete a comment, you owe it to the poster to explain why, unless it’s clearly intended to be highly offensive or to upset the chat. This is a learning opportunity for the user and for the rest of the community. Often, the deletion of a comment goes completely unnoticed, and folks will go on to repeat the behavior. Examples and Suggested Responses:
Comment: “Looks like that guy on the corner is looking for some action tonight” Response: “This is a family friendly chat, @whoever”
Comment: “You should check out the Giraffe Cam channel!” Response: “Please do not recommend other channels in our chat, thanks.”’
Comment: “!bot” Response: “Please do not post Nightbot commands. They only work for moderators.”
Delete the comment when you think the chat room understands the correction. Our chatters are very observant, so the offending comment doesn’t need to be left up for more than a few seconds, depending on the speed of the chat.
- Encourage folks to read the rules. It’s unrealistic to expect new users to read the rules before they join the chat, even though we ask them. Don’t be overly tough on users who break the rules right out of the gate, just remind them to educate themselves.
- To bot, or not to bot. Nightbot commands come in handy when chat is moving quickly, but best practice is to use it sparingly. Because the program is so quick to jump on infractions, people subconsciously equate Nightbot with wrongdoing. Even if we summon it for a friendly message, Nightbot often kills the conversation. Avoid interrupting conversation with random Nightbot commands. If someone suggests a camera location, for example, then the !location command is appropriate.
Bottom line, all of our Nightbot language is more effective coming from a Mod directly. Endorsing the STL website and the benefits of subscribing (coming soon) is more friendly and persuasive coming from a person than a program. If you don’t have time, Nightbot is always there for you. Some mods keep their own regularly used language handy to cut-and-paste into chat.
- It’s okay to joke about Nightbot. It doesn’t need our protection. People understand that it’s a computer program, and its usage is not a state secret.
- Off-topic conversation is acceptable. If it starts to overwhelm conversation about the cam’s subject matter, step in and redirect.