Great Forum - Great Code of Conduct Too

Having been around the block for nearly three decades managing tech and forums on the Internet (yes, way before Stack* and FB and reddit and discourse, when forums were really rough ... the old days, LOL).... I ran across this link today on the Node-RED site, and in particular this:

### Our Standards

Examples of behavior that contributes to creating a positive environment include:

* Using welcoming and inclusive language
* Being respectful of differing viewpoints and experiences
* Gracefully accepting constructive criticism
* Focusing on what is best for the community
* Showing empathy towards other community members

These words above are really important. This is a great forum with many super smart and very passionate people and teachers. In these phrases, we cannot over emphasis:

* Using welcoming and inclusive language
* Being respectful of differing viewpoints and experiences

Top, inclusive forums are not a competition to see who can provide the best answer (even though some forums do have that model, but that is not really the same as the Node-RED Code of Conduct), or the fastest answer. Being inclusive means all answers to questions are welcome, not only answers by a few top guns.

As the founder of nearly 20 years ago, I have seen a lot of discussions, very smart people, beginners who grow into experts, big ego tech guys, and many different kinds of moderators over the years.

The best moderators, based my decades of experience in this space, are the mods and leaders who work to insure the Code of Conduct is paramount in the community, not those who are fastest or "always right" at answering questions. Moderation is a different task than the ebb and flow of asking and answering questions.

This is a great forum at Node-RED with great tech and amazing energy and spirit; and we should always keep in mind that being inclusive also means we encourage and support everyone who answers questions, in their own style; this is also inclusive.

We should never discourage anyone from answering a question, even if we have a different approach. We should also realize that there are a myriad of ways to solve a problem or approach some challenge, and there is rarely a single right or wrong way.

Node-RED is great. This is a great forum and the concept of inclusiveness is very important and we should always encourage everyone to answer questions, even if we might have a different approach or style.

Best Regards,



I think you make an excellent point.

My experience has been as follows. When I started with Node-RED, many concepts (including basic Javascript) were alien to me, however I wanted to learn. I really liked the idea of Node-RED but there is no way I would have continued to grow in skills, or continued to use NR without this forum. Hopefully I have a lot to offer in other areas (ideas, ingenuity, bug finding, starting interesting discussions). I have noticed people are sensible, keen to help, KIND, and never make you feel like you know less than they do (I know it already, I don't need telling!)

As an aside I was browsing a forum last night (about plumbing, not related at all to Node-RED) and saw the following reply from 2006. This is how social interaction on the internet used to be, and I'm very glad it has changed:

(Needless to say, this guy actually mis-read the post and he DID say thank you.)



Having started one of the "first generation" forums on the Internet nearly 20 years ago, nursed it though it's peak years when we had nearly 10K users on line at one time, naturally I have seen a lot of human activity and behavior in forums.

I think what many people often forget is that it is the novice of today who will be the expert of tomorrow.

What is important in every forum is the idea of inclusiveness, in my view. This cannot be overstated.

Managing a forum for two decades, one of the critical things which I have had to manage repeatedly, is to insure the senior guys and long timers take a step back and let the newcomers answer questions. There is rarely any single right way to solve a tech issue.

Often, in a forum a core group of guys will form over time, and they consider themselves the experts and they will feel obligated to answer every question even when newer members want to answer and can easily answer. This damages inclusiveness. Often, seniors will indirectly discourage others with less post count or years on site by not giving way.

Being inclusive means the senior experts intentionally take a step back and encourage others to answer questions; and the seniors step in when a question is not answered.

If the seniors of a forum get into the habit of jumping in to answer every question and do not give space and permit those with a lesser post count or badge power to answer, the forum grows into a kind of exclusive club versus inclusive.

As a side story, we once had a beginner who loved to answer questions and we had some moderators making fun of that newbie behind his back. I had to break up that group (even though they were top experts in their field), as they were not being inclusive. When you run a forum for many decades (via the ups, the downs, the changes), you see people go from novice to lead systems engineer or even CTO.

Once, a number of years ago, I was on the phone working on getting a new CDN set up. The guy on the phone found out I was behind a certain forum, and he started to get excited and said, Man, I was a novice way back then and your forums helped me so much! Whatever you want, it's yours for free for a long as you need it.. From novice to expert. That is how it works,

Seniors in forums should step back and work hard to insure that all new comers are welcome and included and there is not an exclusive club of handful of expertswho jump in and answer all questions.

This is inclusiveness and it is very important, based on my two decades in the forumverse.

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