New commenting guidelines for MarketingMag.ca

It’s tough to shape comments and discussions on a website about marketing. On one hand, this site is about business, but on the other hand that business influences (and is influenced by) culture. So while its easy to say we want to keep everything businesslike, that rules out so many comments and conversations that explore […]

It’s tough to shape comments and discussions on a website about marketing. On one hand, this site is about business, but on the other hand that business influences (and is influenced by) culture. So while its easy to say we want to keep everything businesslike, that rules out so many comments and conversations that explore social trends, human behaviour and creativity… messy areas where passions run high and critical opinions are necessary.

But we’ve been building a sizeable group of readers and commenters at MarketingMag.ca, so the time has come for a more robust set of guidelines for posting comments.

Like thousands of sites before us, we want to facilitate a ‘don’t be a jerk’ policy. Lots of sites have crafted eloquent ways expressing this. We’ve lifted these from AppAdvice.com, which we feel best communicate how we’ll proceed:

We encourage comments that:

• are on topic and that respond to the content in the article
• are responses to comments left by other readers
• are brief and to the point
• have a positive and/or constructive tone
• are open to being contradicted by other readers
• might disagree with the content in the article, but never insult the writer of the article, or other commenters

We discourage comments that:

• are not on topic or are not responding to other comments or the content in the article
• insult the writer of the article or other commenters
• are excessively long or negative in tone

We will delete/block comments that:

• are abusive, harassing, threatening, or vulgar
• are personal attacks: including name-calling or celebrations of another person’s misfortune
• contain advertising or spam
• are disruptive, including personal conversations better suited for private messaging

Like we said, don’t be a jerk.

Are there gray areas in those guidelines? Absolutely. That’s intentional. Marketing is a complex arena, and flexible boundaries are necessary to have a decent conversation about it.

But from now on, comments will be moderated before they are posted. Those that rouse some concern may be edited (with notification that that’s happened) before going live. Those that fall into that third category above will never see the light of day.

This means there will be some delay between when you click “Submit my comment” and your words appearing on screen. We hope this will lead to a strong community of opinionated, thoughtful, well-informed readers.

Our policies will also be in flux for over the coming weeks as we review specific issues such as banning repeat offenders’ IP addresses, allowing commenters to post anonymously and so on.

We’re open to feedback on all of these points, both in this comment thread, via Facebook (/MarketingMagCanada), Twitter (@marketing_mag) or e-mail.

In the meantime, here are some tips to make sure your words get read.

• Identify yourself. We’ll still allow anonymous posting, but your opinion carries more weight if you’re willing to stand behind it with your real name.

• Criticize ideas, not the people who have them. (Here’s a definition of ad hominem)

• When you criticize, do it with facts and fairness. (Here’s a definition of libel)

• Remember that Marketing’s readership is a diverse group including creatives, executives, clients and vendors, students and gurus, small business owners and corporate CEOs. We publish stories to suit a wide variety of experience and expertise, so if a story doesn’t suit you, it may suit someone else.

Brands Articles

Thinkingbox looks to grow globally with new funding

Vancouver-based digital production studio lands its first outside investor

Belairdirect heads to medieval times in its new campaign

The brand is going back in time to show how easy insurance has become

Etsy’s Chad Dickerson defines the brand he wants to build

The maker marketplace's CEO talks growth and good business practices

Grindr CEO: The seductive trap all apps must avoid

Joel Simkhai on how his brand is all about the size... of his user base

McDonald’s gets personal with new ad campaign

Cossette creates a series of on-the-fly commercials in the back of a Whitby location

Factry launches to educate Quebec-based creatives

Sid Lee, A2C and others support interdisciplinary school opening this fall

Captain Morgan’s cottage hack

New campaign inspires Canadians to seize the summer in their own way

Sid Lee’s JF Bouchard gives an insider’s guide to C2 Montréal

The ad agency exec talks balancing his day job with an annual event

M&M Food Market to ditch trans fat by the end of 2017

If suppliers fail to meet the deadline certain products will be removed from shelves