Morning Coffee Blog: Community

Two Gus-themed logos in a row huh? That can’t be good.

Had an interesting experience on the O:P Discord yesterday that was very instructive and illuminating. Those who know me know how opposed I am to NFTs and other such “Web3” crypto trends. I mean, I made a whole Oracle video on it and “Guscoin” is a running gag on the Discord. I also acknowledge, however, that not everyone feels as strongly about it as I do.

Since one of my goals this year is to grow the O:P community (and so far, that seems to be working), of course it will attract a wider and wider array of people. I of course have hard lines against hate speech or discrimination, but I also want O:P to be a comfortable space. That can sometimes be a tricky tightrope to walk, particularly as the figurehead of the community.

Thus far O:P has largely been like me hanging out with friends, and sometimes I lose sight of the fact that we may not all feel the same ways about things. I posted a snide comment about the Sesame Street NFTs and it turns out one of the newer members actively participates in NFT trading, and posted about some of it. In a somewhat knee-jerk reaction, I asked them not to “promote” NFTs on the server, which understandably offended them, as they were just engaging in discussion.

This is the first time this sort of conflict has come up on the server, and I quickly realized that I had to rise to the occasion. Instead of digging my heels in and being defensive, I listened to what they had to say and admitted I was too harsh in my response. I feel so strongly about NFTs that I’d really rather not have them in the general chat channels because it causes me real stress to engage with that, but I also know that others in the community may wish to chat about it. I ended up making a new channel for such discussions, that I’ve just muted on my end and plan to never look at.

I’m not used to having O:P be bigger than just a few friends, so I don’t have a lot of experience at what might be called “community management”. I hope I handled it well, but it was a lesson for me. I firmly believe in modelling the sort of behavior you’d like to see in the world, and I think that admitting my mistake and apologizing to the person and supplying them with a space was the sort of thing a mature, thoughtful person would do.

Let me be clear: I still think NFTs are a scam, and that hasn’t, and won’t, change. There is no discussion about that I wish to engage in, but I also acknowledge that others in the community might. The second that changes to someone trying to actively sell NFTs or other crypto scams via O:P that will be a violation of the No Advertisements policy everyone who joins has already agreed to.

Sorry Gus. Not sorry, coffee.  

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