Any time you get a group of people together, you're going to find personality differences.
Now let's form a group composed of real estate agents and the differences get magnified.
You've got a bunch of strong willed individuals because real estate isn't for pansies is it? You've got to work hard to get what's coming to you! And sometimes that might mean stepping on some toes so get outta my way!!! (you've seen and met some of those type agents haven't you?).
Do I personally believe you have to be a (fill in derogatory description of your choice) to be successful? Nope, I'm more of a Golden Rule person. Treat people fairly and the rest will more or less take care of itself.
So how do you manage a community of extremes and keep everything on an even keel? How do you avoid being just another Lord of the Flies group like so many real estate groups become?
In ActiveRain's case, you've got a well defined set of Community Guidelines that explicitly spell out expectations.
The Community Guidelines are mostly common sense, but not everyone exercises common sense, so it's written out. Run afoul of those rules enough times and you'll find yourself on the outside looking in.
Over time a community culture has formed that is basically self-regulating (which is important considering we do not have the management presence we had years ago).
If you're routinely a jerk, you'll notice you're being avoided (little to no comments on your posts, no response to your comments on other Rainer's posts, etc.), or you'll have another member reaching out to offer you some advice. If another Rainer is calling to help you be a better member of the community, LISTEN to them and take it to heart.
You'll notice that you don't see many members dipping into politics IN this community (on their Facebook pages is a whole 'nother story). Your competence, professionalism and willingness to share matter more here than your political leanings.
You'll find some other topics to be scarce too. Nothing really in writing, but the unwritten expectations are there to avoid causing a full scale melee.
There are other unwritten expectations, some agreed to, some not.
You may or may not agree with the expectation of reciprocating comments.
You may or may not be okay with someone posting a dozen questions in a row or filling up the blog roll with market reports by the dozens.
Bottom line, whether you agree with some of the unwritten expectations or not, you need to be aware of them and not be surprised if you get some pushback when you "break" those unwritten rules.
Not certain about whether or not something is okay? Ask an experienced member of the community and they should be able to tell you what's considered normal and what might be considered over the line.
Until next Tuesday, Ask An Ambassador if you have a question.
Bill of Bill & Liz aka BLiz