Welcome to our chat room!
Please take a few moments to familiarise yourself with our chat rules. Many of these are in addition to our usual posting guidelines. We need them because of the added potential of misunderstandings and mishaps that can occur on a fast moving ephemeral platform, so please keep them in mind at all times.
Before we start please remember to keep posting your regular questions on the forum because there they have the potential to help thousands of people in future. It’s also the place where you’re most likely get help since they’ll be seen by more people over multiple timezones and time frames
Ok, on to those rules:
- Please do not talk about anyone who is not in the chat / a willing participant in the conversation.
- Please do not engage in any kind of heated argument. If a conversation you’re involved with seems like it’s about to take an unpleasant turn, take a break and/or flag a related post to let us know what happened.
- Please do not use the chat room to complain about someone or something, even if Aston, our mods, José, or Chris are present. All such complaints/feedback should be taken up with the appropriate person privately, not publicly. Similarly, please do not talk or complain about any other Elixir community channel.
- Please avoid the chat room if you are intoxicated or in a state of mind where you might say something unbecoming.
- When engaged in conversation please do not make any inappropriate remarks or ask highly personal questions.
- Please avoid contentious off-topic subjects.
That’s a lot of do nots! Here are some dos:
- Please have fun and participate in a friendly, welcoming manner!
- Feel free to network and/or solicit feedback on any ideas, projects or libraries you may be thinking of working on!
- Feel free to talk about things you’d love to see in the Elixir eco-system, however, please remember to be kind and considerate!
Generally, feel free to chit chat about things relating to Elixir, including personal topics such as how things are going on in your work life. We’re sure you’ll be fine if you keep in mind our ethos of being happy and helpful and that chats persist for 90 days.
Here are some topics we’d actually encourage take place in chat rather than on the forum:
- Those relating to adoption or how you feel about the state of Elixir (unless in an official thread soliciting such feedback).
- Initial thoughts on wish-lists/suggestions/proposals (we’d prefer you post your more .refined ideas on the forum)
Due to the fast moving nature of chat rooms and the propensity for things to spiral out of hand quickly, we need your help to keep the chat a viable and safe space for everyone. This means on occasion the appropriate form of action may be for you to intervene - which is actually the opposite of our guidelines on the forum, where we prefer you to flag posts for our attention instead of trying to tackle the situation yourself. The reason for this is because on a forum people are spread over multiple timezones and the likelihood of everyone who is taking part in a thread being online at the exact same time is much lower than were a conversation taking place in a chat room, hence, in chat, more immediate intervention may be necessary to prevent things from escalating or reflecting badly on Elixir and our community.
You can help therefore by keeping an eye out for the do-nots listed above, and you can intervene in the ways described below:
- If somebody clearly deviates from the guidelines please gently remind them of our rules by pointing them to this thread and saying something like “Hey, I’m not sure if you’re aware but that’s not permitted in chat, here’s a link to chat rules: URL” or if you are unsure: “Hey, I’m not sure if that’s allowed in chat? URL”
- If an argument appears to be taking place or you feel one might be about to take place, first try changing the subject to something neutral, and if that doesn’t work try calming things down with something like “Hey, I think it might be best if we all take a break for a bit”, and if that doesn’t work please flag the offending posts.
- If something is said that you feel has gone too far, for instance, where somebody has made a personal attack on someone or something they’ve worked on, please say something like “Hey, that’s not on” or “Hey, that’s not fair” and then flag their post for us to take a look. Try not getting drawn into an argument though.
While we want to be careful not to chastise anyone publicly we also have to consider the impact of ‘standing by and doing nothing’ (especially if the person connected is not present) because if the perpetrator is not challenged (or punitive action, such as revoking the user’s access to the chat room taken later) it will appear as though we’re allowing or encouraging such behaviour to take place. This means there’s a greater onus on us to do something, especially if it was in front of a lot of people (in part, because we want to prevent the conversation or disparaging views from continuing or spiralling). Your intervention therefore can help prevent things progressing to a point of no return.
This also means we’re going to have a fairly low tolerance on rule breaks - if it becomes apparent somebody can’t follow these basic rules we’ll have to revoke their access to the chat. If too many issues like this occur, we’ll have to close the chat room. As many of you know something we’ve been very proud of on the forum is how we’ve helped avoid inter-community issues from developing and going on to hurt Elixir and the entire community, so if a chat room proves to be a liability in this regard we’ll have no choice but to close it because such a space is just not worth the risk to Elixir or the community.
With all that said, we have faith in you and if you do find yourself having to step in one day please be kind and diplomatic. This is especially important in a chat room (even when somebody isn’t being kind or diplomatic themselves) because things can get out of hand very quickly. Please also try to give people the benefit of the doubt. So if you’re witnessing uncharacteristic behaviour from somebody and you think you get on reasonably well with them, maybe a friendly PM might be a better approach? Just ask them how they are as you noticed their recent interaction or remark seemed to be out of character. Life can be hard, and you never know what’s going on in their life - they might be going through a break-up, a bereavement or some other deeply personal issue. They may also not be a native English speaker and just might not be aware how they’re coming across.
You’ll be glad to hear that we don’t foresee many issues in the chat. Not because the medium has suddenly become less problematic - but because of you - we have an amazing community here and we trust most of you will be sensitive, diplomatic, supportive and welcoming to all who enter and participate… even when sometimes someone may appear not to be fully deserving of it
Phew! That seems like a lot to take in - but we’re sure that if we remember the golden rule of being happy and helpful the chat room will be fun and offer the community something of tangible value.