On Rules Online and in Real Life

I don't like people who don't think rules apply to them. Every kind of community, online or off, has rules. Otherwise, there is anarchy.  My thoughts are that if someone cannot obey simple rules in an online community without pouting and running away, they are probably much the same in real life. The only thing is, you can't just "drop out" of real life if you don't like how things are done. I see these people having a long string of short employment in jobs because they didn't like that the rules also applied to them. Of course, we all have the right to do what we want with our lives, but at some point, it all comes back on you.

So what brought on this post? I own several Google+ communities. They all have rules. I just had one member quit two of them simply because he didn't want to obey the rules. In the first one, I posted a picture of an unbelievably beautiful garden in France. He made a remark that he preferred that we post American gardens. I said that anyone, in any part of the world was allowed to post pictures of any garden anywhere, and he posted a snotty "Yes Ma'am!" and left. It wasn't his links that bothered me, it was the comment. On the second group, another gardening group, he posted a link to a group on FB, which I found out he owned. Well, the community rules clearly state that we are not to post links to Facebook. Hey, it's G+ -- don't be trying to steal our members away to your FB groups. It's just tacky, right? I deleted the post and reposted the rules for everyone to read. I was very careful to put "everyone" in the message. He removed all his posts, quit the community and evidently blocked me. A little insulting, but nothing I'm going to lose sleep over.

If you're just online to share personal stuff, and have no intention of ever trying to make any money from your posts, act however you want. But if you start out by throwing temper tantrums and not wanting to obey the rules, you won't get far -- well, unless you're Bill Gates or the next Steve Jobs, which most people aren't. 

This guy is a small-town Florida redneck -- and don't get me wrong -- I'm a SC redneck at heart, so that's not a putdown. He has an awesome back yard garden, and posts some nice videos on YouTube about what he's doing in his back yard. However, he does NOT like to be questioned on what he's done, or for anyone to make suggestions. I imagine him as one of these confederate flag flying, evangelical, "Hell no, you ain't taking my guns without a fight!" type of person, which is fine if that's who you want to be. I just never see those people getting very far in life or being taken very seriously and this guy has a lot of spunk and is trying hard to do something good for his family -- I'm assuming he has a family -- and share so people can learn, so I hate to see him alienate people who might help him with his attitude.

So remember that if you want to get anywhere online you have to bend a little. Sometimes, you have to bend a lot. That's the way it is in every business venture, and if you can't do that, you'll only get so far before the right people head the other way and the wrong people are all you have left.

It's about compromise, really. But isn't everything?


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