OCU2007 Notes: Establishing Culture and Guidelines in Community
There was a lot of good discussion in this one, but I tried taking notes on my windows mobile phone. I'd say it was an experiment to see what would happen if I had "twittered" a session or if I just wanted to make sure I thought about the notes I took... but the truth was that my notebook was dead and I couldn't find a pen on the short notice when the good ideas came out. :-)
Good communities create cycles of community rituals. One example was a community where the influencers all decided that they would see who could post the most from 4:40 to 4:50 on Thursdays. :-) It's up to community managers to both instigate good rituals and reward the ones created by influencers.
The next question is about what's the least software you can create to enable rituals. Can the software be flexible enough to support the rituals and guidelines that have been established over time?
Move people with agendas to another community... "perhaps AOL is a good place for them." :-)
Registration screens can be a great tool with proper wordsmithing to convey your sites culture. Color and flow also help. By all means... avoid ugly communities. Ugly communities lead to argumentative members.
Don't ever attempt to stifle or limit the conversations.