Below are guidelines that relate to a meta's overall role in the community and how they are expected to conduct themselves.
Communicate in a courteous and respectful manner. When disagreements among editors arise, metas are expected to keep their cool and avoid flaming any member of the community, including one another. Agree to respectfully disagree when others have opposing opinions. Metas should help negotiate consensus decisions, and go along with prevailing opinions even when they don't agree with their personal point of view.
Do not communicate in a hostile, aggressive, passive aggressive, sarcastic, or combative manner in order to intimidate, berate, insult, or otherwise irritate another editor who opposes a meta's point of view. Metas have significant influence on others. Metas should not abuse their influence by using tactics that are meant to belittle or demean another editor. This constitutes not being able to work well within the community, and Staff reserves the right to remove your meta privileges if such communication methods are used repeatedly.
Forum Moderation and Leadership
Lead by example. Less experienced and category editors look to metas as examples on how to edit, communicate, and behave. Metas are expected to behave and communicate in a calm, rational, and professional manner.
Act as forum moderators. Resolve forum issues and disputes, and guide discussions along to conclusion and consensus. Metas should be non-combative and act as the voice of reason in forum discussions. Metas will often be the final word in conflict resolution, but will consult with, and defer to, Staff as necessary.
Take action without prejudice or bias. Metas need to be objective and judicious.
Training and Mentoring
For the ODP to live up to its promise, it's crucial that editors have a shared understanding of the project's overall philosophy and editing principles. This shared understanding is achieved through editor training and mentoring efforts. Being a Meta offers a unique opportunity to be at the forefront of editor education efforts. Metas may engage in the following activities to feed the ODP's collective brain:
- Create and foster coordinated training and mentoring efforts.
- Create reference sources (FAQs, "cheat sheets"),
documentation libraries, training modules.
- Encourage colleagues (Editalls, CatMods, CatEditalls) to take active roles in training and mentoring.
- Monitor and moderate training/mentoring forum discussions to ensure correct advice and information is given. Make a concerted effort to halt the spread of misinformation and the perpetuation of editing myths.
- Develop a positive environment where quality editing, enthusiasm, hard work, constructive feedback, and dedication are acknowledged; and negativity, abuse, and intolerance are discouraged.
- Mentor and train less experienced editors and newbies in exercising proper editorial judgment. Guide the community in the application of the guidelines, allowing time and opportunity for individuals to learn and assimilate to the community. Be kind and patient when explaining concepts to others.