Freelance Focus Community Guidelines

All Freelance Focus members are expected to understand and abide by these community guidelines.

Community Overview

Freelance Focus (FF) is a paid, private digital co-working space designed to connect and empower freelancers, consultants, and other independent creatives. In general, we focus on providing a safe space for freelancers to:

  • Mingle with peers and decompress
  • Give and receive feedback on their ideas or work
  • Ask questions and receive answers from experienced peers
  • Connect with mentors or coaches
  • Exchange clients referrals or collaborate on projects
  • Hold each other accountable to personal and professional goals
  • Generally build a healthier, more sustainable business/lifestyle

In general, we let the community decide what discussion topics are relevant and valuable through their participation and self-moderation. However, we have a small team of admins who are prepared to step in and take action if necessary. 

We value active participation, ownership/accountability, honest, transparent discussion, and above all else, a welcoming, inclusive environment within our community.

Freelance Focus is a paid, application-based community, which means that every new member goes through a review process to make sure that they are a good fit for our existing audience. After being approved, new members pay a membership fee to have continued access to the community.

What follows is a set of community guidelines that we’ll use as a foundation for maintaining a positive, inclusive online environment in which freelancers can live and work together. Please remember that these are guidelines only and administrators reserve the right to moderate or remove any content or users who violate the letter or spirit of this document.

To maintain a great community, these guidelines will likely continue to evolve over time. Our admin team always welcomes feedback, opinions and suggestions through direct messages, the #meta channel inside of the community, or any other communication channel.

Administrators & Moderators

Admins and moderators are identified by an icon next to their name in Slack.

Member Expectations

At Freelance Focus , all participating members are expected to act in a way that is professional and genuinely respectful to each other. Most of what we ask below is common sense, but that doesn’t always result in common practice.

Here are some baseline expectations we have for all members:

  • Be respectful and act professionally at all times
  • Profile pictures and real names are required. We want to know people, not logos.
  • Avoid sensitive topics you wouldn’t bring up at the office or at dinner
  • If you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, don’t say it here
  • Strive to give just as much value as you receive, if not more
  • Transparency is strongly encouraged, but never enforced
  • Any intimate details shared by members are expected to stay in-house
  • Lots of valuable insights are lost in DMs – consider keeping it public!
  • Offer constructive criticism/feedback, but don’t insult anyone
  • When asking for feedback, try to be specific about your request
  • When providing feedback, try to be thoughtful and thorough
  • When reviewing feedback, try not to take things too personally
  • Disagreements happen, but keep it civil and agree to disagree when necessary
  • Show your support/appreciation for a post with a comment or emoji reaction
  • Activity begets more activity – don’t hesitate to ask/say what’s on your mind!
  • Respect boundaries, we’ve all got businesses and families to nurture outside of FF
  • Don’t be a bystander. Help us address disrespect when you see it.
  • When in doubt, do unto others as you would have them do unto you

Privacy

This community is not public, but we also don’t require members to sign a non-disclosure agreement in order to participate. While we strongly value and encourage transparency, we also have limited options for punishing or correcting privacy or non-disclosure violations.

We want this to be a safe space where members can feel comfortable sharing the intimate details of their business in order to get better, more personalized feedback and advice. However, you should operate under the assumption that anything you say inside the community has the potential to be shared with the outside world. 

If we discover someone sharing proprietary information (Ex: client information/results, intellectual property, works-in-progress, etc.) without consent from the original source, we will interpret that as a violation of the Code of Conduct and take disciplinary action. We will always do our best to respect and preserve your privacy, and will go as far as removing members who violate the implied trust that exists within our community. 

For attribution of specific content found in this community, we ask that you request explicit permission from the originator of the content before publishing.

Unacceptable Material/Activity

This is a non-comprehensive list of material and actions that justify discipline by community administrators. This can include cancellation of a membership and removal from the community.

Decisions are made based on actions taken by members in public chat or through private messaging/outside of FF when evidence is provided.

Unacceptable subject matter or activities include, but are not limited to:

  • Blatant SPAM
  • Illegal Activities (Ex: Drugs, Theft, etc.)
  • Corporate Moles/Member Poaching
  • Harassment, abuse, or unfair treatment of any sort
  • Racism, sexism, or other forms of discrimination
  • Personal drama/attacks from events originating outside of FF
  • Pornographic, grotesque, or overly obscene material
  • Inflammatory, offensive or demeaning material that is unprofessional
  • Sharing the sensitive information of other members (Ex: client work, revenue, work product, etc.) outside of FF without permission
  • Impersonation, plagiarism, or deceptive material
  • Content deliberately attempting to troll or start a flame war 

Admins also reserve the right to immediately cancel memberships for offensive actions outside of this list at their discretion.

Questionable Material/Activity

This is a non-comprehensive list of material and actions that justify moderation or discipline by community administrators. Typically, this results in removal of a post and a DM discussion about how to avoid moderation going forward.

  • Blatant self-promotion
  • Asking for upvotes, shares, or cross-promotion outside of #amplify
  • Posting hiring or availability for hire outside of #hiring or #forhire channels
  • Abuse of the #forhire channel (Limit once per week)
  • Abuse of @channel, @everyone, @here, or @(name)
  • Spamming the same message across multiple channels
  • Any attempt to break FF or interfere with normal usage
  • Using FF as a platform to bash clients or other freelancers in a non-constructive way
  • Using FF as a platform to DOX or otherwise harass personal contacts
  • Using a URL shortener to hide destination URL and not unfurl it

Moderation & Enforcement

In general, we rely on the community at large to self-moderate and bring urgent issues to the attention of an admin or moderator. 

To maintain a positive, productive coworking environment, our administrators and moderators are authorized to use any combination of these moderation or disciplinary action(s) they deem fit. 

We encourage them to start at the lowest level of discipline and escalate as needed. As with most things in life, the punishment should always fit the “crime.”

If a post, comment, or user violates the letter or spirit of these guidelines, the following disciplinary actions may be taken:

  1. Direct Contact from Moderator/Admin – Users may be contacted directly via comment, DM, or email, warned of their violation, and given recommendations for how to avoid repeat offenses. Multiple warnings are subject to further moderator action.
  2. Editing/Deleting Content – If something is especially inappropriate, it may be edited or deleted by a moderator. In some cases, the original poster may simply be asked to edit their post or move it to a more appropriate channel. In worst case scenarios, the content may be removed and the original poster is subject additional disciplinary action.
  3. Cancellation and Removal of Account – Members may have their membership cancelled for a number of reasons, which are included, but not limited to:
    • Posting unacceptable content
    • Harassing or abusing other members or guests
    • Repeated violations of community guidelines
    • Reappearance of previously banned members
    • Behavior that does not fit the Code of Conduct established for FF