When you’re mission-driven you come to realize that there are a lot of “freedoms” that you willingly choose to give up and even sacrifice in order for the mission to be accomplished.
This is more visceral and obvious when you’re targeting something physical or if you’re trying to reach an real, tangible, destination.
For instance, if your mission is to get to the top of a mountain (with limited resources) then you are more than willing to give up personal comforts like full-meals or sleep to achieve your end.
In fact, for those that are into serious mountain climbing, they are willing to give up their very lives to have a shot at getting to the top.
The same dynamics are in play for more intangible missions too but it’s harder to “give up” some of those freedoms and luxuries when the mission is more mental and even digital in nature.
For instance, I found myself providing this type of context to a community that I’m part of (and that I’m helping to shepherd) in regards to censorship and what is acceptable in the forum.
Here’s what I shared:
So, here’s the thing…
We’re obviously not about censorship. We want folks here to be able to speak their minds freely, honestly, and openly, at all times. We also believe that, although challenging, it is possible to do so in a way that’s respectful and that enhances the conversation every single time. Our FAQ does a really good job of outlining these things:
But an additional thing to consider is the fundamental reason why @peter and i built this system and forum… which, for those who’ve been here a while, is unsurprising:
We believe that bitcoin and blockchain technology is the most exciting phenomena we’ve encountered in our lives and the far-reaching implications to the growth of these innovations can mean greater wealth creation for individuals as well as freedom. Consequently, it is our mission to spread the good news of crypto to the entire world.
To do that we need an effectively run community site, architecturally-sound from bottom-to-top and also to be the most inviting and welcoming place on the planet. This is all in service of our primary mission.
Part of our ability to do this well is through organic search results and we are doing really, really, really well in this department. As much as I detest many of Google’s practices, they are helping (whether they know it or not) in serving our mission of expanding the knowledge of crypto to the wider internet.
We also help them help us by maintaining a unified and focused approach to the content that our community dialogues about. My point is that when we all focus our time and attention around cryptocurrency-related conversations… we are all rewarded with a bigger spaceship (i.e. folks on the forum) and we all contribute directly to the larger mission and goal.
Of course we have the #watercooler for off-topic discussions…! This is a part of what makes a good community a good community.
The place where this challenges our collective desire to grow through organic search is when we start serving up NSFW content. And that’s where we run into issues.
In fact, we’ve already been flagged multiple times by Google and other search engines for these types of content. In other communities and in any other circumstances… I wouldn’t give two-shits about this except that it hurts our ability to fulfill our collective mission and that I cannot stand to do.
here’s one (of many) examples (that I could quickly find in my inbox):
(This is related to Google Adsense but the same principles apply to Webmaster Tools and organic search optimizations.)
In other words, we all suffer from defocusing our conversations too much from bitcoin, blockchain, and cryptocurrency and that’s not in all of our best interests.
This goes without saying, but, I’ll say it anyway. If certain people feel like they are being censored too much then my only suggestion is to find another place to share those types of content. I can think of 100 different (and much bigger) community sites (DM me for suggestions… if you have to).
I, personally, will not apologize for doing all that I can to build a bigger spaceship so that folks might hit their #bitcoin:moon-goals (and then some), create more personal wealth and gain more sovereignty in their own respective lives.
I will gladly sacrifice (or lose) 1 community member so that I can earn the right to serve 100.