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Understanding Product Marketing Alliance "House Rules" & "Trust Levels"

Beginners | Tips

The house rules & user trust system is a fundamental cornerstone of PMA.

House Rules & Trust levels are a way of…

  • Creating a community where we can all ask questions, offer insights and share lessons to help us hone our craft as product marketing people.
  • Sandboxing new users in our community so that they cannot accidentally make mistakes themselves, or disrupt other users while they are learning what to do and what's ok.
  • Granting experienced users more rights over time, so that they can help everyone maintain and moderate the community they generously contribute their time too.

As documented in Community Building on the Web, there is a natural progression for participants in any community.

This seemed like a great starting point for our user trust system. Thus, Product Marketing Alliance offers general House Rules for Slack and four user trust levels for PMM Q&A.

Your current trust level is visible on your user page, and a summary of all trust levels within the PMA community is presented on your dashboard.

Discourse trust level counts

Trust Level 0 — New

By default, all new users start out at trust level 0, meaning trust has yet to be earned. These are visitors who just created an account, and are still learning the community norms and the way our community works. New users’ abilities are restricted for safety – both theirs and yours.

(We also hide any “advanced” functionality from new users to make the UI less confusing for them as they gain more experience.)

Users at trust level 0 cannot

  • Send personal messages to other users
  • “Reply as new topic” via Link button (UI removed)
  • Flag posts
  • Post more than 1 image
  • Post any attachments
  • Post more than 2 hyperlinks in a post
  • Have actual links in the ‘about me’ field of their profile (will be silently and temporarily converted to plain text)
  • Mention more than 2 users in a post
  • Post more than 3 topics
  • Post more than 10 replies

Trust Level 1 — Basic

At PMA, we believe reading is the most fundamental and healthy action in any community. If a new user is willing to spend a little time reading, they will quickly be promoted to the first trust level.

Get to trust level 1 by…

  • Entering at least 5 topics
  • Reading at least 10 posts
  • Spend a total of 10 minutes reading posts

Users at trust level 1 can…

  • Use all core PMA functions; all new user restrictions are removed
  • Send PMs
  • Upload images and attachments if enabled
  • Flag posts
  • Mute other users

Trust Level 2 — Member

Members keep coming back to our community over a series of weeks; they have not only read, but actively participated long and consistently enough to be trusted with full PMM Q&A membership.

Get to trust level 2 by…

  • Visiting at least 10 days, not sequentially
  • Casting at least 1 like
  • Receiving at least 1 like
  • Replying to at least 3 different topics
  • Entering at least 10 topics
  • Reading at least 20 posts
  • Spend a total of 30 minutes reading posts

Users at trust level 2 can…

  • Use the “Invite others to this topic” button for one-click onboarding of new users to participate in topics
  • Invite outside users to PMs making a group PM
  • Daily like limit increased by 1.5×
  • Ignore other users

Trust Level 3 — Regular

Regulars are the backbone of our community, the most active readers and reliable contributors over a period of months, even years. Because they’re always around, they can be further trusted to help organize the community.

To get to trust level 3, in the last 100 days…

  • Must have replied to at least 10 different topics
  • Of topics created in the last 100 days, must have viewed 25%
  • Of posts created in the last 100 days, must have read 25%
  • Must have received 20 likes, and given 30 likes.*
  • Must not have received more than 5 spam or offensive flags (with unique posts and unique users for each, confirmed by a moderator)
  • Must not have been suspended or silenced

* These likes must be across a minimum number of different users (1/5 the number), across a minimum number of different days (1/4 the number).

All of the above criteria must be true to achieve trust level 3.

Trust Level 4 — Leader

Leaders are regulars who have been around forever, are PMA ambassadors and seen everything. They set a positive example for the community through their actions and their posts. If you need advice, these are the folks you turn to first, and they’ve earned the highest level of community trust, such that they are almost moderators within the community already.

Get to trust level 4 by…

  • Manual promotion by PMA staff only

Users at trust level 4 can…

  • Edit all posts
  • Pin/unpin topic
  • Close topics
  • Archive topics
  • Make topics unlisted
  • Split and merge topics
  • Reset topic bump date
  • Daily like limit increased by 3×

We believe the House Rules & trust system has been a success so far, as it leads to stronger, more sustainable communities by carefully empowering members, regulars, and leaders to curate and lead the Product Marketing Community. But like everything else in Product Marketing Alliance, the trust system is evolving over time as we gain more experience.

We’ll continue to update this post with any changes.

Written by:

Richard King

Richard King

Founder, Product Marketing Alliance

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Understanding Product Marketing Alliance "House Rules" & "Trust Levels"