DWD: NOW AVAILABLE ON THREE CHANNELS!
You may have noticed we changed our name recently, adding the word COMMUNITY and phrase "Original Content." Or that we started two new groups, Dudes With Dogs® ENTERTAINMENT and Dudes With Dogs® CHARITY. I wanted to explain why in a little more detail. It might *seem* like we're creating unnecessary rules, but we're actually making things simpler and more dependable. Let me explain.
First, a little history. I started DWD in Feb. 2014. My goal was to create a meaningful and long-lasting community of dog lovers based on the sharing of original content like photos and videos. It was going well through 2014, but we didn't really have a mission statement at that time, and after having to explain a hundred times why overly sexy photos weren't appropriate, or why we should allow more than just gay men into the group, I wrote our manifesto, the "Drools" later that year. In it, I stated that Dudes With Dogs are authentic, we are inclusive, we keep it clean, etc. From then on, people understood what was expected. Sure, we also got a little flack at that time, but overall people appreciated that we stood for something, and our community grew by leaps and bounds.
But still there were issues. See, since the beginning we've allowed people to post immediately (without post approval). And though we've always encouraged original content, we've never completely required it. There were always people who enjoyed sharing memes, viral videos, adoption stories, etc, the majority of which were (and continue to be) heartwarming or funny. However, many were repetitive or annoying, and some were downright negative and harmful to our community, like animal abuse posts showing hacked up dogs, name & shame posts calling out people's names and phone numbers, blatant SPAM like sunglasses ads, unapproved ads from our own members, and even pornography. And since posts are immediate, within seconds this bad content gets propagated to thousands of people's newsfeeds. Who gets blamed for that one person's bad judgement? We do. For years, our admin team has been on high alert, ready to remove bad posts at a moment's notice, and relying on all of our members to "Report to Admin" when they see something that doesn't belong. It's exhausting. In fact, we've actually lost admins while we continually strive to keep the group enjoyable, family-friendly, and community oriented.
At the same time, we've been constantly getting feedback (and have lost members) who say we should ban the repetitive memes and videos from the group. Though I've personally never been a fan of Internet shares, I've also been reluctant to ban them completely because a lot of members like them, every once in awhile there's a sweet or cute one, we actually needed the content when we were smaller, and I'm always reluctant to look like we are trying to exert too much control over the group (like some of you are experiencing now lol).
However, now that we are 51,000+ people, and working within the constraints of Facebook, it's time to fix things a little bit. That's why we have now created two new "channels" (groups) which will allow us to pre-approve shared content, and keep bad content out altogether, while also streamlining and keeping the format of the original group so members can be confident that every post is original content from a community member. Though we're using Facebook's groups functionality, don't think of us as discrete groups of people, or that this is a fracturing of our community. We're still just one community: Dudes With Dogs. We're now just simply separating our content onto three "channels."
In fact, we've made things SIMPLE in a way. Just ask yourself if what you want to share is your own original content like a photo, video, story, question, or artwork. If it is, then share it on the COMMUNITY channel like you always have (unless your intent is to "advertise" your content to gain followers to your dog's Facebook page, or your art that happens to be for sale, then use ENTERTAINMENT). We've found that original content is what most of you come to DWD for in the first place, anyway. And you'll continue to be able to post immediately, since most original content is benign, fosters community, and follows the Drools.
If it's something you didn't create, like a Buzzfeed or The Dodo video, a meme, or news story, then share it in ENTERTAINMENT. Also use this channel for your original content meant to gain followers to your dog's FB page or IG account.
If you content is charity or rescue related, share it in CHARITY. This channel is brand new and supports our desire to be more than just a bunch of guys sharing puppy pics. We also want to do good in the world. This is just the beginning. As always, please try to adhere to the Drools by not sharing animal abuse stories.
Thank you so much for your understanding as we go through this change, and please feel free to join all three channels!