Why We Have Sheriffs
Around these parts, being a sheriff is less about being a boss, and more like being an old-timer who knows the ropes. Sheriffs have the ability to approve submissions to the site and have an understanding of what kind of community we’re trying to cultivate. Sheriffs are here to help! If you are having trouble figuring out the proper way to do things, or you have something you’d like to submit but aren’t sure if it meets the criteria, reaching out to a sheriff is a good first step.
The Importance of Moderation in Creating an Inclusive Community
The Cowboy Collective is open to everyone! We want everyone to know that they truly are welcome here. A wise man once told me that a good community is a place where we all are our best selves. We can’t always be a good cowboy in every part of our day-to-day lives. Being a good cowboy is hard, takes practice, and some of us have less experience than others. The Cowboy Collective is a space where we can practice. Mess up. And learn to be better.
Everyone is welcome to express themselves at the Cowboy Collective, but that doesn’t mean that all ideas are welcome inside this community. Remember, a good cowboy is a good listener, and works to fix up the town they’re in. If you have some ideas that make other cowboys feel like you aren’t listening to them, a sheriff might reach out and ask that you express your idea in a way that’s more inclusive.
That also means that if someone is not being a good cowboy, or is acting in a way that you feel is exclusive, you can reach out to a sheriff to try and resolve the issue. Emails with sheriffs with always be confidential, and courses of action will be chosen together.
Remember: none of us are perfect, and that includes the sheriffs. We may be old-timers, but that doesn’t mean unexpected things can’t happen. All cowboys work together, and learn from each other. The sheriffs might learn a thing or two from you!
Becoming a Sheriff
Being a sheriff is a big responsibility, and takes a lot of time and dedication to the Cowboy Collective. Sheriffs should come from within the community and should know the ins and outs! As the community grows we will have a need for more folks who can take on the sheriff role, but if you’re a Cowboy Collective member, you can already take on most sheriff responsibilities!
For example, you don’t have to be a sheriff to start making art, or submit writings. This is an essential part of community building, and a key part of being a sheriff. If you have some ideas about how you think cowboys ought to act, or what you’d like to see more of in the community, write about it! We will post it to the collective.
You also don’t need to be a sheriff to start contributing on GitHub. That’s where the Cowboy Collective site is hosted, and when sheriffs add new posts or make changes to the website, that’s where those changes take place. You already have access to the site source-code, so you can already play around with possible improvements. Github lets you make suggestions of changes to the source code, and if we like your change it will be approved and added to the site!
When the time comes to add a new sheriff to the town, you will already be such a reliable contributor that the only change that will happen is you can approve your own changes.