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Is writing policy pages in a lighthearted manner harmful in any way?

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Recently, I threw together a draft of a policy page about promotional content, with some guidelines on what to keep in mind to avoid spamming. (Incidentally, this is for Codidact itself.)

I decided to spice things up a bit, and instead of going for a dry, boring, details-schmetails type of policy page, I went for a bit of a more... lighthearted approach.

Throughout the page, I kept up a reference to a dragon-riding attraction as an example of promotion. The first paragraph goes like this:

It's natural to want to promote yourself. You want as many people as possible to know about your dragon-riding place (only 1,000 gold coins per ride!), and to make sure that you're their first choice for saddling up firebreathers. With that in mind, though, we do need to set some restrictions and guidelines on self-promotion here.

The rest of the text contains further references to this dragon-riding place.

My question here is, though: Is this going to be helpful or harmful? Since it's written in a lighthearted tone, does that mean that people are more likely to actually read it (instead of having their eyes glaze over), or does it mean that people are going to dismiss it for not being serious enough?

At the end of the day, is it going to be helpful or harmful to have a bit of levity on the official policy page?

Why should this post be closed?

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2 answers

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It's difficult to predict how the majority of people would react: it might be subject to opinion. Surely someone would scoff at the jokes or at the imaginary dragon-riding.

Thus said, in my opinion it might be worth the hassle. Most people would probably enjoy reading something more sparkling than the usual policy page; reader engagement could help get your point across. Thus said, take care:

  • Don't sacrifice clarity for the sake of lightheartedness, or you'll have defeated the purpose.
  • Don't pull the rope too much: you're aiming for quick, refreshing jokes, not a complex allegory.

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The up side is more people might read the policy.

The down side is that people might not take the policy seriously. They might think you are mocking policy documents.

If the policy is to mean anything, though, you may one day have to cite it in an enforcement action. Do you want to be citing a joke about dragons during a policy enforcement action?

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