What's considered "on topic?"

The short version: anything that furthers our mission of building meaningful community through the use of technology.

One way VC³ is different from other online communities is that we have a stricter definition of what's considered "on topic." If you're a contributor and something you want to discuss isn't listed here, you can ask in Zulip in the #meta > on-topic stream.


  1. Questions to promote discussion. Open ended questions are perfect for VC³, and most live in the #questions stream. Our contributors are from many different environments and walks of life. Asking a question is likely to bring many different answers, which is exactly what VC³ is seeking to accomplish.
    • Unlike Stack Exchange, questions don't necessarily have to have one answer. On VC³ it's perfectly acceptable for a discussion to splinter in different directions from one initial question.

  2. Political debate strongly related to our mission. Generally, political discussion is not on topic at VC³, since it often isn't related to our mission. Some political debate is appropriate though, if it's strongly connected to our mission.
    • For example, if a new law was being passed in the United States that would regulate social networking apps, that could be considered on topic since social networking is related to building community through technology.
    • When VC³ does discuss something related to politics, we require that discussion is civil. If you're not used to being a high-rung political thinker, make sure that any contributions you make in a political discussion meet that bar.

  3. Pitching a product idea for feedback. VC³ is not designed to build an audience of customers. The other contributors are your peers, not your customer base. That said, there's nothing wrong with seeking feedback from the community about a product or idea you're working on.
    • In general, a good litmus test is whether another contributor can analyze and be critical of your idea without having to pay anything. What's even better is if they're looking at mockups / wireframes and they don't have to create an account.
    • We can't emphasize this enough: VC³ is not the place to build your customer base. This means that multiple posts about an idea that hasn't changed significantly, or anything that's obviously promotional (and not seeking feedback) will result in your membership being suspended.

  4. Articles related to our mission. If someone publishes an article which is connected to our mission, feel free to post it in the #articles stream.
    • Also, articles not directly related. If someone publishes an article that isn't directly related to our mission, but you can find a way to connect it, feel free to post that too. Just make sure you explain the connection you saw, so that other contributors have a starting point.
    • One great litmus test for articles: does an article seem like something that could have been written by another VC³ contributor? If so, that's probably a great article to share. (Also, feel free to reach out and invite the author to join VC³!)

Not on-topic

  1. Harassment or hate speech. VC³ is a community for spirited intellectual debate and discussion. Arguments will happen, but there's no excuse not to conduct those arguments in a civil and respectful way.
    • As long as you're criticizing someone's idea, you're generally fine. As soon as a contributor starts attacking a person or a group of people, we'll suspend their membership.
    • In questions of respectful behavior in the community, the spirit and intention of these rules will be considered if the written form conflicts with the intention.
    • We all know what bad behavior looks like. We will err on the side of caution and respect when evaluating poor behavior. It's in your best interest as a contributor to make it abundantly clear that you respect the other members of our community, to avoid impression of insincerity.

  2. Most political debate.  See #2 above.
  3. Sales or promotion of a product. Even if your idea or product is targeted towards exactly the kind of contributors that VC³ attracts, this is a strict no-sales environment. See #3 above.
  4. Articles without context. Don't just share URLs. If you're going to post an article, make sure you explain why you found it interesting and how you feel like it connects to our mission. (also, see our notes on on-topic articles above)
  5. Memes and jokes. We try not to take ourselves too seriously, but the purpose of VC³ is to generate meaningful discussion towards solving the problems we're targeting. Sharing memes and jokes (outside of culture that develops within the community) isn't really conducive towards that goal. There are lots of other places on the Internet for that purpose.
    • Don't let this discourage you from using humor (or other "entertaining" methods of expression, like emojis or GIFs) in your contributions in the community. This only becomes problematic once it steals attention from the primary goals of our community.
Our definition of "on-topic" is constantly evolving, since VC³ is still young. Please mind the mess.
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