A Letter to Our Community

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(Image credit: Laura Hoerner)

Dear Readers,

You might not realize it, but Apartment Therapy Media is kind of a weird and quirky corner of the internet. We got started back in the good old blog days when you could just roll your thoughts, ideas, and musings down a page, throw in a bad photo or two, and then open up this starkly empty box at the bottom called Comments to see what people would say in return.

Over the years, as we added more writers with more perspectives, more readers came along for the ride. Together our sites now reach tens of millions of readers a month. In our hearts, we’re still writing for a small audience who love their homes. But we’re also aware that we have a different kind of responsibility now that comes with writing for a far broader and more diverse audience — an audience that we want to participate even more in this experience.

We write because we love what we do and care about (truly!) the mission of helping people live better lives at home and through food. If you’re reading this, you’re a part of that. You read the site and watch our ads and videos and keep us up and running to share even more day by day.

Since January we have taken stock of the state of our community and have decided that we are looking for more readers and community members to be a part of this mission in 2019 and beyond.

That brings us to comments: those weirdly open and democratic boxes of the internet. Today, we’re re-inviting our readers to come to our still-open, still-democratic, still rather old-school comment spaces and help us meet a higher standard.

Every blank comment box is an invitation to join our mission, connect with others, and help someone else to make a better home and a richer life in the process.

From here on out, in the best interest of the community, we are recommitting to moderating all comments and holding everyone to our updated commenting rules. Take a look. Here are six commenting rules, all of which we really think of as the way we would like to invite conversation in our homes. You’re at our breakfast table and in our living room; this is how we strive to speak to each other.

4 Rules for Our Home

  1. Be honest, be direct, but always be gracious.
  2. No ad hominem attacks, gratuitous meanness, or noisy tear-downs.
  3. Stay on topic.
  4. Add value, don’t take it away.

And 2 for Housekeeping

  1. Don’t promote your own site, product, or business.
  2. Do not add self-linking signatures when closing your comment.

We’re all here because we want to see the world become a little bit better place, and every comment should reflect that. Does that mean we expect comments to always be positive, saccharine praise?

Of course not.

Robust, collegial discussion will always be appreciated.

We’re asking you, our readers, to jump in with two feet, and continue to make the Apartment Therapy Media community the weird, wonderful outlier of internet culture it always has striven to be. One where people come away happy and surprised — a place where the comments are one of the best parts because of all the interesting, smart, funny, compassionate people who hang out there.

Welcome home in 2019.

Warmth and love,

Laura, Editor in Chief: Apartment Therapy
Faith, Editor in Chief: Kitchn
Maxwell, Founder