It doesn't seem like much of a big deal anymore, does it? You start a blog because you'd like to join the global conversation and you think you have something to say that others might like to read. Plus, you kind of enjoy writing – it's like thinking out loud and helps sort out things.
Most blog services are free these days and they have lots of tools that make it easy to get set up. A few clicks of the mouse, some tinkering - you're getting the hang of now - and you're ready to go.
You figure out how to post images, you grab some video from YouTube you'd like to share and voila! Soon readers start showing up and you're making new friends too.
What could go wrong.
Due to some recent occurrences, I was going to enumerate those problems but instead, they will become evident in these
TGB COMMENTING RULES
1. Comments containing defamatory, bigoted or hateful language about anyone will be deleted. You get only one shot at this and if it happens, you will be permanently banned without notification or recourse.
2. Argument, disagreement and opinion are good. Just keep it to the point(s) you dispute, not the writer, and maintain a civil tone. You get two shots at this after which, see the second sentence in number one above.
3. We are all grownups here and sometimes it's hard to make a strong point without a bit of - uh, “colorful” language. Fine – just don't overdo. Deletion or editing of the comment is at my discretion.
4. No advertising or promotion of commercial products and services is allowed. They are deleted.
5. Health, medical, financial and legal advice or recommendations are not allowed and are deleted. I have no way to know if you are qualified.
6. Comments that are off-topic are deleted.
7. Links are allowed, but be sure they relate to your statement or argument.
8. Blog conventions are pretty well settled. One of them is that if you include the URL to your blog in the comment form, your name after the comment becomes a link to your blog. Links to your blog within the comment are deleted.
Note that this applies to personal blogs. Links to your commercial/retail websites or blogs are removed wherever they appear. I don't accept paid advertising on this blog and you don't get to advertise here for free.
Because it is amazing how many new ways people find to disrupt a good conversation, additional or amended rules will be implemented as needed and I'll let you know if or when that happens.
I like a neat and tidy blog and I work hard at maintaining that. The following are not rules. Let's call them
• Please use standard capitalization. All-lower-case is difficult to read and your comment is less likely to be noticed.
• Even more so, long blocks of uninterrupted text are hard on the eyes, especially old ones like mine. Please leave a blank line between paragraphs. This is for your own benefit; no one reads three or four or more inches of solid text.
• As always, in email and anywhere online, messages in all capital letters are considered shouting not to mention that, as with the first two suggestions, they are hard to read. Please use all caps only for emphasis of individual words or phrases.
To be clear, the numbered list above covers all the reasons for which I delete a comment or ban anyone. Disagreement with me, as some have accused, is never a cause.
Finally, if your comment does not appear or does not appear right away, please don't jump to the conclusion that you have been disallowed. Sometimes it can be operator error – yours.
Other times, it might be a program glitch or it can be a server slowdown and on extremely rare occasions, it might be a server shutdown. Try again or give it some time before you start yelling at me via email.
Just so you know, there are not all that many comments I have deleted and in all the years TGB has been here, I have banned only three commenters.
I apologize for taking up an entire day's post with this. The rules apply to a small number of readers, but some recent events seemed to make clarification useful.
At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Lyn Burnstine: Smells