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Thursday, 17 February 2011

TimeGoesBy Comment Rules

blogging bug image 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

STRONG SUGGESTIONS
• 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


Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:31 AM | Permalink | Email this post

Comments

Yesterday's comments must have been interesting. I send a hug your way.

Very, very well said -- and marvellous to see it said.

Ronni. Excellent rules to live by (post by). We are all better for having this blog available to us. Thank You very much. If we can live to 100, perhaps we have another 20 to 30 years of this! John.

Thank you. Once again.

Thank you. Appreciate you.

Common sense and common courtesy are not always common to everyone.
Occasional reminders of these two civilized notions are often called for.

Fabulous rules. I completely agree and I try to apply the same rules to both my blogs.

So far I haven't had any trouble, but if I do I am asking permission to copy your rules.

One blog I follow has a rule that no comment will be deleted. The blog is replete with foul language. That's the blogger's privilege of course, but it makes it difficult to sort out the comments you want to read and those you don't.

The blog I am referring to is a political rant and the blogger writes with great satire, but I am coming to the point that I will not read any comments on the blog. I wonder if the blogger realizes (or cares) that allowing the dissenters (tea party types)to spew vitriol that the blogger may lose followers. I suppose the blogger enjoys sitting back and watching the idiots make fools of themselves, but it does get tiresome.

It's one thing to disagree politely, and I encourage that, but I will delete anyone who is downright snarky.

Darlene...
You and everyone are welcome to copy these rules - no attribution necessary.

The thing about disruptive, attack comments in forums and blogs is that they will eventually kill the blog for exactly the reason you give: readers tire of wading through the dreck.

Many years ago, a fabulous, smart, interesting forum I participated in was destroyed when the trolls got to be too many to tolerate. I still miss that erudite forum.

These are good rules. Hope I haven't been an offender. Sometimes I do have fairly strong views about what is going on in, and happening to, our nation as it tilts evermore to the right. I may indeed have been a bit snarky at times but will definitely doublecheck my posts in the future.

Thanks again for a great blog.

Elizabeth...
You've never stepped over any of rules' lines.

Particularly in the realm of our country's politics, there is a lot to be disturbed, angry and frightened about.

I probably should have included a exception somewhere stating that politicians and pundits are fair game.

Thanks, Ronni, for the reminders.

This tells me that there have been some unpleasant folks who have been reading your blog. My husband and I are "volunteering" our dish-doing, serving, pleasantries services to some friends who are struggling to keep their noses above water at a pizza business here in Arizona. I have noticed a very pervasive tendency in the customers to conduct their business here like it is "all about them". Nevermind that we are doing our best in the kitchen to fulfill orders and serve meals in a friendly atmosphere. I tell you, Ronni, it makes me cranky dealing with people with a "me first" attitude. I have noticed that there is a spill-over effect in my dealings outside this business. I need to remind myself to be pleasant - never had to do that before.

Very good! We should all be aware of these and follow them religiously!

Bravo -- fine suggestions and rules -- barbara

I am so grateful you have called attention to this!

Amazingly well put direct to the point and very informative thank you..

Ronni, I'm so glad I can continue to skewer politicians, pundits and their ilk (with reasonable civility, of course). I SO agree that there's a whole lot to be upset about these days. We can start with the me-first, I've-got-mine attitude of many Republicans (I wonder how many of Gail's friends' pizzeria customers are Arizona tea-party types?!)

I'm getting to the point where I'd almost like to see President Obama stand up and "go FDR" on the country--if he didn't win in 2012, at least he'd have accomplished something. Maybe Egypt isn't the only country that can protest against its government. Theirs is a populist revolution, as ours could be (case in point, the union demonstrations in Wisconsin).

Tax rates SHOULD be raised on superrich individuals and super-solvent corporations. I think if ordinary Americans perceived that the load was more fairly shared, most would willingly (even if not enthusiastically) pay more taxes--at least those who are employed.

I'm glad to see your rules posted again. The past few times that I've read your blog, I've been irritated at self-bloated language that was not in the least tempered regarding others' reactions. I probably would have ceased, myself, from further future reading, but I knew somehow that this would be addressed in the not-too-far future by you. So thanks!

Good for you for maintaining a civilized blog! Also for not letting spammers take advantage of you while abusing us all -their comments can SEEM utterly insincere.

It is all too easy to make horribly inappropriate comments to those with whom we may disagree in this type of forum where it is easy and anonymous. The internet in general seems to have encouraged incivility in discussion, particularly political discussion.
I am glad that you will keep the blog at the high level of discourse that we have come to expect with these basic, common-sense rules. Everyone needs to learn basic manners if they want to be taken seriously.

Welcomed guidelines, Ronnie, for those of us who most often lurk and only occasionally comment.

And Chlost, I am not at all sure the Internet is the villain in encouraging incivility. The "It's all about me" attitude, vile language in everyday situations, and denigration of common courtesies as "dishonest" and "superficial" started well before the Internet was widely available.

Perhaps it is really evidence of that ancient malignancy, the idea that the end justifies the means.

Happy Birthday Ronni

When I turned 70 seven years ago everything seemed to go downhill from thereon. Now I'm looking forward to maybe reaching 80 and thinking 70 wasn't so bad.

Unfortunately there are nasty people all over whose first thought is the worst one. Incivility exists all over; we have so many examples on the national scene. All we can do is try to maintain our positive attitudes in the face of rudeness and teach by example.

Our government is always complaining about Social Security its our money that we put into threw the years and seeing how they don't know how to budget the money then give it back to the people let them do there own retirement.

If Social Security were proposed anew today after learning the eventual demise would come, would there be many defending the notion that you should be forced by the government to contribute to something you may never get back? Defending the indefensible may be popular with those receiving benefits but the overall plan is essentially flawed and should be dumped.

I fell in love with "Time Goes By" the minute I opened it! I subscribed within another minute after that. That was 30 minutes ago and I'm still reading blogs and enjoying each and every one! Looking forward to tomorrows e-mail.

I love being a part of this community. And feel so privileged to be on your blogroll! Thank you!

In the western world in which I have lived, there is no such thing as common sense nor common courtesy. What is 'common' to one is different to another.
The children who were abused by paedophile priests or abusive parents often became troubled and abusive adults. To deny such justifiably angry people the right to express their anger is all very well, but it can serve to perpetuate the problem. Insist upon politeness if you must, but don't be surprised when you find that your positive attitude leads to your downfall.
For those interested in being forewarned, go to archive.org and read (for free) Outed! the story of a gay woman with early onset dementia who - like many - was slaughtered in, and by, a purportedly civil society.

Short hair works, and can be stylish, easy care, young looking.


You asked how we seniors get our news. Here's my take:

TV news: very little. As the campaign heats up, I suppose I'll watch CNN, especially Wolf Blitzer and Anderson Cooper. But, as I get older, I'm less interested in the daily minutiae of the process, more interested in outcomes.
Newspapers: Washington Post seven days a week, New York Times on weekends. But see the previous sentence ("But, as I get older'), I focus more on the op-ed than on the hard news.
Internet: My main source of news. I watch Huffington Post countless times a week, as well as the NY Times on line.

Well done and thoroughly thought rules. In fact, they do not differentiate from the ones that other blogging systems have. But, anyway, thanks for reminding. Will stick to them!

Ronni,

May you live long enough (and longer) to see the full acceptance of elastic waistbands.

I find helpful your thoughts on what boomers are expected and expecting to become. It is slowly dawning on me that old age is like any other stage of life, in no way less a part of what makes humans human.

I see most people, including myself at eighty, very unsure how to simply 'be our age.' Even in this highly tolerant town of Berkeley, we struggle to remain young in appearance and also often manifest a bit of arrogance based on the idea that more experience guarantees greater wisdom. We should rid ourselves, I think, of these remnants of ageism.

Renee

Re Peter's "Coattails of the Beatles" Enjoyed listening to his selection and suggest he adds at least three other major bands:
The Dave Clark Five eg "Glad All Over"
=The Hollies eg "Bus Stop"
=The Troggs eg "Wild Thing" These bands and many others are well represented on Youtube. As with the Stones and Beatles some of their early work was big here in England but barely made the top 100 in the States until they caught on...

What was said about universal health is very idealistic. Our health services have never been just for the rich. In the countries that do have universal health care, the service is very poor, and you still have to pay. Stop thinking you will get something for nothing. We are now paying for to many people who don't want to work. Please read, study and wake up!

I live outside,in the suburbs of NY, I have the option of going "in to the city"and I rarely do now.But, I do remember those days when I did and I was much younger, there was nothing like it. Now, I'm disabled and have no energy anymore, second things really are different, there's a different vibe.I just found your blog (and love it) through Lynn so I don't know why you can't come back. But, sometimes it's good NOT to go home. It isn't the same and hasn't been, for me, since 9/11. Keep your memories, hold them close to your heart.

Would love the tickets for Bill Thomas in San Francisco, April 16. Thanks!

What's it really like getting older? Most of us fear the day that our memories fail us completely. I pray that all who read this will think about your children and your grand-childern and how they will be cheated out of the knowledge of your ancestors, and your day to day interaction with your siblings. Knowledge that will go to your grave that would help your children know of the history of your famlies struggles, heartaches and joyous moments. Bob Hope once stated: “When we recall the past, we usually find that it is the simplest things – not The great occasions – that in retrospect give off the greatest glow of happiness.”
So please consider passing on your treasured memories.
My father was a simple man who grew up in the mines of Mexico, with only a 3rd grade education he left a big foot print on this earth. In his lifetime he met Pancho Villa, and stood in front of Prsident John F Kennedy, he helped start a city, and was a co-founder of a Catholic church near Los Angeles. I couldn't be prouder.
I implore you to begin writing what you remember, no matter what your writing abilities are; for it is your simple notes of your past that may be a road map for grand-children. They will know who they are and where they came from.
I have written many short stories that will be published this summer under the title: 'A Walk Back Home.' It is a story of a child artist growing up in 1940's south central Los Angeles. Excerpts of these stories can be read at: http://gilgarciasawalkbackhome.blogspot.com/ and my artwork can be view at: http://theartofgilgarcia.blogspot.com/

Good writing to you all.
gil


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