Thursday 8 May 2008

Blog Policy

It has occurred to me that I need to do now, what I should have done a long time ago. Have a definable statement on what my rules are.

This is necessary for a number of reasons. Primarily, to prevent this blog unduly suffering in the future, but mainly to let people know what to expect, what actions lead to what reactions, blah blah blah. It's a pain, and it might seem hypocritical coming from someone who doesn't really like a lot of rules, but this is my life, and I have a right to set rules for my own protection and that of the things- and people- that matter to me.

But it's also for your benefit too. I think if everyone knows where they stand, it's a lot easier for everyone. When I started this, I really wasn't aware of the potential dangers. I will not allow a repeat of the nightmare I have endured as a result, partly perhaps, of not having a clearly stated policy. It has allowed false accusations to be made, and whilst I think I have finally brought the truth hammering home to those who listened, it has probably wasted a year of this blog's existence.

So. The rules.


Comments from anyone are welcome. However, this blog DOES have a point, it isn't a Myspace or Facebook page. I don't like comment moderation, so I'm trusting people to moderate THEMSELVES. Like adults do. Comments WILL be deleted for the following reasons;

  1. General rudeness. Your opinions are respected. The tone you write them in, may not be. Posts are posts. Comments sections are where we all chill out and have a chat. If the comment is strident or insulting, whether to me or anyone else, it will be removed.
  2. Spam. Goes without saying.
  3. Comments of a defamatory nature or POSSIBLE defamatory nature. What I mean by this, is if it's about me, I know whether it's defamatory, if it's about someone else, I don't, but if it's not something I can find on THEIR blog, I will delete.
  4. Comments that are true, but outside the boundaries of the blogosphere. Primarily, this DOES regard me, quite obviously. If you are privy to an opinion I have uttered privately, or something I have done, or do in RL, but have not chosen to share with the blogosphere, the comment WILL be removed. The author of the comment would also have lost my trust. To clarify, this applies to people who know me in RL, as well as bloggers. I insist on this particular boundary being observed. To state how far this goes; If I lived with another blogger, and they left a comment on this blog stating that fact, I would remove their comment, pack their bags and order them a taxi. It is a clear breach of my privacy. As regards comments made about other bloggers, in principle, the same rules apply.


Generally, I operate a reciprocal links policy, in fact a reciprocal everything policy. There are exceptions. But generally, a link request will be agreed to. Please note, I can't tell if you've linked me, unless you've actually left a comment.

Contact and External Relations

I publish an e-mail address on site and I promise to answer all mails sent. In fact, I go further. I always answer e-mails before I answer comments. If you have something to say, but don't feel like commenting, please feel free. Now let me just clarify something.
There is a regrettable tendancy for people to pass e-mails around, or publish those of others. I admit during periods of pressure to have done so myself, but only to protect myself against others having doing the same. So to prevent this happening- because I actually think it's one of the nastier things that happen here, I'm going to have a clear policy on this.

E-mails and IMs with myself will not under any circumstances be published OR showed to ANYONE else UNLESS;
  1. I have requested via e-mail at least twice that I receive no further correspondance and that I judge the correspondance to be designed to intimidate.
  2. A clearly false statement has been made by the sender of the e-mails publically or otherwise, for which they have had at least two requests to retract such statements.
I sincerely hope I shall never be in such a situation. Should I ever be, I would send such requests, and refer to this policy on both occasions. They would be considered formal notices.

As to further contact- as in of the type where people can be either seen or heard- Well I've never met another blogger in the flesh, but on the phone has caused problems, so to pre-empt future problems (as it is almost inevitable over the years I shall meet at least some of you- there's a dog with a new job with a pint waiting for him for a start, so clarity is needed).

Real Life exists only through the window provided HERE. It should not intrude into my comments section, or indeed on your blogs, without my consent. This I insist on. I made the mistake before of being way too tolerant on this, and I think really, I have to just regard it as an instant breach of trust as soon as it happens. OK, I'm not going to be too anal, I think people can work out what is and what isn't acceptable. Should you read the blog, but also know me more intimately in some way, please still comment here as an avatar. If I can't trust you to do that, I will terminate all contact immediately. I'm going to be really rigid on this. I would apply this rule to a Real Life partner.
As a general rule, I will treat all avatars as avatars. I will judge everyone by how I find them as bloggers. Knowing me in RL, will not entitle you to any expectation of differential treatment. You may well, it stands to reason, get it, in terms of regular visits, lengthier responses etcetera, but if people start expecting me to take their side in blogging disputes, without clear proof of their being in the right, cease contact with those they have ceased contact with, or treat them online as anything other than an avatar, I will terminate real life contact.

But please be aware; Should there ever to my mind BE a conflict of interests, I will act in the interests of the blog NOT the relationship. I think that is the correct professional ethos.

Guest Posting

Just ask. You save me a night's work :)

I can't really think of anything more right now.
But I think this will be an evolving statement.

I'm going to keep this post linked in the sidebar, and reserve the right to refer to it when necessary.
Any further suggestions are welcome.

Thanks, people.
You're great, the lot of you.


Anonymous said...

All seems eminently reasonable but even if it wasn't it's still your place so it's up to you. An (insert as appropriate) mans blog is his castle.

How do those tab things work? Might be a good idea to have this on permanent display but not 'cluttering up the main page.

Anonymous said...

I'll post mine on here then:

It's MY BLOG... end of rules/disclaimers/etc.

Anonymous said...

I hope you can now enjoy your blog again :-)

Anonymous said...

I think I'm fucked. I always post defamatory comments.

But at least I don't post anonymous comments and lie about it. lol.

Or hack into people's computers.

But that's another story.

I'll try and follow the rules Crushed. M'kay?

Anonymous said...

Grendel- I'm still a wondering how to do it, so it's visible, but not taking up space. A prominent link, methinks.

Yes, I think they're reasonable rules.

Lord N- I'm thinking of the wider implications. Having a written statement prevents future problems, and if I'd had this statement all along, maybe certain problems could have been nipped in the bud :)

Like a kind of Company Policy.

CherryPie- I hope so. I try keep what I regard as a professional ethic. My profession happens to be sales, so that doesn't mean professional in a tight lipped way. It just means that first and foremost, we come for the fre exchange of ideas, and it's time to stop the ethics of the chatroom spreading like a cancer.

Shelly- I don't allow anonymous comments, for the simple reason I think if you don't allow me the opportunity to have a look what your slant is (Doesn't mean I want to know who you really are), I'm not giving a sounding board to sockpuppets.

I prefer to see them as guidelines. Like for example, most companies say no drinking in work hours. It doesn't actually mean, you can't have a pint at lunchtime. But you need to say no drinking, or some will have three pints at lunchtime and do no work all afternoon.

Like with everything, a small minority spoil things for everyone.

Anonymous said...

"I'm not giving a sounding board for sock puppets"

I like that line, Crushed!

....want me to take down that stuff from a few posts ago??

Anonymous said...

I'll try to behave nicely :-)

Anonymous said...

Crushed, smile, its all good :-)

Anonymous said...

Kate- That would be appreciated :)

My problem all along was weakness. I should just have been a lot firmer.

jmb- :) I don't think you've ever been the cause for concern.

Nunyaa- I think so. :)

I think the position on all fronts now, is clear.

Anonymous said...

I realize that CBI: my 'policy' stops ALL problems in the bud heh

Anonymous said...

I'd volunteer for guest posting, but I'm not sure if my posts would suit your blog/readers...;- )

Anonymous said...

Lord N- Well, yes, I'm reminded of, I think it was Kruger, certainly one of the Boer leaders 'This is my country, these are my laws, if you don't like my laws, leave my country'.

I think it was more the rules of interaction with other bloggers that needed clarifying. I'm thinking of the events of BP last August. It would have been simpler if I'd had this policy to refer to.

Eve- I'll send you a google invite. I think some of your poetry pieces would be ideal. I think if I can get enough people preapared to do the odd guest post here and there it would allow me have a holiday at some point. :)

Anonymous said...

That all sounds fair enough.

Anonymous said...

I'm so excited! Never been a blog author on any blog but mine before :-) Yup, poetry should be about right.... :-)