As someone who has been blogging for a few years, and running a website for a few years longer, I figured I would put together a little document to serve as collection of "best practices" on how to effectively blog and communicate information over the Internet in a textual format.
Here are some of the guidelines I've come up with, in random order:
- Remain civil
- Do not make personal attacks anywhere on this website. Do not do it in blog entries, forum posts, or in comments to either. Attack the argument, not the person. Personal attacks only serve to deter users from posting, for fear of being attacked themselves. No one likes abuse.
Do not "bait" other users in an attempt to antagonize them. That is every bit as disruptive as personal attacks are.
Violations will be removed on sight and the offender will be warned. Repeat offenders may have their posting privileges suspended.
If you feel very strongly about a post and find yourself unable to not make a personal attack, please consider sleeping on it, and then reply the following day. That's what I do.
For further reading and guidelines on this topic, I recommend reading the article called "Don't Be A Dick" over on WikiPedia's website. Despite the blunt title, it's full of useful advice for social spaces.
- When adding new info, edit your post, don't leave comments.
Let's say you write a post, and later want to update it with more information. I advise against leaving comments, because they will be after the post, and may be missed by a vistor who only reads the post. I recommend editing the original post, and adding in the new text, either at the beginning or the end. Like this:
[Edit: I had some new info to share, and here it is!]
- Please do not post entire news articles.
- Linking to news articles is fine. Quoting key parts of them is fine. However, we must ask that you do not quote entire news articles. This definitely exceeds the limits of Fair Use and could get us into legal hot water with the copyright holder.
[Addendum: As the guy who wrote these rules, I too should be held accountable by them. If you feel I have crossed any lines mentioned above, but do not feel comfortable discussing the issue with me, feel free to let Carla know. She'll give me whatfor. ]