Mr Manners  

rm_harshawj 52M
761 posts
6/28/2005 9:09 pm

Last Read:
3/5/2006 9:27 pm

Mr Manners

A Guide to Blog Etiquette

Years ago I was a SysOp (System Operator) for a BBS (Bulletin Board System) called PIBBS (Project Insomnia Bulletin Board System). This was about 15 years ago, before the World Wide Web as we know it came into being. Now, on a BBS people could do things very similar to Blogging, but in the form of online discussion groups (yes, online was used before the Internet). The discussion groups (like todays discussion group) had a moderator and people could post questions, statements, opinions, answers, or even simple musings. The moderator has the job of keeping people on topic (like chat room moderators (we had chat before the web too)) and in line so things would move smoothly. But from time to time things got out of hand and the moderator had to use his tools to regain control.

In a blogging community like this it may be helpful to review the old rules we used on the BBS to maintain smooth operations and cool tempers. In recent weeks I have noticed that there are some people misbehaving and I find it distasteful. I do not know what you think about it, you may want to let me know here, but I have a few suggestions, and I am going to use the old BBS’s as the templates to follow.

Two Types of Users:
There are two types of users of a blog. The Blogger and the Poster (or commenter). Some of us Bloggers fall into the Poster category as well.

A Blogger is the writer and maintainer of an online journal. It is his/her responsibility to write the issues that they want to discuss and follow these entries to be sure the comments stay on topic. The Blogger is required to limit his/her entries as proscribed by the Terms of Use and see to it that the comments made therein are also following the Terms of Use.

To help with this task, the Blogger is given some tools. The blogger can at any time and for any reason delete a post from a Poster they find not in compliance with the Terms of Use or not on topic. In fact they can delete any comment they so desire, it is their journal after all, Posters are just visitors. They also have a stronger tool if a particular Poster becomes to bothersome, and that is to ban a Poster from future posting. This means that this Poster will not be able to write any more Posts. In fact, that user may not be able to interact in any way with the Blogger (on the Blog) there after. So, to sum it up, the Blogger has the final says (other than AdultFriendFinder) on what is allowed to be posted or remain posted. Bloggers, use these tools from time to time if you are having problems.

Posters are viewers of a Blog. They may read the entries and comments and then they may make a comment of their own. The Poster has a responsibility as well, and that is to honor the Terms of Use and to be polite when making a comment. They also should stay on topic and not post anything outside of it. Messages of a personal nature to the Blogger or other Posters are not allowed and should be communicated by way of email.

It is important to note that Blogger can be Posters when viewing other people blogs. In fact Bloggers should be doubly aware of the rules of the blog and Terms of Use. Bloggers when visiting another’s blog should act as they wish others to act when they are on your blog. The Golden Rule applies for Bloggers even more so than Posters.

There is one more common tool that can be used, and that is the “Review” link. If you as a Poster of Blogger feel something breaks the Terms of Use you can have it reviewed. This takes the item offline until it can be looked at. Now people, let’s be kind and not hit the review link just because you do not like something, please have a real reason when you do, you may be called upon to explain why you did it.

Personal Information:
In the Terms of Use we all know that we can not post specific information about specific people. This “information” is generally thought of as things like real name, address, phone number, real email address and other contact information. But what people do not realize is that it refers to other “identifying information” as well. This can be a physical description, gender, age, habits, routine, clothing, other partners and the list goes on… Some of this information is available on the Bloggers and Posters profile of course, but the member can edit these to suit and maintain a comfort level.

There is a reason for the anonymity on the blogs. It is there so people can feel safe to say things about themselves without having other know who they are. Yes, they may know things like sexual habits and toys and even what they may have eaten for breakfast, but does that really identify the person. Would know that person if you met them in real life? In fact, that acid test on what you can post, in part or in total, should be, would I know that person from this if I met them on the street? If you answer yes, you have broken the Terms of Use about personal information.

Other Peoples Work (or copyrighted information):
Very simple, did you write it? If not, you may not use it. You may use an excerpt as a reply in a comment, or even a snippet from one blog entry to refer to another, even someone else’s, but it is not yours and should not be used in any sense as if you wrote it.

A good example; I wrote a response and quoted the whole eagles song “Take it Easy” I also identified it as who’s work it was. This is fair use, I did not claim credit for the lyrics. However, if I had try to pass this prose off as my own then it would not be right and a violation of the Terms of Use. No copyrighted material is allowed, but Fair Use says you can use it as long as it is cited somehow. I have done this on other entries and there is always a cite, though sometimes veiled for creative purposes, it is there. Don’t use other people work, whether is comes from these blogs or anywhere else on the Internet.

Flame Wars:
There are several items in the Terms of Use about defaming remarks. In the old days we used to call these “Flame Posts”. They are generally obnoxious, degrading, defaming, insulting and otherwise rude remarks that do not belong in a blog entry OR a comment. Blogger and Posters are forbidden from making these remarks. The hallmark of a “Flame Post” is that it is personal, either aimed at one person or a group. These “Flames” can be emotionally distressing and hurtful and for me I find them most distasteful. After all we are all on ADULT Friend Finders, let’s all act like adults. It we try to act like adults and edit our comments before we make them (think twice, write once and consider how other may feel) then there is never a need to “Flame” someone.

However, commenting on another persons behavior can be acceptable as long as it is not aimed at a particular Blogger or Poster. A general statement about misconduct can be constructive, but lets not get personal. Remember bloggers, if you have a problem with a Poster, you can ban them. And Posters, if you have a problem with a Blogger, just ignore the blog and move along.

George Carlin has a line referring to radio content, “If you don’t like it just turn the knob. I know some people are not comfortable playing with knobs, but get a grip!”

Don’t Get Mad or Even:
Sometimes we do not like what we read. We feel we need to lash out and make a statement. Then we get all worked up and it shows in the writing. There are better ways of handling distressful situations, ignore them and use the tools at hand to remedy the problem, but don’t lash out in your words. First of do you realize how you are coming off? I mean really, you can start looking pretty bad very quick and if you have built up any credibility on this site at all you can put is all at risk. After all, we al want to be respected, so show it by acting respectable. When you have calmed down, then write about it. This cooling off will have a great benefit to you. No one wants to read a rant and rave that may or may not be justified. Remember how you will look to other when you write it. And for those of you who do not care how you look, so be it, you may end up writing to a missing audience. And as much as some will claim that they do not care about the audience, fine, prove it and don’t allow any comments in your blog (it is an option),

Take A Hint:
Posters, sometimes Bloggers are trying to tell you things without hurting your feelings or being rude. If you get the feeling you are not wanted on the blog, please move along. Do not continue to make unwanted posts, just get the clue and move along. If you do not you may eventually be banned and then you lost anything you may have gained from that blog and built up some unwanted distain from another.

Posters, if you are following around another Poster or constantly adding to a blog unwantedly, you are getting creepy and showing signs of being a stalker. This follows the “Take a Hint” category, but you may actually be scaring someone. They may actually feel threatened. Do you really want to do this? Just so you know, acting in a threatening manner is cause for get your AdultFriendFinder membership revoked, so don’t do it.

A Note About Offline Interaction:
These little things mentioned here are good all around advice for people interacting anywhere. Courtesy should be observed. Take a hint when you are not wanted. Do not stock another member. There may be times one member may feel ok to share information with another member and then is retrospect; this may not have been a good idea. A good example is someone shares a phone number with someone else and then it gets out of control, too many calls and unwanted attention. This is actually cause for real legal action, and it can all be avoided by taking a simple hint, don’t call. If interacting with someone and the refuse an offer, honor this request. By not honoring it or forcing the issue you are again courting real legal action, do you really want this. And for all you out there, if unwanted contact is done across state lines it can then become a federal issue. Do you want the FBI at your door? I didn’t think so. So be careful, listen and honor requests of the other party.

If you come up with anything that you think may be missing from here, please post it. I will update this post from time to time as we get the rules down.

wyvernrose 39F  
3962 posts
6/28/2005 11:28 pm

that's a good list Harshaw


rm_txrose4uNTX 58F
3289 posts
6/29/2005 5:45 am

Is there a pea under your mattress???? lol...

This is certainly a great list of DOs and DONTs. You are certainly driving a point in well that all should already be adhering to. Perhaps, with this point driven in a different manner it will make more sense to some folks who might not be......

Thanks for pointing these things out....

lustmirror 64M
2897 posts
6/29/2005 8:22 am

excelllent post....points well taken
shall we see
what we shall see?

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