Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Blog games

As far as I know, there are no blog police, nor are there some universal regulations of blogging set down in some law book somewhere. Different blog hosts may have their own rules, such as whether their platform can be used for commercial blogs, for porn, etc. but other than that, we are pretty much free to do what we want, as long as we obey the laws of the land about speech in general.

And, of course, those of us who profess to follow Christ would do best to heed His Word regarding what we write.

It is my desire to live a life of integrity. I would hope my blog reflects that, even in its silliest and most mundane of posts. So, for me, I've established a few "rules" that I've observed being followed by some of the bloggers that I respect most:

1. I try to be very careful about honoring copyright laws. I may quote from someone else, but I make clear that the quote is just that. I don't take credit for something I haven't written. I don't repost entire articles written by someone else; instead, I link to them.

2. Since beginning my blog in May 2004, I don't think I've deleted a single post. I let my words stand. Usually I try to choose them carefully for just that reason. Sometimes I've had to edit a post after the fact --- either because I've let a host of typos slip by or because I've written something in a way that is not as understandable as I'd hoped. When I do an edit, I include a comment at the bottom of the post, explaining that the post was edited and why.

3. I've only moderated comments once, and that was when I was posting about kinism. I didn't want racists to use my blog as a platform for their vile filth. I do delete comments --- either those that are ads or those that are obscene. Also, I would never knowingly allow someone to use my blog for illegal, immoral, or truly hateful purposes. I would probably remove a comment at the author's own request but would indicate that I had done so. Oh...and I've deleted duplicate comments. Since I'm a big girl, I realize that not every comment will agree with me. Some of my controversial posts may even generate heated replies. That's OK.

4. I would never use a blog hosting platform that would allow me to edit the comments of others. I would not want my readers to wonder if I were doing so. I want everyone to know that their words are their own. I would certainly never alter them in any way. To do so seems quite dishonest to me.

5. If I were to adopt a "no comment" policy, I would be sure that I would never post anything that would frustrate people for not being allowed to comment. In other words, I wouldn't post things of a controversial nature. I certainly wouldn't mention anyone else without being decent enough to give them a chance to reply, on my blog, about what I'd written.

6. I don't ban people from my blog. Anyone may freely comment, as long as they are not trying to use my blog for free advertising or for spreading obscenity and hate, or for anything illegal or immoral.

7. I don't play blog games. Apparently some people do. For example, I've heard of "swarming" recently; although I have no idea what that is. But I don't use my blog, or anyone's blog, as a means of engaging in the sort of petty conflicts that we should have all outgrown back in our junior high days. I'd like to say that I take the high road on my blog, and that I hope my blog reflects the sort of maturity one would expect at my age, but then I'm sure someone would search the archives and come up with one of my silliest posts to use against me. After all, what is so mature about a picture of a boy with a kitchen towel over his head?

8. I realize that I have chosen to make my blog public, and that anyone with internet access can read it. So I don't search my stats to try to find out which ten or so of you visit frequently and then accuse you of "stalking" me. In fact, I'd rather flatter myself by thinking that all sorts of people wake up every morning thinking, "Oh, how I hope that there is a new post up on Random Musings! I must check immediately!" The stuff that I don't want the public to read? That's the stuff that never even makes it onto my computer, let alone onto the internet.

This post, along with my entire blog, is copyrighted. Please read and honor the copyright notice on the bottom of this page. Thank you.


  1. Just swarming over here (although I have NO idea who else is with me ;-)) to say I think these are good ideas.

  2. I wasn't gonna comment but SG3 used her considerable influence to talk me into joining her swarm.... :)

    Really though, these are good suggestions and seem just like polite, common-sense to me. Although in regards to #4, if you host your own blog or even use some of the free ones(like wordpress.com), the ability to edit comments is just default functionality. You really just have to trust the blog owner at that point.

  3. I really don't like the comment editing feature. It's made me not want to comment on wordpress blogs and some others.

    By the way, I think having a swarm of readers, especially readers who comment, would be a good thing!

  4. I said nothing to Brian. The influence was all accomplished through my new shiny tin-foil Easter bonnet.

  5. Ok, ok, she didn't actually ask me to comment on this one - i just felt the brain waves emanating north of me.