Etiquette

Mar 03 2006

So, what are the “do’s” and “don’ts” of etiquette for blog comment forums like this one?

Comments:

Stephen Meh, even we agree on a set of “do’s” and “don’ts” anonymous posters won’t care. But, as far as I’m concerned, the only “don’t” is “Don’t spam.” Everything else is fair game when you invite the public to play.
Brent What’s spam in this context?
Gret Good question Brent, I think that comments should be used to voice opinion, but I can’t really say there’s a “set in stone” limit that anyone has to follow.
Brennen I agree that hard and fast rules aren’t very effective (things like “don’t spam” aside), but I do think there’s a meaningful etiquette. Basically one of “don’t crap in someone else’s yard unless they really, really deserve it”. I also think that there are kinds of degrees of publicness to weblogs, despite their being all theoretically open to the world… There’s a meaningful difference between this and the front page of Slashdot.
Brennen As to spam, I think in the context of comments, guestbooks, wikis, etc., it’s taken on slightly unusual attributes: It’s no longer aimed directly at human readers at all — since it’s targetted at Google’s ranking algorithm & similar measures of page popularity, it’s sort of a perfectly meaningless machine-to-machine loop which has the unfortunate side effect of obliterating unprotected channels.
Animom “Comment carefully & thoughfully so you’re not misunderstood.”
“Read the blog first and confine your comments to topic.”
“Don’t say anything you wouldn’t say to a persons face.”
“If you need to rant, start your own blog instead.”
“Remember your comments are public not private.”
“Be kind.”
“Don’t bash, be rude or insulting.”
“Encourage your blogging friend.”
Stephen As I define it, spam is any advertisement for an unsolicited product or service, or any comment repeated more then once (or twice, allowing for accidental doubleclicks).

Everything else is part of that delightful ephemera of the Internet.

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