Ground Rules

So yesterday I asked the world to give me feedback on what I do here. I recognize that this is risky; according to Wikipedia, if even a tenth of a percent of the Internet-using world takes me up on the offer, I’m opening myself up to a potential 2.5 million negative reactions. That would be one heck of a lot of rejection letters.  It’s OK, though.  I’m as ready for it as I can make myself, and it’s good training for when I start sending things out to publishers.

I’m looking for helpful feedback, both positive and negative. The key word in that sentence is “helpful”. Having some interesting conversations would be a nice additional benefit to running this site. The key word in that sentence is “interesting”.

Don’t like what I say or how I say it? Great! Let me know what you didn’t like and why not. (Side note: “Why” is important!) Think something I’ve tried here works well? Cool. Why? I want to do it again! Disagree with my conclusions? Let’s talk about it.

So a few rules to encourage the “helpful” and “interesting” bits, loosely based on John Scalzi’s comment rules (thank you, sir).

I’m inclined to be restrained in editing or deleting comments, but I reserve the right to do so if I feel it’s necessary. That’s most likely to happen if your comment is gratuitously insulting, threatening, appears to be advertising a product or service that has nothing to do with the topic at hand, or violates my understanding of the law. Please be aware that this is not a public forum; complaints about edited or deleted comments based on your “free speech rights” will be cheerfully ignored. Repeated or excessive violation of these rules can and will result in temporary or permanent bans.

I don’t expect coherence or perfection in your use of the rules of grammar and spelling. I will passionately defend your right to make a fool of yourself by being gloriously, delightfully wrong. But I do expect you to take two seconds to ask yourself “Does this comment add anything to the discussion?”

I would hope these rules (more like guidelines, actually) would be common sense, but given that there seem to be a few people in the world totally lacking in that department, consider them posted. That said, I’ve been on more than a few totally open forums, and have seen just how little common sense some people have, so we’re going to start out with training wheels: your first comment will be moderated. After that, you can post freely. If I decide I’m spending more time moderating than is necessary, I’ll take the training wheels off.

Finally, if I do edit or delete your post, I will tell you why. (There’s that word again.)

3 thoughts on “Ground Rules

  1. Do you take topic requests? I ask because comparatively speaking, you now have the gift of time, a luxury I cannot yet afford. With your keen eye, gift of jocularity, and acid tongue you could lend insight to questions and observations I encounter every day but don’t have the time or resources to contemplate myself. For example, why are canes used by bind people usually colored white? Shouldn’t they be orange or red in order to draw attention in case they require immediate assistance?

    Anyways, a good start to what hopefully be a long roll of the dice.

    – Fielding


    • I may be trained as a librarian, but that doesn’t mean I was particularly good as at the customer service side of the job… Seriously, I’ll be happy to add such questions to my list of possible topics. No promises that I’ll ever get to any of them, though. Bribes (pardon me, commissions) might help there.


    • I did a little digging on this question, and I don’t think I can do much with it as a blog post. Bottom line is that white shows up very well against dark backgrounds such as street paving, so it’s easy for drivers to see. Barring a few specific shades, orange and red would have less contrast. I suspect bright white was easier to come by (and possibly somewhat cheaper) in the 20s and 30s when the movement to make a white cane the symbol of blindness was kicking off.


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