Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Blogging Etiquette

Okay, I'm not much for etiquette. I don’t usually mind how others behave but I do have my own “rules of engagement.” It's true, I don't cuss, don't use four-letter-words and in general try to be at the very least cordial.

But you know me, I love a good debate and don't shy away from arguments or controversies. In fact, quite the contrary.

I also write in a shared political blog where some of the other bloggers do not follow the same "etiquette" as I do, and that's fine by me. Usually on their posts one can find personal insults in the comments going back and forth, but nobody seems to mind. It's a certain style, I guess.

On my posts, however, no matter how controversial, the discussion tends to remain more civil. I once received a severe reprimand from someone for not quoting him properly, which I did apologise for given the sensitive subject matter. That was as harsh a comment as I ever got.

It therefore surprised me (very much) that of all places it was on this blog and on a benign post where I celebrated Canada's women hockey team success in the Olympics that I received the nastiest three comments yet. All from the same person.

This person deleted his own comments, it wasn't my doing. I still have them in my email. I left my own comment where I responded to his comment. Responded in kind. I left it because I have yet the felt the need to delete a comment I have written, and I still don't.

This brings me to etiquette:
Always make sure before posting a comment that you won't regret it later. If you have the slightest doubt, don't publish your comment. Wait a while, sleep on it if you have to, then publish.

Remember, a blog is not a forum. In a way, it is someone's personal space they've chosen to share. Behave on other blogs as you would want people to behave on yours.

Far be it from me to preach, but these were my 2 cents like it or not. It is, after all, my blog :)



Anonymous said...

It's funny that you posted this. Yesterday, I actually considered deleting three comments from my blog, something that I never thought I would have to do. I'm not going to go into specifics, since all you have to do is look at yesterdays post to see the chain of events. One poster made some off color comments about another poster that I thought were very inapropriate. The person who was the object of the comments replied back to basically defend herself. I left a comment too, just to reafirm things.

I sent the person who the remarks were direct at a quick email apologizing for the other commentor.

As I thought more and more about this, I got kind of annoyed. My blog is supposed to be a friendly place to discuss writing and whatever. I came very close to deleting the whole chain of posts but did not.

I'm still wondering if I handled this correctly.

I don't know what the commentor could have possibly said about your Canadian Womens Hockey team post but judging from your comment, it must not have been nice.

Let me chime and lend my support since I am all about Girl Power! In fact, the protagonist for my book is a woman who kicks ass. Glad to hear that they won the gold.

Benjamin Solah said...

I try to be polite when commenting, and others do the same. Most posters on my political posts argue their case articulately, but there have been a few trolls. People who comment on every single political post, and use personal insults and ageist remarks to prove themselves right. They're not right, they just show how petty and ignorant they are.

Deborah said...

I had some nasty commenters in the beginning, when I posted my experiences with Geeklog. Oh, the backlash I received! One guy equated Geeklog with Jesus Christ. I just laughed and published another post.

There are just as many screwballs online as there are good people, I'm afraid. I'm glad you stood up for yourself and your country.

Ryan Oakley said...

I wish I had of seen this whole kerfuffle. And I don't even really like woman's hockey. (I think there should be body checking. Otherwise the reffing is too weird.) But the girl's team did great. If they were allowed to check, they would have won every game by 20. I also have high standards of ettiquette. Heh.

Lee Carlon said...

Jees, I turn my back for five minutes and the world's gone crazy. Of all the blogs I visit it's weird this should happen here.

Garry Ladouce said...

I wrote the three comments. I accepted that they might have been out of line. So I took them off.

The three comments simply reflected what the American team said about the Canadian women's team and about what the general consensus seems to be here in Europe about how the Canadians went about winning.

Besides winning a great team needs class. A high score does not make a good team and humiliating Italy on their home ice, a team new to hockey, was a pathetic display of Canadian Chauvinism. I suggested that the Canadian team go home and to shave more often. I also wondered where the aboriginal players were. But I forgot that I was talking about Canada where Indians(original Canadians) were not allowed passports until 1970, or the vote until 1970 and in fact were not citizens until 1956. Peter Puck should wear a turban once in a bit and you should stop giving your order of canada to crooks and gamblers.

Anonymous said...

"Besides winning a great team needs class."

Now, I'm no authority on sports but are we not talking about hockey? Hockey is one of the most violent sports besides boxing. Hockey team are notoriously tough and uncooth. Just take a look at the Philadelphia Flyers circa 1976.

Melly said...

Fred, I went to your blog and yes, that comment was out of line, but it really does seem the the person who made the comment talked very lightly, offhandedly and with no mal intentions. You can take comfort in that.

Benjamin, don't I know it. You and I had quite a debate, political one, without the need to resort to attacks. I appreciate that I can do it with you.

Deborah, absolutely, we need to laugh at it. The internet is full of weirdos, and as writers we should have thick skins. It just took me by surprise. I expect it in my political/controversial issues, but not when my post is happy happy joy joy :)

Ryan, you're a "big talker". You have class and etiquette, even when you tell me to f-off :)
(Oh, and I totally agree about the checking)

Leeeeee!!!! I missed you.
Thank you :)

Garry, I wish you had read my post because I still can't find your comment appropriate to either subject matter or the "ambience" of this blog.
Let me help you:
1) This post isn't about hockey but about etiquette.
2) Even if you wanted to make your point and show us your previous remarks were fine, you're still off topic: the previous post was about hockey, not Canada's aboriginal's status. If I write a post about it in my political blog, you're welcome to say your view there.
3) Your following sentence: "I suggested that the Canadian team go home and to shave more often." isn't very nice, but it is extrememly hateful and sexist.
I do hope to see you here again in better form.

Fred, don't I ever hear you say hockey has no class as a sport!!! ;)
Yeah, you're right :)

Ryan Oakley said...

Everyone should go home and shave more often.

And a Swiss guy bitching about minority rights because his country has such a spotless record? Tell me something Gary - did you pay for your house with the gold from holocaust victims' teeth? I suppose you would know something about "crooks and gamblers" seeing how most of their money probably went through your country.

I'm not sure how it works in "neutral" countries, but over here not playing as hard as you can is an insult to your opponent.

Ignorant prick.

Melly said...

Ryan, I don't know if I should flutter my eyes and say, "My hero...", or if I should say - "now boys!" :)

It just goes to show that my own reaction was subdued.

Anyways, apparently both the Swedes and the Swiss beat Italy 11-0.
I guess 11-0 is not as humiliating...

I don't want to get into country bashing and into what country is better. I do that enough somewhere else, but it is funny that about a month ago I did write a comment on this blog about Switzerland. Here's the post and here is part of my comment:
"The only thing I know about Switzerland is that women couldn't vote there until 1971, and only in 1985(!) equal rights for men and women was put in their civil code with still 45% or something like that opposing. And only in 2004 they introduced paid maternity leave."

My point - all countries have black stains. Many, most, still do. We can get into what country has darker stains, but I, for one, do not wish to get into it. At least not here, not now.

Hockey, happy.

Anonymous said...


I think Canadian aboriginals did not play because they were paid off with Nazi Gold smuggled by your country.

Are you so holy? Does the red cross in the Swiss flag not have any blood in it?

Just thought I'd give my 2 cents while we're off topic.

Apologies to melly.

M. Noo

Melly said...

M. Noo - you are my hero ;)

(I'd better write another post quickly.)

Garry Ladouce said...

Ignorant Canucks!

PS. I am not Swiss. Italian really. Since etiquette is the issue here, I will drop this debate (if you permit) and will happily take it up in your political area when I get a chance.

I know Pat Quinn. From Hamilton days. He's a big lad. I always called him sir. He still beat me up. Didn't like my attitude.


Melly said...

Garry, thank you. I appreciate this.
See you around, I hope?

Georganna Hancock said...

I delete comments that are obvious self-serving spams. I leave the questionable self-referrant ones. Eventually we learn to quit taking potshots on each others' blogs. People who spew vitriol reveal much more about themselves than they can ever say about anyone else. Ignore 'em and they usually slink away. Respond to 'em, and they'll think they have an admiring audience, then pester you into deleting their comments. In any event this is your blog and you can run it as you please. You're welcome!

Melly said...

Georganna, that's some sound advice. Thanks?

Pat Kirby said...

Everyone should go home and shave more often.

Here, here. Hairy people of all genders are icky. ;)

Oddly enough, things stay very civil on my blog. I cuss and make offensive comments and despite that haven't really had any major kerfuffles. My policy would be to do some serious smack down on any trolls.

On other people's blogs, I don't attack the blogger or his/her position. My reason. It won't change their mind and only serves as a means of verbal wanking off.

For instance, I'd hardly see the point of posting a nasty comment about your favourite sports team on your blog. What is the point?

I have, however, on occasion, flamed other commentors who had said something so heartstoppingly stupid or racist...I couldn't resist.

rdl said...

I'm with you Melly! Don't let the ignorant people get you down.

Melly said...

But Pat, you're scary, that's why people don't make these comments on your blog :)
Just kidding of course.

rdl, thank you dear :)

Lee Carlon said...

Hey melly, glad to be back.

Melly said...

:) :) Me too.