September 17, 2005
Reptilian Comment Policy
Everybody needs a comment policy (he realized belatedly), so I thought I'd toss one out. This entry will also have a unique, one-to-one category for quick perusal.
I do have a few simple rules which are so obvious that even without me enunciating them, not a single person has yet broken any! Readers of Big Lizards are a lot smarter (and obviously decenter -- is that a word?) than the average bear.
No profanity; nothing stronger than "hell" or "damn," but please not the latter with "God" prepended. "B.S." is all right, so long as you don't spell it out (unless you spell it "Bear State" or somesuch). Use euphemisms: "Mother Hubbard!" "Bullroar!" "Dangling Participle!"
(Angry Clam may plotz over this one...!)
- No personal attacks against the hosts of the blog or against any commenter. This should be pretty clear.
- Nothing that will get the hosts sued or arrested! That means no classified data, nothing that violates NDAs, and no libel.
- Comments whose primary purpose is to derail, disrupt, or destroy the conversation, or to drive away other commenters, or to serve any similiar troll-like goal, will be deleted and the troll warned; subsequent violations -- or even a single violation for anyone on comments probation -- can result in permanent termination. The hosts are the sole judges. Squeals of "censorship" will be considered further abuse. While the hosts dislike having to institute this rule, we dislike even more seeing other commenters driven away by the abuse of the few (or in this case, the one). Reasoned dissent is welcome; verbal assaults and intimidation will not be tolerated.
- No spam. Penalty is immediate and permanent termination. You're welcome to include your blog-URL in your comment; that's not spam. But y'all know what I'm talking about: I've got the "football," and I ain't afraid to push the button!
- We don't mind you gloating over the deaths of our enemies; but Big Lizards will not tolerate any gloating over the deaths of Americans or American allies.
That aside, here is what we do want... in fact, the very reason to start a blog:
- Topic drift and sidebar discussions are welcome in any comment thread. Let the conversation roll. It goes where it wants to go.
- Disagreeing with the host or other commenters is absolutely welcome. My life consists of banging ideas against each other to see which breaks; I'm not afraid of dispute, so long as it doesn't degenerate into invective. Please feel free to disagree with each other or with any of us.
- Brief snippets or quotations from other sources, published or blogged, are fine -- so long as you include attribution (even better is a link, if you can), and so long as they're brief enough not to violate copyright. (As a writer, copyright is very dear to me!)
You can use the normal HTML stuff that most comment pages allow, plus one extra that is inexplicably non-standard but which I added to the list of acceptable stuff. Here's what's available:
- <strong> or <b> for boldface
- <em> for italics
- <s> for
- <p> for paragraph; if you have multiple paragraphs sitting inside a <blockquote> or <li> (list) tag, you should put the <p> tags around the first paragraph (inside the blockquote or li tag), or it will look goofy. Trust us on this one...
- The <a href="some URL"> formulation for links
- <blockquote> for quotations
- <ul> for unordered (bulleted) lists like this one -- plus the list-item code <li>, of course
- <ol> for ordered (numbered) lists, like the first list above
- <pre> for code or table format -- monospaced font and all internal spaces retained... so you can line up a table, for example
- and <br /> for the XHTML version of line break or new line (while staying in the same paragraph).
Everything else will be "sanitized" right out of the comment automatically (to make it just slightly harder to insert malicious code into the blog).
Please note, I personally read each and every comment posted to this blog... so even when I don't answer, I did read and ponder what you said. And in fact, I won't respond very often in comments: I see the comments section as your territory; its function is a place for readers to express their own ideas and argue them out with each other. I learn so much more from reading what you guys write than from arguing with you!
I usually only enter the comments to correct some statement that is clearly factually incorrect. For example, if someone were to say that OJ Simpson had been convicted of murder, I would step in to correct that; he was not convicted. But if someone were to say he should have been convicted -- or that he was rightfully acquitted -- that's your legitimate opinion, and I won't mess with it!
And I might step in to whap somebody with a big, pink salmon if he or she gets carried away in the excitement and posts something regrettable. But I've only ever had to do that twice in literally more than a thousand comments on PP and CQ.
So have at it -- and have fun!
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, September 17, 2005, at the time of 5:15 PM
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