Blogging Etiquette- Derech Eretz

It is a late night here at the Shack so this could be a little more convoluted than I’d like. But then again this blog is more of a place for stream of consciousness than a George Will essay or maybe I should really say Ralph Waldo Emerson. Emerson is a personal favorite. I have always enjoyed his essay on Self Reliance.

One of my favorite lines is “No law can be sacred to me but that of my nature.” If you are interested the sections I cited here caught my eye as well. But we’ll get back to that at a later date.

Blogging is an exercise that involves a number of components. You have a topic, a writer and readers who comment on the posts produced by the writer. Sometimes the nature of the topic is such that it engenders very strong feelings in those who read it. That in turn can sometimes lead to acrimonious debate within the comments.

It is good to have a healthy debate. It is worthwhile to challenge yourself and see if you can provide an adequate defense of your position. In theory you should strive to do this solely based upon facts and not based upon emotion. Derech Eretz is the term one of my teachers used to use in reference to having a polite debate.

I can remember more than one debate in class in which he would pepper the discussion with reminders that we were all human and the importance of Derech Eretz. It was a worthwhile reminder and a good lesson.

That is something that that the blogosphere is missing. I have wondered more than once how many people would be willing to say face to face what they type to others.

Within my own blog I have rather simple rules. In general I don’t do much moderating. Given a chance most people are pretty good about self-editing. It is not unusual for someone to post a strong response and come back and edit it.

Here is a basic rundown on how I moderate the discussions. Advertisements that are not cleared with the management are nuked. Threads that are hijacked and controlled without approval are subject to moderation. Beyond that everything else is simply subject to the whims of Shack Management.

Truth is that I update this so frequently it is unusual for battles to rage very long at all. I’d write more but the hour really has drawn late and I am tired. Perhaps I’ll continue this at a later time.

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4 Comments

  1. Jack's Shack May 14, 2007 at 6:39 am

    but if I did nuke a comment it would be at my whim as well.

    I have always appreciated the word “whim.

    Jacob,

    Colorful comments make the blog world a little more interesting.

    How many people would walk up to random strangers and start a conversation?

    Janet,

    Ride the subway and you’ll find plenty of people who are willing to do so. But very few are really willing to go beyond small talk and offer the very nasty comments we sometimes see.

  2. Janet May 14, 2007 at 1:39 am

    “I have wondered more than once how many people would be willing to say face to face what they type to others.”

    This is so true. Blogging is like a truth serum. It gives you courage. I wonder how many would be so bold. I know in some instances I wouldn’t. Take commenting for instance. How many people would walk up to random strangers and start a conversation?

    Janet
    http://www.theartofgettingby.com

  3. Jacob Da Jew May 13, 2007 at 3:44 pm

    I agree with Paula.

    I never nuke comments. Only spam.

    Even when the guy is calling me an A-hole.

    That’s because sometimes I feel disgusted by another blogger that I want to cuss him out too but if I moderate others flaming me then its would be fair for them not to post my comment. And I don’t want that.

    /ramble/

    An colorful comments are welcome on my blog too. I hate it when the frummies won’t post a comment because I said something of a sexual nature..

    It is their blog but chill out!

  4. Paula May 13, 2007 at 1:44 pm

    Makes sense. I also rarely see the need to moderate at my blog, but if I did nuke a comment it would be at my whim as well. Most people behave appropriately, and I certainly don’t mind colorful language or passionate discussion. What I find repulsive is when bloggers forge/alter comments to mess with people they dislike. Then again, it’s good to know who the liars are. Nice post. 🙂

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