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Blog: Rules of Engagement


Every social network needs an etiquette statement *ignores the new-agey feel-goodies* Social networks are about trust and integrity and values. That would be shared values. Only we don’t share each others values. You might find a potty mouthed comedian funny: I just think he needs his mouth washed out. Differing ideas of right and wrong = differing values.

Etiquette statements (we ‘recommend’ we ‘suggest’ we ‘ask’) and rules of engagement or code of conducts (you ‘must’, you ‘will not’, you ‘bloody well better not’) are rare on blogs. Mostly cos the blog is a one to many mechanism therefore the blogger can delete posts, or ask people to settle down, and the blogger sets the tone. After all if you have a blog post called Sky Handling are Cunts you aren’t going to be upset about a few four letter words are you? Whereas a conservative blogger might be more prone to violence if subjected to a rude word or two. Violence being so much more acceptable in today’s society than sex or cuss words. Heh.

I’ll go into the specific reasons why I’m implementing this later but for now, I’m trying to work out a code of conduct. From Jeff Jarvis blog:

  • Any email sent to me can be quoted on the blog.
  • No personal attacks, hate speech, bigotry, or seven dirty words in the comments or comments will be killed along with commenters.

He used to (about two years ago) have a much fuller CoC. Or at least I think it was him. Maybe it was the guy at CNN? Ah well, here’s mine:

  1. Thou shalt show each other respect. I don’t care if the other commenter is a moron. Thou wilt not call them a moron.
  2. You can however criticise a thought or idea. As in “that is a moronic idea”. Criticise the idea, not the person.
  3. Unless it’s someone we all universally hate and revile. The Ruler of the Free World is one such being you can feel free to slam. Criticise the office or position, not the person.
  4. Don’t write anything that is defamatory or breaks copyright or is threatening. Firstly cos it breaks Rule One. (show each other respect) and Secondly cos then the policeman will come to my house. In uniform. Looking gorgeous. And how can I concentrate enough to hand him over any details I may have about you? Which I will do so willingly. Unfortunately I won’t have any cos Google doesn’t give me IP addresses etc. So think of me, and don’t do anything illegal.
  5. Did I mention that personal attacks are prohibited? This specifically means any comment that is blatantly attacking another person on or off the blog, especially in a personal way.
  6. Trolling is prohibited.Trolling is whenever someone is clearly, deliberately posting in a manner for the purpose of angering and/or insulting the other participants of the board. Trolling DOES NOT encourage further discussion in the long run, it only encourages personal attacks (if left unchecked).
  7. I think you are getting the picture. Play nicely.
  8. Participant shall not post comments containing personal phone numbers or addresses. I choose to show my personal details. Others may or may not. If you accidentally call someone Laurel instead of say, Silkcharm that’s ok. But inciting people to ring a telephone number to tell that person/company how awful they are? Not allowed.
  9. No spurious advertising. Free the Content doesn’t mean Free the Spam. Yes this means you Mr Viagra and Ms Anonymous. Friends can post links to interesting products. That’s called information and the subject matter should be linked to the blog post. Nothing else allowed.
  10. No spam.
  11. I don’t get paid to write this blog. I don’t take money to write stuff. Sometimes people take me to lunch and I may or may not talk about their cool/uncool site afterwards. Get over it, I need to eat.
  12. If you only buy me coffee, you only get a coffees worth of posting. 😛
  13. Posting details of bugs and exploits in such a way that others are able to perform said bug or exploit is prohibited. This includes software cracks. Unfortunately.
  14. Posting of pornography, racist or otherwise discriminating remarks, threats to cause physical or mental harm, extreme offensive language, material that breaks any law or otherwise totally unacceptable posts or links to pages that contain the aforementioned material may result in me becoming extremely annoyed.
  15. My (SilkCharm aka Laurel Papworth) word is final. This is not a democracy. If I delete a comment don’t keep coming back to repost. My blog my space, my subjects: go pollute your own blog, facebook, twitter, Myspace or whatever. You are free to take the conversation elsewhere. Stick a billboard up with SilkCharm is a Moron on the Harbour Bridge if you must. Just don’t do it here.
  16. My word is FINAL. Did I mention that? I did? Good.

When I asked Jimmy Wales (Wikipedia) about autocracy vs democracy vs meritocracy vs despots vs etc regarding the web and wikis he responded: “This is not a benevolent dictatorship. I am not benevolent. Ditto here. Heh.

Laurel Papworth

Named by Forbes™ Magazine in the Top 50 Social Media Influencers globally, named Head of Industry, Social Media (Marketing Magazine™) and in the Power150 Media bloggers (AdAge™). CERT IV Training and Assessment certified trainer (Diplomas and Certificates etc) Adult Education. Laurel has manager Facebook Pages for Junior Masterchef, Idol, Big Brother etc. and have consulted on private online communities for banks Westpac, not for profits UNHCR & governments in SE Asia. Lecturer, social media, University of Sydney for 10 years and Laurel has 11,000 online students. Laurel Papworth personally connects to 6 million followers online and has taught around 100,000 people in the last 10 years how to be social media managers.

7 thoughts on “Blog: Rules of Engagement

  1. too right !

    and cat’s rule is..
    you can’t post under anonymous, especially if you are leaving a nasty personal post..be brave, your isp can’t hide you anyway.

  2. Thanks for your interesting and entertaining blog postings throughout the year. I enjoy reading your blog and really liked this list.

    As you say, you are not paid to do this and it is your blog. Onya.

    Happy New Year.

  3. Rules of Engagement (definitions)

    1. OK let’s face it we’re going to war and here’s the rules we’re agreeing to play by?

    2. You and Me and getting on real nice so we’ll keep talking?

    3. Rules for Non- Engagement will be made by the boss.

  4. Hi Again

    I am wondering if it is at all possible that I could find somehow someone to do a code of conduct for me like yours by chance.

    People come to my Aussie blog and the other 15 or so I run and they just post junky pharma ads etc. I tear my hair out almost when I have to remove all the spam.

    Please feel free to drop me a line to see what we can possibly work out about helping each other out. Us Aussies have to stick together.

    Australian’s doing the right thing

  5. I’ve read over this writig and if I may I desire to recommend to you few fascinating issues or advice. Maybe we could discuss them.

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