Tag Archives: disclaimer

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How I’m hoping to aid clarity in online discussion

Some of the responses to some of my recent posts have been interesting. There are now more people reading St. Eutychus that I don’t know than there are people who I do. People who haven’t been following along for the six years I’ve been posting on this blog. So I’ve done some housekeeping.

I’ve updated my about page to be something more substantial than a staccato list of definitive factoids about me.

I’ve created a comment policy.

And I’ve edited my disclaimer.

I’m going to expect that people who comment here have familiarised themselves with these before they attack me (not before they comment), so they’ll be useful to refer people to. But they also say something about why I blog, what I blog, how I see this blog, and how I see conversation on this blog. They provide the interpretive context for reading each of my posts.

I’d love your feedback on each, or all of these – especially if you think my expectations are ridiculous or I’m incredibly wrong about any of it.

While I was doing some housekeeping I moved the Facebook comment form off the home page and onto each individual post, where previously it was on both. It was slowing down the page too much and a little too cluttered. Clutter reduces clarity.

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What is a blog: trying to bridge the generation gap

It is becoming more and more apparent to me, as I talk to people from the pre-blog generation, that there’s a bit of a genre problem when it comes to blogs, and what they are. For me this means I need to tread a little more carefully, lest I say something, under my own brand/name/banner that’ll come back to bite me. This post is going to become part of my disclaimer. Have you read it? You should. Because at some point if you’re going to engage with a text (and blogs are texts) you should be doing it on its terms as well as your own. Context is king.

But there is a lesson here for non-bloggers too – the onus isn’t entirely on the blogger to take people who don’t understand blogs into account. We have to consider such an audience, but we’re not writing to that audience as a primary audience.

Blogs are, by nature, opinionated, personal, and sometimes controversial. They are, by nature, quickly produced, biased, and not peer-reviewed. The more people fail to take this into account the harder life will be for bloggers.

But, on the blogger side of the fence, posts are permanent, googlable, searchable on RSS feeds and site searches, and available to the public.

If we want people to stay accountable about what they write (ie write under their own names), and we want to read what they write, then we need to not hold words that in the past would have been quickly forgotten against people. Or, at least, we need to make some attempt at understanding the genre before we impose our own anachronistic cultural readings on a situation.

Nothing I’ve said has come back to haunt me yet (except maybe one time where I mouthed off a bit about why a particular ministry wasn’t for me). I’ve been pretty careful with what I’ve said, and I’d stand behind it. But that doesn’t mean words can’t be twisted, misunderstood and abused – and at some point, the onus is on the reader not to do that.

That is all.

Convicted

I realise that at times I am stubborn, obstinate even, in discussions on this blog. But I really like to argue.

So this is a bind.

There’s at least one person who has exiled themselves from commenting because I’m arrogant.

And that’s convicting.

I do really like to argue – though I have a habit of divorcing myself from the implications of the argument and just enjoying the progressive development of ideas.

I have, as a way of warning prospective commenters, introduced a disclaimer to this site. You should read it. Though it’s annoyingly written in third person…

If you’d like to suggest anything that should be added – do so in the comments… though I may disagree with you…

You should also check out the discussion I’ve been having with Dave about the ACL, government and all that stuff, for an example of an argument where I don’t really believe exactly what I’m arguing, but also disagree with some of the counter-arguments. Feel free to chime in their too…