First - I'm only expressing my opinion here. I make no claims to represent the moderators in this post. 


I would like to express some thoughts about these Blog Posts. Blog Posts are a nice feature of the forum. It's a great way to get into conversations in a sort of "panel" fashion where you and your audience converse one-on-one. I would encourage everyone to consider using this feature to have some lively discussions.


However, these things don't seem to be taking off all that well. Perhaps a bit of etiquette would be in order, so I want to propose some "rules" if you will, rules that should make the blog posts more interesting and invite participation:


1) As a blog "owner", you are soliciting one-on-one discussions from people. People want to talk to you! So it's not a place to advance your personal agenda and manipulate the respondents' replies to your own ends by picking and choosing what you will post. Having the power to review the posts before making them visible is only there to ensure good taste, not give you the "last word". That's somewhat unkind and discourages participation. It ends up being a bit like a bad radio talk show otherwise.


2) Be timely in your replies and be generous to people. Don't leave a brother or sister hanging. It's understandable if you are busy or out of town, but there are limits of civility here. You're in a conversation, so long delays imply that you're ignoring your audience. If you don't have the time for it, don't start it.


3) If you start a blog and no one replies within a few days, it is clear there was no interest. Your advertisers have left the building and and no one is watching. Pull the post. Note - we have a lot of "zero reply" blog posts right now.


4) The Blog Post isn't a place to "pin a topic". Just because you can post something and no one wants to reply, it doesn't mean you have "won" and your idea is up there for perpetuity. This is kind of like 5) below:


5) This is perhaps the most controversial thing I'll say, but the blog posts are not there for bizarre and strange ideas. That is, if you couldn't get anyone to agree with you in the normal threads, or people find your ideas "out there", it doesn't suddenly mean "the blog posts are for you". It's not a place to suddenly spread unpopular ideas that weren't accepted before. If people didn't like what you said in a regular post, why should it be forced to the front and center with a blog post? Blog posts are not a way to "have the last word" all over again.


6) The blog post may not be the best place to advertise new recordings etc. I struggle with this one because we are all here to share our music and worship, so it's hard to say where the best place would be. Perhaps a regular post? I'm not against regular members saying, "hey, check out my new album at this link". I'm just not sure the Blog Post is going to get you a lot of traffic. I don't know, maybe it's actually a good idea. Thoughts?


7) Don't add "like" votes to your own blog post. I see that this has happened a few times. It's in poor taste. Of course you like your own blog or you wouldn't have started it. Maybe we should change the "like" to "hog happy".


I promise to follow these rules in this blog. I plan to leave it up for a few days and then take it down, unless there is discussion.





Views: 43

Comment by Lorraine Doswell on May 5, 2011 at 4:03pm

I tend to think that blog posts get overlooked full stop, mainly because of their positioning on the home page. That's just my opinion though, as I feel more drawn to the discussions as I enjoy them, simple as that. I always think of a blog post as a way of sharing something interesting with fellow WTR'ers and feel it is not equipped to be a place for discussion.


For one, you can't edit your replies once submitted and secondly there is no direct place to reply to individual posts/ers, and therefore it becomes very difficult to follow.


I would suggest that if a blog shows a substantial amount of interest and turns into a discussion then it might be a good idea if the poster transfered it into the discussion section.


I get what you are saying about reviewing the replies first. If I like a blog, then I am the first to encourage the poster by saying so. I remember once though that I read a fabulous blog and was the first to comment on it, and I felt really hurt that alot of replies came up - in fact Phil, even emailed everyone to say how good it was - but my reply never came up. Probably overlooked, but hurtful all the same.


I personally don't start alot of discussions 'cos to be honest and truthful I am kinda frightened of either getting no replies at all, or being offended by the replies. Ok, so I am a big softie, but if I did start a discussion (and I have done so twice, I think) then I would like to think that I could take whatever is thown at me and not pick and choose only the nice bits.





Comment by Stevo on May 5, 2011 at 4:25pm



That positioning thing kind of occurred to me as well. In fact, these things are kind of an odd animal and they sit at the bottom. Do we use them? How are they better than a regular post? Why can't we edit them? If people use them well and behave, they are wonderful. But if people use them to advance weird ideas and bully people by selectively posting replies, then it's hurtful and deceitful. And to be sure, this happens even here on a Christian site.


Thanks for replying!

Comment by Stevo on May 7, 2011 at 3:47pm
Yes, I notice that a few of our members with higher levels of integrity are actually buying ads. Since I know who they are, I give them wide latitude even in discussions and threads.
Comment by Stevo on May 7, 2011 at 3:58pm
Wow, that sounded arrogant. Let me correct myself - I'm not bothered by those who pay for advertising, even if they interject a little product pushing now and then.
Comment by Stevo on May 7, 2011 at 5:19pm
Yep, that's what I was saying too. Some of us are more oriented around a certain subject of course, but it's clear that'we're here as "real" members. You're hilighting an aspect of my original post that I hadn't thought about  - some of those points are aimed at trolls, others are aimed at behavioural issues.
Comment by Lorraine Doswell on May 8, 2011 at 1:24pm
I agree that some of us are oriented around a certain subject, I know I am, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. Are we oriented around certain WTR posters though? I try not to be biased in any shape or form, but truth is, I am drawn towards the posts of certain people for all sorts of reasons. What I don't like is when people post a discussion (especially when they are asking for help or advice) and you never hear from them again. Unless there is a valid excuse, then I think it is downright bad manners.
Comment by Stevo on May 8, 2011 at 7:41pm
I hadn't thought of that, but it certainly applies here. When someone starts a blog, they have a certain responsibility to be courteous and keep up with it by responding.


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