FYI: Some More Thoughts on Blogging Etiquette for This Blog

Mike Woods, via Sharon, requested that these ideas be posted for general consideration and discussion. I think there may have also been some Webinars he may have wanted to post, but I am unsure (“incapable”) of how to do that. Here is the discussion piece:

Will you post this to the blog just as an FYI? Not sure if its something you normally do…Just let me know.

I would also like to suggest a modification for the blog site. This might allow for the conversation to stay focused on the ideas people are presenting, rather than being a venue for attempting to discredit discredit the individuals participating. I know you say this problem isn’t wide spread, and I agree. But I still think it would be good if you first had some specific rules like this in place played a bit more a “gatekeeper” role if possible :

1. All posts and responses must say focused on ideas and facts and must maintain a respectful discourse. Comments and posts will not be posted if they are focused on the “messenger instead of the message” and are derogatory in nature.

2. If you are responding to an individual with a disagreement that pertains to a narrow topic, then please write the person directly via email or otherwise communicate outside the blog site.

Just some thoughts. I know this may put you in a the place of making “judgement calls”, but I would trust your judgement and others could adjust over time too…


Michael Wood, PhD
Affiliate Faculty, Society and Conservation Department
& Leadership Program Director
College of Forestry and Conservation
University of Montana
Missoula, MT 59812
(928) 607-6356

14 thoughts on “FYI: Some More Thoughts on Blogging Etiquette for This Blog”

  1. Actually, I don’t agree about moderation all that much. I’d rather self-police than put Sharon or Bob or anyone else on the spot of being the arbiter or nanny. All of us are pretty much aware that when we put our names on something and park it in the ether, there it stays. And when someone crosses the line, I would presume that each of us would have the good taste to correct the miscreant? Same deal for wandering off topic?
    Never mind that we all have internalized philosophies and personal outlooks that further contextualize the discussion. So, put me in the “Let it Rip but Don’t Self Immolate” camp.

    • Thanks, Dave: I agree. I’m much more comfortable in my role as a potential self-immolater than as my proven inability to be a nanny. Plus, being a nanny is a thankless and time-consuming task and the benefits are few and mostly non-existent. No one likes being told what to do or how to do it, particularly those of us that like playing with matches from time to time.

  2. Thanks for the heads up on this Mike.

    Things can go sour too fast on the internet so keeping it calm has to be a policy. Many of us are aware of this in professional circles and know that seeing somebody’s face while disagreeing is sometimes crucial. I simply cannot work out things online. And this site does not allow me to edit barbs after posting. Like much of life.

    BTW, I am in N Vietnam where the forest products sector has mushroomed to 2..5 billion a year with massive changes in the landscape with plantations and uncountable small mills where NOBODY wears ear protection. They will be severely criticized, my next project.

  3. Greg: I like your analogy between hasty barbs and life in general! As we are working the kinks out of the new design, it would be good to have an “Etiquette” button linking to this post, right under the sign-up box and search bar and right above the Current Book discussion blog. Given that, after Gil gets his post up, it might be a good idea to begin a “What’s Wrong With This Website?” discussion and put a “Website” button to that discussion right between the Etiquette Button and the Book Blog icon. That would keep these discussions current, and would also be readily available to newcomers to consider. And to help refine over time. Reasonable idea, or busy work?

    • you want to put energy into those tasks Bob? Thanks then and on with it.

      No way to edit our posts like we can on facebook, like email, the send button here is forever. Done a few like that myself……

      But online also lends itself too easily to rants, its like we get to carp about something that we rarely get to say since few are listening. I include myself in that.

      And some may not realize how many non responders are reading these things, for example, on Oct 16 we had 550 hits on the blog so bad impressions might reach farther than the small circle commenting here.

      Acting nicey nice is just good politics, allows you to hone your dagger for a more subtle thrust that allows you to feign amazement that someone might take offense. The Brits excel at such debates.

      • greg: Sure, I’ll commit. I’ve already delegated most of the heavy lifting back to Gil, so it’s a pretty reasonable trade-off. The main problem with “acting nicey nice” is that it is mainly just an “act.” Plus, I don’t think I’m the only poor actor that posts here. When people get excited over something, it often means they care strongly about the topic, and this blog doesn’t have a “whoops” button, so sometimes people I know get carried away a little bit. Then everybody yells at them, Sharon smooths things over, and we all get back to being more mannerly for a few days or weeks. Then somebody takes something wrong, forgets their meds, doesn’t get enough sleep for a few days, or has a little too much to drink, and the cycle might begin anew. So far, so good.

        • Bob

          Re: “delegated most of the heavy lifting back to Gil”
          –> Yea, I saw where you gave me that huge homework assignment to compare all of the BMP’s in the world. 🙂 But, I believe that I am going to put that off until #7 or 8

          1) What constitutes the full contents of a Sound Forestry toolbox.
          2) Then totally independently, address what is an appropriate breakdown for classifying National Forest Timberlands into purpose classes.
          3) Then we can marry the appropriate tools in the toolbox with the NF purpose classes.
          4) Then we can deal with determining how we determine how much product should be removed where removal is allowed.
          5) Then we can deal with what adjustments are necessary if the wood products industry doesn’t gear up to handle the desired removals as established in step 4.
          6) Then we can deal with how to fund the appropriate actions and how to adjust actions for lack of funding for all unfunded activities on all purpose classes.
          7) State by state BMP’s comparison against Montana plan and our thoughts under Bob’s close supervision 🙂
          8) Contemplate our navels and decide how we would accommodate or defend against opposition.

          • Sometimes I come away pretty certain that you don’t actually read my responses, Gil. I didn’t write anything at all about a “huge homework assignment to compare all of the BMP’s in the world.” That is just you putting words into my mouth again. I simply asked you to list all of your “principles” and “common ground” concerns — AND TO KEEP THE SAME NUMBERING SYSTEM INTACT — so that I could post them and they could be discussed on a separate string. I also asked for a list of existing national forests and state forests (less than 50, right?) so that we could begin to systematically compare your thoughts with those of Montana.

            “Toolboxes” weren’t part of the discussion — this is a new side street that I’m probably going to avoid until you begin acknowledging and responding to what has already been written — and often at your own insistence, I might add! The principles and common ground ideas are sound, so let’s continue with that discussion if others are also interested — which seems to be the case.

        • Bob

          Oh, Yea, did I miss something else – I don’t want to be sent to the corner with a dunce hat because I forgot what was delegated to me. 🙂


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