Wick Communications

Remember The Big Picture

In Online media on June 9, 2011 at 4:20 pm

Poynter blogger Steve Myers says he found this kind-of wonderful guideline for commenters on The Big Picture finance blog:

“Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data, ability to repeat discredited memes, and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Also, be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor even implied. Any irrelevancies you can mention will also be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.”

I confess, I didn’t find that. Instead, when I went looking, I found this on The Big Picture:

This may be a free country, but The Big Picture is my personal fiefdom. I rule over all as benevolent dictator/philospher king.

I will ban anyone whom I choose from posting comments — usually, for a damned good reason, but on rare occasions, for the exact same reason God created the platypus: because I feel like it.

I suspect the author of the first list of guidelines was channeling many of our deepest thoughts about some of those who comment on our thoughtful prose. He was obviously kidding, and I imagine the effort drew a chuckle from many commenters who were just about to create straw men, get all irrelevant and otherwise act out on the site. Humor is disarming, particularly when it’s a bit self-deprecating. …

I’m not suggesting you pen a similar note at the end of your blogs. But it’s wise to remember that something written by somebody who wishes to be known as “bigpumpkin,” to mention one of our regulars at the Half Moon Bay Review, is not to be taken terribly seriously.

So, smile and remember that comments count as content. They are sometimes illuminating, occasionally illiterate, frequently hard to follow, but they are also evidence of a vital community you are bringing together.

Remember The Big Picture. Don’t take it too seriously.

Clay

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