I believe I mentioned in a previous post that we – your humble and grateful hosts – are lazy. We like a good nap and we think any nap is a good nap. Naps often rate above eating and watching HGTV (which is about as close to mindless entertainment as you can get).
But I digress.
On Friday, we announced our new policy of identification and rolled over and went back to our naps, content in having cast a tablet down from the mount to the masses below. The masses – who normally are unable to agree on “two-legs good, four-legs bad” or whether the sun is up – came together and heaved the tablet right back at us where it nearly roused Keliher from a particularly enjoyable midday nap.
That’s a crisis. We knew we had to act. Well, once we woke up and realized that the tablet broke a window, we knew. We got on it right after second lunch.
The purpose of the original policy was to promote better, more enjoyable and satisfying conversations and to cut down on some of the personal attacks, the speaking in talking points and the digressions into “did, did not” on topics that have been covered again and again and again.
And, of course, we wanted everyone to do it without requiring any work on our part.
What the conversation over the last couple days has reminded your hosts is that we have a responsibility to you, our guests. Keep the drinks topped up, make sure the music is danceable, that there’s hummus and pita bread on the side table. If we go upstairs at 11:00 pm when the party’s in full swing, we shouldn’t be surprised at 9:00 am to find that the couch is out in the front yard, the coffee table was used for kindling and that somebody got into the good dope.
In blog terms, our responsibilities include pushing ourselves to post more interesting, a more diverse set of commentaries on topics other than the ones we’ve beaten to death and stomped to pulp and left by the side of the road as a warning to others (I plead guilty). It means posting more often (I also plead guilty to count #2). It means respecting the opinions of our guests who have invested as much time and energy and thought into this venture as we have (if only we all thought about this site as much some of you do, it’d be the Huffington Post and we could have sold out to AOL by now) when they tell us our heads are up our asses. And it means taking an active role in making sure the conversation stays on or above the plane we’re shooting for.
On this last point, we’re dropping our previous diktat that everyone use their real names and will instead move to the next level of “other stuff” alluded to in the initial post, specifically by starting to moderate comments. This means that whenever you post a piece of trenchant commentary or a snappy one-liner comeback, the little party in your pants you feel from seeing your words in print and knowing that literally some number of people probably less than five are reading you will have to be deferred until one of us gets off his or her ass long enough to approve it. This is called deferred gratification and there are all sorts of studies that say it’s good for us (yeah, right). And, for the record, we all still think that “real names” is the best way to go, both because it’s the standard we all apply in almost every other aspect of our lives and because of the aforementioned nap thing.
Our evolution on this issue means anonymous posts are perfectly fine and welcome as long as they are respectful of the community, are not ad hominem attacks and that they add value to the discussion. Those standards will also be applied to signed comments, but we probably will give a smidge more leeway to somebody willing to put their name on something.
These are, of course, vague and imprecise standards that are subject to interpretation. We plan to apply the Potter Stewart standard of “we know it when we see it” to the task. Speaking for this author only, I’ve got vast experience in this area as I’ve been seeing it since about age 12.
The new protocol starts with this post. Let the fur fly and know that I’m much grumpier when I don’t get my customary nap time. Being awake for more than 4 hours a day ought to be a pretty clear sign of how much we care.
Hugs to all.
– Austin (for the Mgmt)