And thought for a bit.
Now, some of it is obvious stuff that some of the dumber folk on the net need spelled out. Example:
Do not assume that you know everything there is to know about a writer simply because you read their weblog on a regular basis. Any judgements you make will be based on the information they have provided you about themselves, which is probably vague, incomplete or embellished.
This is very true. The immediately following statement, however, is “Whatever opinion you form on them as people, or their life as a whole, is probably best kept to yourself. Remember, you are the reader. An obvious exception to this would be if someone were asking for advice or opinions.” I would think that if someone, like me, has a comment link at the bottom of every post, they probably are interested in feedback of any kind. And anyway, why the hell would someone put something online where the world can (and will) read it if they don’t want some kind of feedback? Even if it’s just “dood, that happens to me too!” ? I just don’t get it.
The next paragraph concerns contacting posters asking for more details about things and is basically spot-on.
However, then it says:
If you have a real life relationship with the writer, remember that communication is very important. View weblogs as online journals, no less sacred than a diary hidden between the mattresses. First of all let them know that you read their site, especially if they did not tell you personally.
There’s quite a bit more along those lines.
That, my friends, is self-deluded bullshit. If you put your diary online, ANYONE can and will read it, and is under no obligation to tell you (although admittedly that would be nice). You want privacy, write in a journal and keep it under your mattress. Once you put something online, it has been published, and doesn’t even require money to read properly the way a book does.
My personal rule is generally this: if I wouldn’t want it read in court with everyone concerned present or if I wouldn’t write it on a postcard and mail it, I don’t put it on my website. Now, I’m a fairly open person about most things, so that leaves a LOT of room (see my surgery pages, for example), but still, there are plenty of things I don’t write about here.
A blog/diary posting is about as private as going on Jerry Springer. I’m all in favor of self-expression, but come on, people. Get serious. Oy.
Thankfully, after that, the piece goes back to making a fair bit of sense. I do like the following:
If an author uses language or materials that offend you, leave. Contacting the person or their isp, demanding they remove the content or change their ways is absurd because you are viewing their content of your own free will by visiting their site.
although I have the feeling it’s preaching to the choir. People who do stupid stuff like that don’t read disclaimers, in my experience. :)
This is also good:
Never use anything off a person’s site, be it writing, images or html code, unless they say otherwise. People are very attached to their work and don’t usually respond well when others help themselves to it. Copyright is protected by law and in effect the minute something is created, whether the author has a