html xmlns="" xml:lang="en" lang="en"> From the archives: You're going to make me put this on the side bar, aren't you?

Friday, October 20, 2006

You're going to make me put this on the side bar, aren't you?

My commenting policy towards your fellow commenters:
I require ACTIVE KINDNESS toward your co-commenters. By that I mean, be AFFIRMATIVELY NICE when you address other people here. This is a higher standard than "not mean". When you have a relationship with the other commenters here, you may write to tease them goodnaturedly. Before you have established yourself, you may write them with respect and affection. You may never make ad homimen attacks against a fellow commenter. If you cannot find respect and affection in your words and heart, saying nothing is always an option*.

Look, people. I write to you most days. Lots of you write back, and I enjoy talking with you. I know some of you personally, from here or from before. I email with some of you on the side. I consider you friends. When you write mean things to each other, you are hurting friends of mine and that makes me sad. I feel responsible for the feelings of everyone here, and I want to apologize directly to anyone who has read anything bad about themselves in the comments. Don't make me do that. Also, it reminds me of inane junior high school drama and I HATE drama. Worse, I have to scold you, which is boring.

I know some of you are writing to defend me. I need no defense here. This is my space; I have almost all the voice and control. If I feel I am not getting heard, I can harp on something for days, browbeating the lot of you. I've never done this, but if a comment bothers me? I can delete it. I have more power here than anywhere else in the world; here may be the only place I don't need to be defended. (That said, I do love to get comments agreeing with content, especially when I'm getting the feeling that I am a crazy woman for my esoteric views.)

My commenting policy towards me:
It is open season on me. You may critique or criticize any aspect of me or my thoughts. I've put myself on the internets; that makes me fair game. Again, if it really bothers me, I have options for addressing it.

Otherwise contentless compliments to me are boring. Email them to me, if you must, so that the community doesn't have to wait for them to be done.

*If you absolutely must say something catty, you can email it directly to me. I don't want to host mean comments for people to return to and dwell on.



Blogger Erin said...

My bad. I just wanted to communicate that responding to perceived condescenscion with rudeness doesn't clear up any miscommunication, nor does it win any arguments.

I haven't been reading long so I wasn't clear on your everybody-be-nice-to-everyone-but-you policy.

11:53 AM  
Blogger Megan said...

Hey Erin:
Thanks for the critique. I'm glad you're here for any length of time. I probably should put up a statement about being nice to co-commenters, for new people.

Ananda (from the deleted, accidental second post):
Good to see you again.

12:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't disagree with you on everything.


1:27 PM  
Blogger ScottM said...

Seems reasonable to me.

1:57 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

You don't have to. If you wanted, you could write a comment emphasizing a literal interpretation of my post, or challenging what I thought was a small side issue of fact. Then, we could get all diverted about whether the guy who broke my heart really does have hops. It cracks me up when you do that.

2:00 PM  
Blogger amanda bee said...

megan, I think you need it in the sidebar. For some people witty commentary and biting jabs synonymous, and the whole fun of commenting is to engage in a good hearty sparring match.

Once, I was working in a totally normal office in Manhattan (a long time ago, I just got totally lost in remembering how thrilled I was just to be in New York ...) with a woman who came to me to vent one day. With utter exasperation, she said something like, "oh man, Amanda, I have never! you will never believe ..." and went on to explain that an old friend had called and asked her to put up the friends' 20 something son for a week while he looked at apartments. Just a week, and I know she had a plenty spacious apartment.

I was supposed to say "oh my god, you are joking! Who would ever ask you to take someone in like that? My god! What nerve!" While at that very moment, some kid I barely knew from PEIS 101b was asleep in my bed. He and his buddy stayed for a week, staying out until three or four AM and crashing on the couch. When I got up to get in the shower at 6, they'd crawl into my bed. I seem to recall that they never really asked if they could stay with me, they just kind of did.

I think it was the winter before that that Kiffy and I swore that we'd always open our doors to each others kids. We were on a road trip and my parents' friends not only insisted that we stay with them, but proceeded to help the hitchhiker[1] we had along with us find a job and get settled in town.

What I am saying, is that people have pretty diverse expectations about what is okay on a blog. If high traffic blogs are linking to you, you're going to get new people who don't know how you feel about snarking, or meanness.

[1] We picked him up in a hostel, it wasn't like we came screeching to a halt on the highway and said "hop in!" -- we'd been playing scrabble all night and it turned out he was trying to find a ride to Flagstaff and unlike us, he was from North Dakota and had actually been in snow before. We hadn't planned on staying with the Brandts, or we'd have dropped him off at a hostel.

3:01 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

Yeah, I think affirmative kindness is an unusual standard and with new people coming by, they should know that here, we are all sweet hippies who love each other for each person's special unique beauty.

I LOVE your kind of hospitality; my doors are always open. And when my friends and I are staying with each other, we wake the last person by getting into bed with him or her.

3:11 PM  
Anonymous M/tch M/lls said...

And when my friends and I are staying with each other, we wake the last person by getting into bed with him or her.

You sleep in separate beds???

What kind of self-respecting hippies are you?

And yeah, your affirmative niceness policy is pretty unusual (but neat), so it probably would be a good idea to post it so you don't have to keep re-typing it into every comment thread.

3:57 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

Well, some of got up earlier to do, you know, sun salutations, facing east and thanking the sun for shining on us. Another went to gather wild chamomile for our tea or simply gaze at the spiders in their be-dewed webs. Someone has to press the tofu for the scramble later that morning; it doesn't press itself, you know. After a serene, yet productive morning like that, we naturally want to wake our brothers whose bodies prefer the moon and night, which is also a beautiful way to be. So we climb back in bed with them.

4:27 PM  
Anonymous M/tch M/lls said...

Someone has to press the tofu for the scramble later that morning; it doesn't press itself, you know.

But dude, if you look at it from the universe's point of view, it does press itself! I mean, it makes you think, you know? Like, who's working for who here, right? You know, it's like, how can we know the presser from the press? Man, this tofu is good!

7:16 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

That was excellent. Thanks for making me laugh.

10:41 PM  
Blogger jto said...

It's a high standard but it's what people actually require in the real world.

For what it's worth, I wrote this a year or so ago and I have a growing concensus--now two people are on board:

7:26 AM  

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