Standards and Practices at that other blog collective

April 25, 2011

crossposting from Scienceblogs
Language. For me, it boils down to language.

I’ll let the Big Dog fill you in:

How would you react if, for instance, profanity filters went up on the comments? Right now, it’s a real free-for-all in the comments, but I do clean up spam, ban certain elements that have demonstrated their trollishness, and will occasionally swoop in and erase comments that reveal personal information or contain nothing but bigoted raving. Would you leave if some automated software converted certain four-letter words to euphemisms, or if comments containing such words were held up until you edited them to meet the standards? What limits to expression would you accept?

This, Dear Reader, is a set of question I am interested in posing to you.

You’ll notice that I don’t really deploy too much of the naughty talk on the blog and if anything I only started to slip after a few years of blogging. So the record suggests I can get away without Carlin’s seven dirty wordss. Probably without calling anyone an asshat, douchebag or dipshit too.

But I’m not entirely sure that I want to. That’s the rub. I’m okay enforcing my own standards with this blogging stuff. But if someone expects me to toe a line of standards for expression….that’s getting over the line into professional work. For which I’d expect something more like a professional salary. Which….I can’t accept because I have a day job.

More importantly I’m not entirely sure I want to blog somewhere that Brayton’s titling of his posts “Dumbass quote of the day” is over the line. Mostly because I think this is the route to an enormous failure as a blog network. See Nature Network, for example. Discovery Magazine blogs manages to pull it off, kudos to them, but they have a very different model of blog collective. 100% heavy hitters from the git go. Not a rag tag collection of uneven talent (and you know I’m placing myself on the ass side of that one so don’t get bent, sciblings) profiting from traffic driven by political blogging by Myers and Brayton. As you know, I prefer the latter model.

But trying to kick the rag tag model into the snifter-snooter version in one fell swoop? I don’t think it can be done. So if PZ’s words about a new overlord looking to heel us to some “national level magazine*” standards of practice are to be credited…..

The only thing they could possibly be interested in long term** is the brand name of ScienceBlogs. In the short term, of course, they want PZ’s traffic numbers but that won’t last.

*and I’m assuming it is not our Legionnaire’s disease ridden “national level magazine”.

**yeah…I don’t know anything much. They haven’t really expressed any details but seem really, really keen on 1) not answering clear questions about their intentions, vis a vis “standards and practices” via email or general conference call and 2) keen on personal phone calls to discuss matters***.

***look, I’m sorry but in my experience, corporate / administrative types who insist on phone calls and refuse to answer questions via email are looking to lie to you and don’t want to be quoted later.

The RumourMillTM is at Retraction Watch.

Update: a “storify”, whatever that is.

No Responses Yet to “Standards and Practices at that other blog collective”

  1. Namnezia Says:

    This is hardly new news – even YOU had already posted about it a while back:

    But back to your question. I never fucking bother to watch my language both in my posts and I my comments. I mean, I don’t overly curse, but I do fairly frequently, both in real life and on my blog (ok not so much at home). I would hate to observe those kinds of standard which would inhibit my natural way of expression. So fuck them, I’d say.


  2. GMP Says:

    ***look, I’m sorry but in my experience, corporate / administrative types who insist on phone calls and refuse to answer questions via email are looking to lie to you and don’t want to be quoted later

    I don’t think this is restricted to corporate types. Several of my colleagues are like that — they don’t want to convey any opinion other than “it’s all unicorns and rainbows” via email for fear of being quoted later.


  3. Fucken goddamn motherfucken asshole shittbagge dickewadde motherfuckers can go fucke themselves.


  4. anon Says:

    “Would you leave if some automated software converted certain four-letter words to euphemisms”

    But CPP no longer uses 4-letter words. Would the software recognize such words as “fucckke”? I can see having a lot of fun with that.


  5. Bashir Says:

    It doesn’t seem like a big deal to me in the context of part of a deal to join some National Magazine. Those are the rules of the game they are playing. Keep it PG-13.

    I don’t really curse that much so it wouldn’t change my habits. I do find most automated programs are easy to get around and have odd holes. People will curse in principle anyway.


  6. WhizBANG! Says:

    In general, I try to keep my posts and most comments PG-13. Every once in a while, you just gotta go with one of those 7 words, though, and I would hate to have it changed to “fudge” by the robotic overlords. Just doesn’t have the same feel, ya know?


  7. proflikesubstance Says:

    Science Blogs is still running?


  8. about as well as one of them newfangled Amurrican cars.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: