For the formal, legal Comments Policy that governs use of this site, please see our Terms of Service. This is the plain English, human being to human being explanation of how I approach comments on this site. In the event that any assertion on this page could be construed to be in conflict with the Terms of Service, the Terms of Service will have precedent and will control. Use of first person terms such as “I” and “my” are for conversational purposes. This blog and website are owned and operated by IntenseFence Management Solutions, LLC. Also, to my international readers: since this site is hosted and managed in the United States, the commentary below reflects that outlook.
I think the goal of most blogs, and certainly this one, is to create a community where an exchange of ideas can occur. Comments are one of the most rewarding aspects of blogging and what has made blogs, along with social media, among the dominant content sources on the Internet.
In theory, a conversation on the Internet should not differ much from a conversation in real life. People state their opinions, share their thoughts on other people’s opinions, and sometimes get worked up when they feel passionately about something. But getting worked up is not the same as getting in someone’s face. Challenging someone’s assumptions is not the same as challenging their integrity. Discussions should turn to debates, possibly even respectful arguments, but not fights.
The Internet with its easy anonymity and lack of repercussions amplifies the voices of cowards and controversy-baiters, sociopaths and self-deluded narcissists. And that is great! The fact that the most disturbed and unstable among us have the right to spew the uncensored ramblings of their unfettered egos gives me comfort. In the United States, speech remains free. And that is a beautiful thing.
However, free speech is the government’s responsibility – not mine.
The right which controls on this website is the right to property, a different but still fundamental right underpinning our society. This website/blog is my property, and I control any and all content that appears on it. If I find a comment inappropriate, I have the right to reject it for publication. This concept is so obvious, it seems almost silly to mention it. Yet, from my experience on other blogs, there are some that have a hard time grasping it. So…
What Is Considered Inappropriate?
- Material that is embarrassing to others, defamatory, obscene, threatening, harassing, slanderous, abusive, ad hominem attacks of any stripe.
- Hate speech or any form of bigoted speech, including pejorative political discourse (Calling individuals communist, fascist, etc. with no context or basis).
- Material infringing on third party rights, including privacy rights, intellectual property rights or publicity rights.
- Advertisements or solicitations of business. (See below for details on this one)
- Chain letters, pyramid schemes, MLM opportunities, etc.
- Impersonating another person.
- Redundant posts, i.e. posting the same comment more than once, “spam.”
What Is Considered Appropriate?
- Comments that provide constructive criticism or disagree in a reasoned manner. Hey, tell me my post got it all wrong, tell me that I am way off base – that’s great. As long as you do so with a constructive intent and within socially acceptable standards of civil discourse, we’re good to go. Would you say it to someone sitting across the table from you with your mother or grandmother present? If not, you might want to reconsider it.
- Links or mentions of your own site or blog (provided they are offered in a non-spammy way). This means…
- You left an actual comment that added value to the conversation, not just “Hey, nice post” and then your link, and
- If called out in the text of your comment, the link is relevant to the content of the post or the comment thread.
In addition to manual moderation, this site also uses Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin for comment spam. Like any automated filter, it gets it wrong sometimes, and I will do my best to correct any errors. But just remember, if you left a completely benign comment, and it didn’t post – don’t assume the worst. It was probably the computer, not me. (I want comments!) If this happens, drop me an email or tweet; I will review.
In Closing: An Offline Analogy for This Comment Policy
I liken owning this blog to owning a coffee shop. It is a place where diverse groups of people can meet to enjoy a relaxing atmosphere and engage in thoughtful and perhaps even spirited discourse. If a group of drunk college kids or someone scalping game tickets came in and started bothering the patrons at my coffee shop, I would kick them out. I would want to maintain the integrity and atmosphere of my business and would not allow disrespectful people to ruin the experience for my clients. It’s no different here.
Thanks so much for visiting this site. I look forward to your comments!
Updates and Additions to This Comment Policy
Effective October 30, 2011 this comment policy now includes the following updates.
As this blog has grown in popularity so has the amount of spam comments. Dealing with spam wastes my time and detracts from the amount of time I am able to give legitimate members of this community who make the effort to participate and engage constructively. As a ComLuv enabled blog, this blog rewards commenters with links back to their blogs; unfortunately, this incentive also attracts spammers hoping to generate links to their own blogs (or the blogs of those who hired them). As such the following, refinements to this comment policy have been made.
CommentLuv Premium brings the following changes:
- Commenters who do not have a previously approved comment are held for moderation.
- Commenters with three approved comments get dofollow links.
Refinements to my approach to comment moderation:
Not all items below are hard and fast rules. Comments are judged on a case-by-case basis, but in general engaging in these behaviors makes it more likely the comment will be deleted.
- Commenters who do bombing runs, commenting on three or more posts in one sitting.
- Commenters who use different names and web sites on different posts.
- Commenters who do not use a real name but just keywords.
- Keywords, comments, or CommentLuv links that are in a language other than English will be deleted, either in part or in total. I do not have the time to translate, and I cannot allow messages that I do not understand to stand on this blog.
- Comments that have messages I deem to be non-topical and/or non-relevant. For the record, this is a business blog about customer service and the customer experience.
- Comments from people I don’t know who leave quick “drive-by” comments of little substantive value. You have to earn the right to just say hi.
- Comments where the origin of the IP address does not match the location of the business. i.e. a comment from India for an auto detail shop in Houston.
To all of those who comment here, even infrequently, I truly and deeply appreciate your time and contributions! I hope that these policies will make the time you spend here more pleasant and valuable. Thank you!