- Welcome dissent. Introducing a controversial topic without expecting readers to have some ideas that differ from my own would be foolish, and would deprive me of opportunities to have my own viewpoint evolve. This relates to the next rule:
- Never delete comments (unless they are dangerous—i.e., could reveal my identity, or consist of hate speech). Having dissenting comments deleted really ticks people off. (I haven’t yet been tempted to delete a comment I didn’t like, but I think I need to keep this rule in mind just in case.)
- Do not insult readers. If someone misunderstands me, I will err on the side of assuming that I phrased something poorly rather than that the person is stupid.
- Do not complain about something over and over, yet reject all suggestions for improving the situation. I admit this is occasionally hard to resist.
- Do not post pictures of your kids—unless they’re really, really cute. Obviously, I wrestle with this one.
- Do not brag about something under the pretense of complaining about it. For example, I should not say “The problem with having a child who is toilet-trained early is that they yell embarrassing things in public restrooms like ‘No touching the poop, Mama!’” If I’m going to brag about my child being toilet trained, I should just say “My kid poops on the potty, and that rocks.” Except that would violate the next rule, which is
- No talking about poop—unless you are funny enough to pull it off. Which I’m not. This last statement may look like a violation of the next rule, but it’s not.
- Don’t put yourself down in the hopes of having readers disagree with you. So please do not argue with me: I am not funny enough to tell a worthwhile poop story. If I am looking for validation, I will ask for it; if I get insults instead, I will remember my final rule:
- Don’t take it personally. A good rule to follow in life as well as in blogging, and hard in both worlds.
Sunday, February 18, 2007
Whether the original Trainwrecks site was harmless or evil (which I do NOT, NOT, NOT want to discuss—I’m very bored of that topic), it served one useful purpose for me: it gave me rules to blog by. Until its demise, I was a little afraid to check my “came from” stats, waiting for the day that the telltale “trainwrecks.net” would appear. So I scoured their site, looking for blog behaviors that were most likely to trigger a trainwreck pile-on. Some things weren’t too hard to avoid; I’m not about to run off with someone else’s spouse and brag about it, my pets are all neutered, and I’m not running any financial scams. Other things I wasn’t about to stop doing even if I was risking a trainwrecking; I wasn’t going to wean my toddler just because some people think extended nursing is disgusting, and I won’t say that my husband is anything but outrageously wonderful, because it’s the truth—but there were a few things that I thought might be good for me to keep in mind. Here are my Rules to Blog By:*