Skip to main content

for debate...

  • If you say it's a fact, you need give a list of primary sources, don't be surprised if one isn't enough

  • If it's an opinion from an expert... state all relevant affiliations such that someone can find out about this organization's work.

  • If it's pure speculation, use phrases like, "there is no evidence of this, this is pure speculation"

  • if you quote someone, include the context, especially a link to the article

  • give people respect in the comments and in general

  • ranting is OK, but don't think you can't be held to account for it... oooohhhh scary voice.

  • it's just a blog, ideas, intellectual exercise... hmmm, actually, that's quite a bit, take your words seriously if others are supposed to (i.e. humor excepted)

UPDATE: from acbonin
  • If you're going to enter a debate, stick around and respond to criticism.
  • When you're wrong, admit it.
  • If you have any personal associations which bias your point of view, err on the side of disclosure.
Also, good rules of thumb are being rated up in the comment. I'll put any that are this succinct and solid up here.
Is that about it?  Surely I've missed a few.

Of course, I'm not ignorant of the underlying issues, should there even be such a thing as standards... there are many arguments offered for the notion that it would be manifest destiny and laissez-faire on the internet, in netroots.  But all community blogs have SOME standards, some more arbitrary than others.

Originally posted to pyrrho on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 05:28 AM PDT.



40%56 votes
36%50 votes
16%23 votes
5%8 votes

| 137 votes | Vote | Results

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Going from A to B (3.75)
    Another 'rule':

    Don't claim that a set of facts proves a particular point without explaining why alternative explanations are less likely.

    I've got blisters on my fingers!

    by Elwood Dowd on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 05:39:20 AM PDT

    •  Better to lose the word 'prove' completely (none)
      You only get proofs in logic and math.  Everything else is more or less successful persuasion.  Just a thought from a philosophy/writing teacher.....

      Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official... ~Theodore Roosevelt

      by caseynm on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 07:59:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Usually True, But... (none)
        ...many disputes are about sourcing and accurate reflection of some contested fact.  People can bicker back and forth on something they think is a hypothetical, and then somebody can post some concrete example that ends the debate, or at least shapes it as much as the newly introduced "fact" influences the scope or direction of the discussion.  And whether or not somebody said something can often be proven by pulling up transcripts or their own writings.

        But can it be "proven" that there was or was not fraud in Ohio?  Probably not, so in those cases I agree with you.  And it's almost always easier to disprove something, and when it's been done to a pretty convincing degree, it's usually best to admit that your theory or assertion has been disproven.

        The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

        by Dana Houle on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 08:07:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree about (none)
          sourcing and who did what and when and such (e.g., "It WAS in the LA Times on 7/4/77 that..." or "Rumsfeld was in Iraq last week..." etc.,) but on substantive argumentative points (which is what I think Elwood was talking about,) we are giving reasons and evidence to persuade and perhaps even convince...but prove?  Hmmm...Anyway, enough of this abstract stuff....

          Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official... ~Theodore Roosevelt

          by caseynm on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 10:03:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  can any thing be proven? (none)
        Some types of claims actually can be, while others are much more difficult.

        For example, the claim that George Bush was in Washington D.C. on October 14th, 2003 stands a good chance of being either proven or disproven by video footage or public documents.  

        However, some claims such as those that implicitly or explicitly assert causality are much more difficult and arguable impossible to prove.  

      •  demonstrate (none)
        "demonstrate" is a good relativistic word for "prove".
        •  I don't know about the 'relativistic' part (none)
          but I like the term 'demonstrate' or 'demonstrates' in lieu of 'proves'.  
          Sub-thread here:  what DO you mean by 'relativistic' in this context?

          Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official... ~Theodore Roosevelt

          by caseynm on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 03:12:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  skepticism (none)
            while relativity says there is no objective point of view, and therefore no absolute judgement and therefore no proof (as skepticism starts with), it does allow for infinite amount of "demonstration".

            It's a functional equivalent, but includes the fact that every argument has some weakness... and yet, who doesn't believe a demonstration.  It's a word for believing your own eyes, acknowledging the eye can be fooled though.

            When I speak of relativity, I talk about what I understand of physical relativity as it impacts traditional relativity in the humanities (e.g. beauty is in the eye of the beholder, to each his own, etc).

            •  Philosophically, you're right (none)
              but I would just as soon leave the terms 'relativity' and 'relativism' to the side--it's blood in the water for the christo-fascist sharks.  I tell my philo students that 'knowledge', in the full-blown sense, is problematic.  I think it's better not to light the dynamite ourselves.
              It's a framing, issue, I realize, but framing IS important on stuff like this because it allows folks tocome to their own conclusions--e.g., my belief about what constitutes a human person doesn't include a 8 cell blastocyst, though, admittedly, if it develops into anything, it WILL be a human being; just please don't confuse 8 cells with a human person.
              Phrased that way, there can be a discussion.

              Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official... ~Theodore Roosevelt

              by caseynm on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 10:02:27 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  you think there is something wrong with relativism (none)
                that it's weak?
              •  I consider it this way (none)
                I think it's a matter of truth.

                Just like the republicans embraced THEIR scary fundamentals... it really doesn't matter, if relativity is the fundamental of progress, as I think it is, then we must understand it well and be able to vocalize it.

                There is no alternate concept to use without it.

                •  I think there are problems with it, yes, but (none)
                  as a personal philosophy, no, I have no issues with it.  As a matter of public discourse?Different question.  Is it likely correct?  Yes.  BUT.  Once the public hears that one is a relativist, though, politically speaking, it's all over.  They associate relativists with people who have no standards.  Not a correct view, necessarily, but a commonly held one nonetheless.  Publicly?  Avoid relativism like the plague.

                  Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official... ~Theodore Roosevelt

                  by caseynm on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 11:17:46 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  well I disagree (none)
                    it's also true that people are scared of religious conviction, but by returning to these even hypocrites are getting elected on the right.

                    it's not difficult to demonstrate, given years, that relativists DO have convictions, indeed, they are liberal convictions they are well aware of, and if they prefer to pretend these are not convictions I still think they can be disabused of those notions.

                    And frankly, there is no way forward except through exposition of our actual philosophy, not some philosophy that appeals but whatever philosophy gets to the core of things better, for that will be the source, ultimately, of our strongest and most appealing ideas.

                    They believe we are relativist already... but we don't.

  •  be careful (4.00)
    with copyrighted content. Don't cut and paste entire articles unless you are the author or have permission of the copywrite holder.
    Some thoughts here. The article is aimed at single author bloggers, but I think there are some good reminders for all of us.

    "One of the biggest changes in politics in my lifetime is that the delusional is no longer marginal." Bill Moyers

    by Lahdee on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 05:46:04 AM PDT

    •  Good point, Lahdee. (3.66)

      Today I always ask permission when publishing something for C&J.  And, with one exception, the response has always been: "Fine. Thanks. Do it."  Especially if it's a left-leaning organization, they're usually grateful for the extra coverage/publicity.
    •  agreed, Ladee (4.00)
      but it would help if those who have have received permission of the copyright holder -- particularly those posting on the front page, say so.

      Otherwise, its reasonable to assume that permission was neither sought nor granted.

    •  Fair Use (none)
      From your link:

      There's also the consideration of "fair use," which allows portions of copyrighted material to be reproduced without the copyright holder's permissio..However, to claim fair use, one must meet the standards. ..the courts ask four questions to determine if someone is making fair use of copyrighted material:

          * What is the nature or purpose of the use? "Commentary or adding your ideas to someone else's ideas or literary criticism are more favored than just copying for purposes of passing it on to someone or reselling it," he said.

      IMHO we are in the clear here: No one is making a cent by posting on DailyKos, Kos excepted. No one does a stright copy without comments and adding ideas -- law

          * What is the nature of the work being copied? "A work of fiction is entitled to more protection than the daily weather chart in the newspaper," he explained. "The higher the degree of creativity in a work, the more entitled it is to protection."

      Another question we are in the clear: We usualy copy from newspapers or media sites and very rarely from a work of fiction. At the maximum we copy from an Op Ed. But aren't Op/Ed articles MEANT to be commented and discussed ?

          How much of the work was copied? "If you take an entire article from The Wall Street Journal or Newsweek and recapitulate the whole thing, that's more problematic than if you take a couple of quotes from it,"

      Bingo! Avoid copying the whole thing. At dailykos we usually don't anyway.

          * How did the copying affect the market for the copyrighted work?

      Another question we are in the clear: The copying has a POSITIVE effect for the copyrighted work. If anything, a post on Dailykos quoting your piece will increase the hits the piece gets, i.e.   increase it's market value for media outlets. That is true even if the kos diary is tearing the article to pieces. The only way a dailykos diary could decrease the media value of the original would be if it leaked a scoop from it before the original work is published. That has never happened before and it's just something to watch for in the future..

  •  All good points (4.00)
    I do think that conjecture is perfectly OK as long as the author clearly aknowledges.

    All investigations start from a hypothesis. This is where a popular blog has such an advantage, one person can throw the idea out there and, in theory, hundreds of people can then go to work. We need to keep this 'force multiplyer' effect.


    'Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it'. - GBS

    by stevej on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 05:48:38 AM PDT

  •  This is basically what we ask (none)
    of Freshman English Composition students in today's university setting. We should expect much more from this group (in terms of accuracy, credit for sources, critical thinking skills) than we'd expect from a bunch of coddled and TV brainwashed twenty-somethings. One of the things I like best about Kossacks is that, at least on many important issues, fallacies and red-herrings and the like get called out fairly regularly, but we could do better.
    On the other hand, I'd hate to see free expression of opinion and/or ideas be squelched by fear of violating some community "standards" - sometimes, we're just thinking "out loud" are we not? I suppose there is an acronym for "just thinking out loud" somewhere, but I don't know what it is. IMHO, maybe?

    Do you still trust the party that said George W. was a serious candidate?

    by alabamaliberal on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 05:55:46 AM PDT

    •  thinking out loud... (none)
      is very important.  people shouldn't be condemned for thinking something through and later realizing that their thought process was a bit flawed.

      i know that i personally "think out loud" on blogs quite a bit.  sometimes it leads to very productive ideas.  other times it leads to getting shot down or criticized.  but as long as it all stimulates discussion and is done in a respectful manner, i think it's worthwhile.

      so yes, standards are a must, but not if we risk restraining free speech or make people afraid to voice opinions that aren't necessarily set in stone.

      •  Great point (none)
        I often am 'thinking out loud' when I post a comment, and later later realize I forget the modifiers like 'I think' and "I believe.." or even "Maybe this.." as if I have the one and true correct answer.  And have been called on it as I should have been.

        Especially when we are trying to understand a new piece of information that has come to light and putting the piece into the bigger mosaic, and are trying on scenarios for the right fit ... brainstorming if you will.  Don't want to stop that -- one of the best processes I believe.  But we should acknowledge that is what we are doing.  

      •  eschalons of standards (none)
        of course, the standards should be weaker from front page post, to diary, to comment... with the comments assumed to be flexible and opinion by default.

        HOWEVER, front page posters will be held to account for comments as though they were front page, for example "screw 'em".

    •  Ah... Freshman Comp... what memories (none)
      The Ciceronian Oration Form:

      1. exordium
      2. narratio
      3. propositio
      4. partitio
      5. confirmatio
      6. confutatio (or refutatio)
      7. digressio
      8. peroratio

      Plus I met my wife in the class.

      "The man of great wealth owes a peculiar obligation to the State, because he derives special advantages from the mere existence of government" - Teddy Roosevelt

      by mrboma on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 06:53:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  One Problem of English Comp That's Missing Here (4.00)
      And that is the five-paragraph theme.

      One of the blessings of the blogs is that they are not constricted by an artificial construct that promotes form over content.

      By the way: I will be using blogs in my comp classes this fall.  Each student will create a Blogger site.  I'm interested in promoting communication in my writing classes--and the blogs are evolving into an excellent venue for teaching (and promoting) just that.

      •  That's worth a diary (4.00)
        Will the blogs allow user comments ?

        The kind of feedback that students would get and give:

        • "Sorry, I don't understand what you're saying"
        • "That doesn't follow"
        • Please provide a source"

        might be a more effective method of teaching logic and composition. I'll be interested in your experience.

        Just don't let Novak post: "That's Bullshit!" won't help the students learn.

        I've got blisters on my fingers!

        by Elwood Dowd on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 07:16:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  That's an English comp thing? (none)
        Dang, we hammer home that blasted five paragraph theme with 4th graders here in Oregon, says this elementary school principal and mom-of-three-elementary-schoolers.

        Talk to me about teaching the five paragraph theme and the various writing modes; because it's been my experience that having children writing in this form with decent spelling and grammatically correct sentences will pass our state tests, but--well, bleh. After a while if that's the only way that kids write (besides the lone cinquain or haiku poetry lesson tacked on in May, after state tests are over), the processes of reading and writing jillions of identically formed pieces can get terribly dull for writer and reader alike.

        IMO the form can work for some expository and much persuasive writing; but sometimes cramming a potentially creative piece of children's writing into this format just squeezes the life right out of that sucker. Sometimes it makes me sad to read what my otherwise creative 11-year-old son writes for school, because he's been trained in what organizational structure is acceptable (read=will score 4s or better on the state writing sample).

        What are your thoughts?

        There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics. --Benjamin Disraeli, cited by Mark Twain

        by sheba on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 07:28:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It Is Good, Really, Only For Passing Tests (4.00)
          That's why the five-paragraph theme is used: it is easily broken down into segments for ranking.  A grading rubric can be quickly established using mechanics, organization, and elaboration.

          As to its use for expository or persuasive writing: tell me, has anyone ever been convinced of anything by a five-paragraph theme?  Look at good, professional essays: most emphatically, they are not five-paragraph themes.

          Just keep doing what I am sure you are doing: praise the kids when they write creatively or for communication.  But remember (as you do) that we've become a nation obsessed by measurement in education.  Whether we like it or not, kids have to do well on those tests.  So they need to know how to write five-paragraph themes.

          Until they get to college, at least.

          Where we will try to get them to forget all that.

          •  Thanks (none)
            ...for the affirmation that the phenomenon I am experiencing with my children and with the students at my school is unfortunately more common and widespread (no, it isn't just you, sheba).

            I also clicked your name and went over to your blog. Nice work. I read some of what you've written on this topic; I believe that our administration's current obsession with educational measurement has caused many undesirable outcomes. Effects on students' writing abilities is certainly one of these and might be worthy of a separate diary (because it really is directly related to politics and the state of our nation).

            There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics. --Benjamin Disraeli, cited by Mark Twain

            by sheba on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 08:43:23 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  The five paragraph theme (none)
        has met it's demise, in our curriculum at least. It's been replaced, unfortunately, with other "formulaic" approcaches to teaching writing - I'd love to see how that works in your classes -- will you be doing a "group" blog, or individual ones? It is a perfect tool - though you'll have to decide how much to allow "emoticons" and such, I'd bet.

        Do you still trust the party that said George W. was a serious candidate?

        by alabamaliberal on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 07:50:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  We'll See How It Works! (none)
          This is a project another professor and I are embarking upon.

          What I wanted was to use Scoop or something like it, but our tech people are resistant.  So, for the time being, I am using Blogger.  Each student will have an individual blog (the first day of class will be devoted to html).  I will "promote" diaries to a class blog, however, and might allow students to be involved in that process, too.  We'll see.  Much of this will have to be developed as we go along.

          Like you, we don't teach the five-paragraph theme.  But it is so engrained in the students that we have to deal with it anyway--just to get it to go away!

          You are right: it's a constant battle against formula, not just against the five-paragraph theme, that we have to fight.

      •  I was going to say (none)
        I was going to say I'm glad to see the destruction of the five paragraph form...!  viva la revolucion... I'm a sci fi fan and part of that is literary form experimentation (or should be).  

        But... there is room for a billion blogs and that is a great idea, classically structured short essays will work great as blogs... cool idea.

      •  Language is a living thing (none)
        Both written and spoken, it is constantly evolving. Academia has tried to impose so many rules on it, but it is still ever-changing. Forms, spelling, grammar, idioms, and any other conventions you can think of should not be so static as academia would like it. I think the two areas driving language change most quickly in our culture today are the internet and music (hip-hop and rap, especially), so having your students blog is brilliant.

        As I mention in another comment, my freshman comp class focused on the Ciceronian Oration form. It is very flexible, and nearly always requires more than 5 paragraphs. But the Prof also had us interpreting rap and other music lyrics as well as writing stream of consciousness/formless writings. It was one of the best classes I ever took.

        "The man of great wealth owes a peculiar obligation to the State, because he derives special advantages from the mere existence of government" - Teddy Roosevelt

        by mrboma on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 11:41:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, but (none)
      That is where the phrase, "just thinking out loud" comes in.  I don't think it's too much to ask that people be clear about the source of/motivation behind an assertion.

      If you add JTOL to the dKospedia, it will forever exist as the exact acronym you seek...

      Ignorance is never random. - Gunnar Myrdal

      by ThomasAllen on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 09:33:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Three More Of Mine (4.00)
    1.  If you're going to enter a debate, stick around and respond to criticism.

    2.  When you're wrong, admit it.

    3.  If you have any personal associations which bias your point of view, err on the side of disclosure.

    "Any content-based regulation of the Internet, no matter how benign the purpose, could burn the global village to roast the pig." -- ACLU v Reno (E.D. Pa. 1996)

    by Adam B on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 06:05:48 AM PDT

    •  It always surprises me (4.00)
      that people forget blogs are a form of discouse. So I would add:

      When you're challenged, be curious about it.

      participating here is an opportunity to exchange ideas and opinions. Even though I live in a very blue city and even though I'm an activist, I don't get a lot of opportunity to picks other's brains or listen to their opinions on the wide range of issues presented here.

      If you're only interested in hearing your own voice, write a book. If you're interested in exchange, even if you strongly disagree, take the opportunity to see where the challenger is coming from.

    •  know futility (4.00)
      I'd add my favorite nonlesson from the movie WarGames:

      Stephen Falken: Except, that I never could get Joshua to learn the most important lesson.
      David Lightman: What's that?
      Stephen Falken: Futility. That there's a time when you should just give up.
      Jennifer: What kind of a lesson is that?
      Stephen Falken: Did you ever play tic-tac-toe?
      Jennifer: Yeah, of course.
      Stephen Falken: But you don't anymore.
      Jennifer: No.
      Stephen Falken: Why?
      Jennifer: Because it's a boring game. It's always a tie.
      Stephen Falken: Exactly. There's no way to win. The game itself is pointless!

      There are some arguments on this site that are tic-tac-toe:  two factions of commenters arguing back and forth, repeating the same points, and always coming to a draw.  (The spam-Hackett episode was a recent one.)

      Do as you like, obviously, but my standard is -- although as acbonin writes, "stick around and respond to criticism" -- also know when to walk away.  

      When a discussion is productive, always engage and reply; when you can tell you're just playing tic-tac-toe, do the downthread posters a favor and walk away.

    •  yes, indeed, I'd like to endorse (4.00)
      adding all three of these items, and have been thinking more lately re: #3.

      There's at least one frequent poster who has said she gets "paid to do political work." So, it's likely that:

      A. he's reading dKos on the timeclock instead of doing his paid work (not uncommon I'm sure, but most people can't afford to spend hours and hours of work time here, they wouldn't get their "real" work done);

      B. she does her paid work from midnight-to-8 a.m., and hangs out here instead of sleeping, or;

      C. part of the "paid political work" he does is posting at dKos.

      So, is option C. an ethics problem? Obviously, staffers for Congressional reps or paid campaign staff who post a diary here aren't doing it on their day off -- and that doesn't seem to be a problem.

      But there's something that bugs me about the possibility that the reason somebody can spend so much time here, influencing the discourse, is because they're paid to do so.

      and I'm not talking about GOP trolls, I'm talking about Democrats who are paid political operatives, and possibly posting because it's "part of their job."  Should such political operatives disclose their affiliations? And if so, how? Each time they post? only when they're "working," not on a Saturday night?

      it seems rather difficult to know what is right, but I have been thinking about this, wondering if we'll see more paid operatives assigned to dKos, as the site continues to grow.

      •  I've Seen That Claim Made Before (4.00)
        It's usually made by people who make assertions, can't back up the assertions, instead of heeding acbonin's #2 and admitting they were wrong, they instead lash out at people and accuse them of getting paid to show how weak somebody's arguments are advance some undefined political view by some undefined political forces for some undefined political goal.

        It's nothing but a slightly more elaborate than normal ad hominem.

        The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

        by Dana Houle on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 08:58:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  huh? (none)
          I'm sorry, I'm confused -- I was talking about people who have THEMSELVES said they do paid political work.

          what does that have to do with "ad hominem attacks"?

          Oh, maybe you're suggesting that it's an "ad hominem attack" on my part, to bring up the issue of the ethics of possibly paid commenters?

          well, I don't think that's what you mean, but if so, we disagree -- that's not unusual, is it?

      •  Like this (none)
        guy, Bob Johnson?

        I have a confession to make
        by Bob Johnson [Subscribe]
        Fri Jan 14th, 2005 at 21:54:59 PDT

        I was paid to bash Joe Lieberman.  

        Joe's campaign paid me in unmarked bills, ten bucks a bash.  Each ten bucks would come with a little, hand-written thank you note from Joe.  I've saved them all.

        A few for your perusal after the fold...

        Sorry to take your serious concern and bring in a joke but I found this last nigh and though it was funny.

        On a more serious note I think some of those people are full of crap. They usually say the work  in politics after their take on an issue gets discredited. Usually they'll say something like, "I work in politics and you don't have a clue what you're talking about." It's meant to deflect the fact that they've been discredited. I usually think that if they are working in politics they should look for a new job.

        •  yes, that's a good point, certainly (none)
          there's no reason to assume those who say they get paid actually do. but sometimes it seems a legitimate claim. I dunno, I just encourage anybody who IS getting paid for political work to consider the ethics of the situation.
      •  it would be nice (none)
        if such a relationship is disclosed.  of course these people are political junkies too, of course they are here for personal and professional reasons.
  •  Hijacking (3.66)
    Try not to create or extend long sub-threads that are only slightly related to the diarist's topic.

    I'd like to see us refine a 'rule' like this somehow. If a topic is worth a long subthread, it is probably worth a diary, allowing the original diary to stay more focused. But, it's easy to unintentionally hijack.

    I've got blisters on my fingers!

    by Elwood Dowd on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 06:07:00 AM PDT

  •  Cross Posting (4.00)
    Some bloggers have taken to cross-posting everything that they write.

    While a super diary should (and will) get wide attention, posting all your diaries on all the same sites that generated from dkos is redundant.

    Posting a link in an Open Thread to your post is an efficient way to keep all the comments in one location.

    Cross Posting Every Post One Writes is Lame.

    by ROGNM on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 06:08:33 AM PDT

    •  Not Everyone (3.50)
      Looks at every site.  And diaries on dKos tend to disappear quickly.

      Query: just what do you find lame about crossposting?  Does it cause problems in any way?  Does it harm anything?

      •  It generates extra diaries (4.00)
        which in turn is why the good stuff disappears so fast.

        Just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should.

        MyDD was inundated with diaries from a new blog solely from self-promotion, not to add to the discussion at MyDD.

        Cross Posting Every Post One Writes is Lame.

        by ROGNM on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 06:20:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I Take Your Point (none)
          But there are so many blogs and such great possibilities that I would hate to see things limited too much.

          Personally, I'm getting more and more hesitant to crosspost.  Partly that's because I'm seeing comments from the same people on each site--making me thing that we've a bit of a merry-go-round--and that, I think, is your point.

          Still, I would hate to see anyone constrained from crossposting.  For one thing, crossposts have led me to quite a number of sites I might never have found, if I weren't interested to see where else a story is posted.

    •  cross-posting (none)
      i have been cross-posting because i am trying to promote my blog. i can see how this would be frustrating, but how else should one promote their blog?
      •  As the poster suggested... (none)
        An Open Thread comment with a link is certainly appropriate.

        The link in your sig line is also good.

        Perhaps someone could do a once-a-day diary on 'The Best of the Rest: Hot Topics in the Blogosphere'

        I've got blisters on my fingers!

        by Elwood Dowd on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 06:27:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Cross Post Your Very Best Only (none)
        It's not necessary to duplicate everything, everywhere.

        A super post or a "teaser" (with substatntial weight if its a diary) having profound insight and a link to your blog will get you traffic.

        dkos was not built in a day; Iv'e been reading kos since june 2002.  This site grew on its merits.

        Cross Posting Every Post One Writes is Lame.

        by ROGNM on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 06:32:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Teaser (none)
        For example, I don't have my own blog, but I am proud of my artwork depicting Katherine Harris's problems with newspapers colorizing her photo, so I'll make you follow this link.

        If that had been my blog, your curiosity would have led you there, and of course, I would have posted this in a Harris-related thread or Open Thread.

        Others do this and occasionally I find myself reading an interesting blog, so I bookmark it and go back.  But only if the content is very good.

        Good luck.

  •  Thanks (none)
    Come on over to ePluribus Media where I am hosting a section on Ethics--not simply in "citizen journalism" (the focus of the site) but in ethics on the blogs as well.

    As a matter of fact, I would love it if you would post this there, too.

  •  The poll: a question (none)
    What do voters mean by 'strong standards' ?

    • Frontpagers should purge diaries that break these standards
    • The dKos community should troll-rate comments that break these standards
    • The dKos community should downrate, but not troll-rate, comments that break these standards
    • Each of us should try to follow these standards when posting
    • Other?

    I've got blisters on my fingers!

    by Elwood Dowd on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 06:16:32 AM PDT

    •  Excellent question (4.00)
      At a minimum, "Each of us should try to follow these standards when posting."  A standard of courtesy.

      Surely, "The dKos community should accurately rate comments that break these standards."  They should not uprate to 4 diaries that break these standards.  But, in most cases, they should not troll-rate them either.  A rating of 2 or 3 is the least used.

      Troll-rating should be for posts (not people, posts) that unnecessarily seek a fight just for the purpose of fighting--that are intended to initiate a flame war.  Regardless of opinion or ideology.

      And frontpagers should retain the ability to purge diaries.  They should use this ability sparingly, but it is the only defense for troll diaries (those that seek to provoke a fight for fight's sake).  And for diaries that spam the diary list, persisting in continuing an unproductive controversy that has been discussed to death in fourteen other diaries over the previous five days.  We have to trust their judgment in these cases and hope that they are few and far between.

      And Kos should retain the ability to put certain people in short-term timeout or to take away their IDs when they engage in repeated spamming on issues, multiple duplicate diaries, or attempts to otherwise disrupt the site.  I know of three cases in which Kos has done this.  They are gratefully very few and were for serious issues.  We have no choice but trust his judgment on this.  As many have said, it is his blog.

      The revolution starts now--in your own back yard, in your own home town

      by TarheelDem on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 06:57:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm about where you are (4.00)
        Flaming newbies for comments and diaries that don't quite live up to these standards is probably counter-productive. We should encourage, rather than enforce, these standards (and I prefer 'etiquette' or some other term rather than the someone ominous 'standards'). We will all get better at honoring them over time.

        I've got blisters on my fingers!

        by Elwood Dowd on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 07:06:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  i think (4.00)
      (1)  Each of us should try to follow these standards when posting

      (2)  The dKos community should offer both positive and negative feedback with respect to standards.

      (3) Frequent standards breakers should be spoken to with stern voice.

      That's what I mean when I voted 'strong standards'.

    •  violators will be linked (4.00)
      strong standards to me = when you see these broken, politely post a link to this helpful diary
    •  To cross-post a post ... (none)
      I posted
      NEED TO RANT about diaries in 29 July open thread:

      In the past week, I have been struck by the huge number of wasteful diaries that are pushing meaningful ones down the list ever faster and faster ... We've had ...

      Pointless diaries:  'Watch out, I'm going to hit you with a diary that will piss you off -- I've warned you';  Or, "Just want to let you all know, I'm getting in a car for OH-2 -- don't have time to post more ..."; etc ...

      Personal Stories with little meaning for the greater community:  "Hey, I graduated ..." [Know what, GREAT Cheers & Jeers posting, probably would get lots of mojo for that]

      Wastefully whiny diaries:  'Oh, you mean Kossacks, you critize my grammer' [sic:  grammar not spelled correctly in diary ...]

      Duplication writ large diaries:  Okay, I love them, but how many times will Kossacks diary "Joe Republican" or "Letter to Red States:  Blue States Succession".  These are WONDERFUL but should they really be posted so often?

      There are 10,000s of Kossacks.  Don't know how many are "active", but if one percent chose to put up this form of mediocre diary on a weekly basis, it will overwhelm the quality material / thinking / interaction that brings me (and so many others) to the community.

      DAILY KOS IS BEING DEGRADED by mediocrity, sloppiness, shallowness, and lazyness in the diaries.  Many have said in many places -- we need a way to rate diary entries so that people with 'lower' scores have less access to posting diaries.  For example, if George10, Stirling Newberry, or Jerome a Paris have reason to want to post ten diaries in a single day, the quality of their contributions to the community should allow it.  For me -- with my six or so diaries in the past year -- two per day remains a pretty generous limit.  There are too many posters that I've seen in the past week who should be on a one per week or less limit.

      I contemplating posting a diary on it ... and decided that that would drive non-administrative ones down the list.  But cleaning up diaries is a serious issue ... there  is a problem when it comes to diaries.  

      Perhaps Kos / DailyKos could institute an 'automatic tip jar' with every diary.  Could that replace "Recommend" -- enough "4s" (with an average, perhaps, of above 3.5 or so) and it makes the recommended list while enough low (unproductive/troll scores) would drive the diary farther down the list (rather than delete, force it to be archived faster?)?  

      "Diary police" duty is something that probably none of us long to do ... but if the community doesn't figure out something, we will be overwhelmed out of existence.

      5 August 05, Day 1424 ... Osama still "wanted dead or alive"

      by besieged by bush on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 09:48:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I Think Time of Day Matters (none)
        Generally I agree with your comment about diaries very light on relevant content.  But I feel that's something to be enforced much more during peak hours than during the slower times, like nights and weekends.  I find that some of the best things that happen on DKos occur in some lighthearted and occassionally even goofy diaries someone posts just to have a little fun.  When those are posted during the day they don't generate much interaction, but in evenings and on weekends those kind of diaries often are like meeting friends at the bar for a beer after work.  They help bond the participants here into an odd but still real "community."  They're secondary, and should thus, imo, be saved for "down times," but they still serve a productive purpose.

        The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

        by Dana Houle on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 09:58:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Don't mind 'goofy' ... (4.00)
          off beat ... unusual ... weird diaries ...

          What I mind are:

          •  Diaries 100% without point.  (The "I am about to leave for OH-2 and I don't have time to post substance" was a great example last week.)

          •  Repeat diaries posting 'news' for the 10th time, with far less substance than any of the previous posts that day ...

          •  Diaries w/out time sensitivity where the person spent ZERO time to try to create a coherent discussion nor bothered to do the slightest check on the diary post ... and then did not 'deign' to engage in the discussion prompted by the diary.

          •  Repeat diaries of sending out the SAME frigging joke that have already appeared -- in some cases -- literally hundreds of times on dKos. (Don't believe Daily Kos is improved by using Diaries the same as joke chain e-mail groups -- can't delete diaries the same way as I delete e-mails. POST IN OPEN THREAD rather than diary ...)

          I like lighthearted ... there are wonderful posts and -- at times -- wonderful diaries that make me laugh out loud.  Makes this more enjoyable.  

          There is a difference between quirky / offbeat and wasteful.  While this is somewhat like defining art and/or pornography (eye of the beholder), there are some standards in the Community that 'most' users abide by.  Again, not looking to be assigned diary police duty (Armando's role?), but would seem that we would be all served if there were a path for the "Community" to police diaries.  (

          Honestly, with the way that most of us are cautious in troll-rating, doubt if there would be more than one or two 'troll-rated' diaries / day.  But we (MARKOS, are you listening?) need to be on guard.  With the current system, RETHUGS could shut down most of the utility of the site for communication almost at any moment.  I know exactly how to do it in a way that would be entirely legal by the Rethugs and that would create difficulties for Kos in policing the activity.  (In case they haven't thought of it, won't post openly post the several approaches ...)  Do we want that to occur two weeks before an election?  Need to develop a community policing approach as a path toward reducing Troll ability to harm Daily Kos.

          5 August 05, Day 1424 ... Osama still "wanted dead or alive"

          by besieged by bush on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 10:25:39 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Acknowledge helpers / commenters (4.00)
    If you ask a question and get an answer, or get a particularly insightful comment in response you yours, acknowledge it. A '4' rating will let the poster know that their comment was seen and appreciated.

    I've got blisters on my fingers!

    by Elwood Dowd on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 06:21:41 AM PDT

    •  Well... (4.00)
      I just wrote a long comment going through the ratings system, but intead of dropping that bomb in here, I'll just ask a question.

      A '4' rating will let the poster know that their comment was seen and appreciated.

      Is that what a 4 is for?  I'm not saying it's not, since I use 4s as much to say "Thank you," "Heh," "It's 3am and I'm going to bed but I wanted to let you know I saw your comment and I'm sorry I can't respond," as to say "Excellent!" I am saying that I wonder if that dilutes the effectiveness of a 4 in a self-policing community.  

      (The 4 I'm going to give you falls into the "Thanks for raising a good point!" category.)  :)

      •  Fair question (3.50)
        If I post "What was the name of the case?" and someone responds, "Romer v Evans (n/t)" I will give it a 4. Is it really an "excellent" response?

        Arguably not. There's no insight or analysis.

        But, it is absolutely the sort of interaction and helpfulness that we all want dKos to provide, and it advances the discussion. Posters who contribute like that are the sort of folks I want to have become Trusted Users.

        My alternative is to not rate the response, but post a "Thank you (n/t)." That interferes with the flow of the discussion.

        There's a broader question on ratings, of course: very few people use 2's and 3's. Per my 'no hijack' rule, I won't get into that here...

        I've got blisters on my fingers!

        by Elwood Dowd on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 10:56:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  re: blogging standards for debate (4.00)
    If I were queen of debate here for a day (which I most decidedly am not), I'd add to the list of debate standards:

    No ad hominem attacks. I mean, sure, they're entertaining and all, but let's face it; people who engage in these tactics during debate suck. And therefore everything they have to say in the debate is worthless.  ;)

    There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics. --Benjamin Disraeli, cited by Mark Twain

    by sheba on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 06:35:11 AM PDT

    •  Chute (4.00)
      At first, I was a frayed you were against add homonym attacks, but when I re red your post it became a parent that I was not rite.  Aisle try to be more careful from now on.  Such carelessness on my part should not be aloud.

      The most un-American thing you can say is, "You can't say that."
      - G. Keillor

      by Eddie Haskell on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 07:00:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  also: about evidence and the misuse of experts (none)
      If you give an expert's opinion in support of a claim that you make, you usually have not provided any evidence in support of your claim.  You have merely indicating that some one has the same opinion as you do, and just because that person happens to be an expert does not logically make your claim more likely to be true.  Although having an expert on your side can make your argument more persuasive, experts are often wrong, and they need to provide evidence for their assertions just like someone else.   In other words, using expert opinion is a good persuasive tactic, but it really has nothing to do with actually providing evidence.  
  •  No using the F word. (4.00)
    Or that fraudster, Armando, will ban you.


    The most un-American thing you can say is, "You can't say that."
    - G. Keillor

    by Eddie Haskell on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 06:48:07 AM PDT

    •  This diary is examining... (none)
      ...precisely how to go about making a case for fraud (among other things). Most of the controversial fraud diaries violate a majority of the rules.

      I've got blisters on my fingers!

      by Elwood Dowd on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 06:58:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  f*ck (3.00)
      I would like it a lot if Kossacks, in diaries and comments, didn't curse so much. It can be quite annoying when there is an excellent diary that I want to email and link people to, but then I realize:

      (1) I can't send my MOM to that!


      (2) They'll go to the site, see profanity and assume it is written by a bunch of potty mouthed high schoolers.

      •  (1) Edit it before sending it to mom (none)
        (2) The cursing is bcause of informality, not immaturity. Better to explain this to people than try to censor the community.

        If you have any doubts about that take a look at most right-wing forums. There's plenty of immaturity and ugly language without actually using bad words.

        Impersonating a See 'N Say is not straight talk.

        by BrianK on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 07:43:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Diary or story titles (4.00)
        are where profanity gets to me. I don't mind the salty language on the actual threads, but I really hate obscenities used in titles. I just think it makes us look cheap and childish without the context, which one gets within a diary or a comment.

        I do forward links to friends, family, and co-workers when trying to disseminate reality-based information. Several people (including my mom) have mentioned that they looked around a little and were "surprised" by some of the titles. One comment: "Lots of teenagers on your blog, right?" Very embarrassing.

        "If EVER we needed our brothers to hear us, to believe us, to stand beside us, it's right now." Scribe

        by eleanora on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 09:23:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Diary Titles, etc (none)
          I've always enjoyed bondad's economic diaries; they are always well written and informative.

          Now that he's hanging out at mlw, I've noticed a lot of his cross-postings come with highly energized and obscene titles.

          Sad, really.

          Cross Posting Every Post One Writes is Lame.

          by ROGNM on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 10:40:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I have just perused the 55 posts... (none)
            that Bonddad has made at MLW.

            TWO of them have obscenity in the titles.

            I find it odd that you've chosen dhonig's Daily Pulse with which to take issue over crossposting. With the exception of Newsie8200's marvelous news round-ups, I can scarcely think of a regular feature that offers more comprehensive media coverage.

            Which is why I invited them both to post their series on MLW.

            Neither of them has changed their posting habits, with the exception of adding "Crossposted at MLW" to their openings at other blogs. Long before they joined MLW, dhonig and Newsie were doing these series.

            Are you suggesting they STOP posting here and at MyDD and Booman? Or that they stop asking us to recommend the diaries? Because I have ALWAYS recommended their diaries. Here and elsewhere. I have recommended them on their merits alone, and continue to do so.

            I most certainly do not reflexively recommend every single diary that's crossposted here from MLW, nor do most. But excellent content is excellent content, and DKos and the others still have far higher traffic than does MLW. Surely these diarists and their work ought not be PUNISHED (by losing potential readers) for posting at MLW with the withdrawal of recommendations here and elsewhere?

            •  My concerns with cross-posting. (none)
              If a writer wants the exposure of dkos, they have the option to post and comment here. If they have a preference for a blog(for whatever reason) with less traffic, they can post and comment there. The cross-posting seems like hit and run. There is no way to engage in the discussion if you are posted multiple places.

              It also appears that the writers who used to contribute here primarily,no longer read and comment on the other writers here to the same extent. That feels arrogant to me, the writer is saying their thoughts matter, but others don't.

              I know I'm not saying this too well, but it's been buging me for a while. IMO dkos is not here to promote other blogs, and you could always buy an ad.

              Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those others that have been tried. -Winston Churchill

              by roysol on Wed Aug 17, 2005 at 02:04:31 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Well, I haven't noticed that, and (none)
            I'd feel just awful if someone thought my comment was aimed at him or anyone else for that matter. I subscribe to bonddad's diaries and read them every day. His economic reporting and analysis are so insightful that I guess I just skim over the occasional cuss word to get to the important stuff inside.

            Everything truly is relative*, I guess. So I take it back and will think before I post next time.

            *Hee--pretty funny to be saying that on one of pyrrho's diaries. My brain feels all tingly, and I think Schrodinger's cat just ran by. ;)

            "If EVER we needed our brothers to hear us, to believe us, to stand beside us, it's right now." Scribe

            by eleanora on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 05:47:51 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent suggestions. (4.00)
    These standards are our first line of defense when our writing is accused of being unsubstantiated, reactionary, or purely subjective.

    We need to be systematic, to ensure that any criticism of our factual/journalistic standards is, in fact, baseless and easy to disprove.

    Do not burn down your own house to inconvenience even your chief wife's mother. (proverb)

    by eco on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 06:53:44 AM PDT

  •  Avoid personal insults (4.00)
    And if you don't have any prior relationship with the poster to whom you are responding, it is unacceptable in my mind, if the first response includes a personal insult or accusation.

    Now there are a many exceptions to this rule--such as if the poster insults you first--but for the most part, I say avoid using language that you would not use if you were debating said poster face-to-face.  

    There are heroes on both sides. Evil is everywhere.

    by JaneKnowles on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 07:04:06 AM PDT

    •  Who Insulted Who, and When (4.00)
      I agree with Jane's comment, but I'm especially glad she added this:

      Now there are a many exceptions to this rule--such as if the poster insults you first--

      As much as when somebody launches an unprovoked attack, I get really irritated when some third party scolds both the attacker and the person defending herself.  This idea that any acrimony is the fault of both parites equally is stupid.  If somebody attacks Jane with some stupid or below-the-belt bullshit, Jane should be able to smack them back, and hard.  [Jane's usally much calmer than that, but you get my drift.]

      The other related thing that bugs the hell out of me is when person A attacks person B, and person C calls A on the attack.  Then some Miss Manners comes along and admonishes person C for "hijacking the thread" or not being nice or something.  Bull.  Unsubstantiated attacks should be backed up or retracted, and letting somebody attack people without any regard for fair play is what's bad for a blog, not the effort to make the attacker justify the attack or shut the hell up.  

      The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

      by Dana Houle on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 07:50:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Person C (none)
        I'm sorry.  Person C made me do this.  I could not blame you if you consider this a personal attack.

        A C, an E-flat, and a G go into a bar. The bartender says: "Sorry, but we don't serve minors." So the E-flat leaves, and the C and the G have an open fifth between them. After a few drinks, the fifth is diminished and the G is out flat. An F comes in and tries to augment the situation, but is not sharp enough.

        A D comes into the bar and heads straight for the bathroom saying, "Excuse me. I'll just be a second." Then an A comes into the bar, but the bartender is not convinced that this relative of C is not a minor. Then the bartender notices a B-flat hiding at the end of the bar and exclaims, "Get out now. You're the seventh minor I've found in this bar tonight."

        The E-flat, not easily deflated, comes back to the bar the next night in a 3-piece suit with nicely shined shoes. The bartender (who used to have a nice corporate job until his company downsized) says, "You're looking sharp tonight, come on in! This could be a major development." This proves to be the case, as the E-flat takes off the suit, and everything else, and stands there au natural.

        Eventually, the C sobers up, and realizes in horror that he's under a rest. The C is brought to trial, is found guilty of contributing to the diminution of a minor, and is sentenced to 10 years of DS without Coda at an upscale correctional facility. On appeal, however, the C is found innocent of any wrongdoing, even accidental, and that all accusations to the contrary are bassless.

        The bartender decides, however, that since he's only had tenor so patrons, and since the sopranout in the bathroom, everything was altoo much treble and he needs a rest, so he closes the bar.

        There was a shorter version of this around published as clef notes but I could not find them.  It had a happier ending.  After doing 3/4 time, C was informed that he was granted clemency via a grace note from the governor.

        The most un-American thing you can say is, "You can't say that." -G. Keillor

        by Eddie Haskell on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 02:07:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Amen (none)
      The corrollary to that is: If you do have a personal relationship with someone and use that to engage in banter that looks to the rest of the world like a flamewar, please provide some indication of the banter-ness to avoid confusing people.  There was a very minor pile-on of booman23 when he called Armando "such a dick" or something of the sort.  Apparently he was being funny, but it didn't look like that.  The funniest part of the minithread was Armando piping up towards the end that it was cute to see the pile-on going to booman23 instead of Armando for once.

      I didn't mean to turn this into story time.  Anyway, the point is that there's too much ambiguity in a text-only environment as it is, so if you're going to insult somebody, make it damn clear whether you're snarking or actually going for the throat.

  •  Avoid obvious self-corrections (3.83)
    A minor peeve, probably not worth making a firm rule:

    If you notice an obvious typo after you post a comment, please don't post a follow up: "Argh! Valerie Plame, not Plane (n/t)"

    We all make typos, and we won't think you're ignorant. No need to extend the thread just to reassure us that you knew better.

    I've got blisters on my fingers!

    by Elwood Dowd on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 07:12:06 AM PDT

    •  The Flip Side of That Is... (4.00) not be a niggling idiot about spelling errors.  Sure, occassionally it's really, really funny or a great way to deservedly knock somebody down a peg or two to point out that they spelled something wrong.  My favorite was about a month ago when somebody wrote some dumb comment about somebody being a "facist" and Musings85 pointed out that on top of being a stupid comment, the person was such a moron that they didn't even know how to spell fascist.  But usually spelling errors are just typos, and when they're not but it's easy to figure out the meaning, it's not worth mentioning.

      Spelling errors in a diary are different, because they point to a lack of care in something that's not written in "real time" as part of a conversation, but most spelling errors in comments don't deserve mention.

      The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

      by Dana Houle on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 07:55:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Spelling error story (4.00)
        There's a usenet group for comic book fans: rec.arts.comics.misc (racm). Years ago there was a DC comic titled 'The Suicide Squad.' A poster in racm back in 1991 asked something like, "What has been happening lately in Suicide Squid?"

        The racm community did not correct the typo, but instead took the question seriously. They provided a backstory about a superpowered, depressed, squid and a supporting cast. The collaborative effort developed into a very elaborate history and alternate universe.

        Today the Squiddie Awards are an annual event for the comic book fan community.

        I've got blisters on my fingers!

        by Elwood Dowd on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 08:10:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I have learned (4.00)
        to be more tolerant of typos, spelling errors, etc. and would never correct someone on these.   People don't have to have perfect grammar/spelling in order to get their points across.   Besides, I figure that if I am tolerant of others, they will be tolerant me when I make stupid mistakes, especially in the comment section.

        If science proves facts that conflict with Buddhist understanding, Buddhism must change accordingly. " - The Dalai Lama

        by LynChi on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 08:17:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'm one of those lucky people ... (4.00)
        ...who can look at a word once and always spell it correctly forever afterward. Including words in foreign languages that I don't even know the meaning of. This has always made my life as an editor easier.

        Most people aren't so lucky, and many, despite all their attempts, all their phonics lessons and school practice, continue to misspell words all their lives. This has nothing nothing nothing to do with their powers of reasoning.

        Yet I've always been amazed at how many people think someone is slightly stupid if s/he can't spell. In my experience, some of the best writers and thinkers fail when it comes to orthography. Indeed, one of the most accomplished young reporters I ever encountered typically made 20 or 30 spelling errors every time he wrote a story - compelling, often stunning stories that won him a steady flow of journalism awards. He drove the copy editors crazy, but the feature editor (and his readers) loved him. I can also provide a long list of syndicated columnists who can't spell.

        So, by all means, use your spellcheck, look up words you know you don't know how to spell, have a spouse or companion or friend read over your shoulder before you post. But, don't sweat the small stuff - it's ideas and analysis, wit and wisdom that we all care about, not whether you know that occasion has two "c"s and one "s" and embarrass has two "r"s and two "s"s.

        "The President wanted to go into Iraq in the worst possible way. And he did." -- Nancy Pelosi

        by Meteor Blades on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 08:24:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •   Less "jumping on the bandwagon" (4.00)
    diaries.  It seems that someone writes an amazing diary on a new subject and then a 100 more on the same subject come out.  Often, they have little new to offer to the topic.
    •  In fact, these show a lack of ... (4.00)
      ...respect in many cases because the duplicator hasn't gone to the trouble to see if someone has already written on the subject. Repeat Diaries should have new information, fresh analysis or some other compelling reason for being written. Otherwise, they ought to be merely a comment on the original Diary. If you think the subject matter is so important, that's a good reason to Recommend the original Diary so more people see it. This may be true even if you disagree with the Diarist's conclusions.

      "The President wanted to go into Iraq in the worst possible way. And he did." -- Nancy Pelosi

      by Meteor Blades on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 08:43:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  it depends (none)
      there is a balance, because sometimes people are starting a trend... those other diaries may be just echoes, but sometimes it deserves an echo.

      Ideally, it references the original diary at least, and is not just self promotion.


  •  And Please Remember... (none)
    Posting comments on a blog, especially ones that don't directly call for a very specific action, is just intellectual masturbation. It's not the equivalent of canvassing door-to-door, organizing a protest march, etc. And yes, I include my comments in this category.

    I am referring to comments here, not diaries. If you have that much passion about an issue, get away from the keyboard and do something. Or at least write a diary that adds something new to the conversation.

    This is CLASS WAR, and the other side is winning.

    by Mr X on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 07:16:40 AM PDT

    •  We do need to find ways to get people (none)
      out to help Democratic Candidates win.  Sometimes it seems like all the candidates want is money, which is not always that easy for some of us to give up.

      My husband and I went ot a John Edwards rallay and later to a John Kerry rally last year.  The events were very inspiring.  But we will absolutely be going door-to-door in 2006 helping ensure that Mark Kennedy does not become the next Senator of Minnesota.

      He that chooses his own path needs no map. Queen Kristina of Sweden.

      by Boppy on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 07:22:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Please go slower teacher.. (4.00)
    I am trying to take notes on the rules so I can post them by my 'puter.  Sorry, could not resist.  

    Obviously there are many things that tick each of us off personally.  But this site serves so many functions for so many of us, I wonder if it can ever become just exactly what each of us wants.  We have news, investigations, political discussions, issue discussions, rants, arguments, and just plain 'you won't believe what Bush just did' type of posts.  We get from Kos that which we are looking for.    

    These rules are good and should cover overall general comments.  But rules have exceptions.  Except courtesy maybe.

    •  even courtesy (none)
      I believe the saying "the exception which proves the rule" is a literal truth, not just a saying.

      The exception to the rule usually also illustrates why in most cases, the rule is sound.  But no rule is entirely sound.

  •  slightly OT (none)
    Crossposting was mentioned upthread in the context of selfpromotion. What about blatant advertising? I posted a late night fluffy sort of diary last night and the very first comment, apropos of nothing in the diary, was:

    You could also... (none / 0) worse than purchasing the 2 volume work at

    WTF? Has anyone else seen this kind of hit-and-run comment that is, in fact, advertising?

    I Am The King Of The Eleven Comment Diary

    by CalbraithRodgers on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 07:46:22 AM PDT

    •  Advertising in comments (none)
      If an ad is relevant to the subject of the diary or the subject of the comments (not always the same thing), and comes from a reasonably frequent poster, then I don't have a huge problem with it. If it's a drive-by advertisement of the sort you mention, I'd be inclined to troll-rate and put up a comment explaining why.


  •  Mark subject lines you think are news as BREAKING (3.25)
    so I can skip over it. I haven't seen any BREAKING news here that I hadn't already seen hours or days before somewhere else. Now, if you add some of your own analysis or thoughts, that's different. In that case, don't mark it BREAKING and I may read it.

    Lead, follow, or get out of the way.

    by TerraByte on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 07:52:47 AM PDT

    •  it's sad (none)
      that used to not be the case.

      cracking down on "duplicate" diaries killed it... because when you see something like this because you clicked on yahoo news 2 minutes after it broke, there is a good chance that someone else has posted it... so you don't bother wasting time on the gamble, and as a result slower breaking news.

      sad really, that was what made dkos truly a must for a politics junkie.

  •  Before Writing a Diary, Make Sure... (4.00) know how to do blockquotes and hyperlinks.  Figuring out where a long section of quoted text ends and the diarists own writing begins is sometimes maddening.  It's not at all hard to learn and is a tremendous aid to the easy digestion of a diary.  

    The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

    by Dana Houle on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 07:59:45 AM PDT

  •  Limited Space/Type of Comment (none)
    There are topics that I want to talk about that would take books to document, so I think those topics should be flexible standards. When topics are about a specific person and a specific deed then the standards should be high. I think it is ok to say that "It is rumored..." I just would not give the statement any weight, I would just use the statement as a place to start looking for more information.
    •  Examples here... (none)
      ...would help me understand your point better.

      I've got blisters on my fingers!

      by Elwood Dowd on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 08:14:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Explaining More (none)

        One of the difficulties that I have with writing for the blogging universe, is that ideas have to come in small packages. So I if I am saying that a name is   x, I ought to have very specific evidence. If I say that a political movement tends to be "x", then I ought to be ready to cite facts. However it should not be expected in the first note since the factual backup is frequently many articles, books and experiences. Especially if the intent of the entire small note is to introduce a new idea or new plan of action. I ought to be able to focus my small amount of space on the main idea.

        I have tried to write in even small notes with some facts and references so people can pursue ideas. Since I have tendancy to think in big idea mode, I hope that there is enough flexibility in the blogging universe that I can start with some givens, like global warming.

        Even when I have not known the blogging standards, I appreciate that people like myself who are knowledgeable but rather new to the blogging universe have been treatly very well and even encouraged. Thanks to all of you for the kindness.

  •  Oh, Here's Another One: If You're Gonna... (4.00)
    ...say what somebody wrote is stupid or wrong or off point, at least read it before commenting.  I noticed this all the time when I was posting to the front page, that the thread would always include at least a few people chastising me for saying the complete opposite of what I actually wrote.  I don't see it as often in the diaries, but it still happens enough to be worthy of mention.

    The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

    by Dana Houle on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 08:38:04 AM PDT

  •  Thanks, pyrrho (4.00)
    I like your standards.

    I'd add a few things:

    1. You are not the only one out of the 60,000 of us who is exempt from the rules. That means post enough to be substantive. If you abide by pyrrho's standards, that shouldn't be a problem.

    2. Back to the rules--if it's breaking news, it's probably already been diaried. Yes, you undoubtedly had a much funnier and pithier response to Novak's meltdown than any of the other dozens of kosizens who wrote about it, but it's still a duplicate diary. Put it in the comments in one of them. And don't bitch when someone points out to you that your diary is a duplicate. Suck it up and delete.

    3. Don't post and run. Stick around in your diary for questions and discussion.

    lib·er·al: Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry.

    by Joan McCarter on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 09:27:31 AM PDT

    •  Don't Post & Run (none)
      That's correct; and with so many of the multiple cross posts, I can't see how a diarist can keep up the same discussion in multiple threads.

      Cross Posting Every Post One Writes is Lame.

      by ROGNM on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 09:38:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Duplicate Diaries (4.00)
      I'm a stickler for that, but I also believe there's some flexibility in that rule.  The key, for me, is how much is the diarist writing.  Face it: a lot of diaries about something that's just happened that day, or about some article that's caught a lot of attention, include fewer than a couple hundred words of original content by the diarist.  That being the case, they should just write their thoughts as a comment.  But sometimes somebody has a completely different or more detailed take on a subject that what had previously been posted, and it's not something that can easily be summed up in a comment.  In those cases, I think it's fine, becuase it's not another "Lookie here, this just happened!" diary, but it's an orginal piece of analysis.  

      Those cases are the clear minority of duplicate diaries, but I think there's room for them to stay up.  

      The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

      by Dana Houle on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 09:52:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  agreed (n/t) (none)

        lib·er·al: Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry.

        by Joan McCarter on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 10:27:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Why duplicate diaries are a bad thing (none)
        (First, I agree that a diary that provides a different take or perspective on a previously diaried topic is valuable.)

        Diarists often get quite offended when asked to remove a duplicate. They take the short 'Already diaried below: please delete' message as a slam. It's not.

        Maybe all the reasons to get rid of duplicates aren't obvious:

        • It wastes the readers' time
        • It pushes other diaries off the screen faster. Deleting a duplicate restores a scrolled off diary
        • It fragments the discussion. Some aspects of the topic get discussed in diary A, some in diary B, some in both. That makes it hard for the community to carry on a coherent discussion.

        The last point is less obvious, but it's really the most destructive aspect of duplicates.

        I've got blisters on my fingers!

        by Elwood Dowd on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 11:15:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Quick off-topic ratings question (none)
    Why do the buttons say "Rate All" and not just "Rate This"? It looks like I'm rating all the comments.
    •  You're applying... (none)
      .. all your ratings.  So you can sweep down a page and rate as you go without clicking the button, then hit "rate all" and tally them in a bunch.  It is a little ambiguous, and "Apply All Ratings" might be clearer.

      (but everybody's a critic, eh?)  :)

      •  Thanks - (none)
        - I've learned something new, and your reply explains it clearly.

        Not in the FAQ, BTW. Maybe I could add it.

      •  But if I hit 'rate all' for each one, (none)
        it makes no diff, right?

        Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official... ~Theodore Roosevelt

        by caseynm on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 10:05:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not as far as I know.. (none)
          ... except that you're going back and re-rating all the comments you rated previously, which, conceivably, could contribute to the slowdown of the site (since you're rating 1 comment, then 2, then 3, then 4, then 5, then 6, for a total of 21 rating actions rather than 6).  (I've never looked at the rating code of Scoop, so that could be dead wrong, but that's what the functionality appears to be.)

          Same thing happens if you try to refresh a page after you've rated (but before you've done anything else, like reply again): you actually resubmit the form, sending all your ratings and, essentially, rating them again.  Doesn't have any impact on the score, but it appears that it could increase the server load more than a simple reload does (e.g., by hitting permalink and then "show comments" again or by going back to the home page and returning to the diary -- not sure which of the three options is the least bad for the dkos servers).

  •  poll results (none)
    "strong standards" has taken a commanding lead.

    oh, yes. let's impose order. heh heh.

    how very "liberal." to contravene the core meaning of the word by rushing to define parameters and impose regulations. and discipline those who fail to kowtow accordingly. after all, contravening these might make us uncomfortable.

    wouldn't DeLay be proud, though! we're learning from him. perhaps in the next party platform, we can pledge to make all the trains run on time, too.

    •  There's a discussion... (none)
      ...about halfway up on what the voters mean by 'strong standards.' I think you're objecting to rigid enforcement. That may not be what people mean.

      I've got blisters on my fingers!

      by Elwood Dowd on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 11:22:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You're Trying to Reason... (none)
        ...with a commenter who's knee-jerk response to any discussion about standards is to assume the man is gonna be keepin' him down.  Asking for good manners and respect for others is, for RN, tantamount to imposing Mussolini-like rule over the nation.

        The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

        by Dana Houle on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 12:30:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  But (none)
      isn't the rush "to define parameters and impose regulations...and discipline those who fail to kowtow accordingly " exactly what we expect when it comes to "evil" corporations?

      Just being a devil's advocate here....

      (Cross-posted in my pants)

      by Calishfornia on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 12:04:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No. (none)
        Consider Linux and the open source movement.

        Those communities rely on open standards to enable loosely coordinated collaboration. As a result, they have been able to dramatically reduce the market domination of closed system vendors you would probably call "evil corporations," such as Microsoft. These vendors are often hostile to standards for precisely this reason.

        The recognition of standards for discourse on dKos has similar benefits: we are all able to collaborate  in developing and refining ideas more effectively.

        The "discipline those who fail to kowtow" remark shows that you have not read this thread.

        I've got blisters on my fingers!

        by Elwood Dowd on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 01:08:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  no... (none)
        ...what I expect from big corporations is for them to die and to rot, the body of the last investment banker dangling from the last lamppost.

        long way to go, I know.

    •  quite a suprise to me (none)
      I voted flexible standards.

      suprised... not only winning, but there is a bell curish mid point in yes, some standards expressly...

    •  devil's advocate for standards (none)
      but standards are part of what progressives and liberals believe, we think they can coexist with liberty, don't we.

      I mean, I can understand why Halliburton's executives think it's a great idea to give Halliburton no-bid contracts... it's just standards I expect them to apply in addition to thinking how sweet and doable it is.

      Right?  I wouldn't mind a billion dollar no bid contract, I can see the upside of that for me... standards to not have to be dogmatic authoritarian dictums... no really... I swear they don't!

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site