My Personal Rules for blogging

Below is a list of the principles that govern me as I blog. They aren’t intended for everyone because some of them are specific to my personality and style. They are subject to change without notice

1. Use consistent fonts and make the font large enough. My font size is 14pt which is a little larger than average. Most people have no problem reading 12 but I find it easier to read it when it just a little bit bigger.

2. Be clear with your points. I’ve confused people on more than one occasion. To do this requires that I reread the text from the point of the reader. Too often I write in order to get my point across without considering how people reading my post would interpret it. This is particularly important in a debate or when the subject matter is volatile.

3. Affirm the Negative

If something is particularly sensitive I will state what I am trying to say and what I’m not trying to say.

4. Handling Misguided commenters

It isn’t uncommon for someone to totally misread me. Very often people will comment affirming strongly in what they believe in opposition to what they think I intended to communicate. Then other people read my words through the lens of the critical commenter. Before long the thread becomes wild and unmanageable and I struggle to be understood. If I sense this is happening I will stop commenting and post something comprehensive which clearly and logically outlines what I actually intended to communicate.

5. Read the entire thread before commenting

All words are given in some kind of context. On the Internet we have the ability to go back and read what has been written before. If I wish to make a comment I should know what has already been said.

6. Understand cultural context

The Internet connects people from a diverse group of communities and subcultures. Even though everyone in my particular community uses English that doesn’t mean we have all the same meanings for the same words. There are things someone can say in their culture and it is perfectly acceptable but it wouldn’t be in mine.

7. There will always be misunderstandings

No matter how clearly one writes they will eventually be misunderstood. It’s important to remember this as a reader as well. Everyone deserves a liberal amount of grace and the benefit of the doubt. Many people are hurt because a reader reacts too quickly without allowing the author to clarify.

8. Avoid labeling and categorizing other people

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