Sunday, February 20, 2005

Chaliceblog Snark Policy

Left Coast Unitarian: Lenten snark vigil has me thinking about my own snarkiness and who and what I will be snarky about.

So I've written a policy. (One that I've been following all along really, but here it is in writing.)

In short.

1. I never insult the CSO on my blog. He and I have a rule of presenting ourselves as a united front to both families and all but the closest of our friends. (Item: All marriages should have this rule. Seriously.) Making some big fuss about a minor beef I have with him would be a violation of this.

2. If you have a blog, you’re fair game. Sorry. You are. If you don’t want your opinions criticized, don’t put them on the internet. If someone typically comes up with better things or if they have a thoughtful wrong opinion, I will be more gentle, but frankly Home Improvement was a hit television show, so clearly people have trouble recognizing when something sucks and need the suckiness pointed out.

3. It’s not my church’s fault that they have CC for a congregant. So I try not to punish them for it. There are a lot of UU churches around DC and I try not to make which one I attend too terribly obvious. At the same time, if they are doing something I'm not used to (such as kicking around having a pledging ritual ) I might mention it so see if other people’s churches are doing the same thing,. If I do decide to take some Sundays and write “church reviews,” I won’t write one about my home church.

4. I’m stricter on myself when it comes to my ministers. Being criticized all over the internet is not in their job descriptions. I might talk about the same topic they talked about, but I won’t directly respond to them.

5. Former members of my previous churches may well show up in thinly-disguised form in the Round Robin. Partially, this is because there’s a certain commedia dell’arte to UU churches. There is a woman at each of my previous churches, and my current one, who could see herself in Peggy, a feisty old lady who runs the church’s social action committee. Other people appear because I miss them and writing them into the round robin lets me be back in church with them in a very loose and self-indulgent sense.

6. When I’m writing something positive about one of my friends, I will use their real name and my favorite of their good qualities or something cool about them. When I write something negative or personal, I won’t reveal who I am talking about Again, most of my friends befriended me in my “real life,” not as a blogger. I try to make them identifiable only in a loose sense. The exception here is, of course, Katy-the-Wise whose identity is pretty clear to anyone who wants to take a little time to look. Katy-the-Wise knows I write about her sometimes and that I very much admire her as a thinker and as a human being. So far, she tolerates being written about, though I don’t know that she reads my blog. If she ever asked me to stop writing about her, I would.

I think these rules constitute a pretty reasonable approach to blogging and to letting my blog reflect my life and opinions.

who doesn't give up stuff for lent


jfield said...

Thank you for writing this out. My point was mostly to try to draw some limits to my tendency to be critical and to make a distinction between my UU blog and any blogging I might do about politics in general.

Probably the next vigil that is necessary is against metablogging. :) ENFJ jfieldnerd

Anonymous said...

What about control freaks who become debate forum hosts. Shouldn't they be snarkable?

Chalicechick said...

Art, I'd say snarking on them would only encourage them.