Civility and blogging

Mena Trott, president and co-founder of Six Apart, has given a controversial speech on civility and blogging:

I’ve seen people make disparaging comments about other people — comments that they would never say to their faces.
In blogging, this is very much a reality as well  and it is much more permanent.
For this reason, many people are afraid of bloggers.
Frankly, I’m a blogger and I’m afraid of bloggers…
While I think it’s fairly difficult for a single blogger to hurt a company beyond repair by posting inaccurate information, I do believe a single blogger can cause an organization to waste time and energy cycles defending and preventing the spread of inaccuracies. We don’t have unlimited time to manage these cycles, so wouldn’t it be great if we could be simply more civil?
Civility is defined as a courteous act or courteous acts that contribute to smoothness and ease in dealings and social relationships.
Smoothness and ease in dealings of social relationships? Is this possible with what we’re doing with weblogs? When we preview our own posts what if we read for more than just proper grammar or valid HTML? What if we read it for accuracy, appropriateness, good nature. Read it for civility.
Fundamentally, our biggest goal should be bringing a new generation to weblogging.
If we want to bring a new generation to weblogging — a goal that I’ve seen attendees here expressing — we need to create an environment where people feel welcomed.

I’m not surprised this speech was controversial. I think it would be just as controversial among Christian bloggers as well, actually.

Naïve? Yes. I don’t actually think it will happen. But I do enjoy the more irenic bloggers. out there.

I like her speech, but there’s more to the story. More reaction here. (I don’t think I’ll be introducing backchannels while I preach anytime soon!)

Darryl Dash

Darryl Dash

I'm a grateful husband, father, oupa, and pastor of Grace Fellowship Church Don Mills. I love learning, writing, and encouraging. I'm on a lifelong quest to become a humble, gracious old man.
Toronto, Canada