So if I’m going to do this, I’ve decided I’m going to create a list of rules, to which I want to be held accountable. If you see me break any of these rules in a blog post, on twitter, or even in the pub, I want you to call me out on it, publicly. I give you permission. Better a public dressing down, than a slow reversal into berkdom.
1. I do not exist to self-promote. This is the really key one. I may sometimes tell you about things I’ve written, or projects I’m working on, but this WILL NOT form the bulk of my posting. So if you notice an unhealthy amount of self-referential content, feel free to yell: “YOU MORON, YOU ARE EVERYTHING THAT’S WRONG WITH THE CHRISTIAN SUBCULTURE.”
2. I will not cultivate my own community. This one might feel a little odd. But I think it’s important. There now exists a glorious wide, high, deep online community – but it isn’t ‘my’ community, even when you’re reading something on my site. The minute I start viewing my posts as anything more than a contribution to the wider discussion, then I begin a slow process of self-inflation which can only end in a blood-spattered mess all over the carpet of the Internet’s front room. And who’s going to clear that up? Not my wife, that’s for sure.
3. I will not flounce and get upset or defensive when you criticise me. Free speech means exactly that. I might enter in a dialogue with you, but I won’t try to shut you down or have a tantrum if you call me a pillock. In fact, feel quite free. Ideas are more important than my feelings – so say what you really think.
4. I will not devote my life to trying to desperately stimulate discussion. A conversation will either happen naturally, or it won’t.
5. I will endeavour to be interesting at most times. Note my use of the word most. Don’t flame me if you spot the occasional eulogy on the greatness of crumpets, or rant about my train journey. Everyone’s allowed off days – but if it becomes a pattern, please do nudge me gently towards the ‘delete this blog’ button.
6. I will give credit where it’s due. Intellectual property is a funny old thing is this new paradigm, but STEALING ISN’T COOL, KIDS. So if you say something somewhere and I find it interesting, I won’t repost it as my own idea. If you see me apparently doing that, by all means get in touch, but I can promise you now it won’t have been intentional. I love the collaborative nature of the Internet, and crediting people who ideate or show initiative is an important part of that.
May add to this post if I think of more. Or feel free to suggest some. Here’s to the journey, and the inevitable barrage of much-deserved abuse.
Praise the Lord.