Sorry that my posting has been both light and lite these last couple of days. Work has been nuts — which is nutty, considering that I quit work to work less and write more and now I work more and write less (all the while making less).

I’ll also say that I was just as glad to step back away from the keyboard after finding myself attacked at a conference because I happened to be on a list others aren’t on. And then, via the dreaded Trilateral Commission Technorati, maker of evil lists, I found myself attacked in a blog by a troll of trolls I wouldn’t have otherwise read and will not link to. Time to open up another bottle of cabernet to get the bad taste out of my mouth.

Scoble, meanwhile, is so fed up he’s hanging up his mouse for a while:

This business just sucks sometimes and people forget you’re human. They think they have the right to attack you personally just cause of what you write.

These people would never say this kind of stuff face-to-face but because it’s on the Internet folks feel like they are allowed to be rude in ways they’d never think of being face-to-face….

I also find that I’m not able to be human anymore — I’m not having fun anymore. It’s time to take some time away from the blog.

Remember, my friends, a blog isn’t a media property or product. It is a person. And this isn’t content. It’s a conversation. Make it a civil one if you can.

Or follow Dave Winer’s advice about lists: “Why bother. Just blog what you find interesting, what you believe in, and everything is fine.”

  • The great irony is that when you do ask that people behave like adults, treat each other civilly, and refrain from name-calling, you get accused of censorship.

    Since when has civility been a ‘chilling effect’?

  • Dean

    Jeff, I’ve been reading your work for many, many years. Every week when my TV Guide arrived, I invariably stopped at your column and read it through. The fact that I don’t agree with all your perspectives and opinions means nothing. It is the way you write. I can tell you believe in something and are willing to honestly say so and defend your positions with integrity. I respect that.

    Anyway, sorry about your difficult period, but as the age-old platitude tells us: “This too shall pass”. This is so true, but unfortunately, while some things pass like a leaf drifting by your window barely noticed, others pass like a kidney stone the size of a golf ball… Here’s hoping yours is the former.

    I look forward to reading your writings for many more years to come.


  • Jeff:

    Dave is generally a really smart guy and the advice you quote is spot on. Remember why you got into blogging and do it for those reasons – to express yourself, to share your thoughts, passions, and beliefs, and to precipitate conversation and community. Not to get on a list.

    The trolls are out there and there are any number of ways to deal with them. In general the most effective idea is to not feed them.

    Scoble’s writing partner, Shel Israel, posted an excellent courtesy guideline on The Red Couch blog yesterday he calls the Living Room rule:

    “If you came into my home and were rude to another guest, I would ask you to stop. If you continued to be rude, I would ask you to leave. From this point forward, this is what I will do. If I feel you are being abusive, hogging the conversation or otherwise discouraging the open exchange of legitimate points of view. I will ask you to be more polite. If you ignore the request, I will ban you from further Comments. I call the the Living Room rule and I will enforce it subjectively.”

    It won’t change the most pig-headed of trolls but it may make the momentarily overzealous think twice before posting a flame.

  • Ed Rusch

    Yes, Jeff, you are a shining beacon in your call for civility. I see your previous post has the following headline:

    “F Time Warner. F AOL. F them all.”

    Yup. A Beacon of Civility.

    I’m not saying there are some real passive-aggressive jerks out there (and for the record, I actually agree with what you say about lists, so I sympathize with the s__t you’ve received), but you do tend to stir the pot on your own.

    And, for the record, this is not a conversation. That would require you responding to each and every comment and actually reflecting on what we say. You don’t. This is a lecture. That’s fine — as a matter of fact, lectures are indeed more authoratative, in my book — but let’s not pretend this is something it’s not.

  • Jim Dermitt

    I agree with Ed. This is not a conversation. I wonder how that concept started. I guess it is the academic idea of what makes for a conversation. I think it isn’t a great idea, but if that is how you want to view it that’s your right. Words are open sourced, so we are now conducting business by selling words that are otherwise free. Google is selling AdWords running open source software. Microsoft is selling software code and MSM is writing about how to use the the software or what the next batch of software code will do. Holy confusing data flow Batman. People are searching in vain for it and it keeps ahead of them. So everyone is having this conversation about it and nobody knows who is right and what is wrong. Let’s just figure it all out and use it, which is where the fun is. The rest is just conversation.

    That’s not to say there are not some great academic ideas. I happen to like Piggy Bank at MIT. It cuts out the buzzword crap and makes data more useful, plus it looks like a lot of fun and follows open source principles.

  • Great point about blogs not being a “conversation” Ed. Although I don’t agree that it is completely “fine.” Bloggers, especially “A” listers, could benefit from occasionally forcing themselves to listen and respond to every commenter.

    As for Shel Israel, words like “rude, abusive, hogging the conversation, and discouraging the open exchange of legitimate points of view” are totally general and vague (and favorites of the PC prigs). Depending on how thin your skin is that day you could end up censoring very useful “disconfirming” voices and point of view. I wouldn’t trust any blog that used those criteria to stifle commenters. (Although I do think we commenters should be proportional, honest, and be as charming as we are able.)

    And as for being attacked by trolls Jeff I’m sorry but that’s the flip side of the notoriety you so obviously enjoy. (I mean that in a nice way.) “The higher up the tree the more the monkey exposes his bottom.” Perhaps we commenters should find ways to return fire and discourage these trolls.

    That might make a good post topic. I could use some tips.

  • Jim Dermitt

    You could let the buzzmachine users choose the topics that buzzmachine posts for comment. You wouldn’t need to say sorry and you wouldn’t have to post as often if you were busy with other business. It might save you time.

  • tonynoboloney

    Jeff, As I have stated before your site was the first blog I was ever exposed to. Thanks to your blog rolls and other links you have given me the opportunity to experirnce a truly remarkable world that I previously had no idea existed. I do consider your blogs a conversation and though I do not always comment, I visit daily and listen and learn. It was on this site that I learned early on “do not feed the trolls”. As to your being attacked from time to time I have been reading in here long enough to know that you have pretty broad shoulders. Keep up the good work. TONY

  • The truth hurts, doesn’t it Jeff? Here’s the link if anybody’s interested:

  • Awwwww. Poor Scoby Woby. Did some meany weeny hurty wurty his feely weelings? Please. What a dull reason to stop blogging. Not getting any sleep I can understand but comments you don’t like? What’s stopping you from defending yourself? Fingers broken? Or is it that someone is speaking the truth and you can’t handle it?

  • Well, I fully agree with your comment. :-)

    BTW: I visited your blog earlier today and I just wanted to congratulate you on a well presented, and informative resource.

    It’s not often that I come across a web site that offers a wealth of quality. ;-)

    Martin (aka POS Software Man)

  • mitchie

    im so sorry whem i felt that im doing wrong!!!!!!!i want god to help me makes good thing.

  • mitchie

    im sorry dear world,i dont much help you for making our world good