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    Emily Post-It: Meta on Manners

    Carrie Bradshaw, of Sex and the City, was once infuriated when a man she had been seeing broke up with her ...on a Post-It. She thought him badly-mannered to employ such tactics, rather than discussing it face-to-face.  

    I  agree. Unfortunately, on the blogosphere, we do not have face-to-face contact. So I must break up with a serial poster here via ... a Post, about It.

    Emily Post ( from EP Institute Archives)

    In 1922, Emily Post wrote Etiquette in Society, In Business, in Politics and at Home. Her primary purpose in writing the book was to encourage people to behave thoughtfully and responsibly in all human interactions, in whatever venue.

    In a recent blog on Panorama, Julee Beam invokes Mrs. Post by asking a currently relevant question: WWED? Or, What would Emily Do (or say) about appropriate behavior in the tech age, on the blogosphere?


    Most sites have Terms of Use. Those written by our hosts at dag blog are good-natured, tolerant of just about everything. Which effectively leaves it up to us to define what constitutes behaving well, or badly, when blogging, here.

    Earlier today, of the ten Reader Blogs listed in full view (before the link to see "more") FIVE of them were authored by one person.

    Impo, that was an egregious display of bad blogging manners -- demonstrating, if nothing else, a complete disregard for others who have recently posted blogs, knocking them off the front page, in favor of ...what?  

    So I asked the author of the five-in-one-day blogs why he felt it appropriate to mark so much Reader Blog territory, why he felt it appropriate to "hog" (sorry, Mrs. Post) so much blog space per day. And then I suggested that he might consider self-limiting his contributions to one per day, or maybe even four per week.

    His reply was interesting to say the least; and I quote:  

    "The main thing is to get on the main page and get indexed. That is all that counts." 

    Well. Do y'all think that is all that counts? Or should we have a gentleman's and gentlewoman's agreement to self-limit numbers of posts per day or week?

    Your opinions, please. On this, or on any other blogging manners question that has occurred to you.

    Note: My apologies if, by referring to someone else's choices, I am offering a different example of being badly-mannered.






    I don't think this one is really complicated. Seaton is spam-blogging. And should stop.

    Thanks for your opinion, Obey. What, in your view, is a reasonable number of blogs per person, per week? Understanding that people are free to honor that sotto voce convention, or not?

    One a day. If people want to read five Seaton posts a day, they can do so over at his site.

    If someone wants to read five Seaton posts a day, their parents should take their computer away.

    Am I gonna get a chance to call someone a dullard in this thread?

    'Cause that's important to me. 

    I want that put in the TOS. That I get to do that. 


    The main thing is to get on the main page and get indexed.

    I don't know what that means but I would guess David is following in the footsteps of a different historic moral entrepreneur.  Dale Carnegie wrote How to Win Friends and Influence People in 1937.  David is just skipping the first part. :)

    Ha! Good cite in Carnegie. 

    What is your opinion about a reasonable number of blogs, per person, per week?

    Three if the week is not unusually eventful.  Comments on other peoples' blogs are not just courteous by can draw traffic as well.  Try some key words about the f.a.i.r t.a.x and its authors and see.


    When I said three, I was thinking about here.  A group blog is different that a solo blog.  Group dynamics will come into play.  In fact, they already have.  The challenge to David of this post is evidence of them.  Before long there will more posts along this line as people jostle each other sorting out their relationships, although with so many refugees from TPMCafe we may be spared the worst of that process.  One can only hope.

    LOL, Emma!  Gotta give him credit for trying, though. 

    Oh; not really.  ;o)

    Note: since I posted this protest, the blogger in question has deleted the blog in which I questioned him, which wast titled Quote of the Day. 

    So that exchange is not lost, here it is; judge for yourself:


    Well -- maybe not. Apparently the blog in question is no longer available.

    Try this:


    Today you have not one, not two, not three, but FOUR blogs running simultaneously. 

    Why is that?

    Some of your blogs are thoughtful and informative; some are at least provocative, though not always in a good way. But some, like this one, and "A Treat for Old Farts" and the separate blog post of the Donald Duck video  -- when you had already linked that video in a previous blog -- seem (to me) to be exercises in .... what?

    Are you marking every corner of the From the Readers yard, marking every tree, to establish turf dominance? Or, are you mistakenly trying to woo back readers who were put off and pissed off by your "jew fatigue" thread? Or do you really think that what you have to say, whatever it is, at any hour of any given day, should be greeted with gratitude for your willingness to share it with the little people?

    Here's a thought: how about limiting yourself to one blog a day? Or better yet, four a week? Thereby giving up some room for other people to voice their opinions through From The Readers .....

    Correction: You have not four, but FIVE BLOGS currently running. Give it a rest, eh?

    The main thing is to get on the main page and get indexed. That is all that counts. Getting indexed is the main reason for cross posting here.

    So, what I think you're saying, David, is that YOU and your priority of blanketing the blogosphere is "all that counts." Correct? Which would imply that you have little interest in what anyone else has to say, really; that "getting indexed" is far more important than dialogue with anyone, anywhere -- is that right?



    You are really getting at something here that is important to me as a user/addict, my own preferences in where I spend net time.

    People who have followed my comments might know that I have said things along the lines of not caring much for blogging. Then I would often get accused of being a hypocrite or similar.

    You're getting at what I meant when I would say it.

    I never liked a lot of what is originally called blogging because it's egotistical.

    That's not meant as a negative or positive, that's just what it is, it's a diary, it's about promoting the blogger as a writer. (If I'm going to read a diary, I'd rather read a great one, like for example, by Salam Pax in the internet age or Samuel Pepys or Anne Frank before that.)

    Actually, original blog etiquette referenced this egotism. As a fellow blogger, if you wanted to communicate with another blogger, you didn't post a comment on his post, you did your own post on your own blog and you cross-linked to his. In that way, you helped promote each other as writers in your pursuits of an audience or even a fan club. From the start, that would irk me. I would think: why are they talking to each other across an internet address divide? Why won't they talk to each other on a single page?

    It was then that I realized that I don't like blogging that much, instead I love discussion forums, I see them as the opposite of blogging. I most love them when they are just a bunch of people trying to help each other analyze some news or a specific topic, not when they are debates or when they are shout outs to the discussion starter, either pans or raves.

    That is also why I have always had a lot of interest in forum software. I like software that enables discussion and analysis and downplays the blogging thing. That is also why I was attracted to TPMCafe so long, and also why I wasn't always that rah-rah about the Reader Blogs section there.

    I think Josh Marshall understood and recognized the difference between blogging and a discussion site, and he pushed the Cafe as a discussion site at first. For those who weren't there in the early days, the first few years, the blogging section wasn't popular for commenting (was used mainly for a few rants a day,) but Josh Marshall set up a different section that was much more popular: "Discussion Tables," where readers submitted posts intended to be long term threads of discussion. And the comment discussions on contributor posts often followed that model. I kept hoping it would get back to that, but I should have stopped in 2008 when Marshall made it perfectly clear that he wanted tons of Reader Blogs talking to each other on the same topic of Hillary and Obama and scrolling away quickly, rather than everybody talking to each other on the same thread. I remember Tom Wright started a complaint thread iabout the new pro-blogging software n early 2008 that said it perfectly in his title: The End of Discussion.

    When TPMCafe started to get the point where there were fewer contributors with much less varied interests, a dearth in variety of content, the only way to start "Discussion Tables" type threads was to use the Reader Blog function yourself, i.e., few were raising other interesting issues of the day to discuss. So I'd start one myself, even though I often loathed the prosepct of doing so. I wasn't doing that because I love blogging. I don't. And I don't want to be a writer, really I don't, tried it, got published in a minor way, didn't want to do it anymore. I was doing it because I really was interested in the topic and wanted to get more input on it.

    I simply want to use the internet to have the input of other people on topics that interest me. If there's variety of input, often I don't even feel the need to put in my two cents, much less argue with them about their opinion, but just to read how others are analyzing something, to get the use of other minds. Especially on those things that don't interest friends, family, or colleagues, that's what I like to use the internet for.

    Dont' get me wrong. I think there is nothing wrong with blogging, it's just not a form I like to spend reading time on unless it's high quality (and especially when it's motivated by ideological fervor or is an attempt at activism or swaying people.) And even then, even if high quality--the other day, Emma pointed out to me here that Matt Yglesias produces a ton of content, you can't keep up with it. (BTW, that comment of Emma's was a perfect example of what I come to the internet for--someone else's insight into something that gets my neural nets busy.) Well, with Yglesias, even though I share a lot of interests with him, and think his writing and analysis are often very high quality, I grow tired of reading his view, and only his view, along that of his fans, over and over and over. I want a different perspective, and I don't like that he's still basically blogging.

    P.S. And yeah, following someone on Twitter who uses it to talk about what they are doing every day, that's sort of anathema.

    Oh and--I have an ambivalent attitude toward David Seaton's blogging, sometimes on, sometimes off, because of this all. He grows tiresome for me as a diarist because in the end, his posts almost always have the same "chicken little says America's sky is falling" topic. It's the same stuff over and over.

    HOWEVER, and these are big howevers, he writes well and also he reads well and links to that reading, More importantly to me, he often uses segues that can be developed into more interesting discussions by the commenters. I.E., his posts often start good intelligent discussions.


    Thank you for your thoughtful reply.

    I have the same desire you have to: ".... read how others are analyzing something, to get the use of other minds .... " 

    I don't think that necessarily has to be limited to politics; I'm fascinated by the views of others on almost any topic -- art, music, literature, whatever....if, as you say, there can be discussion, a trading of information or opinion --whether concurring or challenging -- because, imo,  it is in considering something from various points of view that some semblance of "truth" (or at least increased knowledge) can be drawn.

    One of the unanticipated pleasures, for me, of reading blogs has been in recognizing how many people are not only really smart, but also really witty. Wit has always struck me as the spoonful of sugar that makes any opinion resonate; whether one agrees or disagrees with the point being made, wit adds an element of vitality and optimism to even the darkest subject.


    I think I shall cut down to four, maybe five a week. I was doing one every day.

    "One a day" may be regarded, by some, as a minimum daily requirement, DD -- a vitamin. This post was not intended to be a criticism of you, as the instance of you posting more than one blog per day is negligible.

    Don't you DARE cut back! One a day is fine, and I would so miss your excellent writing! Do you hear me? Don't even think about cutting back. Did you get that DD? Or do I have to say it again?

    Please no.  I don't always read your entire post but I always enjoy the pictures. :)

    I generally really enjoy David's blogs as you do. They are usually thoughtful, and with the perspective he gets from living in Spain, I often learn a lot. I also agree with your suspicion that he is posting a bunch of light-hearted, bubble-gum pieces to "make up" for his "Jew-Fatigue" post of a few days ago. It really rubbed pretty much all of us the wrong way, and I am sorry he ever posted it, whether he is or not. I think it is time for David to step back and reflect a bit, and realize that "getting indexed" is not the point. I hope he will acknowledge what you have said, Wendy, and will continue to post thoughtfully and informatively and not BS fluff.

    Exactly, C'Ville. That is the point I was and am trying to make.

    In reviewing the From the Readers current line-up, I see that a few more Seaton blogs of today have disappeared. This would be a good thing, if their disappearance did not imply that I am exaggerating.

    Ergo, please see this list:




    You vying for 'best comment of the day', there, Moat.  Got my vote...

    I missed this, Moat (wonder why?) This is an example of the wit I so value.

    I say use the "am I talking too much at this party?" guide.  Seriously, you can tell.  When all of the sudden you're holding forth in front of the drink table and your only audience is the drink table and people won't even go over there to get new drinks?  Too much.  Turn it down a notch.

    Oh, and one rule I seriously do use is the "am I reading?" rule.  There's already too much stuff posted here for me to read every day.  If I don't have time to read a few posts before I write one of my own, then I don't write.  In a lot of ways my fantastically nuanced opinions about politics, society and the economy are already shared by many of you here.  I can spare you all the deep revelation that I won't be helping to elect Charlie Palladino as New York's next governor.  So I guess I'd expect that when people are on their own blogs they'll post whatever whenever.  But here... you're part of a conversation.  Over at Firedoglake I'm sure that everyone who blogs there could write the same Catfood Commission post and the same "end foreclosures" post every day.  But they don't pile on if somebody beats them to it.

    I also am trying to figure out, along the lines of Deadman'a piece from earlier just how much other stuff we could be writing about.  Because I don't want to post over and over again about how the government should be helping people more directly either.  Most of you have heard my argument, it hasn't changed that much and Tim Geithner still refuses to engage me on the topic except under the zany alias Richard Day and there's just no talking to Geithner when he's like that. :)


    I can tell you this that even in my foggy ignorance of economics, Larry Summers sucks. I am so angry about bonuses I probably will blog about them five or six times before xmas. I think about repetition.

    It does not stop me, but I think about it.

    I am beginning to think that Summers should be in prison. Geithner, I still cannot understand a single thing that he is talking about. I swear, I watch tape interviews of him and I still do not understand it.

    I do not think that nerd and I could have a beer and agree on the rules of baseball.

    the end.


    Thanks destor for this common-sense advice--and particularly for providing it constructively.

    I would like meta-threads more if they more often presented contructive suggestions rather than focusing on gripes, particularly gripes directed at a particular individual.

    And yes, I did once write a TPM post titled, "These reader blogs suck." But I was young and stupid.

    "Oh, Grammy; please tell us the story about when you were young and stupid, now that you're old and ....--oh."


    I hereby render unto Stardust the Dayly Line of the Day Award for this here Dagblog given to all of her from all of me. hahahaahahahah

    Once upon a time, there was a little girl all alone in the blogosphere. She thought that she was very clever and made cheeky jokes about the people who ran the websites.

    And then they BANNED HER FOREVER.

    The End.


    Damn, I get that a lot!  Don't  s'pose it'd help now if I told ya how much I love the way yer pumps match yer handbag, now, would it?

    ahahahahahahah. Okay, I hereby render unto Genghis the Greatest Comeback of the Day Award for this here Dagblog Site, given to all of him from all of me.


    BANNED FOREVER!!!! hahahahaah

    Richard you are a genius!Laughing

    For a long time I appeared shirtless and unbloodied in my reader posts but I was young and needed the money.

    Interesting, Genghis, that it is possible to make similar choices when one is old and smart.Wink

    This has been fun... 280 hits and climbingCool

    Welcome, David. Thank you for dropping by here when, until now, you've only responded on your own blog.

    I regard this as progress. So -- are you, or are you not, willing to dial back on the number of blogs you post per day? That is the essential question I am raising, specifically with you -- because you are the prime offender -- but also as a general question about Terms of Use that we can all agree upon.

    Will you, David, stop posting more than one blog per day? Yes, or no? Before you answer, though, please consider whether or not you, David, would like to see five of ten blogs in any one day, written by one person, other than yourself?

    What will he say?

    Tune in again next week to see what happens!

    And now a word from our sponsor.

    This WWS person really takes himself seriously, don't he though. 294 hits and climbing just trashing po' little me. Think I ought to get a cut out of this somewhereInnocent.

    I just have to publish this quote over here because it is so damn fine:

    "In today's world five times more money is being spent on drugs for male virility and on silicone implants for women than is being invested in research for a cure to Alzheimer's disease. This means that in a few years the world is going to be full of old women with big tits and old men with stiff cocks who won't be able to remember what they are used for." Drauzio Varella M.D., Brazilian Oncologist

    Nearly 400 hits resulting from this wonderful quote and not one comment on the quote, just tossing banana peels and assorted refuse at me. Dawg!Wink

    With all due respect to Genghis who rocks, since I've already taken a banning, I need to say that this was supremely tacky Dave Seaton, or worse.  Bad form, dude.

    David, David -- what a cheap shot. After two years of simultaneously frequenting TPM Cafe,  you are well aware that I am a woman. 

    So why is it, exactly, that you resort to referring to "wws" as "him" or "himself" or whatever?

    Is this the fallback position of any man challenged by a woman? To impugn her gender and/or sexuality?

    If so, ironic, that. When you are so wounded that "no one" responded to your quote on your blog, Quote of the Day. (I, of course, did respond but you ignore that response.)

    When will this dissing of women by making derogatory sexual allusions end?



    OK, folks. I think that the point has been sufficiently made, challenged, defended, reiterated, reiterated again, and finally collapsed in a fit of ennuie. In the spirit of "Can't we all get along," I propose that:

    a) Bloggers avoid posting more than once a day (occasional exceptions permitted)

    b) When making etiquette recommendations, bloggers avoid making negative accusations against individual bloggers

    c) Genghis rocks

    Follow these simple rules, and we can all live happily ever after. Except for Stars, who has already been banned forever for failing to endorse c).

    Genghis rocks, yassuh.Kiss

    Well, then, I'm a-gonna help you out and type F**K.  A-man made a roole that if we use asterisks in that word any longer, we're banned.  And hell, they appreciate me marginally better over ta' FDL than ya asshats do here; except that there's nobody to josh with like Grammy Genghis.    Money mouth


    JOSH she said JOSHSealed


    [Commented edited due to violation of point b, above.]

    I think I am going to preface my future (one a day) posts with Point b)... and wear garlic

    Wow, I'm really uncomfortable with this post, but I've read to the bottom now so I feel like I've taken the class and now I have to write a report. 

    This'll be short:  Starting out with a hypothetical question about an unnamed miscreant seemed okay and I wanted to know the answer, even though I rarely blog more than once a week.  Then it got personal and I should have moved on, but I didn't.  That's where it got uncomfortable, because now it has turned into a wholesale public bashing of someone who may have been abusing dagblog's good nature by blog-spamming.

    Odd that the OP uses Emily Post as a source, when I believe she would be appalled at the direction this has taken.  I hope this isn't the way it's going to be here.  I really, really hope it isn't, because I think most bloggers here are funny and wise and often brilliant.  This kind of thing stinks.

    But on to other things:  I'm really tired of reading complaints about page style and positioning and fonts and whether or not there are more men than women on the masthead.  This is not our website.  We're only guests here, and if we don't like the setup we can move along. 

    There are people who comment here who seem to hate the whole idea.  I have to wonder what draws them?  I blog and I cross-post here because I'm proud to be a part of this community.  If I wasn't, I wouldn't.

    End of report.

    I'm sorry, Ramona, that this post made you uncomfortable. Although I was the poster, I was not the person who named names -- though, after names were named, it seemed contrived to continue the pretense.

    I have criticized someone for blog hogging. That, in my opinion, was a fair criticism, for all our sakes. In response:

    a) that person has only focused on his own agenda;

    b) he has now resorted to referring to me a man, when he knows I am a woman.

    Although this was not my original point, I do have to ask: why is it that when a man (or a certain kind of man) is challenged, he resorts to gender bashing, rather than addressing the point raised?

    This could affect you, too, Ramona. As could the original impetus for this blog -- that someone could affect you negatively by driving your reasoned, reasonable blogs off the page by his (or her) blog hogging. 

    I'm sorry if I have made you uncomfortable. I respect your speaking out about the impact of this blog on you. But I would ask you to consider the points I have raised, after this got personal.

    I appreciate your response, but I really don't know what more I can say about it.  I've always tried to stay out of the personal pile-ons and I'm not going to change over here.  Most of what was discussed here could have been taken up with admin and thus resolved behind the curtain.  I see this sort of thing as diminishing everyone involved, and I hate that because I have great respect for most everyone here--including you.

    I'm not in competition to keep my blog on the front page.  I write when I have something to say, and it's great when people comment, but if they didn't I wouldn't stop writing.  Blog hogs do get tiresome, but nothing says I have to read them.  They're really admin's problem and not mine.

    As to the gender thing, I've dealt with that since everybody liked Ike.  It's become pretty ho-hum to me.  If the person in question has the power to change my life in some way, then yeah, the claws come out, but otherwise--yawn. . .

    I defer to your better, wiser judgment, Ramona. You are right -- this is an admin question, and therefore not my challenge to make.

    I love it when perspective can be adjusted, when someone can say, so reasonably, "yes? So?"

    Thanks for the adjustment.

    Oh, Wendy, I hope you don't think you were being "taken to task" by me.  That wasn't my intent.  I appreciate your response, but I wasn't really trying to change your mind. Your post is well-written and intriguing and gave me much to think about.  It was the comments that got to me, not your content. 

    Stay classy, darlin'; it so pisses off the clods.


    Since i'm the first one to make this 'personal' I had better say a couple of words in my own defence. Firstly, i think impersonal vague insinuations about a certain vague reprehensible sort of behaviour is much worse than naming the person one is accusing and documenting the charge with links and quotes. That way people can judge, and, well, know what they are asked to make a judgment about. Vague impersonal insinuations just causes confusion.

    For instance, you say some behavior 'stinks', with some vague reference to, well, it is unclear what. So that means I have to come in and waste time justifying my behavior. Am I being targeted in your 'stinky' charge? God knows. And that is a bad way to communicate if the point is to avoid misunderstanding and social comity.

    So I think rule (b) stinks, personally. We're all adults, and should behave accordingly. That, in my opinion, involves not beating around the bush and stating one's concern directly, clearly, concisely, as well as politely.

    Secondly, I think giving this kind of issue, one which concerns all reader-bloggers, a public airing to get a sense of what people think would be appropriate is exactly the right thing to. It should be something everyone gets to have their say and then let Genghis and A-man make an informed judgment. It should not be a matter of behind-the-scenes private e-mail exchanges between single individuals who may or may not have some personal grievance.

    For pete's sake we're adults, not cry-babies who need to be coddled. That said, I think we've all wasted too much time on this. (no need to respond to this. I really do not wish to start another conversation. In any case I don't intend to participate further in this.)

    Genghis rocks!

     Firstly, i think impersonal vague insinuations about a certain vague reprehensible sort of behaviour is much worse than naming the person one is accusing and documenting the charge with links and quotes. That way people can judge, and, well, know what they are asked to make a judgment about. Vague impersonal insinuations just causes confusion.

    I won't respond to your entire comment since you're not going to read it anyway, but I really need to comment on the above.  I thought the question was about blog hogs--generic--and I didn't need to know who the culprit was in order to talk about the problem.  Talking about the issue and coming up with ideas about what to do about it would have been the adult thing to do, in my view.

    Well hey - Obey. Now you've done it --- after being taken to task and feeling duly abashed, and saying so, here you are, offering a perfectly reasonable summary with which I -- god help me -- agree. Ha!

    I don't expect you to answer, as I honor your opinion that enough is enough, but I do thank you for a second adjustment in perspective -- imo, direct speak is better than allusion, for all the reasons you mentioned. But even today, in 2010, it clearly does not work as an approach by a woman, if her direct speak is directed in censure of a man. Any man.

    So I apologize to you for waffling. And I thank you for cutting to the chase, way up thread.



    Is this Post post ever going to die a quiet death? 

    it can only die a meta death, much like hamlet in hamletmachine

    Hey, no obscure references allowed.  Not meta enough!  Wink

    Sorry, but i am a commenter in search of blogger and found my textual self caught in this thread.



    Ah, but aren't we ALL unfinished characters in search of an author to finish our story?  Or, a blogger, as the case may be...


    yes, we are, except the author is all of us, from the beginning, and thus no one in particular, just a stream of voices, spoken written embodied envisioned, bringing us to the now with no idea of what is next

    But that's what makes life so much fun, no?  The un-knowing. 

    Post postmortem.

    The postman always rings twice.



    but how many time does the neo-postman ring?

    We have to wait and see if Justin Beiber is interested in doing the remake.

    and, thus, the seventh sign

    Did you say seven?

    actually i say this

    And I say this: 


    Ingmar and I rest our case

    You and Trope are awfully cute tonite. hahahaah

    Dunno, Lis -- maybe the thread won't die until you offer your blogging veteran's opinion about optimum numbers of blogs per day/week/per person, or any other recommendation you may have to enhance community spirit, which has always been one of your strong suits. 

    Wow; some thread-killing y'all performed here.  It was approaching dynamic performance art, too.

    I'm cutting off comments on this post and the other which had similar content. We ask people to please avoid this kind of dialogue in the future. Trying to moderate etiquette is a good idea in theory, but long experience at TPM demonstrated that it inevitably results in bitter factionalism and distractions from the goal of quality commentary.

    I'm sorry if this seems dictatorial, but we'red determined to avoid the what we believe were the worst elements of TPM Cafe. Metaposts are still welcome as long they contain constructive criticism and are not directed at other participants. If you feel that the behavior of a particular blogger is seriously interfering with your participation at dagblog, please contact us privately.



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