This blog,originally founded by Blogger, who is listed in Marquis Who's Who and is a recipient of the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. He holds a theological degree and a doctorate in Counseling Psychology. Taught Psychology for 32 years and is now Professor Emeritus. Is a board-certified psychologist and was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award in his profession. Ministered as a chaplain, and pastored Baptist and Episcopal churches. Publications cover the integration of psychology and theology. Served in the Army, the Merchant Marines and the Peace Corps.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Let's Talk About It. What's "It"?

Maybe it's a bit much to give this it's own thread. I most certainly welcome comments and suggestions but this is more of a chance for me to explain my position in an effort to improve dialog.

Before I was administrating I sometimes felt constrained as a commenter by Blogger's insistence to stay on topic. Now that the shoe is on the other foot I have a deeper understanding of his stance for various reasons. Sometimes the point I'm trying to make is completely missed (probably my fault). Some blog posts require more research and thought. My passion for a subject and interest in the discussion of it also play a role.

Having said that, I must admit that I sometimes cringe just a little when thoughtful commenters apologize for going off topic. This is not because I don't appreciate their considerate caveat, I do. It's because being a blogger means spurring discourse and the last thing I want is to stifle dialog. I don't want people walking on eggshells and I don't really want to spend my time cracking the whip and weighing the merits of each post. Some of the most enlightening discussions have had little to do with the original post.

I said thoughtful commenters. I'd add considerate and insightful. Not all commenters fit this description. To be clear, I'm not talking about Liberal or Conservative. I'm talking about thoughtful vs. thoughtless, considerate vs. rude and insightful vs. inane. I have been all of those things, so have many of you. There is a distinction between a thoughtless rude inane post and a thoughtless rude inane poster. Over time this distinction becomes clear.

I've already said I don't want to spend my time weighing the merits of each post but I suppose it's my job to weigh the merits of each poster. We all do, however the bar for action is high. It's on me to pull the trigger. Recently, I was forced to take a stand on one particular commenter. Enough is enough.

So what does all this mean? What can I do? This thread is a start. I will add some guidelines to the top of the page after some consideration and suggestions. I will continue to start threads on topics that have been requested if I can. I will see if I can put up some kind of suggestion box, that might be helpful if I can figure out how. I'll also continue the open threads (Weed Patch).

What can you do? Try to stay on topic, at least for the first 20 to 30 comments. As a thread develops it takes on a life of it's own and I encourage that. Just give it a little time to germinate. After that if you want to go off topic feel free to thoughtfully do so. This is as much your blog as it is mine. Try not to enable the disruptors by taking their bait. Yea I know, it's easier said than done. I've certainly taken my share of bait. As much as I hate to admit it, thoughtless rude inane posters generate a ton of comments. That part is great but I'd rather have quality than quantity. It can get old quick when the conversation goes absolutely nowhere.

Finally, I'd encourage every one to help raise the profile of our blogging community. I have some very dear, very liberal friends. I intend to contact some of them to encourage participation. I may spread the link around on some other blogs as well. The more thoughtful viewpoints the better.

My sincere appreciation of everyone who continue to support and contribute to this blog should not go unmentioned. Thank You.


guy faulkes said...

I have several comments.

First I must apologize to HD if my post on another thread has caused him any heart burn.

I agree we need liberal commentators. A blog that only welcomes one side of an issue is practicing mental masturbation. Watauga Watch comes to mind. The important thing is to stick to the topic and to debate as adults.

The suggestion box is a good idea. It would allow for us to address issues of personal concern.

I would like to thank both HD and Blogger for creating what I consider to be the best blog on the net. I participate in several of them. This one is clearly the best. I have learned a lot here.

Honest Debate said...

Thanks Guy. I was responding to your earlier post but it needed to be addressed. It was LiberalPOV that was giving me the heartburn.

Liberal POV said...


" It was LiberalPOV that was giving me the heartburn."

It should give you heartburn, You and others here have taken political positions that do real harm to real human beings. Your censorship fits with your support of needless war, torture, preditory business practices and screwing working families.

You got the angriest at me when I simply ask questions you couldn't answer. Good look with cult blog you were requiring way too much of my time anyway.

guy faulkes said...

LiberalProverbs18:2, all you have to do is stay on topic. It would help if you did not repeat the same talking points over and over. The problem was that when you are given answers to your meaningless drivel (over and over), all you do is put your fingers in your ears and chant La La La La La. It is about time you learned some discipline and to stay on topic. No one will ever be able to make you listen and I do not think you are capable of original opinions.

I hope you remain on the blog (you will as proven by your making this post), but, if not, do not let the door hit you in the butt on the way out. It's a pity. You provided stimulus for a lot of discussion, pity, and laughter.

Honest Debate said...

Believe what you want to believe Lib. As long as you show a modicum of decorum you are welcome here. The choice is yours.

Reader said...

I enjoy seeing liberals run when they can't back up their opinions. Lib thought if he continued to post the same things, we would be thrown off of the truth...I believe he sees tje truth. He just doesn't want to admit it. He's a runner. It's okay, I understand.