It’s useful from time to time to refresh old readers—or inform new ones—about the roolz, especially if they’re being broken. I want to single out only two today:
1. Be civil. Do not call people names who are commenting on the site. You gain nothing (and look bad) if you start calling insulting folks, and it certainly doesn’t foster discussion. There are plenty of other websites where you can indulge in invective to your heart’s content. There were a few gratuitous insults on the Pat Condell Palestine thread.
Do not call someone a liar, either.
If I see someone being uncivil in this way (and I don’t always catch them), I will ask for an apology, level a warning, or send a private email. About 60% of those who are warned respond with truculence, either insulting me or saying that their behavior is fully justified. That’s a good way to get blacklisted—almost as good as telling me to stop posting on cats or cowboy boots. If I ask you to apologize to a commenter whom you insulted, please do so. It’s the right thing to do.
2. Linking to videos. Don’t embed them directly unless you have something really special to show, for it makes the comments unwieldy. If you just paste in the http:// address of a YouTube video, for instance, it will put the entire video in your comment. Occasionally I will let this go, but sometimes readers insert multiple videos. I delete those comments. To avoid this, and create a link, use the following html formulation:
You would first make up a phrase to link to the video, like “Neil Shubin’s video”, and then put it in the formulation above, comme ça:
<a href=”http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/422755/january-09-2013/neil-shubin”>Neil Shubin’s video</a>. In other words, preface the link with <a href= (note the space after “a”), put quotations marks around the URL, add your linking words, and end it all with </a> (Ignore the > in what I’ve written).
Yes, I know it’s a bit tricky, but with practice it will become familiar. If you forget, just search the website for “linking to videos”.
So go see how Neil did last night; he wrote me that he had to “fight for every inch.”
h/t: Grania for html advice.