Dave Winer getting ready to ride off… (or, the "to my face" rule)

I can’t say I blame him… blogging is a grind and it takes over your life. In some cases it even becomes your life.

Burn out is, of course, an issue too. Dave blogs everything, and I’m sure as a result of that a significant portion of his communication occurs via his blog. This can get very alienating over time. Fred and I spend more time blogging together than we do hanging out. We got to hang out at eTech, and it’s much better to hang in person.

On top of all this is the undeniable fact that blogging is at it’s best when there is conflict. Debating on blogs is just so effective in terms of moving ideas forward and drawing people into the discussion. Of course, you can easily get caught into this trap of only blogging when you feel strongly about something–it’s polarizing for sure. Heck, I have to remind myself to throw in five non-aggressive posts for every passionate one I do.

I encourage folks to use the “say it to my face” rule when they post, or place a comment. You simply ask yourself “would I say this to the person in public and to their face?” If you can’t answer that question instantly with a yes you should hold off on hitting the publish button.

The best moment in the history blogging was Mena Trott, from SixApart, giving a passionate speech calling for civility in blogging. During the talk she goes postal on someone on the backchannel, calling them an a-hole to their face and saying “what the f$%k!?!?!” Ahhh…. the irony. Mena really sweet of course, but she proved the point that blogging is about mixing it up not civility. A recap here.