Commenting Standards on Hey Dullblog

Michael Gerber
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McCartney Army Magical Mystery Tour

Your commanding officer, Mr. Paul McCartney

They all laughed when we stepped up to the mic, but when we began to sing… Hey Dullblog is the most popular Beatles fan site on the web, with about a thousand visitors a day. This means that we’re getting lots of new commenters, which we love. But now’s a good time to remind everybody that Dullblog’s a bit different than the rest of the internet: comments here are expected to be constructive, substantive and civil.

Constructive meaning part of a good faith attempt on our all parts to learn more, and understand better, a topic we all love.
Substantive meaning reflective of a deep knowledge based on reading and thought, not only of the Beatles and their time, but also of our own thoughts and motivations.
Civil meaning showing a fundamental respect for others, and a tolerance of different opinions honestly arrived at.

Here are some guidelines:

1) Talk about ideas, not the person expressing the idea. Don’t assign motives to other commenters. Phrases like “you (or those like you) are _____,” “you only think x because_________,” and “people like you make me so mad because __________” should be rephrased to focus on the opinion, rather than the person. Best of all are “I” statements.
2) Try not to bring your feelings about other boards onto this one. Bringing a lot of anger here because people on other sites have been jerky, actually toxifies this space.
3) Have something specific you wish to say, express it succinctly, and provide reasons why you think as you do. Comments don’t have to be sourced, but it’s always nice when they are.
4) There is no “being right” here. We are discussing these issues, not settling them. People are going to have different opinions. This is good, and what makes our comments fun to read.
5) Follow the Golden Rule: if you want to be respected, show respect. If you want to have freedom, allow others freedom. If you want to have fun, show good humor.

While I’m on the topic, I’ve also noticed that people occasionally apologize for their comments, or say to me privately that they haven’t got anything to say, or couldn’t articulate it well enough to post. Please don’t judge yourself so harshly. If you have a thought, we want to hear it…as long as it’s constructive, substantive, and civil.

Our unique culture has been created by constant moderation/curation, and our wonderful commentariat, which is without peer. Please help us spread this vision of the internet as a intellectually engaged, civil, and safe place by bringing your best self when commenting on Hey Dullblog.

Thanking you very kindly —
Mike, Nancy and Karen

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  1. Chris Dingman Chris Dingman wrote:

    I know I’m not supposed to say things about people, but you guys are great!
    Thank you for this blog.

  2. Avatar Beasty Glanglemutton wrote:

    I imagine that a lot of people are doing Google search queries like “John and Paul Lovers?”, are directed to this site, take one look at the substantive and intelligent discussions taking place, and turn right the hell around and leave in disappointment. I think the very nature of this blog will act as its own filter.

  3. Avatar King Kevin wrote:

    Perhaps provide a handy link to “Hey Trollblog”?

  4. Avatar Hologram Sam wrote:

    They Laughed When I Sat Down At the Piano …But When I Started to Play!

    Funny that you paraphrased the most famous ad copy of all time. What I find wildly coincidental is that the piano player wows his friends with the Moonlight Sonata:

    Instantly a tense silence fell on the guests. The laughter died on their lips as if by magic. I played through the first few bars of Beethoven’s immortal Moonlight Sonata. I heard gasps of amazement. My friends sat breathless — spellbound!

    I played on and as I played I forgot the people around me. I forgot the hour, the place, the breathless listeners. The little world I lived in seemed to fade — seemed to grow dim — unreal. Only the music was real. Only the music and visions it brought me. Visions as beautiful and as changing as the wind blown clouds and drifting moonlight that long ago inspired the master composer. It seemed as if the master musician himself were speaking to me — speaking through the medium of music — not in words but in chords. Not in sentences but in exquisite melodies!

    But could he play it backwards?

  5. Avatar Hologram Sam wrote:

    I found these photos of “listening booths” in the U.K. from the late 1950s:

    If Brian Epstein hadn’t found the Beatles (or if there’d been no Beatles for him to find) I wonder if he would have continued expanding his record store until it looked like the above photos.

    In 1950s England, potential record buyers could preview their Parlophone purchases in record store listening booths. What a time!

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