07/08/11 539 W - + 3 - 1 Questions and Answers

Q: Is there anything discussed on this blog, that you don't hear in person from these same people?
A: No. The comments, the topics, the tone match the conversations heard (in my experience) in any firehouse or firefighter gathering.

Q: Should everything they talk about, be talked about on this blog?
A: No.

Q: Why not?
A: Because not everything is appropriate for posting or commenting on a public web site, consumed by the people you work with, even read by the people you work for, and as administrated by Yours Truly.

Q: Can you provide a list of off-limits topics? Or things that will cause a thread to be locked, or a comment to be deleted?
A: Not really. Sometimes, it's just a tone that's approaching toxicity. Other times, it's a specific subject. Such as personal attacks by name. Or references to scandal stuff. In general, it's anything-- initiated by myself or readers-- that makes me uneasy.

Q: What makes you uneasy, Mikey?
A: See above.

Q: Why don't you grow a bigger pair, pal, and become more tolerant?
A: Because such sensitivity serves a greater good. It likely prevents further discomfort (or other less-positive reactions) from readers.

Q: What if readers are turned off by that?
A: So be it.

Q: And isn't that censorship?
A: Probably is censorship. Or maybe filtering is the better descriptive word.

Q: Chicken.
A: Perhaps. But I am comforted in the knowledge that [ insert fire department name ] is far, far stronger than any stuff started or continued on this blog. It's okay, I am used to taking things too seriously.

Q: Are those standards and practices set in stone?
A: No. What raised alarm bells, say, five years ago isn't the same as three years ago, which isn't the same as today. Gets easier over time.

Q: What's different now?
A: Reader behavior has changed, evolved, adapted. Users have a better grasp of what works and what doesn't work, as well as what leads to harmony versus disruption. They've also developed their own sensitivities and tolerance for certain topics. I also have greater trust in self-governance. Readers are pretty good at correcting other readers. I don't have to lock threads, or delete posts but every so often.

Q: And what's the deal with all the anonymous screen names? I thought firemen were brave. They're too scared to type their real names?
A: It's funny, isn't it?

Q: So you condone the use of screen names? 
A: The beverage names were pretty funny.

Q: You didn't answer my question.
A: You are correct.

Q: Will this blog ever be open, for all comments about all topics?
A: Who knows.

Q: You’re an idiot.
A: Yes I am.

Q: Then what's the point?
A: This blog exists to serve both its readers and its author. This blog is all about you, and all about me. And I am having a blast blogging, learning about blogging, and getting better at blogging. That's good enough for me.  That, and the absence of hate mail.

Q: But the pay’s great, right?
A: There are few greater pleasures than the privilege of participating in our local fire service.

Q: Who taught you how to select shirts?
A: A colorblind circus performer. Obviously.
Jake T. - 07/09/11 - 07:16

Thanks Jake. I have updated the blog home page sidebar just for you…
Legeros - 07/09/11 - 08:32

HAHAHAHA, all in love friend.
Jake T. - 07/09/11 - 08:37

Q: And what’s the deal with all the anonymous screen names? I thought firemen were brave. They’re too scared to type their real names?

I totally understand why people do not use their real name on occasion. Managers or bosses can deny it as much as they want, but when they see an employee running their mouth, good or bad, they remember it. Who knows what can happen on an evaluation… who knows the reason you didn’t pick up that open drivers slot. I don’t agree with it at all, but does it happen? yes. Some people on here that use their real name and voice there opinions all over the place have not made a good name for them selves, Fact.
Brian - 07/09/11 - 08:59

Yeah, I see what you’re saying Brian. For me, it’s nothing I wouldn’t say or ask if someone was standing in front of me. Sometimes, it actually sparks great conversation off the blog, which is what I prefer (no offense Mikey, just so you can “read” the person you’re talking with). The one thing that sucks about e-mail, blogging and texts is that the interpretation of same rests solely on the receiver/ reader. It happens on a daily basis; something as simple as a forwarded e-mail can cause a sh@t storm that was never intended to happen and takes a lot of explaining to undo, but the original intent was innocent.

You’re right though, I’m almost certain that the evaluation/open driver slot issue does take place. If it does, and the right person for the job was passed over, then said person making that decision has problems that reach a lot deeper than a disagreement from a discussion on a blog. A person that leaves their name on a blog typically would have the same opinion in person, therefore “they” would have found a reason outside the blogging universe to “flex” anyway….
SIlver - 07/09/11 - 11:35

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