Ground Rules

August 12th, 2010

I’m going to try to make the first several posts on this site as uninteresting as possible.  Keep in mind what your limited-edition ChemBark fume-hood magnet tells you: this is the worst chemistry blog on the Internet.

So, why don’t we begin with some ground rules:

Prime Directives

Rule 1:  This is a private site that I pay good money to run.  I am free to do whatever I want here. 

In broad terms, I will write posts only on what I find interesting or noteworthy; no one else gets to choose the subject of posts.  I will write new posts when I feel like it; I have a job and life that is associated with some responsibilities of higher priority than blogging.  In deciding what content stays and goes, I am judge, jury, and executioner.  I’m also the appellate judge.

Rule 2:  I will do my best to be fair in managing what goes on here.

The scope of the blog will be limited, in broad terms, to chemistry and chemical research.  While people may occasionally find themselves the subject of disapproval and ridicule, the reasons for my disapproval will have intellectual merit and be substantiated.  I will not make unwarranted personal attacks. 

Comment Policy

Rule 3:  The concept of “free speech” does not apply here to anyone else but me.

If I feel a comment should be deleted, I will delete it. This is a corollary of rule #1.

Rule 4:  People are free to comment anonymously.

While I encourage people to sign their comments, I realize that there are occasions when someone might be reluctant to do so (e.g., out of fear of reprisal from a superior, colleague, or the scientific community).  I prefer allowing anonymous comments to the alternative of stifling the dissemination of potentially interesting information. 

Rule 5:  I cannot guarantee your anonymity.

You can take my word that I will not “out” you as the author of an anonymous comment, but the Internet is a weird place and someone may eventually discern your identity.  Also, if someone presents me with a valid court order or subpeona, I will honor it.  I’m not going to jail to protect you.  Please comment responsibly.

Rule 6:  Commenters are responsible for what they say; I am not.

United States law is very clear that people who simply provide forums for discussion are not responsible for defamatory comments made on their forum by other people.   I will try to delete comments I know to be libelous, but I cannot guarantee that this will be done in an expedient manner.  If you have a beef with a comment, let me know, but I am only responsible for the stuff I write.

Rule 7:  Trolls will be banned.  Spam will be deleted.

I will not tolerate anything that messes up other users’ enjoyment of this site.  Unwarranted personal attacks and crapfloods of junk posts will result in bannination.   Trolls forfeit any expectation of anonymity on this site.  If you do nothing but troll the comment threads by lobbing personal insults at me, don’t expect me to accept your request to be friends on Facebook two years later.  (I am looking at you, Wolfie.)

Rule 8:  Comments will appear in sequence, rather than nested.

I find it easier to keep track of comments when they appear sequentially.  Nested comments that appear late in a discussion are easy (for me) to miss. 


Rule 9:  I will not maintain a blogroll.

Blogrolls take up space, require constant maintenance, and are almost worthless.  I like some blogs more than others, and it makes no sense to lump all of them in some impersonal, alphabetized list.  That said, posts on ChemBark will frequently link to other sites—when it makes sense  (e.g., when the link is germane to the subject of the post).  Feel free to link to your site when signing your comments; there is a box you can fill out on the comment form.  Please don’t e-mail me to exchange links.  Feel free to delete me from your blogroll in retaliation.  That is fair; I will not be offended.

Rule 10:  ChemBark does not print ads.  ChemBark does not run paid posts.

I am accountable to no outside, corporate influence with regard to what gets posted on this site.  If you want me to reconsider this rule, bring money.  Lots of it.

For the convenience of everyone, I’ve updated the “Information” column on the sidebar to summarize the rules.

15 Responses to “Ground Rules”

  1. Hap Says:

    I think someone’s testing your Rule 7.

  2. Egon Willighagen Says:

    Seems fair to me, these rules. If people do not agree with your rules, the common approach is to put their comments up in their own blog, and point to yours.

  3. Mitch Says:

    Rule 9 is usually inapplicable for the web savvy chemistry blogger; most bloggers will have an active feed of their favorite blogs in the sidebar, not an alphabetical listing of blogs.

  4. Paul Says:

    But Mitch, doesn’t that have the same problems? It takes up space, you have to continually update what blogs you want to include, and it’s both kind of annoying and worthless. I think a lot of blogs have a blogroll or feed purely out of reciprocity rather than functional value.

  5. pi* Says:

    what ever happened to uncleal?

  6. Paul Says:

    Uncle Al really never commented here much, but he does at CBC. Best comments ever. Check him out over there.

  7. Wolfie Says:

    I never said I accepted this or not

  8. Wolfie Says:

    Do I have a facebook account ?

    not that i know of

  9. Paul Says:

    Wolfie, you are a psychopath. You created a Facebook account, sent me a friend request, then deleted your account.

    Please, tell us, how is your friend in Turkey?

  10. wolfie Says:

    mine ? Yours ?

    friend or foe

  11. wolfie Says:

    I’m not my brothel’s keeper

  12. wolfie Says:

    And you, Paul, unfortunately, are a Rightist, in the worst sense of the word.

  13. wolfie Says:

    how long, do you think, will this last ?

  14. wolfie Says:

    There is a Providence that protects idiots, drunkards, children and the United States of America.

    Otto von Bismarck (alleged)

  15. wolfie Says:

    An old stalwart [of the blogosphere]“ – Nature Chemistry (10-2010, p. 797)

    is not enough, but “reinventing Chemistry” (what an arrogant title) would be more

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