Like Texting on the Toilet, You Know You Comment Without Reading, Too

By now you've probably heard of NPR's brilliant experiment that they ran on April 1st. They posted an inflammatory headline, but then placed in the body of the post an explanation of how they suspected that the vast majority of angry commenters rarely read the article they are debating. They asked people who actually read the body of the post to simply hit "like" and not comment, and left the comment section for those who were going to jump immediately into having their voice heard rather than taking a moment to listen. Sure enough, the self-righteous responses poured in. And a lot of people looked like idiots. ...more
A) I usually read to the end of the post.  B) Sometimes I comment on the headline, but I try to ... more

The 2013 Kids State Dinner from the Kids' Perspective

Michelle Obama knows that the best way to get kids to eat their vegetables is to involve them in choosing what they eat. On July 9th, we were there for the 2013 Kids State Dinner. This event started last year, and it's part of the Let's Move initiative. 54 kids were chosen for the Kids State Dinner because they had very healthy recipes. They came to celebrate their work and present it to the public. ...more
Fantastic article!  The kids did a great job - I can't wait to see what they come up with next... more

Jailed for a Facebook Comment

Justin Carter, 19 years old, is in jail for a Facebook comment. ...more
This is what's supposed to happen, though.  After all the school shootings and other types of ... more

Top 12 Ways to Repel Your Readers

I'm not only an avid blog reader, I'm also a pretty prolific commenter (not quite in the league with A, but who is?). Let me share with you some of my pet peeves, the annoyances that mar an otherwise brilliant space. Here's a check list, in no particular order, so that you can visit your own blog as a visitor and evaluate yourself.❏ 1. You put your comment link only at the top of your post....more
xj2608 = A (in case you didn't know, Lori  :) ) more

Top 12 Ways to Repel Your Readers

I'm not only an avid blog reader, I'm also a pretty prolific commenter (not quite in the league with A, but who is?). Let me share with you some of my pet peeves, the annoyances that mar an otherwise brilliant space. Here's a check list, in no particular order, so that you can visit your own blog as a visitor and evaluate yourself.❏ 1. You put your comment link only at the top of your post....more
Well, I would prefer the comment box after all the other comments, so I can read them too! But ... more

Share Links Without Expecting Anything in Return

In an episode of Friends, Phoebe Buffay and Joey Tribbiani get in an argument after Joey declares that all good deeds are selfish.  Phoebe goes about trying to disprove his statement. ...more
You mean you're supposed to get something out of sharing other people's work?  I didn't ... more

Commenting Policies and Sock Puppetry

Sock puppetry is when a user creates a second account on the same site and uses it to pretend to be a second person, either expressing the same idea they expressed the first time around or pretending to agree and support the "other person" who made the first assertion. Some people use sock puppetry positively, creating several additional voices to chime in with a "me too" or an additional supportive review. Others use it negatively to create the illusion that several critical comments are all being given by unrelated people and are therefore more valid. Either way, sock puppetry is about deception, and some sites are creating specific policies against it. ...more
I don't have a commenting policy - or I suppose it's Anything Goes.   My husband is always ... more

I Made My Blog Pretty So Visit It

We read plenty of posts telling us that if our layout is a mess, people will not visit our blogs. But with the popularity of feed readers, does anyone really visit the actual space anymore? Everyone who reads my posts in Google Reader misses out on the lovely additions I've made to my sidebar. I don't dress up during the day because no one sees me (one of the perks of working out of your house), but I definitely take the time to shower and throw on a dress when we're going to a party. Yet blog design is starting to feel as if your blog has shaved her legs and slapped on a little make-up just to sit at home alone. If no one is seeing her anyway, why bother dressing up? ...more
I read posts in a reader (insofar as possible) and click through to comment.  While I appreciate ... more

Digital Detox: Leaving Social Media at Home to Take an Electronics-Free Vacation

It's bitterly cold this morning in Washington, DC, which means that I have already thought about vacations in warm climates at least twice before breakfast. What would be perfect right now would be a beach -- someplace warm -- with nothing more to do than read books, sleep on the sand, and maybe go swimming every once in a while to cool off. Though this post is about whether a laptop or smartphone features into this dream vacation. ...more
I don't consider myself constantly accessible. Most of my calls go unanswered. I'll answer a ... more

Do You Long for Proper Grammar and Punctuation on the Internet?

The Internet sometimes feels like the battleground for the grammarians and the punctuation misusers. On one side of the field, you have the grammarians insisting that writing is writing, and a missing comma can cause just as much confusion in a blog post or tweet as it could cause in other settings. On the other side of the field, you have the punctuation misusers who insist that with only 140 characters to use in Twitter, they're not going to use up one on punctuation. ...more
I must try to use proper punctuation and spelling. I'm not terribly offended if other people do ... more