This really is posting #1701. Seriously, it has been that many postings. I hadn't been thinking about milestones, and quite frankly "1700" is not a number that is typically recognized as such, but what the heck...I need a topic.
The mock milestone did give me pause to think about how much I enjoy writing this "stuff". Like most things that wax and wane in life I do go through phases where it's harder to think of something to write, but the one constant is that I really do enjoy writing.
Speaking of writing, when I started writing this blog I set some rules up for myself. Andy Palumbo's posting the other day (link HERE) made me think of this as well. Now my rules are not all that formal, instead they are more like things that are tucked inside my head that I test my content against whenever I write. Because these rules are as much oral history as anything else, I don't actually have them formally written down. This is quite odd for me, as I normally write everything down, but so be it. I do know that I've referred to my rules in a posting or two before, but given that there are 1700 postings to contend with, even I probably couldn't find that content.
Anyway, in celebration of 1700 postings, here are a few of my blog rules.
People - I try to only say nice things about non-public figures. Or I don't say anything at all about them. I decided a long time ago that blasting nasty things over the Internet about a person (or persons) that I somehow think did me wrong was nothing short of crude and vulgar. Public figures? Well that's a different story. Even then though, I will offer a critical opinion about a public person's ideas and actions, but not about who they are as human beings.
Honesty, Part I - I try to say what I think. Now there are some postings that I know generate more controversy (in fact I know of several magic words that I can use in posting titles that will almost guarantee page visits) than others, but that's okay as long as I am being honest with myself. In the end, I think this is something I owe myself and anyone else who reads this stuff.
Honest, Part II - It's not just being honest in my writing that matters, it's also about being honest about how I feel. I have written things in the blog that, upon a later re-read, I had a strong desire to remove because they were too descriptive about how I felt at a particular moment. By and large though, I don't remove postings. Even thinking about some older postings makes me cringe. But I'm still not going to remove postings.
Original Thought - I always try to provide my original thoughts on a topic, bolstered by supporting and cited sources. Now once in a blue moon I've passed along some information that didn't come from me, but I try to be very diligent about disclosing information sources. Hyperlinks are wonderful.
Conflicts of Interest - Andy Palumbo referenced this in his terrific blog posting the other day. I always try to note where I may have some personal involvement in an issue, to the point of mindless repetition. Virtually anything I write about Penn State, for example, is qualified with a notation that I am a graduate and a life member of the Alumni Association.
My Employer - In 1701 postings, you will not find a single reference by name to my employer. Now in fairness, I think I once referred to the company, but not as my employer. This somewhat bends the "Conflict of Interest" rule, but so be it: sometimes rules have to be malleable for the right cause. Anyway, I don't write about my employer because I'm not authorized to do so; I'm not an employer spokesperson, and besides, I never want anyone other than me to have control over this content.
Blog Promotion - I mostly don't. Granted I did get a listing in NEPA Blogs early on, and recently I've started to publish my postings via Twitter, but by and large I don't go out of my way to promote this space. The phrase I've heard others use when this kind of promotion is over done "blog whoring", which is a apt description of how I feel about this kind of thing. Why? Well I didn't start this as an exercise in "look at me"; it was simply more about having a creative outlet for someone (me) who lacks other creative talents.
Identity - I always post under my own name and I always comment on other blogs using my own name. I am a firm believer in having the courage of your own convictions, and few things impress me less than folks who comment on blogs anonymously.
There are probably more, but I think the listing above is good enough.
Here's to 1700 more.