Recently I've noticed a number of my fellow bloggers are introducing "comment policies" and/or using moderation tools because they are getting increasing numbers of offensive or inappropriate comments on their blogs. This saddens me - and them - as they are very responsible bloggers who are posting interesting articles and/or stimulating important and valuable online conversations. Of course the comment facility on here is so unpredictable that I can never be sure if people have tried to comment or not! Annoyingly, comments advertising pseudo-medical products do still manage to find their way through the ether, so periodically I have to have a blitz on them.
I know, from checking my stats, that in a typical month around 2000 unique visitors will come to this blog. I also know, from keyword searches recorded by the stats thingy, what kind of posts they are seeking - anything from specific liturgies to chemo regimes to 'where can I buy a fairtrade duffle coat' (I don't know the answer to the last one!). With such a wide readership (loads of people have this blog bookmarked!) it does no harm now and then to remind myself, and my readers, that this is, and always has been, a personal blog:
- The views expressed are mine.
- The foul ups are mine.
- The useful bits are mine.
I endeavour to be accurate in citing any sources I quote (though confess I do nick a few images from the web) since I take seriously copyright restrictions.
I also do my best to anonymise or at least mask the identities of real people and places... but the truth is, anyone with access to the web can readily track down The Gathering Place, Dibley, D+1, D+2, D+6 Dibley Penties, or any other congregation to which I allude. I am, like it or not, quite a well known Baptist blogger!
A lot of stuff can never be blogged - there are obviously pastoral and professional matters that are confidential and/or sensitive and I take such issues very seriously. Part of the nature of this blog is that much can never be shared, or only shared retrospectively.
Inevitably when people like what I write, when it accords with their views or experience, when they find it funny or thoughtful, I hear little and I blog away quite happily. Very occasionally (now three times in over six years, and, to date, 2402 posts including this one) something I say causes hurt or upset. My logical head says 3 out of 2402 is pretty good going, and even if the real count is ten times that (on the basis that some people will just stop reading and/or not say anything) it's still not so bad. Nevertheless it always upsets me that I've upset others and I worry what to do about it.
Anyway, in the interests of openness, and in the spirit in which I've always written this blog, I am sorry to anyone (everyone) who I have inadvertently offended or upset. I have added a 'low key' info box to the sidebar reminding readers that this is MY blog not that of any organisation. It's not a disclaimer in any legal sense of the word, just a ham-fisted attempt to reduce the potential for misunderstanding. I like to think I'm reasonably moderate in what and how I say it, but I am also a flawed human who now and then will mess up.