Breaking News: Kansas Governor Supports Profanity, Nudity, and Violence on State Website!
Shocking, I know, but it’s true. Earlier today, Kansas Governor Mark Parkinson participated in an online chat in which he admitted it. I asked why he did not have any blog-like features on his self-styled blog (which Artur Bagyants properly deemed an e-newsletter) such as commenting. His full response can be read in the chat transcript, but here’s the interesting part:
I’ve received lots of input [after the launch of the site] that to be a real blog we need to make it interactive. We’re looking at that possibility right now. I would love to know what people are thinking but we have to balance that with the very real fact that there are inappropriate postings all over the web. We’re trying to figure out if there is a way to make the blog interactive and still keep it [to only brief nudity, some acts of violence, and the occassional use of profanity].
Ok, so he didn’t really say that. It was actually that he wanted to “still keep it at least PG rated,” which as Jake Lowen points out includes what I just attributed to him. I believe everyone who read what he wrote understood what he meant, but things still get taken out of context. By not having comments on his "blog" directly, he can limit the official exposure he gives to such trivial content.
I’m sure there’s also the fear that someone’ll post a link to goatsee pictures or some such and ok, that’s fair enough. But that’s what comes with the territory. The world, including the Internet, is full of crazy people. Deal with it. Someone posts a link to an offensive site, take it down. Someone uses language that’s beyond what you deem polite, edit it. Publicly, though. Make sure you replace the text with something that shows its been edited.
This isn’t that hard. Blogging is about being out there. He acknowledged that in his first post. He said he’d be the only one posting with his name. Anyone else posting would be posting with their name. Bravo! He’s sticking by his content as his. That’s great. But… That’s only part of the battle. Enable unmoderated comments and reserve the right to take anything down. Afterall, we’re stepping into your domain (pardon the pun). Don’t put up with it people screwing around on your site, but don’t discourage the conversation right off the bat.