To Delete or Not To Delete …

Bob Borson —  April 3, 2014 — 95 Comments

There are times when I am a glass is half-full sort of person and there are times when I am a glass-half-full-needs-to-be-poured-over-your-head type person. I generally don’t like to complain unless I can find some humor in it because let’s be honest, laughing about stuff is way better than going through life pissed off about things you can’t control. Today’s post is really concerned about that last bit in the previous sentence, the “things you can’t control.” Since this is my website I can pretty much do whatever I want – I have that sort of power, I pay the bills, I write the content, and I can hit the “delete” button whenever I want.

So do I run my website as an omnipotent monarchy?

I wish … but sadly, a character flaw on my part thinks that everyone should have a say, even if it is the stupidest thing I have ever read. But I do have my limits and sometimes people really, really try their hardest to find out what those limits are for some reason.

To that end, I want to clear something up where that line might actually exist.

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I don’t delete comments

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Lately, however, I am starting to rethink this rule. A few years ago, I wrote a post that I thought was hilarious about ‘How to spot a Hippie‘. While I meant it in good fun, I found out that hippies (at least some of the ones with computers) can be seriously mean. In the comment section, you’ll find words like “bigot“, “hateful“, “silly” and “the worst thing I’ve ever read” … and despite the fact that those comments hurt my feelings, I haven’t deleted any of them. While I meant it in good fun, I think I genuinely offended people and if I’m going to dish it out, I need to be prepared to take it. [Although, while I take issue with being called a “bigot”, which is a factually incorrect example of someone who is angry at me … I might have deserved the others.]

Glass Block Make my Face Hurt not Hippies

Furthermore, to my thinking, I’ve only written 2 posts on this site where I openly call out a project by someone else as being “less than it should” (which is the nice version of what I wrote, which was “it looks like someone broke it’s face with a poo-fist”). That distinction is awarded to ‘This make my Face Hurt’ and ‘This Really make my Face Hurt‘. While I try to point out why I think this particular project isn’t very good, I felt bad after the fact and decided that it would be the last time I wrote a negatively slanted post. This doesn’t mean I like everything, I just choose not to focus on the negative stuff. In the comment section on those posts, I get told that I am an “idiot” and that I’m “going to Hell“.

Yikes! Pretty sure I don’t want to go to Hell, from what I’ve heard, I don’t think I’d like it.

Finally, there was the post I pushed out a few days ago ‘Building with Structural Insulated Panels‘. It was a decent post, a little technical for some but then again, it was a sharing post. “Sharing” posts are what I call the articles I write that describe my experience with a certain process or product in the context of one of our projects. Frequently the comment section on these sorts of posts become more valuable than the post itself. Other architects, designers, and builders tend to chime in with their experience with this product, maybe some technical advice, cautionary tales, things to consider, etc. Occasionally, I will light a fire under someone and they’ll write comment that is “inspired”.

On Monday, I received such a comment.

Lifting a SIP into place - Structural Insulated Panels

The word count on my ‘Building with Structural Insulated Panels’ post was a staggering 1,487 words. I also included three technical drawings, ten construction photos, and three supporting resource links. Not a bad effort really, and believe it or not, the end product represents a lot of time and effort spent putting together a post of that size. In comparison, I received one of those “inspired” comments on that SIP post that was a mind-numbing 1,013 words long … and there weren’t any pictures to help break up the text. (seriously, who want to read a comment 1,013 words long?!?). The person who left that comment on my site has the prestigious honor of being the first person I have ever blacklisted from my site. Kudos to that guy.

– Did I blacklist him for writing a comment that was 1,013 words long?

– Maybe I blacklisted him because he disagreed with me?

– Or … maybe it was because he left the same comment on my site so many times that my commenting system start shuttling every comment into the SPAM folder?

I didn’t blacklist him for any of these reasons. I did it because he was an insufferable human being on the highest order, his rambling incoherent comments didn’t bring anything to the conversation, and he accused me of blocking his comments because I would be “exposed more as a draftsman and an inexperienced SIP professional.

Ouch … No reason to take shots at draftsman, what did they do to this guy? My apologies to draftsman everywhere.

As a result of this latest turn of events, I am amending my rules for leaving comments on this site. They are (in no particular order):

1. No foul language. If you can’t figure how to make your point without resorting to curse words, it’s not worth having on the site. Kids read these articles and I am asking you to keep that in mind as you prepare your comments.

2. No Name Calling. This is an open website and you are free to disagree with me or any of the other people who leave comments – but if you can’t be respectful about it, I’m going to take your comment down. The tone of a conversation is a lot different when you write “I don’t agree with you” instead of “You’re an idiot” and if you can’t tell the difference, then this isn’t the place for you.

3. Don’t correct my grammar. Feel free to send me an email if you are so inclined but if I have to read one more time about my misuse of the words “your” versus “you’re”, I’m going to go crazy. I tend to write these posts when I’m tired and after all my other obligations are done … and yeah, I might be watching some TV at the same time so mistakes are going to happen. Move on.

4. Bring something to the conversation. If you think I’ve missed the mark on something, take this as your opportunity to educate the other people reading the post and comment section. Explaining or describing why your point of view is right is far more productive than explaining why I’m wrong. Since everything I write is in the first person, you really can’t tell me my opinion is wrong – you can just disagree with it.

To sum up, I am not my blog. I am a person who gives up all sorts of other activities to sit up at night writing these posts in an effort to share information that could be of value while shedding some light on how this “being an architect” thing might work. This is a site for my own personal creative development, a site for sharing information that might be of benefit to the community, and a resource for helping those who think they might want to become and architect. Hopefully if you’re reading this post, your motives are somehow in line with achieving those goals and I sincerely thank you for playing along nicely.

Cheers,

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  • Dawn’s Early Light

    I think this is the perfect time to end with, “And Bob’s your uncle.”

    Always love your posts.

  • Kamau Munderu

    The grammar bit was just hilarious. With grammar pedants all over, one can only imagine how irritating it must be. Reading through this post got me thinking; Bob actually reads the comments. It’s the best feedback someone who writes can give to his readers.