Be the change

I have just watched Kathy Sierra’s video on how to deal with aggressive or abusive behaviour online. I totally agree with her main point that we all have a role to play in what is deemed normal or acceptable online behaviour. It brought back my own intervention in a spat between two well known bloggers back in the early days of blogging. Adopting my best disapproving Scottish presbyterian accent, I told them that being in the public eye they should be more aware of the signals they were sending to the still forming online community. I also remembered the famous occasion at the first “Le Web” when Mena Trott lectured the audience of bloggers on good behaviour and ended up picking a fight with Ben Metcalfe. I guess what these remembered occasions made me aware of is the need not to preach or moralise. Yes act in ways that cultivate positive behaviours and yes, be prepared to stand up and say when someone is “behaving badly”, but stop short of telling other people what they should or shouldn’t be doing – it just tends to wind them up!

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