Friday, July 13, 2007

Manners and Protocols

Now in my seventh decade, looking back, I've had many opportunities to experiment and try many things which one does with others. Because others are involved these things have their own manners, protocols, rules and regulations designed to make participation work for the players.

Two months ago I decided to experiment with blogging. I've received some comments, positive and negative, as expected and hoped for.

I like to establish interesting relationships in anything I do. Sometimes, in the pursuit of my interest and curiosity, I get hints or outright objections to my questions and probings, a sure sign that I need some coaching on manners and protocols.

In golf and tennis, for example, one sometimes learns the hard way about the manners of the game. It can be embarrassing to say the least. Blogging isn't really a game in the strict sense, but it is a game in the broader sense that most bloggers hope others will read what they write, which makes it a kind of game in that there is anticipation that another will play with you, hit the ball back, putting the ball back in your court, as it were.

However, this Blogging "game" seems somewhat different. Readers of blogs are not active participants or players unless they choose to be, and when they do, by posting comments, seem to be virtual players; but yet they are not. They are real people; they just seem to be virtual because the only sense one can use reliably to know them, play the game with them, is the sense of sight required to read another player's comments. The other four senses are not in play, and therefore are subject to the vagaries of imagination, the so-called sixth sense, more often than not resulting in a negative feeling of the experience. On the telephone, for example, even a relatively small pause on the other end is often experienced by the last one to say something as negative; eyes are rolling, quiet laughing or amusement, but nothing that can be verified by the other four senses. I doubt that I would enjoy playing competitive games online, with no ability to use my senses, backed up by my intuition, to get a feel for how the game is going in other players' minds.

I'm soliciting comments about this. Tell me about what's appropriate or not, welcomed or not, in terms of asking other bloggers about themselves.

Lighthouse Keeper

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