Right now the web is a very noisy place. It’s a constant shouting contest, and very few people, even those with good intentions, speak softly and with conviction. The first page results from a google search provide all the evidence of this.
A better model should exist. I’m setting out to make my site a model.
First, don’t enable public comments on your blog.
To leave a comment on this blog, you have to send me an email. This way each would-be commenter is nudged to be considerate before sending a message to me. If it’s a thoughtful comment, I’ll ask for your permission to add it to the bottom of the original article.
Second, disseminate new posts via email (if someone is on the mailing list).
I won’t be sharing new posts on social media going forward because they will always be received in a noisy environment. It’s like asking someone to read and contemplate nonfiction standing in the middle of a bazaar.
Email, on the other hand, is personal and completely within the reader’s control to subscribe or stop receiving.
Third, always attribute credit clearly to create a kinder, more collective web. This is a habit I gleaned from Austin Kleon who explained it in a blog post, Credit is always due:
[If] you fail to properly attribute work that you share, you not only rob the person who made it, you rob all the people you’ve shared it with. Without attribution, they have no way to dig deeper into the work or find more of it.
A more thoughtful web is by design.