Recently it seems that the online community has forgotten that it is a community. The Troll level is increasing quite a bit. Troll being “a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community” (Thank you Wikipedia). Maybe people have just never been taught or have never cared about online etiquette. I’ll help you out.
If you have a faceypage, or web blog that you occasionally glance at or read, follow these steps to online harmony.
1. Read the post before commenting or “liking”. As you know when you interact with a page on Facebook it moves up the priority list in the algorithm of what is displayed on your wall. Also, YOUR interactions with a page are displayed on all of your “friend’s” pages (fire service or not), everyone you know can see what you doing and what you are saying.
2. Like and/or comment if you agree with the post, or if there is something in it that you think is good. You don’t have to like the whole thing, but if there is something worth sharing do it.
3. Comment on the subject of the post. ON SUBJECT. Keep the KSO (Keyboard Safety Officer) stuff for safetyology school. If you think part of what is discussed in the post is unsafe that is perfectly acceptable to bring up.
4. Disagree. Please disagree. Nobody wants to be a sheep, if you have a different view point or your department does it different let everyone know. But stay on subject.
5. Remember every department has different SOP’s, Hazards and standards.
6. The posts are written by humans, not machines. We actually spend time trying to bring forth good material and shine a light on things that we think need attention. Respect our time, you don’t have to like every post. If you find the posts don’t speak to you or your needs just “Unlike” it an move along. Don’t stay in an abusive relationship.
8. Take the post at face value. The poster may have more or less experience in the topic than you, that is not as important as the subject that is discussed. If you can add to it, do so. The comment section is where the real learning and information sharing happens.
9. Don’t feed the trolls. I am guilty of this and need to stop. When someone is acting like a 5 year old looking for attention, don’t give in. Be a grown up and ignore them, they will move along.
10.If you know the poster or another commenter it is acceptable to hand out a little friendly ribbing every now and then. Treat the blog like its the kitchen table in the AM.
Most Blogs are designed as conversation starters. You don’t have to have that conversation with us, but if you find merit in the topic bring it up with your crew. If you have an idea to improve a page, let them know. Most of the people running blogs want to do a good job and will adjust fire as needed as long as you let them know. Stay safe.