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Code Of The Chamber

Welcome Chamber visitors!  This is the portion of the site where I reveal some background information and commenting guidelines.

General Principle-

I created the Chamber to share my thoughts with the world and engage in discussion with other netizens, as well as serve as my “home base” for my travels through the blogosphere.  I know some bloggers tend to post a thread to try to get a lot of hits or comments while leaving the fun of interaction to the visitors.  That’s really not what the Chamber is about.  In fact, I’d rather have 10 thoughtful responses to a post from 10 hits than have 1000 hits and no responses.  I enjoy the challenge of having to address opposing viewpoints and arguments, so I tend to interact with my visitors a bit more.  Also, you generally won’t find rapid-fire cookie cutter blogging that attempts to squeeze as many threads as possible into a single day.  I value quality over quantity;  posting my own take on a topic instead of regurgitating someone else’s, and follow up on fresh comments …even on very old threads.  I cherish the exchange of ideas, so I’ve built the site around that concept.  As for the subject matter, it’s mostly focused on U.S. politics, but I will occasionally post on other topics as well.

Loose Comment Protocols-

In the interests of readability, I ask that visitors make an effort to adhere to certain guidelines when commenting:

  • Address who you are responding to, whether it is me (I go by Chen, ChenZhen, CZ, etc.) or another visitor.  It clears up confusion, bigtime.  Popular variations are @ Chen or CZ-
  • If you can, use basic HTML tags, especially blockquote (as it clearly differentiates between what you’re typing and what someone else has posted).

Email-

To comment, you can enter any email address you want in the comment form (even a phony one) if you aren’t logged into wordpress.com.  For the record, I generally only use email information to contact my fellow logged-in members of the WPPBA.

Deleting Comments-

Most netizens who are familiar with me will tell you that I have a thick skin and am fairly open-minded when it comes to others’ viewpoints.   Unlike many blogs, here in the Chamber you don’t have to worry too much about having your comment deleted simply for posting something I don’t agree with or even throwing an insult my way.  If your comment was deleted it was generally because..

  • I thought you were spam.  Luckily, the askimet feature here at wordpress.com does a pretty darn good job filtering the buggers out, but on occasion I have to give one the heave ho, so I sincerely apologise if I’ve mistaken you.
  • You requested it.
  • You posted something that was inappropriate by anyone’s standards (p0rn, threats of violence, calls for assassination, someone else’s personal info, etc.). 
  • You are dropping turds (like a comment that repeats the same vulgar sentence 1000 times).

Otherwise, everything is pretty much fair game on this site.

Comments “awaiting moderator approval”-

Comments are unmoderated, but the Chamber’s current spam settings will send any comment with 2 or more links to my dashboard to await approval.  In very rare cases, a comment that contains a word or email addy that the spam filter doesn’t like will sit in limbo also.  Don’t worry, your post will make it through, but sometimes it may take an hour or two if I’m away.

Chamber Emblems-

I don’t delete a lot of comments around here, but that doesn’t mean that I’m afraid to use my powers.  In my sidebar you will see a list of emblems, and I will assign them to a comment when I feel it meets the criteria.  The Chamber values respectful debate and rational discussion, so visitors who deviate may suffer the indignity of earning one of these Scarlet letters (or, in the case of the Wonder Palm, the honor).  Additional emblems may appear as time goes on.

Flame Warriors-

You may notice that my sidebar is decorated with a few of Mike Reed’s Flame Warrior variants.  Sometimes, if I spot a visitor who bears an uncanny resemblance to one of them, I will point it out with a link.   Also, I will often dedicate entire threads to netizens and bloggers who I’ve identified as fitting one of the profiles.  I recommend that regular visitors to the Chamber become familiar with the variations, as they can be quite handy and very powerful tools.

Other suggestions-

Avatars-  The Chamber (like all wordpress.com blogs) is compatible with Gravatar.  So, if you don’t want that boring, generic image to show up next to your post, take the 2 minutes to set yourself up with an image or icon of your choosing.  It’s safe, easy, and it works on other blog commenting formats as well (like HaloScan).  Just make sure that you use the same email you entered for registration in the comment form here.  For the spam wary, I know some netizens will set up a free email account (like gmail) for the sole purpose of using it to obtain a gravatar and post on blogs.

If you’re a frequent traveller of the blogosphere, I highly recommend that you set yourself up at coComment.  It allows you to track the sites that you’ve left comments at so you don’t have to remember which thread you delivered that thoughtful post, say, a few days ago.  Very cool.  I’ve made my coComment profile visible in my sidebar (see “track CZ sightings”), just in case anyone wants to check out some of the other blogs I’ve interacted with (and I do roam quite a bit), or the comments I’ve made. 

Blogroll/WPPBA-

Because I view wordpress.com as both a blogging service and a kind of community, I’ve decided to be a little different and have featured those sites exclusively.  Many of the blogs on the list are part of the WordPress.com Political Blogger Alliance (which I founded), representing bloggers from across the entire political spectrum.  It really all goes back to what I stated previously about celebrating an exchange of ideas, and many of the netizens you may come across in the comments section of the Chamber are also members of this very diverse club.  Go ahead and check out their sites as well if you have the time.

Thanks for stopping by!

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-CZ

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3 comments

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