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Re: Considering Front Paging a Node?

by footpad (Abbot)
on Jan 16, 2003 at 01:01 UTC ( #227312=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Considering Front Paging a Node?

Whatever your view of the front page, care must be taken to ensure that we do not give the wrong impression. Nodes that would put Perl Monks in a bad light should not be front paged. Remember that the front page is the first thing that a visitor (and many of the regulars) sees when they come to Perl Monks! We want to make a good impression on everyone.

While I agree with the underlying sentiment, I think it's also important to promote healthy debate and to demonstrate that we're willing to admit and seriously think about our shortcomings.

For example, here are a few threads that were front-paged at one point:

(Note: Please understand that I provide these links as examples designed to support the point I'm trying to make, namely, that we have previously frontpaged nodes critical of the Monastery. I am not trying to embarass the parties involved or to dredge up bad blood. If anyone is offended by my posting of these links, I sincerely apologize.)

In short, I agree that we shouldn't air dirty laundry in public, but neither should we err too for in the other direction. Criticism is healthy to a growing community and how we respond to that is an important indicator of our maturity and professionalism.

Incidentally, I ran across this thread while locating the others and it reminded me of a corollary idea:

Let's avoid front-paging nodes that are derisive or critical of other people, sites, tools, and/or whatever without supporting documentation to back up our claims. After all, most of us work in professional environments where the appearance of a conflict of interest can be as damaging as an actual conflict of interest. So, let's keep things professional and let our actions speak for themselves.

And, when we must criticize, let's use care to examine actions, rather than cast aspersions. Let's focus on providing solutions rather than making others look bad.

In closing, here's a quote that illustrates one way I determine whether or not a node should be frontpaged (or edited, for that matter):

Be not too tame neither, but let your own discretion be your tutor: suit the action to the word, the word to the action; with this special observance, that you o'erstep not the modesty of nature: for any thing so overdone is from the purpose of playing, whose end, both at the first and now, was and is, to hold, as 'twere, the mirror up to nature; to show virtue her own feature, scorn her own image, and the very age and body of the time his form and pressure. Now this overdone, or come tardy off, though it make the unskilful laugh, cannot but make the judicious grieve; the censure of the which one must in your allowance o'erweigh a whole theatre of others.
-- Hamlet, Act 3, Scene II (aka Hamlet's Advice to the Players)


P.S. Reminder: If, on the off-chance, you're not sure whether a node should be frontpaged or see one that you think should not have been frontpaged, please /msg a janitor or bring it up in the Chatterbox. I've seen Mr. Skinny clean graffiti off the Gates before; I'm sure he'll do so again.

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