I belong to the Welcome Mat, an on-line rug hooking group. It is moderated by Wanda Kerr. There is a discussion nearly everyday and a wealth of information that is accessible at your finger tips. Most of the time, I just lurk around there and sometimes I skim over the reading because I am pressed for time.
Today, Wanda posted a very wise discussion. Even though I am pressed for time today (setting up at the Michigan Fiber Festival in a few short hours!), the words really spoke to me. I want to share this discussion with you (she gave permission!) because I think it is important in this day and age of social media and internet sharing.
Alot of rug hooking connectivity takes place online theses days. I thrilled about this because I love my ability to meet and enjoy the heck out of so many like minded people! Thank you so much!
We on the Mat are in a very cozy little enclave. No one who isn't committed like we are is here.
From 15 years of working online with rug hooking I also know who possesses incendiary personalities and frankly I deny them access so that The Welcome Mat is as positive, calm and as loving as you and I can make it.
I grew up in a very negative atmosphere and I revile it, I'm sensitive to negativity and its influence on creating, our hearts and our souls. I think most people have a little well of non edifying waters they take a dip in every once and awhile. But most of shake off the waters, dry ourselves in the sunshine and carry on.
I don't like to be negative and I do like to act professionally at all times online. I have a pretty sturdy moral compass.
Every once in awhile my professional life is blurred by my private one but rarely.
What I'm saying is there are inside voices and outside ones.
I want to caution you about the permanence of your responses online.
Even if removed when read they create a lasting impression of you.
If you are a rug hooking professional, teacher, business person or even a blogger with nothing to sell, you need to conduct yourself with positivity and ethics.
A lot of what happens is simply reactionary. So and so writes a blog post with emotion ( not positive) and that in turn sparks a hussah of comments that both embroider and stumpwork ( build up ) the original words and emotions.
Try not to partake. Write a note but don't post it if you must.
Rarely do you ever see a dissenting opinion to these missives. And frankly they aren't that welcome.
Try to be the voice of reason if you are brave enough.
I have a list of good netiquette which I find even the top bloggers in rug hooking don't ahere to at all.
Please copy and spread this list around liberally. Everyone needs to see it and turn away from those who are not using good online manners.
1. Never denigrate a business or service no matter what happens if you have one yourself. NEVER.
2. Don't troll other services or blogs for good blog fodder without giving credit to the source ALWAYS with links. You would be shocked at the levels at which this is happening. We are having some very popular bloggers setting a very poor examples. In the greater blogosphere rug hooking bloggers are the only people who do not do this. It is very bad manners, akin to eating your snot at the dinner table with Her Majesty. Act more honorably, if the info they found, wrote or researched is good enough to add to your blog then don't they deserve a reference?
3. Always check with yourself before posting by asking would I want this said of me? Could I apply more understanding? Is this the seed I want to plant? What fruit will it bear? Would I want credit for my work?
4. If you have a quick emotional response to something you read ..... don't react by typing. React by thinking or creating. If a day later you still think you have something important to add then have at it. but I think you'll find in 10 hours much of the emotion will have dissipated. Don't feed that negativity.
5. Do not ever and I mean NEVER take up the case of defense for someone else. Every horrible firestorm I've ever observed or weathered online came about because someone got indignant on another's behalf.
I'll tell you as an added bonus, this is something to look out for.... some people get that stuff going through behind the scenes manipulation and then sit back and actually enjoy the chaos, their hands nicely clean while everybody else is browned up to their ears in crap. Ohhh that stinks!
6. Don't act like spoiled babies when things aren't going the way you think they should. Change is inevitable and it is good.
I'm going to use this as a blog post today too.
Spread the word on yours please with credit of course.
Wanda is full of wisdom and I love the way she writes!
If you want to join the Welcome Mat, click here. There is a subscription fee to join.
See you this week-end at the Michigan Fiber Festival at the Allegan County Fairgrounds in Allegan, Michigan!