There Is A Person Behind The Screen

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I have a friend who is a weather girl. I don’t know if that is an international term or a New Zealandism, but she reads the weather on TV for a job. She has always had a firm rule never to use her daily on-screen slot to reference her private life, even if it is the perfect opportunity to get a message across. I think that is admirable. It would certainly be an easy way to get your message across for 4 million people quickly.

At this point you’d be forgiven for wondering what this has to do with the SitePoint community. I do have a point. I have been a personal blogger for years and the sole purpose of that blog was to offload whatever was on my mind to whoever would bother to read it. When I began blogging for SitePoint I had to occasionally reign myself in and remind myself that this isn’t my personal soapbox. But very occasionally something happens that blurs the lines just enough for me to use it as one. And today is one of those days.

During the last week we have had a lot going on in the community. With the end of the soccer, we saw the wrap up of our This Cup promotion – which culminated in the giveaway of the PDF of jQuery: Novice to Ninja. It is always fun to be able to give things away. The good will you get back usually makes it worthwhile. But over the last week I feel as if I have spent as much time dealing with angry people as I have with grateful ones.

SitePoint forums

Which (finally) brings me to my point. At the SitePoint forums, we have an agreement about how we communicate with one another. It involves being fair and honest, yet respectful. One of my favourite forum signatures contains a very powerful message. It says “Mounds of compliments can’t replace one insult. Choose your words carefully.”

That same rule should be applied to any form of social media. If we do something that bothers you, we do want you to let us know. But the level of anonymity afforded us by the internet should not be used as an excuse to be rude. Please remember that just because you are typing your words into a keyboard, rather than speaking them to a person doesn’t mean that someone isn’t affected by those words. There is a person behind that screen and people seem to lose sight of that fact on occasion.

Anyway, there ends my rant. I’m hopping down off the soapbox.

Hot Topics This Week
The competition is over and the overall winner has been announced! I’m talking about The Great Photography Competition, and so are the people over in the Photography forum. Drop by and congratulate simonz for his amazing entries.

While we’re on the subject of photography, we’re going to run a series of tutorials based on our newest book Photography For The Web. If there is an aspect of the subject that you are particularly interested in, let us know what it is and we’ll do our best to accommodate you.

They’re talking Android vs iPhone in the new Developing For Mobile Devices forum. Do you have a preference?

An interesting new thread has opened in the Internet Marketing forum. They are discussing the pros and cons of email subscribers vs Facebook fans.

I’m done for this week. Have a good one.

Feature image by Chris Roberts from Digital Precision

Sarah HawkSarah Hawk
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Formerly a developer in the corporate world, HAWK (known as Sarah by her mother) said goodbye to the code and succumbed to the lure of social media to become the Community Manager for the SitePoint network. Now Hawk is working with Discourse to build their product and community.

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