Some blog boggles and a few disclaimers

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2007/08/18 02:49 -04:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2007/08/17/4440496.aspx


NOTHING technical, just self-indulgent meta-blogging crap, so feel free to skip if you aren't interested in the way my mind works; I know I'm not....

I've been thinking about the whole blogging thing and how it fits into the universe, or, to be more precise, my universe.

Which is not to say I own the universe or anything; I don't. But I have some of the same worries that Raymond has about people taking this blog to mean more than it does. I'm nowhere near as popular as he is, but it worries me anyway....

I mean, there is my usual disclaimer text I have over in the margin (the first paragraph of which is clearly about 6000 times more serious than the second paragraph, which is spiced up from other time through the judicious theft of fun ideas from other people's blogs):

Postings are provided as is with no warranties, and confer no rights. Opinions expressed here are my own delusions; my employers would at best shake their heads and sigh, at worst severely repudiate the content, should it ever manage to appear on their radar.

Proceed at your own risk. Use as directed. Do not spray directly into eyes. Caution: filling may be hot. Not labeled for individual sale. Objects in mirror are closer than they appear. Do not bend, fold, spindle or mutilate. Not for use on unexplained calf pain.

And then sometimes I take it a step further and add a specific additional disclaimer, such as this one I used recently:

Please also note that these are my personal opinions. Anyone who quotes this post with an "According to Microsoft..." (who I cannot speak for) or even worse "According to Adobe..." (who I definitely cannot speak for) is a completely and utter moronic wingnut.

Now please note that I am not calling anyone who reads this blog (whether casually, regularly, or religiously) either a wingnut or a moron.

The name calling was reserved for the people who might want to take something that is clearly not a statement of official policy and treat it like one.

In the end, I decided these were my only choices: to not write the way I do (in which case I probably wouldn't have a blog), or just occasionally do some of this explicit disclaimer work so that in the end if everything goes to shit in some terrible scandal that my opinions are the center of, that I can claim a bit of a moral victory in the fact that the persons who quoted me did in fact misquote me (and was in fact showing either first class wankery or grade "A" wingnuttery, using The Wanker-Wingnut Continuum definitions).

You know its funny; here is the OOO mail I used when I was out of the office due to TypeCon and UTC:

At TypeCon2007 July 31-Aug-5, and at UTC Aug 6-10 (though the former is in Seattle and the latter is in Redmond  so I am not far away, and I will be doing the COSD Globalization training).

I will be on email as often as I can manage, though delays should obviously be expected and not taken personally, unless perhaps you think such an approach would be deserved.

It really has the same kind of approach as I want to take here -- light-hearted, not mean, but (recalling the disclaimer!) with the intent of a self-policing readership who can decide for themselves if they wish to be considered worthy or unworthy of pleasant thoughts.

The goal here is to be me, but moreso. But no so much moreso that people would think less of me, if you know what I mean....

 

Characters in Unicode don't really have time to sponsor this kind of post; the not-encoded ones were interested, but there was no practical way to represent them!


Kemp on 18 Aug 2007 8:43 AM:

"the first paragraph of which is clearly about 6000 times more serious than the second paragraph"

Can you cite a source discussing the relative seriousness of disclaimers? I really don't think it's appropriate to just quote these numbers without any solid evidence to back them up. Are you presenting MS's official position on their seriousness? I think I could believe the numbers more if they were endorsed by your legal representative.*

--- And let the laughter out ---

I almost held a straight face through that** =P

* This paragraph is not my position on the believability*** of the numbers presented, nor the position of my employers or anyone affiliated with me or them.

** This is a figure of speech, my face is not in fact straight.

*** The word "Believability" may be spelled wrong or not exist.

Kemp on 18 Aug 2007 10:28 AM:

Though on a serious note, anyone who takes these posts in terms of official positions and implied contracts really needs to rethink their outlook on life. If someone lended you a few dollars for something, would you take that as them entering into an agreement to always supply you with money whenever you wanted? Some things are done purely to help out, it's called being nice, and I really don't want to see blogs becoming inactive due to commenters who can't loosen up a bit.

Zooba on 18 Aug 2007 10:30 AM:

Love the disclaimer. Considered plagiarising it for my own blog but I'm sure I can come up with my own.

I quite like the secretGeek (secretgeek.net) disclaimer on comments:

"All viewpoints welcome. But the right to delete any post for any reason is reserved. Don't make me do it. Comments may be republished, emailed to your loved ones or printed and used as toilet paper. Who reads this legal bit anyhow?"

Richard on 20 Aug 2007 8:38 AM:

> Proceed at your own risk. Use as directed. Do not spray directly

>  into eyes. Caution: filling may be hot. [...]

But does not contain nuts :-)

> Characters in Unicode don't really have time to sponsor this kind of post

Not even U+0004 EOT (End of Transmission)? Who would otherwise be left behind yet again.

Michael S. Kaplan on 20 Aug 2007 8:58 AM:

This blog definitely contains a nut -- me. :-)

EOT is holding out for the post that really resonates....


referenced by

2008/09/07 A non-partisan type of wingnuttery

2007/08/20 It is true that your LCID sucks, but your LANGID sucks more

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