Blog Civility: How Am I Doing?

I just received the following broadside from a reader:

You choose to use your blog to tout your own book and for self-validation. I certainly hope you are not deceiving yourself that your purpose is to foster discussion or refine your own body of knowledge. That’s fine, each to his own, I just wonder why you have the comments turned on. Because you so enjoy taking potshots at anyone who begs to disagree? That’s all you’ve done the rare times I have commented, you are abusive and demeaning—that’s why I use an alias, so if our paths ever cross you won’t be able to berate my stupidity in person.

Sad as it might seem, I’m passionate about contract language. And the marketplace of ideas involves having ideas do battle. And readers need to be entertained. And you can’t please all the people all the time. On the other hand, I want to encourage fruitful discussion.

Since last September, when I last revisited the issue of how I respond to comments, I’ve done my best to maintain an assertive-yet-civil tone, and periodically I’ll go back and tone down a response that could be construed as unduly feisty. Before the missive quoted above, since last September no one had complained. If you think I need to make any adjustments in this department—in other words, if in any of my blog posts or comments I come off as a jerk—please let me know.

About the author

Ken Adams is the leading authority on how to say clearly whatever you want to say in a contract. He’s author of A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting, and he offers online and in-person training around the world. He’s also chief content officer of LegalSifter, Inc., a company that combines artificial intelligence and expertise to assist with review of contracts.