An Architect's View

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An Architect's View

Blog Ethics

May 14, 2008 ·

Someone who commented several times on one of my blog entries has been bombarding me with email because I criticized them in comments on that entry and then refused to approve any more of their comments. Now they're demanding that I delete all their comments from my blog and they're starting to threaten me. What would you do if you received an email like this?
The impossibility you imply does not exist. I didn't request that you delete my comments from the public record; I requested that you delete them from your blog. Running a blog comes with some responsibility. Read up on authorship on the World Wide Web. It is my right to demand that you no longer carry my comments on your blog. You have given more than enough reason to justify my decision. Oh, and you make a mistake in assuming I'm going to be waiting a long time. I'm giving you the opportunity to do the right thing. Of course, you may continue to ignore it if you want. Then you will learn the hard way.
Here's the blog entry in question that started the exchange with this person.

Tags: blogging

86 responses

  • 1 Ben Nadel // May 14, 2008 at 8:46 AM

    That is the most ridiculous thing that I have heard of. You can't just get rid of comments on a blog post. The comments tell a story and communicate the overall message and information of the blog post. If you start pulling out blog comments, it will corrupt the story.

    What if people responded to his comments? Do you have to start deleting those as well to maintain referential integrity?

    He/She can't do anything, and the fact that someone would make a threat over such matters is very very very sad.
  • 2 Brian Rinaldi // May 14, 2008 at 9:05 AM

    That sounds like a threat. I am not exactly sure what you can do with that kind of threat but it is disturbing nonetheless.

    As for the matter at hand, I can't imagine that you are anything but completely within your rights not to remove anything. The commenter does not own the comment once he submits it to your site. If anything, it would seem that *you* own the comment once it is submitted.
  • 3 John C. Bland II // May 14, 2008 at 9:07 AM

    Awww foooie! I love people to threaten a lawsuit. I tend to dare them. :-)

    He has no grounds for requiring you to delete his comments and I wouldn't. If you are bold enough to take a stance in a public "forum" then live with Google indexing you. ;-)

    As the Bible says, every man is right in his own eyes. :-)
  • 4 Terrence Ryan // May 14, 2008 at 9:08 AM

    I would like everything I've ever said removed fro your site, Sean. I will sick my team of lawyers on you. You cannot win!
  • 5 DanWilson // May 14, 2008 at 9:25 AM

    Idle threats, to be sure.

    I wouldn't do anything about it frankly. It is your blog and you can do as you please. BKBK left the comments on your blog intentionally, with the expectation the comments would be visible to others.

    BKBK can do nothing. Nothing but offer idle threats and whining.

  • 6 Jeff // May 14, 2008 at 9:27 AM

    In any case such as this, I would defer to the publisher of the site. Since this is your blog, you are the publisher and you can choose what you do and do not publish.

    As for rights, I would say the individual has a right to REQUEST you remove content but beyond that I don't see how they can make you do anything you don't want to do.
  • 7 Joshua Cyr // May 14, 2008 at 9:27 AM

    I guess I don't get it. I read the post and comments. No big deal. Why demand such things unless its all about being in control? In other news, I demand that you highlight my comments in green. No wait... blue!
  • 8 Josh Rodgers // May 14, 2008 at 9:40 AM


    Seems like from reading the blog entry in question, that folks need to remember to generally be considerate to others. Some of the comments in that entry, are pretty - how do I say... harsh in how they were said.

    I just talked to someone about communication skills the other day and they were saying that 60% of communication is through human interaction (visual, smell, stuff like that). Not sure on the percent comment, but I do agree that most of our communication used to be based on physical interactions. That of course is changing as we speak (I mean type).

    Obviously there is very little physical interaction in a blog other than visually reading the words. We all need to rememeber to take a little bit more time in responding in comments, read over what your saying.. Make sure it sounds ok, it makes the point w/o coming across as a jerk or a know it all.

    Rememeber treat others like you want to be treated... pretty simple thing to say, but much harder to actually implement in a blog/comment post.

    I guess what I am saying is yes we need to have some blog ethics, but we also need to be considerate to others. Maybe that should be part of the Ethics.
  • 9 Jon Clausen // May 14, 2008 at 9:46 AM

    I demand that all comments I post be capitalized, in bold, with a blink tag surrounding the content! :)

    Seriously, You have no obligation to do anything with the comments or the request. Comments to your blog are submitted freely by the user with no editorial or administrative obligation on your part. There are plenty of legal precedents which establish this.

    BKBK needs to suspend his need to be right and redirect his energy elsewhere.
  • 10 Steve 'Cutter' Blades // May 14, 2008 at 9:46 AM

    If you don't want a potential employer to know what your talents really are then you shouldn't post them to the public domain....

    Legally you should not need to do anything. Aside from the fact that he willingly offered those comments within a public forum, there is also some 'freedom of the press' protections (for you) here as well.
  • 11 Sammy Larbi // May 14, 2008 at 9:46 AM

    Seeing as you have no way to verify whether the person who wrote the comments is the same person requesting they be removed, how can you take them down?

    Perhaps if they have a full name associated with them, in which case the person with that name may be within the realm of sanity to request you remove them if he thinks they make him look bad and claims he didn't write them (for instance, a spammer faked my name on a comment the other day.)

    But if it's a first name only, or an acronym or something else from preventing you from IDing the person, I don't see how someone else can expect you to take it down.

    I'm not a lawyer. I do think its funny that this is an issue 3 years after the fact though.
  • 12 Scott Stroz // May 14, 2008 at 9:52 AM

    That is like writing a letter to the editor of a newspaper, getting it published and then demanding that the newspaper not print it.

    Whoever this is should just 'man-up' and take responsibility for their words/actions.
  • 13 JeffG // May 14, 2008 at 10:01 AM

    1) Can I choose my own text color also?

    2) BKBK seems to offer opinions often.
    A quick Google search finds him all over on a very regular basis.
    I suspect BKBK is no accustomed to being questioned.
    Seems to fashion quite the expert persona.
    for example on the Adobe ColdFusion Support Forums we find ...

    User is offline
    Senior Member Posts:    4184
    Joined:    04/02/2004

    Simialr prolific tendancies on,,
    He even turned up on Ben Nadel's site

    Me thinks this is the nerd equivalent of big truck tires.

  • 14 Jared Rypka-Hauer // May 14, 2008 at 10:04 AM

    From a legal perspective, he gave you implicit rights to his words by posting them to your site. He can't now demand that you reverse those rights... I mean be CAN demand it, but you don't have to comply. And as for being threatened, I'd send the emails to my lawyer to see if there's anything that can be done.

    Then again, maybe not... it's just stupid internet nonsense, isn't it?
  • 15 thaddeus // May 14, 2008 at 10:27 AM

    Some folks don't get the Interwebs. Once you post, it's out there. Even if you graciously decided to whack the comments in question (which I wouldn't), they'll live on in places like google's cache, and the way back machine.

    Wonder if the poster would sick his crack legal team on those people as well?
  • 16 Sean Corfield // May 14, 2008 at 10:30 AM

    @Sammy, identification via email - it's the same person :)
  • 17 Russ Johnson // May 14, 2008 at 10:34 AM

    I would simply filter his emails to the spam bucket... theres always going to be some clown who thinks they can demand anything of anyone, that doesnt make him right, it just makes him a clown!
  • 18 Al Gore // May 14, 2008 at 10:38 AM

    Does e-mail identification really work? If so, I demand that you move your web server to a carbon neutral hosting company! You must obey me. I invented the internet and I can shut it down if necessary!
  • 19 Josh Giese // May 14, 2008 at 10:55 AM

    I run a social network with 40,000+ people. I get requests to remove peoples comments and posts all the time. I ignore them for the most part. Removing posts from the site doesn't remove them from google cache anyways. Don't post if you don't want it on the record.

    I vote that you leave the comments. Your site is private property, yes it is publicly visible, but your code and your database belong to you, and you have full control of them.

    People talk big on the internet, but never back it up in real life. You don't have anything to worry about.
  • 20 Sean Corfield // May 14, 2008 at 11:10 AM

    Re: email identification - if it was just a single random email, I would be suspicious but a long stream of emails from the same address in the same tone tend to convince me :)

    As for the talking big, BKBK just sent me an email implying that he will put together an "embarrassing" chain of pictures of me connected to my current company's identity and get it posted all over the internet... I am of course keeping copies of all of his emails.
  • 21 Daren // May 14, 2008 at 11:14 AM

    Despite the obvious, you could just take the high road, delete the comments, provide some context in the original post (since your clarifications re. CFC metadata could be quite valuable for newer CF users), and be done with it. Pragmatism might be your best friend here.
  • 22 David // May 14, 2008 at 11:37 AM

    Call the cops. I wouldn't wait around to find out what the "hard way" is.


  • 23 David // May 14, 2008 at 11:40 AM

    Offer to charge him for the removal of his posts. Its obviously going to take time to do - a nominal fee of about $100 should do it, no? If he is that adamant about it, then I'm sure he'll pay.


  • 24 Jared Rypka-Hauer // May 14, 2008 at 12:20 PM


    O'Malley, that's pure genius. He can't argue he was serious if the offer was made in good faith and he declined. Arguably, protecting his public image is a service, is it not? :)
  • 25 Aaron West // May 14, 2008 at 12:38 PM

    The dude certainly has the right to ask you to remove his comments, but that doesn't mean anything. It's your blog, and effectively your content, so you have the right to refuse to remove the content.

    I'm surprised this type of thing doesn't come up more often. Content and contribution is everywhere and controlling content is getting harder and harder. It's something I haven't considered yet, but it may make sense to have a privacy statement or TOCs that denote how content will be maintained, redistributed, removed, etc. An interesting topic for sure.

    The threat side of things is a whole other issue. It doesn't matter if it's verbal or via e-mail, the law doesn't discriminate. I'd encourage the guy/gal to play nice and stop the threats. If they persist, ignoring the person may help.
  • 26 BKBK // May 14, 2008 at 1:08 PM

    @David, I had guessed it wont be long before someone talked about the cops. That's what can happen when you isolate a story from its mooring and give it a spin, as Sean has done here.

    I can assure you, fellow professionals and Coldfusion enthusiasts, that the kind of fears you've expressed are unfounded. I have no such intentions and told Sean so. To me, it was, and remains, one wit against another. But that doesn't make for drama.

    The first thing an alarm does is to make people scamper, not to ponder questions like "What happened?". Call the cops, if you want, the Keystone cops.

  • 27 Sean Corfield // May 14, 2008 at 1:29 PM

    @BKBK, well, perhaps we should see how other people in this thread would interpret the following snippet of email from you:

    "You are apparently proud of the things you say. So, you would gladly have it spiced with a dated b/w pic and a recent colour one, and spread in links in the appropriate hubs on the web. Not forgetting at every opportunity to include sponsorship of your employer. After all, you speak in your position as a consummate professional, so the opinions you express in the public domain can only be to the benefit of your associates."

    My response to that, for the record, was:

    "I've always used my real identity on the 'net so Google returns absolutely everything about me. None of it is secret. And my employers have always known about everything in my background."

    It's also worth pointing out that BKBK has sent me 12 emails since May 7th, half of which I've ignored, half of which I've responded to privately.
  • 28 BKBK // May 14, 2008 at 7:59 PM

    @Sean Corfield, you've again carved out another convenient snippet for presentation. But all is not lost.

    You've, perhaps unwittingly, let people know what this has always been about: integrity and the handling of information in our profession. None of the insinuation and drama earlier. Also, your readership, as you called us in one of your e-mails, can now work out that there is a lot you're not telling.

    I also wrote to you about condescension and playing your readership. You've shown every intention to carry on dispensing the carefully selected, juicy snippet. I'm sure this rant only supplies more snippet material.

  • 29 John Farrar // May 14, 2008 at 8:42 PM

    When I grew up BK stood for Burger King. (Have it your way!) that was the theme song. I don't know the whole story, but BKBK sure isn't very defined. That is about like someone saying "Mickey Mouse" as the post name and then asking you to remove all the Mickey Mouse posts. Maybe if you just change all his posts to annonamus? (or perhaps "goofey")

    A blog is a PERSONAL domain of a blog owner. Sean is free to say ColdFusion is a Microsoft product here if he chooses. It is past the point of opinions here to defending nothing. If you didn't mean what Sean though, simply state it and get back to enjoying life, eh?
  • 30 Nathan D // May 14, 2008 at 8:45 PM

    All Your Comments Are Belong To Us
  • 31 Adam Bellas // May 14, 2008 at 9:00 PM

    Forget these meaningless threats. I don't care if pics surface with you riding a donkey wearing a clown suit. You're a respected individual in the community for your open intellectual contributions, not your headshots. C'mon, picture threats? Really?
  • 32 Magnus // May 14, 2008 at 9:16 PM

    Tricky situation... I guess my basic view is that if you make a comment on someone else's blog/site, you have given up any right to it. You can always ask the webmaster/owner if they would be willing to edit/delete, but that's it.
  • 33 Mike Brunt // May 14, 2008 at 10:03 PM

    Typically in items related to legalities "custom and practice" are important. In that regard (custom and practice) Sean, your motives have always been to support the CF community and you have done that, unselfishly and carefully. I would refer to this comment above "To me, it was, and remains, one wit against another." If wit were in play here, this nonsense would not have occurred in the first place. Sean does not pontificate he participates and contributes.
  • 34 Nolan Erck // May 14, 2008 at 10:12 PM

    I lost any possibility for respecting this "BKBK" person as soon as I saw that his/her real name wasn't being used in the posts (that's a huge pet peeve of mine -- it's not like this is a singles/dating website and we need to protect ourselves from possible scam artists or what have you).

    If you've got something to say, have the guts to stand behind your words. Anonymous posting in a forum like this is, at best, cowardly.

  • 35 John C. Bland II // May 14, 2008 at 10:31 PM

    Ahhhh...BK surfaced and only made it worse. :-) need to let it go otherwise you'll only fan our flames as you see we're enjoying cracking jokes over your arrogance, etc. Post one last post with your real name and bow out gracefully.

  • 36 Tom Chiverton // May 15, 2008 at 1:12 AM

    I react badly when threatened, personally.
    Who is this guy ? Where else does he post ? Is this sort of thing habit forming for them ?

    You can counter sue for time, expense, emotional distress etc. etc. as your in the US, of course.

    I believe the owners of the web site on the copyright on any submitted material, so you can delete it or not as you like. For once, I hope the law agrees with the moral there - by posting something to someone else, it becomes theirs, not mine, and if I've made a fool of myself and everyone* sees that... shrug... it happens.

    Keep doing what your doing (it's a great resource) and just kill file the guys name and email address.
  • 37 Daren // May 15, 2008 at 4:32 AM

    @Sean, Magnus
    I spend a fair bit of time looking at FOIPOP issues in my professional life. Following this thread, I'm (surprisingly) coming to the realization that in fact BKBK's comments, regardless of quality, are indeed his/her property (an original work published in the public domain activates copyright on their behalf, at least in the US). The author seems to be protected here, not the owner of the codebase, etc. Given the nascent state of copyright/copyleft on the network, this is not exactly clear, but seems clear enough after a cursory look at the legalities.

  • 38 John Farrar // May 15, 2008 at 5:11 AM

    Poking fun at the thread...

    Ah, this is all a marketing scheme! Sean is making up this BKBK guy and driving traffic on his site. This is part of a great conspiracy. After all look how one of the former presidents acted and how much we cared about his 'private life'. :) This is all a scheme for the announcement that Sean is going to take over as the new CEO of of Microsoft. Then he is going to seek a position as governor of California. This want be a T3 model it will be a G3 model. LOL

    Seriously BKBK... get your own blog. Sean is popular but your need to control his content is strange. It's like a former vice president who went to a high school and a child wrote potato on the board. The vice president corrected the child telling him it was spelled with an e on the end. My point is you are not preserving your name by battling the issue. Of course you are giving many people a laugh at the expense of your reputation... so if that is your goal you should continue.
  • 39 Steve 'Cutter' Blades // May 15, 2008 at 5:48 AM

    Wow, BKBK, those are some really big words there. Who are you trying to impress? Stop blaming Sean for the damage you've done to yourself. You speak of 'condescension', as if your own condescending tone doesn't drip through like honey through a comb. Playing his readership? Maybe some of the people who read your drivel, in other forums, don't have enough sense to form their own opinions, but most of us (Sean's readers) are intelligent enough to make our own informed decisions. The only thing proven by this post, and your comments, is that you, sir, are an ass.
  • 40 BKBK // May 15, 2008 at 1:31 PM

    Let's talk blog ethics, then. Someone runs a Coldfusion blog. You post a comment on Coldfusion, and another to let him know you've been getting a lot of undelivered e-mail when you post to his blog. In reply, he posts a teaching definition of bounce-message for your benefit, and adds that you're not well-informed about the internet. You explain you had simply sent the comment to notify the blog owner of spam.

    He doesn't publish your response. Not even a comment you send on the Coldfusion subject. But your comments upset him so much so that he mails you privately and insults you. You mail him back. You think it is unfair for him to snipe at you in public, then refuse you the right of reply. He insults you some more, and goes even one further. He says he allowed your latest posts just so that folks should see what an idiot you really are. He will never again publish a comment from you in his blog. He tells you it's his blog, therefore his rules, and that is that.

    You mail him that, in the circumstances, he should remove your comments from his blog. He refuses.

    You decide to teach him a lesson. You let him know you would publish his abusive words, and his words alone, on hubs on the internet. Since he claims to be acting professionally, you said, then he wouldn't mind having his words alongside his professional affiliation on a hub, with ten to the power N links pointing to them.

    That gets his attention. He promptly publishes two of your posts he had previously withheld. At the bottom of the thread, he places a link to a new thread in his blog. It is on, of all subjects, blog ethics. In it, he quotes several lines from the part of your correspondence that threatens him. He of course leaves out anything that would prevent him creating the feeling that Al-Qaeda is coming.

  • 41 John C. Bland II // May 15, 2008 at 2:15 PM

    Booooooo...take it offlist!

    err...wait...this isn't a list.

    (slowly backs out of conversation)

    hehe. ;-)
  • 42 Josh Giese // May 15, 2008 at 2:50 PM

    call me old fashioned, but I believe that fist fights solve problems.
  • 43 David // May 15, 2008 at 4:27 PM

    Pistols at dawn, Josh!

    "In it, he quotes several lines from the part of your correspondence that threatens him."

    So, BK, nice to see you've admitted threatening Sean. Idle threats, but threats none the less.

    You just don't have a leg to stand on here - you posted to the blog, freely, of your own will. And now you're making some BS threats and ranting about posting some really incriminating stuff to the internet.

    Simply put, you're shit outta luck. You're not owed anything, and you're not going to get anything.

    And what ARE these malicious posts you'll put "on hubs on the internet"? Bad language? Is that is? Seriously? HA! That's almost as pathetic as your replies to this post....ALMOST!

  • 44 radek // May 15, 2008 at 4:39 PM

    @BKBK: Are you crying? It looks like you are. Mate - if you have problems with parts of emails published by Sean then make your own blog and publish everything. Maybe that will help you.
  • 45 BKBK // May 15, 2008 at 9:41 PM

    [updated version, without typos]

    @DanWilson and many others, you are wrong in assuming I'm unhappy about a message I posted on the blog, and wanted it deleted. You're also wrong in assuming this is all about Sean's emails. I asked for my messages to be deleted because of his unprofessional, and unfair, behaviour.

    @Sean and others have suggested that everyone here is smart enough to make an informed decision. An informed decision? I doubt it. An informed decision is only as good as the information on which it is based. Sean presents some scanty, carefully selected words, and there are feathers all over the place. Few have asked to know the background. It is a well-known phenomenon.

    As research on small-group dynamics has shown, people can converge to what they consider an informed decision even when all they have is little or wrong information. The deciding factors were, first, whether there was information or no information, secondly, the common interest that binds the group. Apparently, with even the slightest bit of information, or even wrong information, a group's herd instincts can take over. We humans have an in-built need for consensus that can overtake our thinking when we're in a group. Propagandists use this knowledge all the time to play groups of people like an orchestra. Make up your own mind whether that is the case here.

    @DanWilson and others, you are wrong in assuming it is an idle threat.

    @Darren, thanks for the information about copyright for publications in the public domain.

    @Josh Rodgers, thanks for ignoring the stampede and truly talking about ethics on blogs.

  • 46 Sean Corfield // May 15, 2008 at 10:02 PM

    Since BKBK provided an updated comment, I deleted his previous near-identical one (I hadn't read it closely enough to notice any typos but there ya go).
  • 47 Tom Chiverton // May 16, 2008 at 12:18 AM

    There is no such thing as an 'internet hub' that you can post messages on to. Did you mean a high traffic web site ? In which case, fine, go ahead - one of the great things about the internet is anyone can post anything if they want.
    In which case, it's only fair to point out this blog's readers aren't a 'small-group'.
  • 48 Scott Stroz // May 16, 2008 at 5:12 AM

    I think the main problem here is that 'ethical' is a relative term. What one considers ethical, another might consider unethical.

    Bottom line, its Sean's blog and I feel he has every right to do what he pleases with it. Sean is intelligent enough to know the ramifications of anythng he does/says on his blog.
  • 49 Timothy Farrar // May 16, 2008 at 5:16 AM


    I totally agree that the issue being made here is rediculous... If I write a letter to the editor of a newspaper, and he publishes it and I don't like his response, I cannot ask him to remove my letter... it is ridiculous. But, there is no real benefit to harassing BKBK. Again I don't agree with him, but really, we get his point, and he gets ours. If he still want to have an issue with Sean, why don't we just let him and Sean have the issue? We certainly aren't helping resolve the situation by harassing BKBK.
  • 50 Kevin Slane // May 16, 2008 at 5:17 AM

    Can you sue the city for not removing the graffiti you spray-painted on the overpass?


    Treat it not as a threat of lawsuit, but a threat to your personal safety. Carries a lot more weight.
  • 51 David // May 16, 2008 at 6:03 AM

    BK, other research shows that "the crowd" is usually right. Look, we've all been privy to your comments in the past, on this blog and others, so its not like we're taking your bullshit in a microcosm. You've been at it for a long time now.

    The bottom line is, you're using threats - and you've admitted that. You've also asserted that your threats are not "idle" (and you said my "call the cops" comment was an overreaction!).

    So, let me fill you in on another human "in-built need" - people don't like to be threatened, and people don't like seeing others threatened. Respect is quickly lost for those that engage in such action. If you issue threats, you better have a plan to back it up. I wasn't applying "idle" to your promise of threats, it was the substance of those threats.

    You versus Sean - you're going to lost that battle every time. While Sean and I, and many others, disagree (sometimes forcefully) on certain subjects that he blogs about, there is a mutual respect, and agreement to disagree.

    Now, could the all-knowing "BKBK" reach a level where it would give us pause on this matter? Sure. But you'd have to be a community contributor, for many years, and starting with your own blog to inform, enlighten, and sometimes entertain us would be a good start.

    You think you're some sort of visionary - the guy that goes against the crowd, the maverick, who will prove us all wrong. Well, so was the guy in that cult in Argentina a few years ago that sold all his possessions and said the world was going to end. (I wonder how he's doing?)

    I got news for you pal - you're dime a dozen!

    Keep it up though, its been a welcome distraction from a tough week.

  • 52 Larry C. Lyons // May 16, 2008 at 6:28 AM


    Simply ignore this person's threats. He's coming across like a net.loon - like one of the classics from the classic Usenet days. If he is making threats and starts going ahead with them, then that might be actionable, but why bother. Its not really worth the effort.
  • 53 Milner // May 16, 2008 at 12:40 PM

    I read through the previous comments, and I also read the comments here.

    @Sean, you have every right to do what you want with the content, comments, code snippets, whatever that you have stored as part of YOUR blog. I don't own, nor will I ever (most likely).

    @BKBK, I would agree that Sean, as keeper of the kingdom, so to speak, can editorialize whatever and however he chooses. So there may be a case that he is cherry-picking quotes to prove a point.

    @Both of you, what I'm unhappy about is that what you two were disagreeing about what actually quite interesting. As an 11 year CFer, who's written some of the the world's worst spaghetti code to some really slick MVC apps, I'm always interested in debates like the one that started before. It's sad that some innocuous comments have reduced the "conversation" to little more than drivel, IMO.

    Why can't people just agree to disagree. If Sean wants to call me a pansy for my comments, let 'em. I can't and won't stop him, because it's his right to do so. Does that mean he's right? Maybe, maybe not, but my ranting against him won't change anything (except maybe look dumb).

    I think that both Sean and BKBK probably have a lot to offer to the community through their knowledge and experience. What we need to do is get past this and get back to more exciting conversation, like when Microsoft is going to buy Adobe! That's ever so much more useful a conversation than this is...especially now that I've commented!

  • 54 Sean Corfield // May 16, 2008 at 1:09 PM

    One of the things I find fascinating about blogging is which posts generate comments and which posts do not. Pretty much every post here that has drawn a long list of comments has been non-technical, usually on a controversial subject.

    Sometimes I get a little disappointed that the technical posts don't draw many comments but I think it says a lot about our community that we're willing to pitch in with opinions (and support) on non-technical issues - which I find very encouraging since it shows that us geeks have a three-dimensional humanity as well as mad tech skillz :)

    Thanx for all the input folks.

    Serious tech content will be appearing over the next few weeks - I know the blog's been a little light of late, barring cf.Objective() news, as I've been very focused on both that conference and the launch of my company's new platform and that's kept me too busy to post the tech stuff...
  • 55 BKBK // May 17, 2008 at 12:09 AM

    @Tom Chiverton, just to clarify: hub in the sense of a feeder of others who feed others. Small-group in the technical sense(e.g. communication, sociology), not necessarily a group that is small.

    @David, @Larry C. Lyons, Sean opened with the word 'threaten'. You and others responded with the obvious emotion, multiplying your use of the word 'threat' with every comment. I objected to the use of the word. It already evokes your emotion before you get the chance to know the circumstances. However, I can understand why Sean used it. A word is only as good as what it stands for, so I informed the blog what I had intended to do. However, you seem to want to keep a word alive, while ignoring its internal organs. That dragon be yours then.

    @Scott Stroz, @Timothy Farrar, @Kevin Slane, @Milner, you are still clearly unaware of what, to me at least, was the crux of the matter. Sean had vowed never to publish any of my comments in his blog. However, he has since changed his mind and published my comments here and elsewhere. I am grateful.

    @David, the wisdom of crowds comes from the correcting influence that the small-groups have on each other. That's only my opinion. Me, all-knowing and visionary? Not even in my dreams. There is still the big L for learner on my forehead. The thought of me versus Sean is you flattering me. The undisputed heavyweight champion against the puny featherweight from Timbuktu? It is a non-starter. This is my fourth year in Coldfusion. The one person in the Coldfusion scene from whom I've learned the most on Software Development is Sean.

  • 56 Scott Stroz // May 17, 2008 at 8:34 AM

    @BK, whowever you may be, who cares if Sean said he will never publish any of our comments. Once again, its his blog, he can handle any comments as he sees fit.

    If he chooses to not publish a comment, I am sure he realizes that there may be ramifications. Those ramifications are for him to be concerned with, not you.
  • 57 Larry C. Lyons // May 17, 2008 at 9:53 AM

    "Oh, and you make a mistake in assuming I'm going to be waiting a long time. I'm giving you the opportunity to do the right thing. Of course, you may continue to ignore it if you want. Then you will learn the hard way."

    "Then you will learn the hard way" constitutes a threat by almost any definition. Frankly give it up, you're digging yourself into a deeper hole with each and every comment.

    Normally I don't feed the trolls, but this required a response.
  • 58 BKBK // May 17, 2008 at 10:46 AM

    @Larry C. Lyons, you again repeat a basic mistake of judgement. You draw an emotional conclusion from a reaction without taking into consideration the action that provoked it.

    A threat is not absolute by definition. A threat might cease to be a threat if it was preceded by a provocation. You could balance your argumentation a little.

  • 59 Hatem Jaber // May 17, 2008 at 8:11 PM

    @BKBK, it's a losing battle, just give up. 1st of all, No one here sees or is going to see the point you want to prove. 2nd, you willingly published your comments on this blog, if you are requesting removal now after many posts, I think it's too late. 3rd, who are you?
  • 60 David // May 17, 2008 at 8:47 PM

    BK, you're just talking bullshit now. Larry saved me the trouble of tracking down your own words. YOUR making threats is not OUR emotional failings. YOU made the threats and then in replies to the post stood by them. These are YOUR words. There are no "internal organs" or dragons or goblins with little green hats. YOU made a THREAT. Stand by that or apologize for it, but don't try and spin it.

    This has nothing to do with how many years you are coding in ColdFusion - you pop up on this and other blogs from time to time, spew bullshit and then nail yourself up on a cross, all "woe is me". I mean others have hit this on the head - who are you? If your words and reputation mean so much to you, start a blog and stand by your assertions.

  • 61 Stewart Robinson // May 19, 2008 at 4:23 AM

    If you choose to do anything you should simply put a license on the site, most likely a Creative Commons license to clear any future problem like this.

  • 62 Jeffrey Price // May 19, 2008 at 5:21 AM

    Threads like this explain why reality TV is so popular...folks just keep tuning in to see what train will wreck in this weeks episode!
  • 63 Larry C. Lyons // May 19, 2008 at 6:52 AM


    You're right. But I am not a fan of reality TV. I've got to learn to stop feeding the trolls.

    In this case its like watching a slow ugly train wreck happening before your eyes.
  • 64 Christopher Vigliotti // May 19, 2008 at 9:36 AM

    We should re-enact this conversation as a three-act play at CFUnited this year.
  • 65 BKBK // May 19, 2008 at 11:23 AM

    @David, you should go easy on the 'OUR emotional failings' gambit. Before you know it that, too, might begin a life of its own. I haven't said anything about anyone's failings.

    If someone storms in, claiming he has been threatened, our natural tendency is to rally round in support. Whereas, the proper reaction would have been to ask, "Threatened with what, and why?". Unlike you, I am not impressed by the word 'threat'. It evokes emotion, but is ultimately less important than the action it describes. Indeed, it is often an organless dragon.

    I own up to my actions, but can understand why they make someone feel threatened. I said so. There exist threats perhaps of a more serious nature than the one we've been talking about. An African threatens another to tickle his nostril with a feather and an Arab threatens another to infest his armpits with lice.

    I disagree with your suggestion about blogs. If I started my own blog it wouldn't be for my words and reputation. I do believe a blog is best as a place for a healthy exchange of ideas.
  • 66 Mary Jo Sminkey // May 19, 2008 at 12:18 PM

    First, Sean don't assume that the technical posts aren't as *popular* if they don't get as many comments...I've always really appreciated the detail and high-quality of the information you post on your blog.

    Second, one of the things that is frustrating about the internet is how easy it is for people to damage your reputation, whether they are right or wrong. I deal with this regularly as a CF software vendor, where people can easily post reviews of my software having never even used it, or without even once emailing me for assistance when they have problems. Others are highly demanding of my time such that I basically make no money from the sale for the amount of hand-holding I end up doing. But I tend to go out of my way to appease the irrational, annoying customers well past the point that I might in a normal business, because they make up a minor part of the vast majority of the users I have...but tend to be by far the most vocal, and vindictive when crossed. You just always have to decide whether a fight is really worth it. Personally I would just write a quick SQL statement to replace the blog text of all of BKBK's comments with something like "This blog comment has been removed" and be done with him. Whether he has any right to demand the removal is one thing (I doubt that he does) but being right doesn't necessarily mean that holding your ground is always the best stance to take.
  • 67 David // May 19, 2008 at 1:24 PM

    BK - dead wrong. On all counts. Threats provoke a response. YOU made a threat, and unfortunately for you, it was aired in public. You have admitted the threats but not the consequences of making it.

    For some obscene reason, you seem to think that threats are a genuine avenue to opening logical and informed discussion. They're NOT!

    "I own up to my actions, but can understand why they make someone feel threatened."

    WHAT? You can't understand why threats make people threatened? Aren't they supposed to? You think threats are "organless dragons" (whatever the fuck thats supposed to be) - they aren't, they are very real, and should be treated seriously.

    I'm not sure what the problem is, at this stage. You made threats which you said you would carry out if you didn't get your way, and now you've tried to spin everyone to your way if thinking - that the threats were what? Not serious? No need to worry?

    "Unlike you, I am not impressed by the word" - well that's great for you, but in the world outside on BK, things operate differently.

    There are a few possibilities, though:

    1) You don't speak English natively, and don't understand the true meaning of the word "threat" - maybe you've mixed it up with something else (I don't know, like "Conversation starter")

    2) You're naive. You think conversations start with threats and end with group hugs.

    3) You're just fucking stupid.

    Please construct a reply that doesn't point to #3 (and leave out the dragons this time, will ya?)
  • 68 Sean Corfield // May 19, 2008 at 1:41 PM

    @David, to be fair, BKBK said he *can* understand why his actions make some people feel threatened...
  • 69 Larry C. Lyons // May 19, 2008 at 1:44 PM

    > We should re-enact this conversation as a
    > three-act play at CFUnited this year.

    I'd have to get extremely drunk first.

    Unfortunately I'm only going to be at the Saturday sessions, the pointy haired boss has declared no conferences this year.
  • 70 Jon Clausen // May 19, 2008 at 2:06 PM

    > We should re-enact this conversation as a three-act play at CFUnited this year.

    Something like this perhaps:

    "Woe, woe, woe to the house of Darryl, woe!
    Or rather, woe to those who pass it buy. For Darryl's
    speech is more feared than siren's song, more loathed than gorgon's face, more annoying than a busy signal which will not stop.
    Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep.
    Maddening, isn't it? Such are the words of Darryl,
    they kill laughter, maul joy, crush conversation.
    His stories bland, his narrative long, his voice of one tone only.
    Friendless, tactless, endless, pointless, he speaks anon and anon.
    He speaks and mortals cry.
    But lo! He appears. Try and appear interested.
    Waka waka waka."

    Unless you were looking for something more along the lines of Titus Andronicus:

    "Hark, villains! I will grind your bones to dust
    And with your blood and it I'll make a paste,
    And of the paste a coffin I will rear
    And make two pasties of your shameful heads.."

  • 71 Chris Herdt // May 20, 2008 at 11:01 AM

    Most newspapers include a statement on their letters to the editor page along the lines of "[Publication Name] welcomes letters from readers. All letters become the property of [Publication Name], which reserves the right to edit them for length and/or clarity."

    Although I personally feel this is implicit on blogs, it perhaps wouldn't hurt to make that statement explicit. Instead of cluttering up the comment form, you could put it on an all-purpose user agreement/privacy policy page.
  • 72 BKBK // May 21, 2008 at 9:26 AM

    @David: "3) You're just fucking stupid."

    I must admit I've been known to do it stupid. There you go, we all have our moments.

  • 73 James Morrow // May 21, 2008 at 4:42 PM


    I know I'm coming a bit late, and piling on, but you truly come across as a jackass. I'm just guessing here, but... only child/home schooled/not enough hugs?

    Obviously, after reading through the relevant comments on the thread in question, I can understand why you'd like them deleted... not a very flattering picture of you as a thinker, developer or communicator. Unfortunately, once you hit submit, you've released your content into the great Interwebs, and you should obviously have a basic understanding that dissemination of such is no longer under your control.

    Additionally, I've found Sean to be a pretty darn amenable and agreeable person to work with in my limited interaction with him, although eventually he, like many of us, loses his tolerance for fools. I'd be willing to bet, if you chose to act in a friendly and professional manner, you'd have found Sean to be a lot easier to deal with. The scorched earth approach just extends your demonstration of poorly-conceived thought.
  • 74 John Farrar // May 21, 2008 at 7:06 PM

    @James Morrow... Excuse you? What does home schooled and not enough hugs have to do with each other. Home schooled children get more hugs not less. The rest of you comments were considerable... but that was a bit anti-social? Were you home schooled and blame your educational situation for negative attitudes? (BTW... Mt. Rushmore we see four highly honored people, who were all home schooled.)
  • 75 Jared Rypka-Hauer // May 21, 2008 at 7:30 PM

    @John Farrar -- I agree with you, but shouldn't we make an effort to keep this on-topic? I've emailed James, I encourage you to do the same, but I'd hate to see this diverted into a conversation that's so far off-topic from the post these comments are attached to.
  • 76 thaddeus // May 21, 2008 at 8:00 PM

    @John - I think James was putting "/" in place of "or". Fairly common in online communications, though I prefer a programmers |. Perhaps that information fell through the cracks at homeschool.

    although re-reading his post, he may have meant unity: if only child =1, home schooled = 1, and not enough hugs = 1, then 1/1/1 = ONE

    and *wow* 4 highly honored people from somewhere were homeschooled? now that's, somethin' wish we had a few publicly schooled folks to compete with that.

  • 77 BKBK // May 21, 2008 at 9:09 PM

    @James Morrow: "Obviously, after reading through the relevant comments on the thread in question, I can understand why you'd like them deleted... not a very flattering picture of you as a thinker, developer or communicator. Unfortunately, once you hit submit, you've released your content into the great Interwebs, and you should obviously have a basic understanding that dissemination of such is no longer under your control."

    You got it wrong, James. You're not the first. I hope I'll not have to say it again after this. I am satified with the comments you mention, and wanted them published. I requested Sean to remove all my comments from his blog only when he said he would never again publish any comments from me. However, he has been gracious enough to revoke the decision, for which I am grateful.

    "Additionally, I've found Sean to be a pretty darn amenable and agreeable person to work with in my limited interaction with him, although eventually he, like many of us, loses his tolerance for fools. I'd be willing to bet, if you chose to act in a friendly and professional manner, you'd have found Sean to be a lot easier to deal with."

    Hyear. Doesn't that go for most of us, too?

    "... you truly come across as a jackass. I'm just guessing here, but... only child/home schooled/not enough hugs?"

    "... not a very flattering picture of you as a thinker, developer or communicator."

    "... The scorched earth approach just extends your demonstration of poorly-conceived thought."

    You claim you've been to that thread, but fail to say anything about Application.cfc, metadata, components, inheritance, software development or even the internet. The thread touched on all that, so there is more than enough beef to chew on. Don't just call me names. Why don't you let us know your take on those subjects?

    You've only just dropped in, and so may not yet be aware of it. I've been pleading against your kind of argumentation in this thread. Like the 'threatening' one before it, it attempts to keep words alive by emotion alone, without the justification that gives them their organic context. If we all treated each other like that, then life would indeed be as the man said: full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

  • 78 James Morrow // May 22, 2008 at 12:12 AM

    My apologies for stirring the pot overly much with my homeschooling reference.... as in my private response to Jared, I was attempting to draw a comparison between personality type caricatures and the posts I'd just read, and did so unwisely and poorly. Any slur I made to individuals that were home-schooled (or, for that matter, only children, etc.) was unintended. Should you be offended, you have my sincere apology.

    @BKBK: I believe that you are correct, sir, and that my comment ended up being argumentative and not sufficiently substantive to warrant posting. In my haste to throw in my opinion to the ring, I ended up sounding like quite the jerk myself. Thanks for your more reasoned reply.
  • 79 John Farrar // May 22, 2008 at 6:47 AM

    @Jared... I agree that it was an or list not an and list. Yet why was homeschooling listed as a reason at all that someone would be anti-social? That is an ignorant statement. Second why was it listed in the same "or" list. By adding it to a list of anti-social normalities the inference is plain that home education leads to anti-social from lack of opportunities provided those who were schooled otherwise. (Or can you explain any reason for adding that to the list that was other than negative association?)

    My point is that it was an opportunistic occasion to be intollerant. It was inappropriate as being intollerant to any other subject. I was not home educated and am not bitter about missing the opportunity. There are advantages to both forms of education. And like BKBK... and myself, and you... posts we make on a blog are open for general review and comment.
  • 80 Hatem Jaber // May 22, 2008 at 7:12 AM

    @BKBK - "Unfortunately, once you hit submit, you've released your content into the great Interwebs, and you should obviously have a basic understanding that dissemination of such is no longer under your control."

    Just remember these words before you ask any other blog or forum to remove your posts, I'm not riding you, but just a reminder!

    @Sean - have you considered letting the comments post instantly just so that you're not accused of censoring or not publishing someone's post? I'm sure it's a spam issue and you want to have some control over it, but maybe review the bad comments or spam and remove them as seen fit, just an idea that i'm throwing out there.
  • 81 Sean Corfield // May 22, 2008 at 7:34 AM

    @Hatem, yes, moderation is in place to prevent sp@m. There are already unapproved sp@m comments in this thread. They're very aggressive about it.
  • 82 Jared Rypka-Hauer // May 22, 2008 at 8:02 AM

    @John Farrar, Take a second to review James's most recent post wherein he acknowledges that his message was... ineffective. I think it's wonderful that someone would take the time to provide a retraction. If more people would do that, the world would be a better place.

    Thanks, James...
  • 83 John Farrar // May 22, 2008 at 9:53 AM

    @BKBK... see the gracious way James dealt with your and my objections? If you review my internet communication history (or Sean's) you will find we both have had occasion and actively corrected things we said also. Perhaps we are assisting you to think through this from a different perspective if you are open minded and if so then our time has not been wasted. Perhaps we may also find a point or two we consider valid in your thinking. :)

    @James... Thanks for clarifying that post. Text is a hard medium for communication, esp. things like blog threads. No hard feelings. Hey, if you are at CFUnited say high... and remind me how we got in contact. I would love to meet you.)
  • 84 radek // May 22, 2008 at 4:48 PM

    "Wish I may
    Wish I might
    Have this I wish tonight
    Are you satisfied?
    Dig for gold
    Dig for fame
    You dig to make your name
    Are you pacified?"

    I'm telling you, I had exactly the same problem as you. But I think it is time to grow up. Forget what you've done and start thinking again.
  • 85 BKBK // May 22, 2008 at 9:46 PM

    @James Morrow, how decent of you, sir.

  • 86 Christopher Vigliotti // May 23, 2008 at 5:52 AM

    Sean, you may want to rename this post to "BK's Chat Room"