May 10, 2005

BUT DAVE, it was your behavior that was the problem, and pointing fingers at others and engaging in juvenile revenge fantasies doesn't change that. It was the only dark spot on an otherwise successful conference.

In fact, your "moderation" of the civility session was anything but. You insisted on shutting people down, and repeatedly charged off the topic under discussion to make sure they knew you disagreed with them on peripheral issues. You embarrassed yourself, people have noticed, and the gentlemanly thing to do would be to apologize, not play the victim and accuse your critics of being confederate sympathizers.

UPDATE: Winer emails:

The other people in the room were trying to say something to you, but you were too focused on me to hear them. You're just another Limbaugh ditto-head, I thought you were more than that. I thought you were MUCH more than that. You're just another flamer. Too fucking bad. Dave

Um, okay, Dave, though I have no idea what you're talking about here. But I thought that you were too focused on you to hear what people were saying. (My only comment during the session was to note, in response to a question from Dave, that I would have liked to hear what another audience member had been trying to say before Dave cut him off). And making what is fundamentally a question of personal deportment into a matter of political name-calling just illustrates the problem.

I don't think that this whole affair is a big deal -- though Dave's email makes it a slightly bigger deal, at least to me -- but I do think that when moderating a session like this, it's best to make the session about other participants' views.

On a more constructive note, here are some good suggestions for blogospheric conduct.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Actually, these suggestions are good, too.