Due to recent events both on and off the blog I feel it is necessary to clarify several issues and attempt to clear the air in an effort to restore a sense of normalcy here at Canespace. I ask that you please read this blog more than once, with patience and an open mind before your formulate your own personal opinions and post your comments.
First as you know, Canespace is a free, privately run blog for the fans, by the fans. It is not a publicly run media blog like the Miami Herald or Sun Sentinel. It is not paid web site blog or message board like those at Canesport.com or InsidetheU.com.
As with any blog, bloggers who post comments do so at the discretion and approval of the blog editor. Here at Canespace we generally have more clearly defined boundaries and rules that are established to ensure a fan friendly environment for ALL fans, young and old, male and female, black, white or hispanic, not just a select few.
Secondly, as you are also aware, the public media blogs have had severe difficulty managing comments at their sites resulting in the virtual elimination of meaningful conversation about UM athletics at those sites. The Canespace rules and guidelines are precisely intended to prevent that same environment from being repeated at this site.
As many of you are aware, about a year ago the Sun-Sentinel blog became a hostile environment for Hurricane fans due to a Gator troll that dominated the conversation and essentially ruined that site for all. Many SS blogers have found their way to Canespace as a result. Not until very recently has Shandel Richardson started to screen and delete comments and ban bloggers who do not follow common decency guidelines.
More recently our good friend Manny Navarro at the Miami Herald changed the format of his blog to a "moderated comment only" format due to the same reasons. The same bloggers who launched personal attacks, threats and general blog pollution that stained the SS blog found their way to The Herald and due to pressure from bloggers Manny decided to change the format or simply quit blogging. He told me as much in an email.
Over at Canesport things got so bad that Gary Ferman had to lay down the law and ban some message board regulars who had been around for years. A group of around 100 bloggers from that site started their own "members only" blog that is only open to those invited to join.
The point of this discussion is to show you that the recent events here at Canespace are not isolated to this blog. Running a blog is a difficult balancing act of allowing freedom of expression and controlling content and comments. And it a tremendous burden as well as a 24/7 responsibility for the blog editor.
As I am sure you can imagine, this is an extremely tiring and difficult task for anyone to manage. Are conflicts going to arise? Absolutely. Is it possible to always get the balance right? Probably not. Are mistakes likely to be made? Probably so.
More than anyone, I fully understand that any blog is only as good as its bloggers. I also understand that may be even more true at a private, fan run site like Canespace than any of the other media sites. I have visited and read hundreds of other sports blogs on the Internet and none that I have found can match Canespace for the number and quality of comments posted here on a daily basis.
In fact most of the blogs that I have found including those at the Sun-Sentinel and Miami Herald cannot match our community of bloggers or number of daily comments. I am well aware of that fact and I am thankful for all of those that contribute here on a daily basis. In some ways, Canespace has become the last safe refuge for intelligent and knowledgeable Hurricane fans to blog.
Only here at Canespace do we have numerous fans from all over the Country writing and contributing feature articles on a regular basis. I realize that Canespace would not have achieved our goals and would be nothing without these dedicated bloggers. I have a great deal or appreciation and respect for those who take their personal time to provide quality content for all to enjoy.
That being said, the recent issues and incidents have set us back, of that there is no doubt. I accept responsibility for my role in that and offer an apology to those who I may have upset or offended.
So should others.
As I have publicly stated here on many occasions no one blogger is above the rules or more important than the blog itself. Those who violate the rules of conduct, attempt to intimidate or bully other bloggers or try to turn the blog into their own personal page have unfortunately at times had to learn lessons the hard way by having comments deleted and in some cases being banned from the blog.
There are only a handful of Canepacers who have ever been banned. All have returned to the blog after a short period away after clarifying the issues off the blog. Whenever a blogger violates one of the rules they are asked to email me to clarify the rules and prevent future violations. That is not done to chastise or embarrass anyone, it is done because it is efficient and also lets others know that the blog is being monitored to reduce the number of violations that need to be addressed.
That will not change. I do not have time to convince or counsel bloggers into following the rules. Some bloggers choose not to email me when confronted. That is their choice and their decision. If following rules or sending an email is too much to ask from any blogger here then simply put you do not belong on Canespace.
To help all comply and to avoid violations, here are the rules:
1. Posting of sexual, obsecene or offensive comments or material is not permitted.
2. Blog bullying, personal attacks, bashing or threats of intimidation are not permitted.
3. Politics, religion, race or ethnic issues and other emotionally charged topics should be avoided.
4. Consistent or continuous off-topic or inappropriate comments should be avoided.
We all get off topic once in a while. We all joke and tease each other. That is absolutely fine and part of developing a positive and healthy blog community. Here at Canespace people have received legal advice, job opportunities, personal coaching and emotional support during difficult times in their lives.
That is what has made this blog unique. I do NOT want to lose that.
I have invested a significant amount of time and money into this project known as Canespace and am committed to its success. At times I have to make difficult decisions that I believe are in the best interests of the blog. That is not always easy, especially given all of the behind the scenes issues, emails, phone contacts, comments and suggestions that I get on a regular basis.
That is all I can offer and all I can do.
I hope that is good enough for most of you.