There are a few things I want to tell you.

I’m sure you all would have noticed a hefty dose of turmoil on the blog recently. Turmoil on the blog is something we’ve all had to endure over the last two years, which we accept as one of the ‘dangers’ of blogging given the nature of our topics and the diverse personalities we are fortunate to have gather here.

But past turmoils pale in comparison to what we’ve recently experienced.

For this, I take the blame. It got out of hand because I allowed it to do so.

Whilst we are all simply bloggers, behind the blogging persona is a real person whose life and identity we know little or nothing about. Especially their struggles. I know many of the bloggers here and their circumstances in life, and I respect them for the courage they show as they work through those adversities. The rest of us, however, are oblivious to the person behind the gravatar.

It is a pity that the respect I have for these people has not been enforced in my actions, or should I say, lack thereof. This has caused some people an enormous amount of grief, which in turn spilled into our personal lives. My own behaviour during this disruptive episode became uncharacteristic and I am certain that others too reacted out of character.

Yet I sat back and did nothing to avert the major turmoil that fast approached. I sat idle while people wrongfully took the blame for actions that were of my doing, such as deleting comments. This only added fuel to the fire and I hopelessly stood as an observer and watched friendships break down between the people who contribute to the administration of this blog.

People not associated with this blog were quick to jump in with their eagerness to cause as much grief as possible. Potentially litigious claims that I was “shagging” Pip were destructive to the people close to us. The same people who delighted in spreading such rumours were also causing distress to other blog administrators by suggesting that Pip was doing everything possible to kick Min out of the Café.

It is an understatement to say that this caused an enormous amount of animosity and friction. I would suggest too, that it was during these times of stress that uncharacteristic behaviour subsequently emerged.

Because I had allowed this to get out of hand Min and Pip suffered as a result, in some way.

Min then left to start up her own blog and she had my blessing.

But it didn’t appear as though she had the blessing from those same people who did everything in their power to taunt Pip, as well as Min. To sit back and watch a particular blog owner (from elsewhere) make fun of her “battered wife syndrome” made me realise that it is easy to behave uncharacteristically if certain life events as well as the public ridicule of those events has to be tragically endured. And the taunting of Min continued from these undesirables as well as their public denigration of Pip, who through all of this was merely an innocent bystander.

It doesn’t take much to stir up a bit of trouble. We’ve seen it too often from the select few.

Min doesn’t need that crap in her life (as neither do Pip or I).

To these wonderful, beautiful ladies I promise not to sit back and leave you exposed like that again.

And might I say “Welcome back to Café Whispers, Min”. It’s not the Café without you.

What have I learned from all this?

  • Firstly, to show respect to all here at the Café and be empathetic to whatever their life circumstances might be. A little bit of understanding goes a long way.
  • Block people from commenting at the Café whose only objective is to create hurt among people, which they constantly and deliberately do. They will still try, as we’ve seen in the past that they’ll create new personas and try sneaking in the back door. Though they will be wasting their time as it is far easier for me to click ‘delete’ than it is for them to compose their usual rubbish.
  • Ignore those peoples’ comments elsewhere as they do not confine their denigration of the people here to this blog site alone. The importance of this point cannot be over-emphasised. The trouble always seems to originate from the one source. They don’t need an audience; it only serves to invigorate them. I won’t be giving them any air.

So we move forward, but with plans in place to ensure we don’t go through similar problems again.

Min helped me set up this blog site and she deserves as much credit for its success as I do. The efforts of the other authors and administrators also make this a great blog to run. Everyone stepped up to the plate whenever I was off battling yet another Lupus attack.

I think that the best way to avoid any future conflict is if we keep the rules simple: Put yourself in the shoes of the person you are about to address. If it is likely to offend or denigrate then it is possibly not worth posting.

As per the WordPress standard of practice the blog owner and the authors have the right to delete or edit a comment considered defamatory. I’m the blog owner, so I guess than means me. Min also has that authority and in hers or my absence we are blessed with a number of mature administrators who can make the decision in the interests of the blog.

I am confident and optimistic about our continued growth. With the quality of people who run the blog and the quality of people who come here to contribute, how could I feel otherwise?

Now can we all start again?