Ansteorran Hospitalers & On-Line BLACK STAR
KiheBard at aol.com
Wed Feb 12 22:44:18 PST 1997
In a message dated 97-02-11 07:54:55 EST, you write:
> > Nor, was I speaking as a Deputy Kingdom Seneschal.
> Here we disagree. HL William FitzBubba can't get out in the middle of
> the Ansteorran Mailing List and issue enough disclaimers to prove to
> everyone else that he's not a Lesser Officer of State in this Kingdom.
> I would argue that you, as a highly visible member of this Kingdom, have
> the same problem. People can't tell when you're being Burke, instead of
> the Deputy Kingdom Seneschal. That's why both of us (smile) have to be
> careful what we say, less we bring havoc upon our respective offices.
(Catching up after a rough week at work, apologies if the following
observations have been made by others already and I just haven't reached
their words yet...)
William, Your Lordship, I must call you to task and to question, and thank
Allow me to get the diatribe out of the way first, expounding upon the labor
which I propose for you. I Call you to task: It is all too easy and simple
to separate the official words and the personal words of an individual
communicating in these electronic venues. I've seen plenty of people over the
years do so, without risk or hint of confusion. Far LESS confusion than in
most verbal communication, actually.
Simple mechanics, really. If a particular pronouncement is "official",
label it plainly as such. Paraphrased examples I have seen used in
electronically distributed messages include:
"Speaking officially as [office name]..."
"The following quoted text is being distributed by the explicit request of
Their Majesties, and hard-copy is available through [traditional surface mail
Otherwise, any individual's words are their own (doesn't hurt to include
some boilerplate text or specification, such as you will note in the last
line of my standard .sig blocks). The personal opinion disclaimer exists in
MANY variations and is easy to implement as well. No problem, no question.
[Apologies for mixing threads here, but In My Opinion the matters are very
Now the Question: in what way IS the on-line publication of the full text of
the _Black Star_ different than the paper publication? I submit that there
is no substantive difference, and should there be any made it would be that
the on-line version could be modified for sudden post-paper-publication
changes of venue or conditions relating to events -- and could / should
include as many active hyperlinks to event announcements and local group
Websites as possible. (Inclusion of appropriate legal boilerplate prominently
displayed on target webpages understood and agreed necessary!)
Rationale: if *anyone* has agreed to give their contact information to the
OFFICIAL publication for the Kingdom with the expectation of having said
information published, they have agreed to public dissemination of that
information. If they choose to withhold contact information, they should
expect to deal with the consequences gracefully when it comes time for their
event. Anyone who has chosen to fulfill a "Corpora office" of any branch has
the responsibility of being accessible to the members served by that office.
(I Am Not A Lawyer, but I would ask that ye all NOTE WELL, for anyone who
might not be clear on the concept:
directory information such as name, address, telephone, may not in and of
itself be copyrighted, although a given directory -as- -a- -compilation- can
I recognize the need of some individuals to adopt more extreme measures to
protect themselves or their loved ones. I submit that such folk should long
since have been using intermediary-dependent addressing / contact
information, and should not be surprised that people *will* need to reach
them concerning their official duties. (I include, at least mentally, all
event-specific staff as having official duties -- particularly and especially
autocrats / event coordinators, who I remember as necessarily being
considered as deputies to the [locality] Seneschal.)
Probably this is still very much a matter for the Lord Chancellor, Seneschal,
and Corporation to decide in the end, though.
And, as promised, Thank You:
HL William FitzBubba, Thank You.
Thank You for attempting to keep the issue at hand the focus of your
comments, and for admitting openly that your experience in other matters
might be influencing your current attitudes toward an individual or his
Thank You for taking over the nearly-thankless task of maintaining the
Thank You for having the courage to support Barat in going through with
trying to put the Kingdom newsletter on the Web in the first place. Thank
You for then supporting Barat in having the strength to withdraw it when
there were serious questions raised as to the proprieties involved.
Thank you for fostering and participating in the open debate which has arisen
in these several matters.
And Thank You as well for returning to reasonable dialog when you realized
that your words may have been taken as being harsh.
Amr ibn Majid al-Bakri al-Amra
currently residing in Barony of the Steppes, Kingdom of Ansteorra
Mike C. Baker KiheBard at aol.com
Any opinions expressed are obviously my own unless explicitly stated
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