Written in Ink

I have decided that it is unfair for me to leave another human being out to dry, all where I can maintain the distance required to be a good mod. As many are aware, there is a segment of the Kinja community upset with an individual member and for a variety of reasons, an out of control situation has occurred.

I would like to limit any conversation resulting from the following to the points listed, but we'll see how that goes. Ordinarily this type of post would not be allowed on Crosstalk, but I'm going to take advantage of my position as forum owner to give myself permission and I'm primarily doing so because I'm seeing the Kinja user being blamed for things in which I had a part.

Also for some reason, a few people are unwilling to just let things go.

1) NomadiKat had a Kinja which was linked from her URL under "blog" on its menu. She wrote a post chronicling the first day of legal weed in Colorado, which she linked from a comment on Jezebel and this led someone to share it to Crosstalk.


Because of that posting, I looked at the rest of her Kinja and saw that she wrote a lot about foreign travel. Over the past year, I've treated Crosstalk like something of a magazine — one with a community, but still a magazine — so I emailed her and asked if she would like posting privileges on Crosstalk. She is not the only author I have recruited for Crosstalk, but if I'm going to moderate a group blog, it's going to be more than a chat room. There is nothing wrong with friendly, lighter posts and some chattier elements, but I personally want them mixed with posts of substance and toward that end, I have extended invitations to post. Some of those whom I've recruited and all of those who have turned me down have had no connection to the existing Kinja communities, which was the case with NomadiKat. At the time of my initial contact, she was not familiar with any of the communities or how they worked.

2) Though her posts were dramatically different than most everything else on Crosstalk, I felt and still feel they were a good addition to the blog.

Over the first few weeks, I advised her to what should be posted to Crosstalk, what should be shared and what should remain on her personal Kinja. Among the things I told her is that I'm more willing to promote stuff posted directly to Crosstalk because their traffic numbers count toward it. One of the ways I have promoted posts is by sharing them to other communities, so I gave her a little list of what subjects could be shared where. When she submitted her Thailand post, I emailed tips@ and cc'ed John, which led Gabrielle to share her post onto Gawker. Hers is not the only posts I've tipped to the ad-supported blogs with varying success and hers are not the only ones I've sent to Jessica for the "Best of Kinja" list.

More so toward the beginning, but throughout our relationship, NomadiKat kept me informed of the subjects on which she was preparing posts and kept me apprised of her schedule.


3) When she received posting privileges on the PowderRoom, she asked me if it was a better place to post. I told her that because I'm the admin of Crosstalk, I'd rather she post to it, but the PowderRoom was actually a more direct route to the Jezebel main. Posts have been mainpaged to Gawker, Jezebel, io9, Deadspin and Jalopnik from Crosstalk, but there isn't a direct route, so the PowderRoom would be better for a Jezebel mainpage. Because of both blog's subject matter, it's where I advised her to post things about strong women and women's issues. This was clearly a successful strategy because more than one of her posts were shared to Jezebel from there.

4) When the big PowderRoom fiasco occurred, I assured her that her position with Crosstalk and Travel is safe. I have few restrictions on content and don't respond to mob rule. I told her there would likely be blowback because things had whipped into a frenzy. I also suggested she give it a few days, but I assured her that she would be welcome to post and as is the Crosstalk policy, criticism would mostly be restricted to comments on her posts. This has not changed.


5) When she emailed that she was wanted to address the situation and some of the criticism. I told her that it would need to be on her Kinja, not Crosstalk. Though there is and should be some leeway in the definition of a callout, especially when it's in a blogger's own defense, a situation from the PowderRoom stirred on Groupthink has absolutely nothing to do with Crosstalk, so I'd have no choice but to moderate her post away.

I suggested that she post her explanation before she post any other content, then she could provide a link to her post in reply to critics. I also suggested that because Kinja makes any thread on which an author interacts into a highlight, she should consider creating a burner or alt to post these links. This would keep them from dominating the comments to her content post and put the discussion of the PowderRoom thing on its own post.


I also suggested that she curate the comments to her explanation post after a few days, when the dust had settled and when it would no longer be useful, she might want to delete the explanation post or redate it far into the past because someone clicking "blog" on her website in six months does not need to know what had happened on the PowderRoom this spring.

Initially the criticism being leveled against her was about some of the language she used, tone, characterizations and things like that, which is between her and her critics, any one of which is welcome to comment on her post. It is not a discussion I want to hold below. This is not the purpose of this post and before someone argues that she might dismiss their comment, it's her Kinja and her post, she can do anything she likes and there is also a pretty good likelihood that I'll dismiss those comments here, so what's the diff?


Now over the last day or two especially — as some have been unable to let it go and apparently aren't content that instead of using Kinja, she's gone to Wordpress — a lot of the criticism has moved on to things directly attributable to me. This portion of the hoopla isn't showing any signs of quickly passing on its own, so I felt that I should outline my part and apologize to NomadiKat for taking so long to step-up.

For anyone who doesn't know what I'm talking about, you're very lucky, but here's a search.

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