I got an interesting email from a new reader yesterday that among other things posed a question about how to post questions to this blog. This isn’t something that I have specifically set up this site to do, but I suppose that over the last five years or so I have developed a process for dealing with reader questions, so maybe I ought to formally explain it.
There is no formal method for submitting questions on this blog, no specific tool or box to use. If you have a question about a specific post there is a Google comment tool at the bottom of every post. It is a link that either says “No Comment” or “X Comments” (X being the number of comments already posted). Click on that link and there will be a listing of the current comments for that post and a comment form.
Completing that comment form will result in Google sending me an email about the comment providing me with the opportunity to ‘moderate’ the comment. I have two moderation options, publish the comment as is or not. I only delete comments that are obvious spam or comments that are offensive (my standards usually deal with flaming attacks on other readers, but from time to time grossly offensive language peaks my ire).
Another, more direct way of submitting questions is simply sending me an email. I have my email address posted in the ‘About Me’ section of the blog on the right hand column below the blog roll (PJCoyle@aol.com). Tweeting me will also generally work (http://twitter.com/pjcoyle) as will sending me a LinkedIn message (http://www.linkedin.com/in/patrickcoyle/); both require that we are linked according to site protocols (note: I’m always interested in expanding my network on either site).
I now have a full time job as a QA Manager and R&D Manager for a specialty chemical company (that remains nameless so I can continue writing this blog without offending corporate sensibilities) so I don’t guarantee that I will respond to all questions/emails. If questions or comments catch my interest I will typically respond with a blog post (as most readers well know), but I do respond privately via emails as well when I feel that is appropriate and I have the time.
Please, if you have some particular reason for me to protect your privacy, please let me know that specifically. I am usually able to guess that, but I have gotten one reader in some minor amount of problems with their corporate supervision because I was under the impression that he was speaking in an official capacity. I try to be careful of that (particularly for people that are obviously not in position to speak for a company or agency), but I am mostly human and am thus prone to errors of judgment.
I will do my best to protect confidences with one exception; if I believe that the information provided to me indicates that any individual or high-risk facility is in imminent danger of physical attack or compromise, I will immediately share that information with the appropriate authorities. My call, my responsibility.
Special NOTE: Anonymity is fine, I respect that it is frequently necessary. But please, let’s see a little more creativity than the generic ‘Anonymous’. Please give me some sort of handle to hang a response on.
I hope this helps and I always look forward to hearing from readers.