Perfect Duluth Day’s blog is a crossover between an online news magazine organized by a small group of journalists and a social media site featuring posts created by hundreds of registered users. It can be difficult to tell which is which at times, which is therhetically good. The hope is that random contributors can create content that is as good as that of paid staff members.
Thousands of others have contributed over the years by commenting on PDD posts. The goal is to inform and entertain by showcasing the personalities and events that shape the culture of Duluth and surrounding communities.
There is a lot of gray area between which contributions fit that mission neatly and which ones do not. That’s why these policies exist.
The Short Version
PDD’s moderators like posts and comments that are interesting or humorous, locally relevant and created with the best intentions.
PDD’s moderators will tend to remove or not publish posts or comments that are meant to annoy, antagonize or overtly advertise.
They will also not publish posts they consider confusing, bland or otherwise poorly crafted. It is understood that all these policies make the moderators seem like haughty little snobs, but it’s the only way to keep the website from being overwhelmed by junk.
So heads up: Posts and comments are frequently edited to comply with these policies. Read the long-winded breakdown below to learn specifically how to be a model PDD participant and avoid the wrath of the mods.
If you are trying to promote yourself or a business with a post on Perfect Duluth Day, have some shame. There’s a chance that by writing the post with a nice blend of subtlety and honesty, you might get away with it.
For example, this type of post is fine: “My name is Zoey and I’m a sock-monkey artist who lives on Park Point. I wanted to share this image of my latest creation. If you want to buy one, I’m selling them at the Park Point Rummage Sale this weekend.”
This type of post will not be permitted: “Everything must go at Johnson Brothers Furniture! All our recliners are priced to move!”
It is also asked that users not submit news releases or canned promotional copy as posts. In some cases it is acceptable to quote news releases when the post pertains to actual news, but posting a news release that plugs a person, organization or business in most cases comes off as slimy and disingenuous.
So – as old fashioned as this might sound – if your post is closer to the latter examples than the former, you should just buy an ad.
Also, please do not contact PDD moderators and ask them to post something on the blog for you. That’s not how this website works. Sometimes moderators post information from news releases on the PDD Blog, but in the vast majority of instances they don’t. Sending them the information is appreciated, but asking them to write back and explain why they aren’t working hard to promote your interests today exhausts their overall enthusiasm for life. (It is important to take note, however, that PDD publishes with utter reckless abandon just about all information regarding local events on the PDD Calendar. Use the submission form or email calendar @ perfectduluthday.com with event info.)
If you went to a restaurant and the service was bad or there was a fly in your soup, that is not the makings of an interesting post on Perfect Duluth Day. Please keep your petty grudges bottled up inside or let them out somewhere else on the Internet.
If you have some constructive criticism to share, that’s all well and good, but in general we’d rather hear about something you like than something gross that you might have made up.
Promotion of Events
Perfect Duluth Day’s policies regarding the promotion of events were tightened in September 2011 when the PDD Calendar was developed. Since then the rule has been, in general, announcements about local concerts, plays, seminars, athletic contests, meetings, yard sales and so on should be submitted to the calendar editor and not posted on the blog.
This does not, however, mean that posts about local events are not accepted on the blog. What it means is that posts which are merely announcements meant to promote specific events will not be accepted. If there is a particular angle to an upcoming event that you would like to highlight, or you wish to post photos of the event, that will be fine in most cases.
Reviews and Testimonials
PDD allows posts that review restaurants, plays, beers, antique stores, music, etc., or that simply state affection for something. If a review or testimonial is suspected to be bogus, i.e. a representative of a particular enterprise praising its wholesome goodness, the post will either not be permitted or held up for ridicule.
If you haven’t noticed, we live in a world with people who have strong political opinions that vary starkly from yours, and those people are lurched over their computers all day waiting to harass you. So, for example, if you create a post describing how George W. Bush destroyed America, PDD’s moderators will generally attempt to move that post to the trash before someone feels the need to comment about why Hussein Obama is dragging our country into socialism. That way we can avoid the obligatory spin-off debates about the validity of information on Fox News and how unions are the greatest/worst thing ever invented.
So, to get to the point: It’s best to not post about politics unless the subject is locally relevant and you have more information than opinion to share.
PDD’s moderators will tend to let opinions fly in the comments (as long as they seem somewhat rational and avoid name-calling) but posts are the start of a conversation, and starting with an opinion is generally unwise.
When commenting on a post, make sure your comment is relevant to that post. For example, don’t try to spark up a debate about public transportation on a thread about where in town to find pinball machines.
Do not post frequently about the same thing. Moderators will suspect your motives are not 100 percent pure.
Because Perfect Duluth Day is a high-traffic site, some people are tempted to create posts that link to their own websites for the sole purpose of driving up stats. To avoid being accused of this, search your soul to make sure you have the right intentions, then make sure your post stands on its own merit as being moderately interesting.
Obviously, you shouldn’t link to your own (or any other) site frequently. Do it on occasions when the general public will find it useful and appropriate.
Pushing Yourself to the Top
Do not change the time stamp of your post to move it closer to the top of the home page. That is so wrong.
Linking vs. Copy/Paste
Do not copy/paste full articles from other websites. Either paraphrase the content in your own words, or copy/paste a sentence or two to give the reader an idea of what it is you are linking to. In all cases where you are citing information from another website, link back to the original.
If you must post something with a lot of text or photos, please use the “continue reading” function so your post doesn’t hog the home page.
Please don’t upload large images. Optimize them so the files are less than 300 KB. Over-sized images slow down the site. There is no need for any image to be more that 1000 pixels wide.
Obviously copyrighted material — particularly stock photography from services that charge a fee for use — should never be uploaded to PDD.
If you are using an image from another website, make sure to attribute the photographer if possible and link to the site you obtained the image from, unless it’s a publicity photo or public-domain stock photo.
Do not use animated GIFs or any other image that blinks or moves.
Upload your image to PDD whenever possible, rather than using HTML code to use a photo located on another site’s server. If the image is located on a website you personally own or a photo-sharing site such as Flickr, that’s fine, but we frown on stealing bandwidth from third-party sites.
Do not post any video that automatically starts playing, unless you use the “continue reading” function so that the video does not appear on the home page.
Please follow simple, polite writing conventions.
- Limit the use of ALL CAPS, bold and italics to situations in which they actually make sense. All caps should almost never be used and bold should only be used in sub-headlines.
- Use capital letters to start sentences, names and other appropriate things.
- Avoid textspeak, LOLcatspeak, leetspeak, and other abominations involving wEiRd cApiTaLiZaTiOn or the substitution of numbers 4 words.
- Do not override the default font in any way.
More importantly, there is pretty much never a circumstance in which you should use colorful fonts. So don’t do that.
Also, don’t align your text to the center without good reason.
Same thing goes for aligning to the right.
Categories and Tags
Please make appropriate use of PDD’s category system to most accurately describe the contents of your post. You might think it’s funny to choose eight categories. It isn’t.
The same advice applies to the use of tags. By the way, PDD did not support tags until September 2014, so most older posts are not properly tagged. That’s just how it is.
Readers and Commenters Should Note
Perfect Duluth Day is not constantly monitored by moderators. The clowns who run this site occasionally sleep, travel and engage in social activities. If some jackass posts something awful, it might stay on the site for a little while. Be patient, and don’t “feed the trolls.”
It should also be noted that the Bill of Rights has nothing to do with Perfect Duluth Day. The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits Congress from making laws that impede your freedom of speech. The moderators of Perfect Duluth Day can and will impede your freedom of speech whenever they want.