May 5, 2006

The [Linknotated] Law of the Blogger

NOW this is the Law of the Blogger - as old and as true as the sky;
And the blogger that keeps it may prosper , but the blogger that breaks it must die.

Like the visits that pump up your hit count , Blogger Law runneth forward and back --
For the strength of all blogs is the Blogger that never cuts anyone slack.

Blog daily from news tip and hat-tip; blog long , but blog not too deep, ;
And remember the Pundit's for linking, and forget not that he has to sleep.

The new blog may free flame the Bozos, but, Cub, when thy archives have grown,
Remember the Big Blogs are hunters -- go forth and make Scoops of Thine Own.

Keep peace with the Lords of the Blogsphere -- the Pundit , the Malkin, The Bear;
And trouble not Lileks the Bleater , but always mock Kos in his lair.

When Pack meets with Pack in the Blogsphere , and neither will put down the flame,
Lie down till the Spewers have Blathered -- it always will save you from shame.

When ye flame on a Prince of the Pack , ye must fight him alone and afar,
Lest others take part in the Blog-Pile , and all Blogs be diminished by War .

The URL of the Blogger's his refuge, and where he has made him his home,
Not even the Pundit may post, not even the Hewitt may come.

The URL of the Blogger's his Castle , but when he has blown it too plain,
The Lileks shall send him a Fisking , and so he shall blow it again.

If ye post after midnight , be patient , and wait for the next working day.
Your readers are reading from cube farms and commenting only for play.

Ye may post for yourself , or your country, blog your cats if you must, and ye can;
But post not for the pleasure of Flaming lest you be but a flash in your pan!

If ye plunder a post from a weaker, remember to link for his pride;
Link-Right is the right of the smaller; if you're wrong it'll be him that lied.

Now these are the Laws of the Blogger, and as true and as blue as the sky;
You can link , you can wink , you can blather , but in the end you can't lie.

Posted by Vanderleun at May 5, 2006 12:15 PM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.


How about adding Cox & Forkum's cartoon, The Blogger's Cycle, to your post?

Posted by: Martin Lindeskog at February 12, 2005 12:36 AM

. . . and when some bloggers reach puberty, they'll have to leave the pack and go back to live with actual humans.

Posted by: ccwbass at February 12, 2005 12:43 AM

Please clarify. Do I understand that it is okay to lie as long as I do so at the beginning of the day?

Posted by: triticale at February 12, 2005 5:15 AM

I love Kipling . . .

Posted by: Yehudit at February 12, 2005 7:12 AM

I've never Kipled... have to try it!
(Ducks, Runs...)

Posted by: Old Grouch at February 12, 2005 7:48 AM

Smoked or pickled Kipling?

Posted by: P.A. Breault at February 12, 2005 8:17 AM

What a wonderful poem.

Posted by: FredJHarris at February 12, 2005 2:52 PM

...with props to Captain Hopwood RN

I knew that plebe year gouge would come in handy some day.

Posted by: Gil Gilliam at February 12, 2005 3:22 PM

Robert Service would be proud!

Posted by: I. Cummins at February 12, 2005 3:24 PM

I thought I was the only blogger who'd been playing w/Kipling lately. You, however, have set a new standard for us all! Well done, that's a great poem!

Posted by: ras at February 12, 2005 4:33 PM

You're a better blogger than I am, Vander Leun.

Posted by: Mr. Snitch at February 12, 2005 6:01 PM

Brilliant, Gerard. Meter-perfect. You inspire me.

Posted by: Meryl Yourish at February 12, 2005 8:54 PM

And you can sing it, to the tune of "Gilligan's Island."

Try it!

Posted by: SMASH at February 12, 2005 10:29 PM

I really enjoyed "Law of the Blogger." As I read it, I could hear the cadence of "Take Up The White Man's Burden," Rudyard Kipling's 1899 poem published first in McClure's magazine. Like comedians who use comedy to discuss important social issues, you used a poem to address issues worthy of consideration by all bloggers.

Posted by: Munir Umrani at February 13, 2005 8:58 AM

The Eason Jordan reference, sadly, isn't familiar to me. How about this:

But best is to catch bad reporting, and seven times always catch Dan!

Posted by: garym at February 14, 2005 7:50 AM

Considering it is Valentine's day, I now have a sudden urge to play around with "The Female of the Species." (The poem.)

(bows). Most excellent.

Posted by: Thief at February 14, 2005 10:41 AM

This is too darn cute for any mortal to have written. I'm weeping.

Good job.


Posted by: Quana at February 14, 2005 11:29 AM

Wonderful - and Kipling is simply wonderful, I've been kipling for years! [grin]

Posted by: DrPat at February 14, 2005 11:22 PM

that was incredibly awesome.

Posted by: Rey at February 15, 2005 11:16 AM

Kipling is wonderful, but the original wasn't Kipling. Gil Gilliam had it right.

Back in my plebe year, we used "My Bonny Lies Over the Ocean" as the tune for learning it.

Since most people won't have a copy of "Reef Points," you can find the whole thing here:

Posted by: wheels at March 13, 2005 9:39 PM

I just this afternoon posted an essay in celebration of my 4th Bloggerversary this weekend.

As I move forward, this post will serve as a reminder of Blog Ettiquette, and practices, to try to live up to.

Posted by: Kiril The Mad Macedonian at May 6, 2006 2:27 PM

And while the good Cdr was,no doubt, Kipling inspired.. only one [former plebe] seemed to recognize the real basis for this poem. Nicely and cleverly done.. Carry on!

Posted by: oldav8r at May 6, 2006 4:46 PM

Sorry, Gilliam and Wheels, but Hopwood took it from Kipling: "The Law of the Jungle", in The Second Jungle Book, published 1895 according to

And from the US Department of the Navy ( (emphasis added):

The 23 July 1896 issue of the British "Army and Navy Gazette" presented a poem that was destined to become one of the Naval World's literary classics. Written by Royal Navy Rear Admiral Ronald A. Hopwood, this work, entitled "The Laws of the Navy", set forth what might safely be termed the "wisdom of the ages" for all who seek to make their way in large, hierarchical organizations, with special emphasis on the seagoing versions.
Posted by: Mark Mandel at November 11, 2007 9:22 AM