Just in case you are unaware, a planet in the blogging context is an aggregation of content from a list of individual sources such as blogs, journals, articles etcetera. Some examples of planets in no particular order:
Over the last couple of weeks there have been some heated words on various planets about what is acceptable content for that planet. I don’t run any of those planets so I’m not going to comment on specifics. I’ve also seen people who operate planets asking for people to join them, but only if they will post on a particular topic — in fact I’ve recently seen a request on a mailing list, which itself receives off-topic personal posts from members of its community, for bloggers who will only write on-topic posts on that community’s planet. And I’ve been added to planets which then later ask me to obey posting guidelines.
To me all this is very odd. I personally read various planets because I want to know more about the people who are in those communities and what they are up to. I appreciate the on topic posts they write but often I appreciate the slightly more personal ones even more. I like to see what people are interested in and what their values are, so to then restrict the posts to a particular topic to me seems to be counter-productive.
For the one planet that I do run, when I ask people if I can add them to it I sometimes receive the response, “Do you want me to use a tag?” or, “I’m sorry I don’t have a tag set up for this, you might get a lot of non-technical posts.” Great! If I was going to have expectations over what you are writing about then I would expect to be paying you to be a technical author for me. I don’t want that; I’m interested in what you are about.
Someone else said something like “in this day and age we have the technology to have the aggregator provide custom feeds with some people removed, and this is the way forward in dealing with people you really can’t stand to read”. I’m paraphrasing that, and I don’t remember who said it or where, but I couldn’t agree more. To me the planet is a view in to the community it represents and being a member of that community is usually all that is required to have a feed included. It does not mean that the planet operator endorses everything they say, that the reader should agree with their viewpoints or that the reader will find them an interesting person! We are presumably all grown-ups here and we can decide what to read or not.
If you are a paid blogger or if you want to make a name for yourself writing articles about a given subject then fair enough, I can understand why you might want to mark only certain articles for publication to a certain audience.
I don’t write much of value or anything contentious. I don’t write much at all, except links to strange things. I haven’t ever had a planet operator tell me that something I wrote wasn’t appropriate for their planet, but that’s probably because I’m not syndicated to many of them. But I would definitely ask to be removed before I would agree to tag posts.
Is it ever healthy to run an aggregator of personal blogs and then expect to exert editorial control over that?