I took the weekend off because of burnout and some commitments.
It never ceases to amaze me how some people can get so bent out of shape over a post. I remember when I first started blogging regularly, in 2003, how even the simplest statement could elicit some kind of strong emotional response, or retaliation, for the simple fact that someone else did not like what they read.
This has always, like I say, astounded me, because it’s been very clear that we’re moving away from traditional “hard” print media to digital print media. [But] both television and the headlines of “hard” print media continue to hold sway over opinion much, much more than anything you read in the blogosphere.
I’m not stupid enough to think that people can post their way to solutions about anything. A lot of bloggers do that, they fall into the trap. It doesn’t work that way.
Posting online is analogous, in almost all contexts, to the conference call or the group chat with pals. That’s about it, and that’s about all it ever will be. You don’t go batshit crazy over the fact that people get together and talk about views that you disagree with. You don’t feel you have to get in and monitor and “correct the record” of every conference call. (If it particularly involved YOU, as an individual, then yes, I could see. But I’m talking in general here.)
But there are these people, and it just astounds me. “I can’t believe that you said THAT!” Oh please. Three-quarters of the time, it is someone with a differing view, and they would rather have that I have their view, rather than I have my view and they have theirs. Sometimes, then it goes to personal attacks and character assassination, a la Larry Powers from 2003-05 (’07?). Or reaching way back before the internet era, a Robert Reinstein-type person.
A blog post is like a vote. A vote. Except a vote is your opinion on whether a candidate should hold an office, and a blog post is your 500 words or so about what you think about a topic. You can agree or disagree with it, you can choose not to read there. But unless there is something inherently illegal or libelous about the statement, you have to just let it be its statement. Like how the people who vote against your candidate have a right to cast their ballot as they see fit.
I’ve never been one to think that there was a great future in blogging. It’s always been something that I’ve done as a sideline. On three or four occasions, a blog post hit a home run. It was picked up by a person with power and they acted on what I had to say. Pre-internet, a typical community activist could get three or four base hits like that over the years if they made the effort. All the electronics makes it feel like it is something different. It is the same thing.
Since I realize that “virtual advocacy” is a kind of shadow or a weak sister, when I am really on an issue, I contact live people, use paper and do things the old-fashioned way.
So if you visit me, please don’t get your socks all twisted out of joint[–i]f you read something that you don’t like. I am not FireDogLake or Huffington. It’s more like a teleconference, maybe one where the transcript of it gets read by several hundred people over the balance of the month. On rare occasion, something I point out gets picked up and somebody else (with the ability to change things) runs with it. But it’s by no means every post.