The Blogosphere (was Purpose of a Blog?)

Full Disclosure:  I have been involved in my fair share of flame wars since I was rapping through a 300 baud acoustical coupler “back in the day.”   Have personally been the victim of some pretty scurrilous, underhanded, unethical, and somewhat disturbing personal smear campaigns.  [eg crossposting threads after removing the home thread; allowing the protagonist to edit the victims comments and republish in other forums without the victims knowledge, etc.]  I am here to tell ya though- today’s level of intolerance seems somewhat intense, relative to our freewheeling chats of yore.

Maybe it’s because- in part at least- we have morphed from the Newsgroups being a “Public Forum for Discussion” into Blogs becoming “My Private [unlicensed] Broadcasting Company.”

With ownership comes, well, ownership. 

Case in point:  So there’s this blog on the internet, topic not important to the point at hand, and a dialogue gets going, point-counterpoint style.  Apparently the arguments on one side of the issue start falling apart, and more posters started coming around to the alternative point of view.  It got re-e-e-e-eal quiet from that side.  [I guess they were hunting wabbits]

[wait for it]

Surprise! Someone took their ball and went home!  The Blog “owner” shut down comments for the specific thread- of course, after posting a snarky “it’s my medium” blast of pique.

It isn’t about “dialogue” anymore; it’s about “broadcasting one point of view!”


Care to guess which side of the political spectrum was engaged in (polite, reasoned) dialogue . . . and which side decided that tolerance with respect to another’s ideas had gone just about as far as it was going to go, mister!?

Well, o.k., silly question . . . we all know which side of the (artificially defined by the two-headed single political party in the US today) political spectrum is tolerant/intolerant of opposing viewpoints . . .

But putting that aside

Internet: Two way communication; or just another transmission medium for digitized vomit?


Scorch aka the other steve


One thought on “The Blogosphere (was Purpose of a Blog?)

  1. Interesting post. I must admit, as the owner of this blog (and since I pay for the domain name, etc, and until inviting the new contributors, was the sole proprietor) I do feel a certain responsibility regarding the content that *I* put up here.

    I also acknowledge that various “owners” will have a wide range of purposes for their blogs, from debate, to marketing to venting. And at times, the blogs may be useful “simply” as a forum for people to provide mutual support on certain issues.

    I have not discouraged debate or discussion, and have even allowed profanity directed at me, in the past. I believe that ideas should be allowed to compete, and that so long as the conversation doesn’t degenerate into simply name-calling, then it should be allowed.

    That said, I have been banned from at least one blog ) (not the one Scorch references) because I had the audacity to challenge the credentials of the blog owner. More specifically, I questioned the author’s credibility when discussing certain policy issues. It is one thing to have an opinion, but quite another to actually espouse them as “truth” without being able to bring any credibility to the table.

    Ahh, well.

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