Aren’t bloggers and interesting breed?
I enjoy browsing blog sites (sometimes ‘enjoy’ is definitely NOT the right word! http://newzeelend.wordpress.com/) and reading the widely divergent views that people have on life, the universe and everything. Of course I don’t necessarily agree with some of these views, and one gets the impression on some blogs that if you say so, then you are somehow sub-something, untermenschen even. Blogging allows people to air (and share) their views, but some get a bit coy if their readers (who, surely, are their raison d’etre) take a contrary view and have the temerity to reply in such vein! It is great to see some of the discussions that arise from some posts, developing parallel but opposing views on the same item.
Of course it’s a bit boring to see an un-orchestrated litany of back-slaps, but they also have their place- people do like affirmation!
To become part of the to-and-fro of blogpost comments broadens ones view, it develops ones own knowledge of a topic, it potentially either moderates or strengthens ones view, and even, on occasions becomes an argument. (Nothing any more wrong with an argument than a strongly held point of view, right?)
BUT to enter into intercourse via post comments DOES require an acceptance of the concept of freedom of expression, the right to free speech and an understanding that your own view, while perhaps the most important thing to you IS NOT (not may not) going to win universal favour, and in spite of your most reasoned and well-chosen words the reader will maintain their stance. AGREE TO DISAGREE!
I think the other element of blogging that writers should be aware of is that a decent chunk of people who read blogs are well educated people who know how to read and write correctly. For bloggers to blithely cruise through the bloggersphere supposing that what they write and the way they write it is OK is only partially correct. I guess simple spelling errors are a fact of life, as might be grammatical imperfections, but if there are statements that are generalisations, if there is association of innocent parties by implication, if there are views presented as fact but are unsubstantiated the authority of the blogger is seriously brought into question. I know that most bloggers will not have the discipline of academics who are in the habit of quoting authorities, and many will not link to sources. Many blogs will be personal strongly held views. Many blogs will simply be musings idly written. BUT all bloggers have a responsibility to ensure the view as stated is their own and they do not impugn others (by others I do not mean the subject of the blog, for instance, or public figures whose actions give rise to the blog).
For example- “When will pakeha…?”. I am pakeha, I am impugned by association. The blogger was wrong to ‘broad-brush’ by using a generic term. Now had he/she said “When will the pakeha who…” then I am not impugned because I am not one of the pakeha ‘who…’.
I know also that one can be a little precious about some things so I hasten to add that what I have written in this post simply qualifies under the heading “idle musings”.