Thursday, December 15, 2005

The Dark Side of Blogging

I was driving home yesterday and began thinking about something. Now, this may get all you blogonuts riled, so proceed with caution. In the November issue of Inc. magazine, a writer named Jory Des Jardins did a piece titled "When Blogs go Bad." Sensing how touchy this story could be, I jumped onto Technorati yesterday and typed in her name. That little search led me to a post and subsequent discussion by Vaspers the Grate and Ms. Jardins. It got ugly...leading me to my drive time thoughts.

Back in college, when e-mail and AOL had really picked up steam, I was on a distribution list for a student organization. While the list started out as a nice way to share ideas, it quickly diminished into a forum for a handful of people to rant back and forth about a few isolated topics. What happened? The rest of us went away. We were busy with everything that makes up a college experience and didn't have time to listen to all that mess.

I've heard and read bloggers who talk about wanting others to "join the conversation." They site statistics about how influential blogging has become and that people and companies that don't join in will be left behind. I don't think they are wrong. However, with examples like the one cited above, I wonder if this whole thing will turn into something like that distribution list in college. A few people screaming at each other and the rest of the world somewhere else. We all are dealing with too much stress from work, family, etc. to deal with this kind of garbage. It's pointless.

I think true blogging doesn't have to be psuedo intellectual or elitist. Blogs are people's thoughts, and that can be anything from fun stuff they found on the web, to issues they have with companies, to insights on certain industries. Sure, we can all interact on these issues, and we're not going to always agree. However, does it have to be a shouting match. If anything could slow this train down, that's it.


Anonymous Bob said...


10:24 AM  
Blogger steven edward streight said...

I think you have grossly misrepresented the entire situation.

Jardins posted comments and I replied to them, invited her to attend one of my seminars.

She said she was interested in my seminar.

If you read the very brief back and forth between me and Jardins at my blog, I think you will see that there was no yelling, no vulgarity, no hatred, no real blogocombat at all.

I even teased her about being too nice.

"It got ugly"?

Did you read her article? Do you have any idea what the core values of free expression and blogging are?

Heated debate makes Amercia great. And Vaspers the grate.


9:49 PM  
Blogger Trent Flood said...

The beauty of opinion pieces is that you can't "grossly misrepresent." This was my perspective on your dialogue with Ms. Jardins. My perspectives was based on comments such as:

"Inc dot com is a rip off and verging on plagiarism."

"We can all sleep more peacefully tonight with you guarding the women folk of the blogosphere."

You even admitted that it got a bit ugly with your statement:

"But you must know that I feel I was excessively harsh toward"

However, as a blogging newbie, let me just say that I was wondering if you or Ms. Jardins would find my little space on the internet. If nothing else, I hope my little post keeps the dialogue running.

8:27 AM  
Blogger steven edward streight said...

Yeah, I was in a bitter mood because the Jardins article was yet another weird post being droopily sympathetic to a Pseudo Blog, the much ridiculed Fictional Character blog.

People wish to interact with real humans. The automated telemarketing, or the voice mail option systems, really irritate people. We want to connect with a real human, a real employee at a company, not a talking teddy bear.

I won't debate this issue here, but I try to defend the core values of blogging. Fictional Character blogs violate user expectations of two way conversation with a real responsible acountable human individual. They violate Authenticity, Transparency, Relevance, and other blog values.

I subscribe to the Technorati "other blogs that link here" service (see my sidebar link). That's how I discovered this blog of yours.

Now we can all smile, hold hands in a circle, and feel the blogo love energies.

Good luck on your new blog, Trent.

You are a good blogocombat fighter. Not as abrasive as that pesky old Vaspers person.

You may want to consider Comment Moderation, the only real defense against evil Comment Spam.

11:04 AM  
Blogger Trent Flood said...

Vaspers: So as not to repeat what I just posted on your site I'll just say again, thanks for the clarification. I agree with your thoughts that people want to talk to people. Nothing is more annoying than being stuck listening to a robovoice (if you want 2 now).

Merry Christmas to you as well.

11:29 AM  

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