My guildies are probably clueless to this, but fellow bloggers and avid blog readers are well aware of the blog "drama" going on within the blogosphere. I think some of this drama went down while I was taking my break from the game (and subsequently the blogosphere last fall/early winter) so there was some stuff that I was clueless about and had to catch up on.
Now there's been talk about proper blog protocol or ethics or whatever for big and small bloggers. But I don't really consider myself a big or a small blogger. Honestly, I would consider myself more medium sized. Where are the blogging protocols or standards of practice for us medium sized bloggers? Huh? On behalf of medium sized blogs, I am offended! How have I even continued blogging for over 3 years without standards of our medium sized blogs' very own? /boggle! and /flail!
Ok, more seriously though... here's the thing. Yes, the thing (OMG bold!). In each of the situations mentioned on the various blog posts, while I have perhaps leaned more towards agreeing with one party, I have also understood the other party and agreed with some parts of what they had to say as well. And even though I may have leaned more towards one party, there have been parts that I have also disagreed with.
- I agreed and leaned towards Zelmaru but also disagreed with some parts. But I genuinely like Zelmaru.
- I agreed and leaned towards Chastity but also disagreed with some parts. But I genuinely like Chastity.
- I've agreed with Alas but also disagreed with some parts. But I genuinely like Alas.
- Finally, I've agreed with Tam but also disagreed with some parts. But Tam already knows how much I genuinely like him.
I don't know... I guess I just want to like most bloggers? And even when I disagree with some things! OMG! Disagreement! Scary! Contrary to popular belief, disagreement is not analogous with not like, or hate. Now what's interesting about my bulleted list above is that I have leaned towards both "sides" in all of this hoopla. It's almost like each situation speaks differently to me, or sparks different emotional responses? Hmmm...
Really the only interaction where I am still struggling to see anything is the whole Larisa/Xeppe situation. I completely missed that interaction last year and I re-read Larisa's original post at least 5 times to try to find how it could have been offensive and set as an example for bullying. I think I could read it 500 more times and still be in the same place. Completely confused.
While its always unfortunate when people's feelings are hurt, I think its completely reasonable to address another blogger's blog post by posting about it on your blog. The thought that you would have to email the blogger to get permission or even to just let them know out of courtesy just boggles me. BOGGLES! If you are putting something out on the public interwebs, its out there for anyone to respond to, whatever the supposed "size" of their blog is.
Now the manner in how someone "of questionable and yet to be determined blog size" responds to the post is another thing. I would hope that they disagree respectfully and debate the idea (not the person) so as to foster discussion and dialogue. Again whatever "size" the blog is. This constant mention and distinction of size makes me a bit uncomfortable. Like we're in some sort of naughty discussion with our shadow priest Nikolai.
Anyways. What has also been interesting in all of this current and past drama is how quickly people get angry and take sides. I wonder how much this "side taking" is really thinking about the issue at hand and seeing where your opinions lie vs having some sort of preexisting friendship or some level of emotional attachment to a certain blogger. Different bloggers, their blog post subjects, and writing styles speak to us in different ways, thus I think it's understandable and natural that we create different levels of friendship or emotional attachment. And when this happens it's natural to want to "defend" them.
Coming to the defense of friends actually comes very naturally and instinctively for me in real life. A quick back story... I had a good friend in college, J, who was the sweetest, most innocent girl I knew. J was also stunningly beautiful and thus seemed to often pick up girls who were quite open with their hostility towards her. Though J was always clueless as to why these other girls didn't like her and quite often hurt and upset over it.
Now our senior year in school, J started working as a hostess at a local restaurant, where unsurprisingly a couple of her male co-workers took quite a liking to her. This angered another hostess who had already been working there to the point that she became quite hostile towards J in front of her face as well as behind her back.
I had heard about this girl previously from J, who was really uncomfortable with the tension and aggression of the situation. So one night a bunch of us are out at a bar, and this other girl, let's continue to call her psycho biatch from now on, was at the same place. Perhaps it was the alcohol, perhaps it was pent up anger and jealousy, but all of a sudden, psycho biatch came up and grabbed a fistful of J's hair, and started pulling her head around while yelling nonsense.
Before I was able to even process what was going on, I had grabbed psycho biatch's hand, twisted it off J's head, pushed this girl back by the shoulders and started screaming naughty naughty obscenities. I think psycho biatch got scared and left the bar soon after. In doing all of this though, I actually broke a finger on my left hand, and spent the next several weeks with my finger in a splint. It was quite the humorous conversation piece within my circle of friends for a long time afterwards.
Why did I tell that story? Not to say that anyone who disagrees with me or my friends are psycho biatches, but more to say that I can completely understand how people want to come to a friend's defense when they feel they are being attacked. In reading some of the nastiest comments on some of the blog posts, I wondered whether there was some of this going on. But really what I did in my story, was completely my doing, my friend J had nothing to do with my actions all.
So its probably not surprising to hear that I do not think a blogger is "responsible" for the actions of their readers at all. Should they be "aware" of their readership? Beyond following the already mentioned concept of debating ideas (not people) respectfully, no, I don't know what being "aware" of their readership or recognizing their blog "size" (omg ew size again!) really means.
Now given how I have a real life history of broken fingers in the process of defending friends, it probably isn't a huge surprise to hear that there is a part of me that wants to defend some fellow bloggers from some of the most ugly (and I believe unwarranted) comments, even though none of these people really need my defending at all. So I shall refrain from doing the blog equivalent of breaking my finger.
Finally, let me talk about where I've seen some of these ugly comments. Yes, there were plenty in the comments of the various blog posts, but I've also seen them on Twitter. Ah, Twitter. It's interesting how Twitter has changed the nature of the blogosphere from just a couple of years ago.
Now, I am not on Twitter and really have no plans on joining Twitter any time soon, or, er ever. For me, its just too much. But I do have some bloggy friends who are on Twitter and sometimes point me to "hot" tweets. In reading some of these Tweets yesterday and following them through to other Tweets, I wondered if bloggers are more apt to forget the "don't blog when you're angry rule" when tweeting. Maybe since putting out a tweet takes much less effort than crafting a blog post?
There is a part of me that thinks it is kind of cowardly for folks to tweet something negatively about someone else, but not have the balls to blog about it. So its ok to put out a little snark on Twitter but you don't have enough snark, or enough thought behind the snark to do it intelligently in a blog post?
When people talk about getting an impression from someone's blog posts, I think that folks should recognize that people generate impressions from your Twitter feeds as well. I'm also curious... for everyone who argued that you should get permission or let someone know when you are blogging about them... does it apply to Twitter? Should you do the same when you Tweet about someone? Especially when this "someone" may not be on Twitter?
So yeah. Twitter. My time around the Twitter world yesterday did a couple of things. It confirmed that I like some people. A lot. It confirmed that I dislike some people. A lot. It introduced me to new people I never knew before that I now dislike. A lot. It also confused me about some people who I thought I really liked a lot.
Here I am at the end of a huge wall of text, and I'm not even sure anymore what the point of my post is. I guess I just wanted to get some things out that have been noodling around in my head.