Thursday, February 24, 2011

Drama, a story, and Twitter

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.


  1. Um, I am very confused. You are going to have to explain/summarize all this for me later.

  2. I felt the same way, about the "man, I can't tell my guildies about this because they would have no idea what I was rambling about."

    And I also feel the same about liking people, despite having disagreed with them in the past. Since when do friends have to agree on absolutely everything? Especially when it comes to things that are not fact or stats, but OPINION.

    The whole big/small thing is so cliquey. I dislike it intently, though it's unavoidable. Me, I just write whatever, link to people whose posts I like, and am thrilled whenever someone links to me or mentions me in one of their posts.

    Would I be more excited if a "big" blogger linked to me than a small one? Well, I have to admit I'd look forward to a bit of traffic. But personally? Chances are I respect them both equally as writers, so on a personal level I wouldn't differentiate between the two.

    I've chimed in a bit on this whole issue on various blogs, but always about the impersonal, basic beliefs rather than get into supporting person X over person Y. Do I have feelings about who was "right" and who was "wrong"? Of course. But there's no reason to join the group of people rioting on the streets. It just does more harm than good.

  3. Ugh. As you probably know I'm not a twitterati. I guess I should be grateful that I'm so oblivious about whatever nasty comments that might be thrown around about the whole business.

    This constant mention and distinction of size makes me too a bit uncomfortable.

  4. I must have missed this all too because I couldn't work out why Xeppe made her blog private :( I'm sad to hear that it was over drama!

  5. @Jess: Aww... virtual headpat.

    @Rades: Well my sir, that is because you are probably a better person than I... even though you are on the wrong side of Drenden. Wait until I see you in Tol Barad, Rades! Just wait! =)

    Anyways, whether it was a smart decision or not, I wrote and posted this post within 90 minutes. Just kinda did it... didn't really think about it too much. So should I not have mentioned names? Maybe. But why is there such a reluctance to mention names? Because when you mention names and mention agreeing with disagreeing with someone, that disagreement somehow automatically equates to dislike?

    Also I guess I thought that the blog posts that I have seen have also mentioned names, in a way that have been I guess accusatory towards "bigger" bloggers. Thus I guess I wanted to put names out there and attempt to put my position and support out there.

    Finally there are a ton of other names I could have mentioned, but I realized on my flight back home tonight that I should have mentioned Klepsacovic. My god, there are many times I disagree with that crazy bastard, yet I have this weird affection for him.

    @Larisa: I bet you we are two of the few last bloggers not on Twitter!

    @Sakaki: I knows! Scary! lol

    @Lath: Yeah, I'm not sure how I missed all that. At the end of the day its sad and unfortunate.

  6. I'm not surprised by this, but consider me boggled too.

    Not surprised - because a version of the same "big vs. small" went around the Romanian blogosphere a while ago. Been there, done that, got accused of various things like intentionally excluding new bloggers from our select old-timers club or something. These things come and go and, well, I'm just enjoying the drama, I admit.

    Boggled - because the idea of letting someone know you're linking to their public blog is... daft. It's *public*, so of course people can link to it. I could understand why Zel closed her blog, since Anna's post was more accusatory than I'd stomach, but Larisa's post was utterly and completely harmless. I'm a carebear so I support everyone in this story, but I remain boggled.

  7. It's so good to have you back :) Medium sized blogs ftw! :P
    I agree with a lot that you've said here. I especially agree that the amount of bitchiness on Twitter did feel a lot like sniping behind someone's back. I still wonder if people _realise_ that what they blast out on Twitter is public information and will come up on a google search.
    I hate the *drama*. But, silver lining?, it has had the effect of reinforcing that the people I respected deserved that respect :)

  8. The idea of a blog being a certain size and having different rules is just plain silly. Blog because you want to get a message in your head out to the world. People can read it or not. It is like the radio or TV. If you don't like it, don't watch, listen, or read. People are allowed their opinions and that is for all parties in the story. Most cases of this sort of thing seem to come about from people whose skin is way too thin to be able to handle writing for a public forum.

  9. I guess what has always kind of baffled me is who/what defines "big" and "small"? Because, really, isn't it all relative?

    I would say that I'm modest in the size of my blog - but if you put up against, say, WoW Insider I'm probably tiny. But then what if you put WoW Insider up against, say, The Huffington Post? Then they would be small/modest.

    I guess to me, trying to DEFINE your blog based on the number of readers that you have seems, well, silly! Because, relatively speaking, it's a bit of an impossible task, no?

    Oh - and before I forget! I TOTALLY want you at my back in the next TREE-O-RAMA! We can run a tag team, but I suspect that you should let me ride the corner more while you get the action! You go girl!

  10. Oh Keredria! I hope you don't think I was harping on you for mentioning names! Not at all, I realize my comment may have sounded much more critical than intended (though I notice from your response that you're not weeping in your chair). I just meant in an argument between X and Y, if I thought X was right, I wouldn't go attack Y. If X has a good point about blog ethics, hey I'll support that! And if Y has an equally good point about being polite, I'll support that too. That's what I meant. :)

    And yes, Tol Barad...I haven't stepped foot in there for a while (got all my PVP gear) but I've been thinking about it recently! Watch out, tree!! ;)

  11. @Jen: Mmm I think you're right. Maybe we just have to accept the cycle of drama within the blogosphere instead of getting all "Awmigawd! Drama!" each time.

    @Issy: Very true, very true. I do wonder if people, by working on blog posts more, are able to package a certain associated image or personality that they project.

    But with Twitter you are often just putting out thoughts as they enter your head or emotions as they enter your heart. And others may get an impression of you very different from your blog.

    @Eregon: I do understand how all bloggers are different though... and not everyone has to have skin as thick as mine. I mean just because you blog it doesn't mean you have to open yourself up to ridicule or contempt or personal nastiness.

    I do think that public blogging means you should be prepared for people to have opinions different than yours, and those who express those opinions are not saying that you are stupid or that they hate you or that your opinions are not valid.

    @Beru: Yep, size is definitely all relative.

    I would tag team with you any day! And maybe this is why I enjoy pvp ingame? Because there is a part of me that is ready to scrap when necessary? :)

    @Rades: Oh no, I wasn't really saying you were harping on me... I just wanted to express why I decided to mention names I guess.

    And its on in Tol Barad, baby, its on! There should be some kinda NPC scanner type addon so that you can find specific cross alliance toons in a place like Tol Barad.

  12. Like E-mails at work its always easy to be big behind a keyboard.
    Also rules on blogs?? What is a blog its a free will personal opnion publish and be damned!


  13. I'm so happy to be able to move you from my "hibernating" blogs list to my "active" blogs list, Keredria!

    I have not touched any of this stuff and still won't. Although I do have to speak up in defense of Twitter (in general, that is, as I don't know who said what on it). I love the "Twitteroth" community and have really gotten to know folks, bloggers and otherwise, that I think I never would have without it! I respect that it's just not for some people, but I'd hate to think you had a negative impression of it just over all of this stuff. :( Largely we talk about goofy things, or raidy things, or just whatever is going on. It's fun. I always said, "Twitter? No way," but then Anea said to me, "Have you thought about joining Twitter? You seem like you'd be fun to talk to," and I thought... People talk on Twitter? The rest is history. I think I've been around on it for nearly a year now? It's like this virtual watercooler which for me is awesome. Since I work from home, there's no real watercooler to kibitz around!

  14. It's taken me a long time to think about a response to this, hence it coming like, a week after everyone else's, because after my own post basically summarised my opinions I just figured it was all over with.
    What's bothering me right now is why there are just so many ANGRY people around. Why can't everyone just be nice to each other? What's wrong with liking everyone?
    So much of this seems to be the development of cliques and "coming to someones aid" or "backing someone up". I understand that someone might feel more strongly about one side of an argument than another, but I wish it didn't have to get so personal.
    As for twitter - I like the free speech side of it, the way conversations just appear and banter starts, myself and a few others got into a very bizarre conversation about horses the other day, and it was through Twitter that I found out about the whole "drama" shebang. It was nice to also feel not "alone" in my confusion.
    But yes, sometimes it can be used to be nasty, and mean, which is a bad side to it, and it almost makes my skin crawl to see things appear from people being super chatty and nice when I know a short while earlier they've been writing awful nasty comments.
    Maybe thats just me though?

  15. @Zetter: Yeah it seems like a simple concept, but as its often the case there everyone interprets it differently I guess?

    @Vidyala: /wave! No, I don't really have a negative view of Twitter overall, since friends have pointed me to interesting or amusing tweets before. I just found it disappointing that some people are willing to call out people and be bitchy on Twitter.

    @Elsen: I'm not sure about the whole angry bit... maybe some people just need to be angry or overly dramatic so as to call attention to themselves because they don't have any other way to do so.

    @Vidyala and Elsen: I do think Twitter is an interesting phenomenon. From it, I find that I have a different impression (both more positive, less positive, and just different) of certain people than I have from their blogs.

    The folks on Twitter have every right to put out every single thought that comes across their heads or every emotion that they feel at the time. But I also have the right to form an opinion of them from their Twitter feeds.

  16. I have always believed that size only matters to the intimidated. Unless we are in a naughty discussion, then that changes my perspective.