Some of you may agree with his basic criticism that some writers are missing the point of Web logs' potential for two-way communication and instead are using the medium to simply broadcast their own thoughts without any interest for feedback. Others of you might think my friend is misguided, both in his opinion and in the way he states it. It should be noted that he was a pioneer in the peak days of online message forums, the predecessors of today's blogs, so maybe he is a bit jaded at how the blogs and social media have overshadowed the older forms of Internet communities. Whatever the case, here is his essay. Read it and judge for yourself.
The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the City of Kik. (And I daresay, I might be one of the vanity bloggers he is criticizing.)
Why Do We Blog?by Anonymous
Some of you who are going to read this post are going to be upset.
And you are going to call on your administrator to ban me, or ban what I say!
How do I know this?
I take great pride in knowing that I have been banned from more than 100 blogs and Web sites.
That's right, banned.
Forget Freedom of Speech! Forget our First Amendment rights. If we say something, and someone else disagrees with what we are saying, well, the only recourse is to ban them. After all, if we are blogging, how dare someone, anyone, contradict what we say?
There was a time when this wasn't the case. There was a time when the purpose of a blog was to provide a perspective on a particular area and allow others the opportunity to comment. Be it positive or negative, the idea of providing feedback to what a person wrote was the intriguing aspect of the blog. It transformed a person's content from a unidirectional flow of information to a bidirectional online version of dialogue.
Life was good. Sure, there was the occasional "flamer," but all in all, blogging was valuable because it promoted and provoked conversation. Because when you get down to it, what makes any form of art or literature good is the ability to inspire others in one way or another. People may not agree with you, but if what you write is intelligent and thought-provoking, they will come back to read what you write.
So, what happened?
All of a sudden, people somehow got the idea that their lives were so important, people wanted to know about every aspect.
Where they eat. Where they sleep. How many times they make love.
And then, because of this, people got the idea that if their lives are so important, how dare anyone disagree with them? The Post-Twitter World became like an Internet version of Orwell's Animal Farm, where the bloggers are actually the pigs, and all of them are equal, but some are more equal than others.
By the way, I am banned from Twitter. Why? I used it to promote my blog topic titled "Twitter Is for Twits." My "tweet" was the following:
"If you read this, you're a loser. Stop being a loser. Get off of Twitter."
Well, this caused an outrage and a flood of x-rated attacks on me. The Twitter admins contacted me and insisted I remove this "tweet," and when I refused, my account was permanently deactivated.
Why? Because I spoke the truth. And here is where you may get offended. Because when you get right down to it, when you cut to the chase, what I wrote is the truth. If you are that self absorbed that you feel people want to know about each and every aspect of your life, then, yes, you are a loser. It has gotten so bad that instead of contacting a person, some Twitter Twit (my term for Twitter users) will post where they are on Twitter.
"At the mall," they'll write. To which, I respond that if you are going to meet someone at the mall, perhaps a call will do.
So, if you have a Twitter account, yes, you are a loser.
And, you may get offended at this. And you know what? If you do, too bad.
We have become SO sensitive that the mere mention of someone offering a different opinion, the mere possibility of someone criticizing us is so offensive, that person must be stopped. And stopped at all costs.
Contact the administrator! Ban the miscreant! Blogging order must prevail! How dare he not appreciate micro-blogging! How dare he not love my post about my last bowel movement!
So, getting back to the original question: Why do we blog?
We blog because we are self-righteous politically correct nitwits who think what we have to say is so important, it must be posted, and it must be pristine. Therefore, it must be posted without anyone criticizing. Everyone must agree with us. And if anyone does not, they must be silenced. For we want to live in our own Internet regal worlds where we rule supreme.
The problem with this, of course, is that if everyone rules, nobody does.
By the way, if you disagree with what I write, guess what? That is OK. Yes, it is. You can even contact me and e-mail me why you disagree with what I write. My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. And if this is posted, and there is negative feedback, you know what? I won't ask that it be banned or scrubbed.
When we can get to this level of blogging, then, and only then, will blogging transform from self-righteous claptrap to a valuable communication tool in the Internet world.
So what do you think? Does my anonymous friend have a point? Is he totally off-base? Write to him and let him know, or leave a comment here.