I have many faults as a blogger. For example, I forget to proofread my work. My post and run strategy has resulted in many typo laden posts. I also am passionate about certain things – to a fault. It’s probably insecurity but ever since I was a kid I felt as if I had to defend myself to anyone who doesn’t “get” my point of view. My biggest problem isn’t in defending myself though, it’s finding the restraint NOT to defend myself…if that makes any sense.
The beauty of blogging is how you can say whatever is on your mind. Unlike newspapers and magazines, bloggers don’t have to use words like “alleged” or fill in the “W’s”. We say what we feel and sometimes that upsets people. Some bloggers even post their opposing views on their own blogs, which is another beauty of blogging. What isn’t beautiful is when words are taken out of context or things that are posted that simply aren’t true. When two passionate bloggers don’t see eye to eye it can sometimes get ugly. While there’s always room for disagreement and discussion, I think there’s a difference between a cross blog discussion and an all out blog war.
I have a hard time not taking the bait in these situations. It kills me not to respond, especially if I feel someone didn’t get what I was trying to convey. I’ve engaged in blog wars and it’s never pretty. It’s not pretty for me and it’s not pretty for the other guy. It’s not just me either. Every time I see bloggers go tit for tat it just looks like a bunch of pettiness. Here’s the anatomy of a blogwar:
- Blogger A posts
- Blogger B posts rebuttal
- Blogger A rebuts the rebuttal
- Blogger B spends hours at blogger A’s blog looking through past comments and posts to find something to prove he truly is the man and Blogger A sucks just like said.
- Blogger A posts rebuttal
- Commentators come out on both ends in support of each blogger
- The same three anonymous trolls commentators who come out every time there’s negativity start dredging up all Blogger A (or B’s) past sins.
- Commenators report on every comment at the other blog giving a play by play hopping to cast the other blogger in a negative light.
- Bloggers respond again.
- Each blogger visits each other’s blog but pretend not to
- Blog war dies down.
- Two months later blog war looks petty and childish – on both ends.
Before you engage in a blog war, consider this:
- Stuff posted in anger reads like stuff posted in anger. Better not to respond until you’ve had time to calm down, think things through and decide if all the uproar is worth it. If you must write something, then by all means do so, but save in draft instead of publishing. Chances are, it when you go back a day or two later it will look like a bunch of silliness.
- There are no winners in a blog war. People remember, especially the people who don’t like you or what you do. Every time your blog is nominated for an award or top ten list, every time you’re interviewed or your blog is in the spotlight, the same couple of people (usually anonymous) will dredge up the past. They’ll remember every little petty bit of silliness and throw it in your face every chance they get.
- Your readers eventually get tired of the whole thing. With the exception of the aforementioned trolls, the majority of your community doesn’t care. They don’t come to your blog for negativity (except the trolls, they totally dig it). They come to learn and share.
I guess some people feel this sort of thing is fine. I find it wearying. Before letting your passion get the best of you, go for a walk. Clear your head. Wait a couple of days. When you revisit, you’ll probably think it’s a lot of pettiness too.