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Speaking of group blogs

Yes, the confusion over who posts seems to come up. Reason attributes a post to me when it’s actually co-blogger Brutal Hugger. And in the comments to the same post Reason cites, another blogger says he ain’t reading me no more. That’s happened before. But Dave came back.

My $0.02 is my website slogan: Remember, I do this to entertain me . . . not you. Or as my Terms of Use say:

This site exists entirely for my amusement. If it amuses you too, thats cool but not necessary.

You don’t want to read, I don’t care. But here at SayUncle, we like to get our debate on. That’s why I brought Brutal Hugger on board. I generally stay out of the arguments made by other posters here because I don’t want to appear to be picking favorites in a debate. But I find Fug saying he’s out of here amusing since he emailed me once to ask why I de-linked him. I didn’t de-link him, I just had some technical issues. He even said in those emails that he took issue with BH but respected my site. It’s speaks of a person that they cannot bear reading those who disagree with them, particularly on issues they hold dear.

I always get this flak over co-bloggers and guest-bloggers. I do sometimes wonder if it’s worth it. You know, encouraging debate and all. I guess I could just type and only link/read those who I agree with. But that’s not stimulating. As I said before:

Now, Id like all the readers to agree with everything everyone says and for us to all hold hands, have a coke and a smile, and smoke some dope while singing Kumbaya. But that would be boring. No challenge. No entertainment. Posts would go like this: Id post something witty and insightful. Youd all comment indeed. And wed get bored.

Itd be cool if everyone liked me and all the other folks that post here, but it isnt necessary.

Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

Update: Fug and I spoke offline. Long and short, I think we both overreacted but we kissed and made up. Well, OK, we didn’t really kiss.

10 Responses to “Speaking of group blogs”

  1. Sailorcurt Says:

    You’ll notice that the most popular radio talk hosts are the ones who cause the most controversy, the most popular TV talk shows tend to be the most contentious.

    Blogs are no different and you are well served by ignoring the “I’ll never read you again” rants. They’ll be back.

    The beauty of blogs is that it gives a forum for debate unlike the MSM…I send letters to the editor but I might get one published every two years if I’m lucky. As far as TV news goes, I don’t think throwing empty beer cans and swearing at Charles Gibson can reasonbly be called “debate”.

    On blogs, we can post comments, get feedback, know that our comments, no matter how asinine or retarded, were heard. We can hear other points of view directly address our concerns and learn and grow from them. It is a much more interactive and, therefore, personal media.

    The only time I ever de-list a blog and stop reading it is when the author (or guests) routinely refuse to engage in true debate (or, of course, if I simply cease to find it interesting). If the blog or comments regularly devolve into third-grade tantrums or name calling, or the blog author often performs the electronic equivalent of plugging his ears and chanting “na, na, na, na, na, I can’t hear you”, it won’t take long for me to move on.

    If the blog author and (most) guests will engage the argument, regardless of whether I agree with them or not, make actual points in contention and address my points, I’ll continue to patronize their establishment regardless of how ridiculous I find their positions to be (or they find my positions to be).

    As far as group blogging, it can be a good thing if there are a few authors who, individually, don’t have the time to adequately maintain individual blogs and, so, collaborate in order to make the effort sustainable, more power to them. I read a couple blogs like that and enjoy them. If, however, too many posters provide too many posts it can get confusing and overwhelming. In that case, it won’t take long for me to move on.

    With all that said, as you mentioned, you do this for your entertainment and edification, not mine. With that in mind…keep on doing what you’re doing and let the cards fall where they may.

    Just for the record, you are one of my “required” daily reads so I hope you keep doing what you are doing.

  2. SayUncle Says:

    you are one of my required daily reads so I hope you keep doing what you are doing.

    Glad to hear it.

  3. Reason Says:

    Guess I need to pay closer attention… My mistake.

  4. Dave thA Says:

    Came back, and still here….

  5. Phelps Says:

    Yeah, I generally don’t cotton much to blogs that become group blogs. I just skip over the newcomers until they convince me that they are worth reading. On imao, for example, if it ain’t Frank, I pass it over. On Blackfive, though, I’ll read Uncle Jimbo, because he sold me.

    On some group blogs (samizdata) I read everything. On others (Sgt Stryker) I read who I know and want to read (Sgt Mom).

  6. Captain Holly Says:

    I find myself arguing with Brutal Hugger more often than not but otherwise I’m cool with your group. You’re never going to agree 100% with anyone, even your close friends and (especially) your wife.

    People seem to forget it’s your blog, not theirs. They don’t have to read it if they don’t want to.

  7. _Jon Says:

    I debate because I want to further my argument. I want to solve problems and I need to discuss solutions with other people. Maybe the way to “fix” something (e.g. immigration) isn’t an idea I came up with or even like. But if I don’t propose an idea to fix it, then I can’t have a conversation about it. If my idea isn’t the best, but someone who reads my idea and offers a counter-idea is better for the country, then my goal is achieved by reading that opinion. But I still want that solution to be the best. So I will debate that person with regard to the merits of their idea. Ideas need to be improved.

    The Constitution and Bill of Rights were not written by men who all got along. They argued like cats and dogs. The C & BoR represent *compromise* from many disparate viewpoints. The succeeeded because they listened to other ideas and included the pieces that furthered their ideals. They argued, debated, debunked, and improved.

    Those are the very things that this blog and others help me to do.

    —–
    With regard to hosts & commenters that do not further the debate – I stopped reading a certain excellent blog because the host seemed to enjoy taunting and insulting his commenters. He stated that he welcomed opposing opinions, but only if they met his standards for debate. Well, in many cases, ideas are not fully formed and part of the debate process is a give and take. I didn’t see concepts evolve there, just get shot down. For a while, it appeared that a similar tact was developing here. But somewhere around the time that Uncle got a job and increased the number of co-bloggers, the tone of the posts and acceptable comment topics changed – for the better. Perhaps it was the required registration that was in effect for a while. I haven’t seen attacks on commenters, but I haven’t seen really offensive comments either.

    And I haven’t seen Uncle post things that would open the door for trolls to offend him. I think it is a mistake for a person to try to have a blog that can generate emotion and provide information that can be mis-used. There is little in the way of family, personal life, etc. that a wayward troll can use to piss off the host. And the result is the host hasn’t flown off the handle because some jerkwad insulted his family. And that is an attitude that sours a host toward *all* commenters.

    Finally, I think it is *critical* for the host to keep comment threads on topic and (relatively) free of trolls. I thought WizBang! was having a terrible problem with a few trolls who kept taking comment threads off topic and attempting to destroy conversation and debate. It became obvious after a while and a few posts / threads discussed it. Although I haven’t seen any formal announcement of a decision, I have seen a few trolls banned and the comment threads are fantastic. It takes work by the host to keep a comment thread on-track. And it is difficult because it is very subjective. What is “off-topic”? Subjective answer. A strong-willed host will whack an off-topic post and will then be “attacked” by the would-be troll. Who wants to deal with that? Well, if a host wants a good / great place for debate and argument, that is part of the price. That’s part of the work involved.

    In summary, it takes four things by the host to have a great debate blog:
    1. Good topics of conversation.
    2. Strong controls on trolls.
    3. Light controls on thread direction.
    4. Ability to avoid personal over-reaction.

    If a host can do those things will result in good commenters finding the site and posting their opinions.

    I’m here because Uncle does those things.

    btw, I just had an idea. Perhaps if you change the text color / background of the posts to identify the author, it could prevent mis-understandings of who wrote what. Mebbe you could remain black on white, but BH could be white on gray, #9, could be pink on blue, etc. Just a thought. 🙂
    (Oh, and it would be great if you had a preview button.)

  8. SayUncle Says:

    Glad you like it jon. No idea how to do a preview in wordpress.

    I think we’re troll free because we have guns 😉

  9. Marc Says:

    Glad you and fug did it – err made up – in a manly way.

  10. #9 Says:

    I always get this flak over co-bloggers and guest-bloggers.

    True that. But every once in a while we keep it interesting. I hope it makes up for any heartburn we cause.