Friday, October 15, 2004

Sound and Fury, Part 2

(continuing a previous post)

Sheesh, talk about opening a can of worms here. Or is that a can of whup-ass?

Considering that opinion's free ('coz everyone's got one-- well-informed sensible opinions are another matter), here's my take on it: I figure everyone has raised good points on the matter but the smoke from all the violent reaction is getting in everyone's eyes.

From what I've seen in other blogging communities, what evidently happened here is the phenomenon called a 'pile on.'

Now, I can't get an exact definition out of the internet (if someone knows one, please pipe in!) but from what I know, a 'pile-on' happens when someone makes a comment that doesn't go well with an internet community (message board, blogging, etc.) and everyone takes that person to task for it.

Now, some pile-ons are polite about it (read: mild) and some are pretty vicious. This case was mild in the sense that some bloggers who didn't like the INQ7 idea have been helpful (like this one) to suggest what they think is wrong with the blog and how it can be improved. Some are just... er, repeating what's been happening, I guess. (Kinda like being trapped in an echo chamber.)

No wonder this got Joey's back up. But hey, what do you expect? You get someone in a corner, that person's gonna feel defensive, right? And granted, these bloggers are attacking Talking Points for not being a blog and not the person behind it. But still, for all intents and purposes, the guiding hand (as in all blogs-- whether or not TP is a blog) is still Joey's.

Despite these bloggers not knowing this, it's the action and not the intent that matters, right?

A blogger pointed out that this whole thing smacks of 'colonial mentality'. I figure this is overreaching. Just because US media thinks American bloggers are as useless as a third tit doesn't mean that the same can apply here-- unless we want it to.

Hell, local mainstream media (in this case, INQ7) wants to be a blogger, for crying out loud. Ain't that ironic?

This person says that it's a matter of winning or losing, who's right or wrong. Me, I figure no one's right or wrong. This is the internet, for crying out loud, not a court of law. Like a commenter here said, it's all about dialogue.

But then, that's the worldwide web for you. Go figure.

On the other side of the net, I figure TP has a lot to improve on.

Someone mentioned that a blog has to have a 'vision' or a 'voice' in order to become one and I believe this: most popular blogs (see here, here and here-- all literary-related but still...) have the blogger as its moderator, its direction-finder. Say what you will about blogs but it's not about just the readers, it's about the blogger and the readers. And that's what makes the community here.

Likewise, speaking professionally as someone who works for a rival, the whole TP set-up reminds me of our now-defunct message board. (Sorry Joey-dude.)

TP, in this instance, has to figure out what it really is: a message board or a blog (with someone sitting behind the wheel)? Is it for the blogging community, for the readers who blog only, for the readers per se, for those who comment in blogs or in message boards?

Who is this thing for?

In conclusion, this whole mess disgusts me and makes me want to just shuck the whole thing. It's a non-issue, for crying out loud.

One blogger (I forget who) said that they're not overreacting: this is an issue that's important to them and they want to comment on it.

I respect that. But I figure that local blogging can be used for more important things. For example, one blogger said:

There are still some idols with clay feet that we’ve shied away from smashing. (I’d like to see a hard-hitting expose on a corrupt local government official that starts with one blogger and spreads to the newspapers.) The ferment is beginning, but somehow it hasn’t gone quite as far as we’d like: we feel that we want to change the way our country is run, but we haven’t gone far enough to get the ball rolling. We haven’t kicked a corrupt official out of office yet. We haven’t gone far enough out of personal navel-gazing, and into our sinking political and cultural life, where our voices (and our uniquely individualistic way of speaking) are badly needed.

Whether through the spread of ideas of a better world or through the actual writing about corruption in government, there's got to be more to blogging.

I agree with this guy: Just shut up and show us what REAL BLOGGING's all about.

Else we'd really be just aping our betters.

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