Blogs: Worth Wading through some Muck?

muck.jpg

Modified from a comment on the Times Standards’ recent opinion piece.

Some people who comment anonymously on blogs misuse the option. Recently Richard Marks on his Samoa Softball blog wrote a beautiful piece that made my throat ache. Most people commented thoughtfully but a few made such inane, mean-spirited responses that I was disgusted.

I would prefer bloggers to remove comments like that. They shouldn’t delete statements just because they disagree with them but, in the same way a muralist would remove senseless graffiti splattered on her art, I would get rid of outright slander and pure nastiness.

However, the meaning of the blog is not destroyed by a few poor comments. Eric’s SoHum Parlance for example is extremely informative on local and larger political issues. Many of his readers add to the conversation his posts offer. Yes, there are rude and senseless comments. I skip them. I would prefer he deleted them but, it is better he leave them rather than not allow comments at all or, worse, only allow ones he agrees with.

The Times Standard’s editorialist made the statement that if “you don’t [know what a blog is], you aren’t missing much.” He is mistaken.

Blogs quickly respond to the news in ways that most traditional sources aren’t flexible or timely enough to do.

Blogs allow conversations on common ground between widely divergent groups so that Rose’s WatchPaul might be oriented very politically different from my own views but her appreciation of Rambling Jack’s photos echo my own feelings. This creates respect and understanding between groups.

Blogs provide a venue for writers to reach readers on a wonderfully intimate basis.

And, finally, blogs provide a voice for small groups within communities that might not otherwise be heard.

So if you don’t mind a little muck, check out the Journal’s Pipes. I guarantee you’ll find at least one local blog that impresses you!

Tip of the hat to Heraldo for pointing out the Time Standard piece.

Also, if you have lots of time, Myrtletown has a wonderful compendium of 130 local blogs!

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63 comments

  • Yeah, I do prefer a moderated blog.

    I’ve never heard of a blog pipe. That’s so cool.

  • Yeah, I do prefer a moderated blog.

    I’ve never heard of a blog pipe. That’s so cool.

  • I checked out Ramblin Jack’s photos…wow!

  • I checked out Ramblin Jack’s photos…wow!

  • I agree with you – and that’s a great shot you’ve got there.

    The House of Sand And Fog is another one that will make your heart ache, beautifully written, always interesting.

  • I agree with you – and that’s a great shot you’ve got there.

    The House of Sand And Fog is another one that will make your heart ache, beautifully written, always interesting.

  • OOOps, that was an old link – she moved her blog to WordPress –
    here’s the link

  • OOOps, that was an old link – she moved her blog to WordPress –
    here’s the link

  • Kitty, Hank Sims a local journalist provides the pipes service. I love it! If I have lots of time I can check out all the local blogs but I rarely do so I just whip over to the pipes and see if there is anything new.

    Aunt Jackie, aren’t Jack’s photos breathtaking. I wish he’d teach a class on photography. I’d take it if I could get there.

  • Kitty, Hank Sims a local journalist provides the pipes service. I love it! If I have lots of time I can check out all the local blogs but I rarely do so I just whip over to the pipes and see if there is anything new.

    Aunt Jackie, aren’t Jack’s photos breathtaking. I wish he’d teach a class on photography. I’d take it if I could get there.

  • Although, I get about seventy “Hits’ a day, I still run into people that say “What’s a blog?”. And my word processor doesn’t recognize that “Blog” is a word.

    Reading a blog is like attending a public meeting, some statements are true, and some statements aren’t. If we are intelligent enough to attend a public meeting and sort out the truth from the crap, why wouldn’t we be intelligent enough to attend a blogsite?

    This is an example of the arrogant and egotistical print journalist that thinks that they are the only ones that are able to sort out the truth. But, how many times have you read a news article that you knew something about, and found it was just plain, flat, wrong. In my case it has been many times. With a blog I am able to correct those mistakes instantly with a “Comment”. I think that the printed medium is running scared, and they see their, up until now, sacred careers going down the drain. They will no longer be able to push their slanted positions off on us as the truth. Too bad…for them.

  • Although, I get about seventy “Hits’ a day, I still run into people that say “What’s a blog?”. And my word processor doesn’t recognize that “Blog” is a word.

    Reading a blog is like attending a public meeting, some statements are true, and some statements aren’t. If we are intelligent enough to attend a public meeting and sort out the truth from the crap, why wouldn’t we be intelligent enough to attend a blogsite?

    This is an example of the arrogant and egotistical print journalist that thinks that they are the only ones that are able to sort out the truth. But, how many times have you read a news article that you knew something about, and found it was just plain, flat, wrong. In my case it has been many times. With a blog I am able to correct those mistakes instantly with a “Comment”. I think that the printed medium is running scared, and they see their, up until now, sacred careers going down the drain. They will no longer be able to push their slanted positions off on us as the truth. Too bad…for them.

  • Blogs are an on-going conversation between people who might rarely, if ever, speak to each other. Humboldt County and the world has never seen anything like it.

    I’m down with deleting nasty comments. And with WordPress you can blacklist certain words so that you don’t even have to bother.

  • Blogs are an on-going conversation between people who might rarely, if ever, speak to each other. Humboldt County and the world has never seen anything like it.

    I’m down with deleting nasty comments. And with WordPress you can blacklist certain words so that you don’t even have to bother.

  • Although the journalist was mostly talking about news blogs and I love news blogs, my favorite blogs are ones like yours that newspapers just don’t address. On a National scale, NPR has This American Life but on a local scale your blog, Ernie, best captures the historical spirit of Humboldt County. I don’t think the journalist understands that blogs are more than just news vehicles–they are community voices.

  • Although the journalist was mostly talking about news blogs and I love news blogs, my favorite blogs are ones like yours that newspapers just don’t address. On a National scale, NPR has This American Life but on a local scale your blog, Ernie, best captures the historical spirit of Humboldt County. I don’t think the journalist understands that blogs are more than just news vehicles–they are community voices.

  • Heraldo, WordPress makes moderating blogs easy. And it makes keeping up with comments made on other WordPress blogs incredibly simple. I wish we could convince the other bloggers in Humboldt to make the switch.

    And I love getting to “hear” people whose beliefs are different. Therein lies the major value of blogs.

  • Heraldo, WordPress makes moderating blogs easy. And it makes keeping up with comments made on other WordPress blogs incredibly simple. I wish we could convince the other bloggers in Humboldt to make the switch.

    And I love getting to “hear” people whose beliefs are different. Therein lies the major value of blogs.

  • Rose, I love that photo too. You know they are just going to wade right in and get dirty and love every minute of it.

    I enjoy House of Sand and Fog too. She’s on my blogroll. Speaking of which, If it keeps getting longer, I’m going to have give over half my morning to reading it and I’ll never get any writing done….but I’ll have a good time and be incredibly informed;.

  • Rose, I love that photo too. You know they are just going to wade right in and get dirty and love every minute of it.

    I enjoy House of Sand and Fog too. She’s on my blogroll. Speaking of which, If it keeps getting longer, I’m going to have give over half my morning to reading it and I’ll never get any writing done….but I’ll have a good time and be incredibly informed;.

  • “I don’t think the journalist understands that blogs are more than just news vehicles–they are community voices.”

    That is the best statement I have heard on this issue. When did the blogs ever say they were reporting news? These are commnity voices. Definitely. Heraldo is right, I have only met a few of the people who comment on my blog. But, I enjoy the dialouge between the different folks within the community. I don’t agree with everyone, but unlike the newspapers, it IS a dialouge.
    And, like Ernie says, you can retract your statements when someone calls you on your misinformation. Or, argue vehemently.

    But, give the newspaper people their due. They work a hell of a lot harder than we do in getting information out into the community. If you don’t think so, spend a week in their shoes.
    They are still in an honorable profession, perhaps they just need to whine less about it.

    Besides, you can’t start a fire with a blog, now can you Ernie.

  • “I don’t think the journalist understands that blogs are more than just news vehicles–they are community voices.”

    That is the best statement I have heard on this issue. When did the blogs ever say they were reporting news? These are commnity voices. Definitely. Heraldo is right, I have only met a few of the people who comment on my blog. But, I enjoy the dialouge between the different folks within the community. I don’t agree with everyone, but unlike the newspapers, it IS a dialouge.
    And, like Ernie says, you can retract your statements when someone calls you on your misinformation. Or, argue vehemently.

    But, give the newspaper people their due. They work a hell of a lot harder than we do in getting information out into the community. If you don’t think so, spend a week in their shoes.
    They are still in an honorable profession, perhaps they just need to whine less about it.

    Besides, you can’t start a fire with a blog, now can you Ernie.

  • I agree, Ekovox, the newspaper people do a job and sometimes its a hard one and I agree with the journalist that some of the comments are pretty disgusting but if he doesn’t read blogs then he’s missing out on the most interesting conversations in our community.

  • I agree, Ekovox, the newspaper people do a job and sometimes its a hard one and I agree with the journalist that some of the comments are pretty disgusting but if he doesn’t read blogs then he’s missing out on the most interesting conversations in our community.

  • I really dislike the “flame wars” that result when commenters get a little testy. As a romance author, I visit blogs that frequently address controversial issues within our little writing community. Reviews, opinions about book content and nasty little infighting will, at times, create a very ugly environment online.
    For a while, I avoided controversy. I became one of the most bland bloggers in the friggin’ universe. Then, I’d had enough. I was what I was. I was so afraid of offending anyone that I appealed to no one.
    I’m still reluctant to post political opinion on my blog, but I’ll do it if I feel strongly enough. So far, no flame wars on my blog, but I’m still pretty unknown.
    It is too bad that we can’t have the “Live and Let Live” mentality and allow all to have their point of view whatever it may be.

  • I really dislike the “flame wars” that result when commenters get a little testy. As a romance author, I visit blogs that frequently address controversial issues within our little writing community. Reviews, opinions about book content and nasty little infighting will, at times, create a very ugly environment online.
    For a while, I avoided controversy. I became one of the most bland bloggers in the friggin’ universe. Then, I’d had enough. I was what I was. I was so afraid of offending anyone that I appealed to no one.
    I’m still reluctant to post political opinion on my blog, but I’ll do it if I feel strongly enough. So far, no flame wars on my blog, but I’m still pretty unknown.
    It is too bad that we can’t have the “Live and Let Live” mentality and allow all to have their point of view whatever it may be.

  • I may not agree with someone but they are still people and often have other ideas I do agree with. Slinging nasty grams at them won’t make the world a better place, won’t make them agree with me, and won’t make me like myself.

    Why do people do it then? I have never understood being rude. I like discussion and argument. I don’t like name calling and inanity. Luckily I’m not read enough to attract the crazies.

  • I may not agree with someone but they are still people and often have other ideas I do agree with. Slinging nasty grams at them won’t make the world a better place, won’t make them agree with me, and won’t make me like myself.

    Why do people do it then? I have never understood being rude. I like discussion and argument. I don’t like name calling and inanity. Luckily I’m not read enough to attract the crazies.

  • “I’m not read enough to attract the crazies.”

    They will come, trust me, they will. LOL.
    You should check into gettting a sitemeter if you don’t have one.

  • “I’m not read enough to attract the crazies.”

    They will come, trust me, they will. LOL.
    You should check into gettting a sitemeter if you don’t have one.

  • I have a sitemeter. Anita told me to get one but I feel rather like a Barbie Doll with a real Uzi. What do you do with all that info? What does it mean?

  • I have a sitemeter. Anita told me to get one but I feel rather like a Barbie Doll with a real Uzi. What do you do with all that info? What does it mean?

  • There is not much info to gather, and a lot of people use proxy servers, so you can’t really trust the info, but if I get the chills from any comment, I check the stats on that thing.
    Last week someone left a comment on my blog with my last name and it was up there for about 30 minutes so I checked the data on there to see who might have seen it. Fortunately no one clicked on that page during that 30 minute “outing” of my last name.
    That is the only time it was of any use to me.

  • There is not much info to gather, and a lot of people use proxy servers, so you can’t really trust the info, but if I get the chills from any comment, I check the stats on that thing.
    Last week someone left a comment on my blog with my last name and it was up there for about 30 minutes so I checked the data on there to see who might have seen it. Fortunately no one clicked on that page during that 30 minute “outing” of my last name.
    That is the only time it was of any use to me.

  • I used to moderate comments on a previous blog but these days I just trust folks because I just don’t have time and I always thought it was a bit high brow to filter – and lets face it, Sense of Place is pretty much the cotton candy in the carvival of blogdom, I never really make any controversial statements that would draw fire . . . thanks for the Ramblin’ Jacks site, that’s a keeper . . . .

  • I used to moderate comments on a previous blog but these days I just trust folks because I just don’t have time and I always thought it was a bit high brow to filter – and lets face it, Sense of Place is pretty much the cotton candy in the carvival of blogdom, I never really make any controversial statements that would draw fire . . . thanks for the Ramblin’ Jacks site, that’s a keeper . . . .

  • Kitty, Well it’s a relief to know that everyone out there isn’t utilizing statistics intelligently while I’m drooling.

    Steve, Mostly the only comments I delete are spam. I’m pretty below the radar. I’m glad you found Ramblin’ Jack. I love his photos. He deserves a wider audience.

  • Kitty, Well it’s a relief to know that everyone out there isn’t utilizing statistics intelligently while I’m drooling.

    Steve, Mostly the only comments I delete are spam. I’m pretty below the radar. I’m glad you found Ramblin’ Jack. I love his photos. He deserves a wider audience.

  • Ha, yeah, I know. I just found out about it a few months ago. Didn’t even know such a thing existed. All I could think about was how I have a bad habit of opening a bunch of windows at a time and leaving them open for hours or days.
    These days I’m like, hurry, hurry, get off before this person thinks I’m a freak.

  • Ha, yeah, I know. I just found out about it a few months ago. Didn’t even know such a thing existed. All I could think about was how I have a bad habit of opening a bunch of windows at a time and leaving them open for hours or days.
    These days I’m like, hurry, hurry, get off before this person thinks I’m a freak.

  • I know, Kitty, I’m always getting interrupted and then coming back realizing I’ve been sitting on Max’s site for over an hour. Hopefully, knowing I have a kid she figures out what is going on. But I am worried sometimes about what other bloggers think. But, then, I was hoping they were like me unable to figure out the stats anyway;)

  • I know, Kitty, I’m always getting interrupted and then coming back realizing I’ve been sitting on Max’s site for over an hour. Hopefully, knowing I have a kid she figures out what is going on. But I am worried sometimes about what other bloggers think. But, then, I was hoping they were like me unable to figure out the stats anyway;)

  • (Reading along… thanks for the nice comments!)

  • (Reading along… thanks for the nice comments!)

  • Well deserved comments!

  • Well deserved comments!

  • I’ve always got a window open on Max’s forum. A lot of people do. It brings good karma into your house.

  • I’ve always got a window open on Max’s forum. A lot of people do. It brings good karma into your house.

  • OOps, not karma, feng shui.

  • OOps, not karma, feng shui.

  • I don’t know right now she has a dead crow outside her window;>

  • I don’t know right now she has a dead crow outside her window;>

  • LOL — good karma huh?

    The crow is gone. He went with the rain. Now we have winds. I wonder what will blow in.

  • LOL — good karma huh?

    The crow is gone. He went with the rain. Now we have winds. I wonder what will blow in.

  • I hope something a with a bit of good luck!

  • I hope something a with a bit of good luck!

  • Maybe the strike will end and I can go make my movie. That would be a good thing.

  • Maybe the strike will end and I can go make my movie. That would be a good thing.

  • I cross my fingers for you every day when I check out how the strike is going. I’m looking forward to this movie! A month or so ago I reread Excess Baggage on your site and rolled around laughing. Even your screen directions were interesting.

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