Archives » March 31st, 2005

March 31, 2005

No politics. No religion. No kidding.

Christopher Falvey outlines how, theoretically, blogging is supposed to be bringing about revolutionary change across all of media, and how effective it can be at doing just that. But instead, he points out, blogging has been getting nothing but negative attention, because it’s become stigmatized as the home of, as he puts it, “irrational and, quite frankly, muddled partisan noise.” People are always looking for ways to shout at each other, much as they’ve been doing on talk shows and editorial pages for years. Blogs are the new way to do this, and they’re making the problem much worse, simply because there are so many of them. The din is getting almost unbearable, and so many people feel like if they have a blog they need to take a stand on one side of some petty issue or the other and shout about it until everybody else agrees with them. The whole effect is one that’s going to create a very negative view of blogging in the public opinion in the long run. If the only blogs getting any attention are the ones that are full of nasty political squabbles, why would anyone on the outside want to start reading them, much less writing their own?

So that’s why I prefer to focus on the positive side of blogging. There is a whole world of blogs out there that stay outside of the fight, the politics, the partisanship, and focus on niche topics that aren’t aren’t controversial, but are still quite interesting to some certain group of people. These are the place blogs, the community blogs, the personal blogs about family or travel or culture. These are where the true promise of the blogosphere lies, these are the ideas that really need to be spread and the blogs that need to be publicized. But mostly they’re invisible, since everyone is so focused on all the negative stuff and the mudslinging that’s going on with so many high-profile blogs. If we’re going to fight this trend, we have to take a stand, and we have to let people know there’s a whole “non-nasty” side to blogging.

So that’s why I’m taking a stand, and reaffirming the principle that I’ve been running this blog under for a long time now. That principle is “No politics. No religion. No kidding.” It means I’m not going to write about any political topics, no matter how hot they are in the news, nor will I write anything about religion. It’s my way of keeping out of the fray and staying away from the ugliness. Yes, I have political views, and yes they’re going to color what I write here. That’s unavoidable. And I do disclose them, but they’re on my About Me page, not my blog. And I’m not going to preach those views, since they’re very ill-formed, often muddled and confused, and above all, uninteresting. I’ve seen a thousand posts on a thousand blogs degrade into a thousand comments where everyone’s sniping at each other, and I’m sick of it. It’s not going to happen here. And besides, every point I have to make has already been made elsewhere and debunked elsewhere, and the same arguments seem to flare up every time topic A is mentioned or rant B is written. It’s just not worth it to me to pollute my site with that kind of squabbling. And if that means I’ll end up with a lower readership, so be it. I’d rather attract 100 readers with good stuff than 100,000 with garbage.

And, since you stuck with me this long, here’s a pointer to site I got a kick out of: How much is inside? Where Rob and his Cockeyed crew tackle things like a newspaper, a box of Cheerios, and a Chevy Trailblazer and find out, well, just how much is inside. More entertaining than it should be.