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Saturday, July 03, 2004



I agree with you disagreeing ; ) Blogs aren't a democracy at all, and these are, of course, the risks we take when we put ourselves and our work out there. On top of that, academics should be used to being critiqued in public.

I don't want to add fuel to the fire, but it seems to me that the occupant of 11D is overreacting. So what? Someone hated her survey. Let the person have his/her say, respond to it in your blog if you want, and move on. Alternately, one could think constructively and use the complaints to improve the instrument. 25 combined years of experience is impressive, but no infallible, so why not build on the critique? It is perhaps possible that the original critic has a point, even if the expression of that point was painful and taken personally.

In the end, this handwringing about the blogs bothers me, mostly because so much of it has a prescriptive tone. It implies that there should be limits, and that gets under my skin for a variety of reasons.


Well, to begin with, Steven DenBeste's response to the quiz really weren't all that mean-spirited or offensive, in my opinion. I'd read the post days before I realized it had even sparked any debate at all- my first read-through of the post didn't leave me with any question. He was frustrated about the quiz and the way that it seemed to attempt to instantly categorize those to whom it was sent- is that really that offensive of a remark? I read Steven DenBeste regularly, and I have to say, while some of his posts may be taken as offensive, this surely wasn't one of them. His reponse was fairly reasoned and not at all vitriolic. Why would she be offended? It really makes no sense, in my opinion, but perhaps that is just me.



Some of this discussion reminds me of the old saw (which has various formulations):

"I'm decisive, you are pushy, she is a controlling bitch".

So I think the discussion isn't so much about the actual people involved (laura & denbeste) but perceptions.

I don't worry so much about prescriptiveness, because...I own this space.


Yet more commentary on blogging and civility from Daniel Drezner, wherein which he surveys what other bloggers has to say, and summarizes thusly:

It is undoubtedly true that in the short run, provocative, vitriolic, and/or sloppy writing -- by either bloggers or commenters -- can attract attention, whereas closely reasoned analysis sometimes falls by the wayside. The fact that so many top-notch bloggers have made similar observation about the correlation between hit counts and trolls is indeed disturbing.

The discussion is equally interesting.

aaron started me out looking at DD. Thanks Aaron.

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