Tuesday, July 27, 2010

ZenTiger The Blogosphere Prevails

This is my one thousandth post at NZC and I thought I'd reflect on a post I made in my early days of blogging. So I've dug up an old post I made in December 2005 on my old blog, where I argued that the blogosphere does have merit, and we bloggers across the spectrum of bloggers were making a difference. It was really a response to a common meme that the blogosphere was nothing more than an exercise of shouting into the wind, or individual blogs were simply echo chambers for the same opinion.

However, I have noted an impact in the antique media - there is no question the journalists read the blogs and some of the points made in posts and in the comments find their way into those articles.

Sometimes, a very odd turn of phrase matches the same turn of phrase used by a blogger - I saw that with one of Lucia's post a few years ago. Fran O'Sullivan obviously had a good read of Antarctic Lemur's investigation into the Doonegate saga back in 2005, and increasingly, bloggers are quoted or referenced.

It's still early days yet for the NZ blogosphere. I have a feeling we bloggers still have a way to go, but the journey continues. Even so, I wonder how much my post of 2005 resonates today. I'll leave it for you to decide.

Here's post 1000 from me, of well over 2000 posts from the team. Back in 2005, it was called "The Blogosphere Prevails", and I guess it still does.

The blogosphere Prevails
In spite of attempts of the naysayers to have you believe otherwise, the blogosphere works. It does make a difference. There are signs of it out in the other world. Quotes re-quoted. Ideas reflected. Opinions discussed.

The reality for many bloggers is a constant stream of abuse, violent disagreement, personal attacks, snide put-downs and pseudo-intellectual theorisation on how pathetic people are to blog (but not those blogging about it of course).
The raison d'etre for many bloggers, some proclaim, is solely to have a cheer leading team validate their Einstein like interpretation of complex political events, cleverly summarised as "So there!"

There are a few things I'd like you to remember when you listen to these enlightened rocks of reason peaking above the slippery, wet and ill-formed opinions of the blogging bulk:

That's only their opinion.
That opinion is shaped by their experiences. Their experiences do not necessarily reflect everyone's experiences. Even a majority does not add up to everyone.

People don't blog just for validation.
It might be important, and it is certainly nice, but it is not the sole reason.

Some people declare an opinion and make a stand. They are prepared to defend their opinion in battle, and the fight will be the good fight. No quarter may be given. Mercy may not be shown, for it is a brave and scary thing to put an opinion out there.

Your opponent may be equally passionate. The challenge was accepted. The threat is clear. Their world is founded on principles and reasons so different from you, it is heresy you are guilty of, and you will pay.

That is OK. Somewhere in there is a desire to test your thoughts. No matter what others say, if you believe you want to know, then you want to know. Don't let others take that thirst away from you. Test those ideas, make those stands.

People can change their minds.
It can seem like you are trying to get through a brick wall with people. They are thinking the same of you. But do people never change their minds? Strong words, big words. Fortunately, not always true words. Maybe some don't. I have. You might too. You may not notice it all at once. You may not give someone the satisfaction of "Gee, I hadn't looked at it that way", but I assure you, most people will continue to learn and gain experience. It doesn't mean they'll come to see things your way, but they may be changed from the interaction.

It does make a difference.
Yes, I'm seeing signs that blogging is making a difference. Some fervently want to believe it isn't and it wont. Good on them. Let them search you out, to tell you just how invisible you are. Let them give you some excellent reasons, nicely articulated as to how its all a complete waste of time. Thank them for wasting some of theirs to prove it. Then stop and sit quietly for a while and listen. Was that a tree falling?

Commenters are not your only audience
Whilst you are doing battle with your commenters, another 20 people may well have read the blog, and all of the resulting comments. If the battle is passionate, you may never hear from these silent readers. They however, may take something away, some small nugget that means something to them (from either side of the debate), and in some way you have made a difference. That may not be a bad thing.

So where do we go from here?
The blogosphere will continue to evolve and improve. Gains will be made. Standards will evolve. People will come and go. The new will learn from the old. The old will be infected with the vitality of the new.

A civilisation will emerge. A culture will develop. You are now part of that. It is your decision on how you comment, how you react.

It is your decision to engage in debate. If you think you are testing ideas, then you are testing ideas. Trust yourself.

Let other people tell you otherwise, but remember, that's just their opinion.

Keep it up. It matters, and it does make a difference.

And that is just my opinion. Care to test it?

3 comment(s):

Gooner said...

You guys are legends. Keep it up.

KG said...

What Gooner said. And congratulations. :)

homepaddock said...

Well done, well written.

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