Thursday, November 09, 2006


Guide to Blogs for the Discussion Forum User

I wish someone would have provided a document like this to me LONG BEFORE I started reading blogs. It would have saved everyone a lot of grief, trouble, and futile attempts at banning readers. If you have a friend who likes discussion forums and is thinking about starting a blog or, even worse, reading other blogs, please point them to this document. It will do them a world of good.

The Guide

Guideline #1
Blogs are not discussion forums. Discussion forums are generally balanced areas for discussion. Blogs are generally theme-based meeting areas for people of like minds and, occasionally, like bodies. Being members of the same family tree is generally a plus, too.

Guideline #2
Blogs are not “news” nor are they “truth”. They’re ONE PERSON’S OPINION generally, and if the blog is very big, it’s one person WHO DOESN’T HAVE MUCH TO DO’S opinion.

Please don’t take a blog as truth, news, or anything you could cite in a research paper.

Guideline #3
It doesn’t take a genius to make a blog nor post things on it, however many bloggers consider each other as brilliant and poignant for authoring a blog. The caveat to this is that GENERALLY, this is limited to bloggers with similar themes and beliefs. Everyone else is, naturally, an idiot.

Good comment screening can make ANYONE look like a genius. Even me!

Guideline #4
It’s a poor idea to frequent blogs that you DON’T agree with. Eventually you’ll make the mistake of actually trying to comment on their blogs, and you will be quickly reminded that they don’t like your kind hanging around. Even more insulting, you could spend your time making a comment only to met by the “Your comment has been submitted for approval” screen. Hint: if you posted anything with more depth than “YOU’RE ABSOLUTELY CORRECT!”, don’t expect to see your comment in public ever again.

Guideline #5
There are generally three different kinds of people of offer comments on blogs. The first two are cheerleaders and dissenters. Cheerleaders post comments like “you go girl” and “you’re so smart!” Dissenters are identified by comments ranging from “I don’t agree completely” to “oh, that’s utter crap”. Dissenters quickly become the third type of comment authors: banned.

Guideline #6
If you read long enough, you’ll eventually realize that a huge number of really active bloggers are out of work, on disability, or have some other life circumstance that prevents them from working full-time. You’ll also see that a large majority of cheerleaders on liberal/feminist blogs are college professors. Actually, EVERYONE is a college professor if you take people at their word.

Guideline #7
If, by some odd chance, you actually find a lengthy discussion with point/counterpoint where the blog author and one commenter are REALLY going at it, you can probably bet solid dollars that the author and commenter are related.

Actually, if you view a blog long enough, you’ll find the heavy comment authors are relatives. It’s funny that way.

Guideline #8
If you finally get fed up and want to start your own blog, don’t bother. The people you WANT reading your blog, won’t. The conversation you WANT to happen on your blog, won’t. No one strays out of their home court advantage without a safety net.

Guideline #9
Most bloggers don’t nor haven’t had experience on discussion boards. They don’t understand why you would say their comment of “if we would quit attacking terrorists, they’d quit attacking us” is moronic and naïve. You’re supposed to agree with them on blogs. Even MORE moronic? WHEN they fling out a retort containing 23 expletives including some phrases that were stricken from the latest Chris Rock album, they end the rant begging the blog author to ban the offender for being mean and immature. And if you DARE respond to the rant, they will be aghast because you were offended by the home team. You, after all, OF ALL PEOPLE should know what type of farm animals your mother had sex with.

Guideline #10
If you REALLY like discussion boards, STAY WITH THEM. Blogging is not . . . NOT what you’re used to. Blogging is the OPPOSITE of discussion boards. Steer clear if you like discussion much deeper than “God, you’re so right . . . so right . . . and smart . . . and beautiful”.

Blogs Have Screwed Up Everything

Okay, maybe not, but CRIPES they can be frustrating sometimes.

I’m a veteran of the internet forums from years back. I’ve slung dung with abortionists, white supremacists, feminists, and God-knows what else in days past. What can I say? I like it. I like being challenged, and I like to see WHY people believe what they believe. In fact, I’ve changed my mind on a few issues here and there as much as I’ve had my existing beliefs cemented. Overall, I think it’s good for people with opinions to sharpen or dash them on the rock of others’.

Of course, that was in the discussion forum days. We’re out of that now. Welcome to the land of Blog i.e. the blogosphere.

You see, the blogosphere isn’t like the discussion forums. In the discussion forums, you’re invited to make your opinion public, challenge others’ opinions, and let the chips fall where they may. Sometimes feelings get hurt. Sometimes people are mean. Sometimes you learn that what you THOUGHT you knew, was crap. Generally, you just restate what you’ve felt for some time and maybe learn a little nuance here and there that you were unaware of.

The key is DISCUSSION, and for good discussion, you need some point/counter-point. Sometimes, it’s not always friendly. It’s almost NEVER for the feint of heart.

Ah, but not the blogosphere! The blogosphere is a place where EVERYBODY matters . . . on their own site. It’s a place where you’re surrounded by friends . . . AND THAT’S ALL. It’s a place where everybody gets along and everybody agrees and everybody has similar opinions . . . or you’re asked to leave one way or the other. It’s a place where challenging discussion is a lively debate on whether the blog owner is ALWAYS right or just 90+% of the time. It’s a place where scientific polls have questions like:

Women’s Poll on Rape in America (choose one):
In your lifetime, you have been raped:
Option #1: Multiple times by friends and strangers alike
Option #2: Multiple times by friends
Option #3: Multiple times by strangers
Option #4: It’s been so many times by so many people, I’ve lost count

Men’s Poll on Rape in America (choose one you pigs):
In my lifetime, my rape totals are:
Option #1: One to two a week if I can get off work
Option #2: Only one or two a month, but I brutalize them a lot
Option #3: Two or three a year, but they’re elderly and I kill them slowly
Option #4: You can’t rape women because they’re all asking for it.
Option #5: The woman I’m raping is typing in the answer as we speak.

Okay, maybe that’s not funny. Neh, bullcrap, it’s funny. And it’s pathetic. And that poll would probably be greeted with nods and accolades if posted on a lot of the militant feminist blogs.

I think blogs are perhaps the antithesis of discussion forums. Blogs are a warm and inviting place for people to have EVERYTHING THEY BELIEVE confirmed. It’s not a place for challenge. It’s a place for confirmation and acceptance. It’s a place where people can say “YEAH!!! That’s awful . . . wanna’ hear something WORSE, THOUGH??”, “you go girl”, or “wow, man, you’re so perceptive”.

I keep reading blogs, and I keep hearing Henry Rollins singing in the background i.e. “I can really sympathize with the way you’re feeling . .. HAAAAAAAAAHHHHAAAAAAAA . . . LIAR!!!!! LIAR!!!!!!” LOL!

It’s weird to go to a website, read an opinion piece ending with “please discuss this!”, and then get angry responses for, dare I say, DISCUSSING IT. They should be honest. It should end with “please confirm what I’ve said in the comments section . . . and can you please tell me I’m beautiful and smart, too . . . I’m feeling a little low”.

Okay, so why should I care? People are free to read and say whatever they want on their own spot, right? YOU BET!! This is living proof, I guess. I dunno’, though. I guess I’ve read some REALLY interesting things on blogs and it enticed me to put together comments and responses IN THEIR comments and responses section. Generally, I find that I’m either the only one or the one of two people on the blog that offers a different slant or approach, and the differences sort of drive the conversation past the usual “yeah, great post” and “oh, I agree with you completely!” people. Many times, the conversation goes REALLY well and LOTS of interesting points come out. Right when things get REALLY good, though, out comes the “hey, why don’t you just leave” people and “why are you disrupting our discussion” remarks. It’s a bummer.

So, maybe I’m a jerk for going to a feminist website and say awful things like “I’ve never raped a woman”. Maybe I’m a bad person for going to a liberal website and say awful things like “sounds good, but how are you going to pay for it?” Maybe. I guess I am. It’s their punch bowl, and I guess I’m whizzing in it.

For the second time in my blog career (what a laugh there), I’m peeing on the fire and calling the dogs, I guess. I’m DEFINITELY going to curtail or cut out completely my commenting on other sites. I have one more entry to my blog I’m prepping now, and that will probably be it for a while. We’ll see.

Anyway, maybe I’ll find some conservative blogs and put on my pleated skirt and wave my pom-poms like everyone wants people to do. Confrontation is scary, I suppose. It’s especially scary if your point of view isn’t very defendable, I guess, but that’s irrelevant to many people.

In parting for this post, my blog not withstanding, I don’t think blogs are as wonderful and revolutionary as everyone thinks they are. Basically, they’re a one person discussion forum with opposition filters built into the administration . . . and pretty boring at that.

ED, WHY DON’T YOU POST ON YOUR OWN BLOG??? Simple. It’s boring. No one comments, no one raises a question, no one cares. Feh, what fun or value is that?

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