Monday, June 18, 2007

Accentuate the Positive

That's what I'm going to be doing, and looking for, here in Blogovia. That's not to say that I'll never post about, nor comment on, topics of the "What the hell's this all about?" variety. But I'm through getting mired in comment wars. That's not an indictment of anyone other than myself. I've just got much better things to do with my time than following, let alone participating in, the antagonism that surfaces in the comments of some of the blogs I read.

In the real world, I rarely get the kinds of opportunities to hear multiple points of view that I do here in Blogovia. That's what I love about it. I love debate. When it's done with respect, I often learn things. Sometimes it's just learning a new perspective, other times it's learning new facts and developments. And because of that, sometimes my perspective changes. I never understand why so many people are so adverse to changing perspective, because when I do, it feels really good. It's a major accomplishment. Maintaining your position in the face of opposing points of view can often be admirable, proper and even necessary. But it's also pretty easy. Truly listening to and considering an opposing point of view is a phenomenal skill; allowing yourself to admit that the opposing point of view carries more weight than yours takes guts. I appreciate that. And no, I'm not talking about politicians who change their "beliefs" as the tide of public opinion changes. I'm talking about the individual, and what's in the individual's heart.

The problem is that many times, debates in Blogovia are anything but respectful. And once they digress to insults, name-calling and the equivalent of middle-school playground pushing and shoving, I'm no longer going to learn anything. All opportunity for me to get what I want from the conversation -- healthy debate, even enlightenment -- is gone down the shitter. I'm not above reproach; I've gotten wrapped up in some of that shit, only to look at it later and think, why the hell did I waste my time with that trainwreck? I will give myself some credit and say I always try to keep it respectful, even when other participants are not. But even then, my comments are still enabling those creating the cesspool.

I've done a pretty good job of keeping things here at Boiled Dinner relatively civil. But I can't control what happens at other blogs, nor can I control what other people do or say. I can only control Jeff K. And Jeff K just ain't gonna play in the shitbox anymore.

Jeff K also ain't gonna keep referring to himself in the third person, but at the moment, Jeff K feels it's the most powerful way to get his message across.

19 comments:

DangerDoll said...

Word on that, Jeff. Word.

Keera Ann Fox said...

I hear ya, and applaud ya (and that Jeff K dude).

I know I'd get more traffic on my blog if I were more, well, vicious, but I have this thing about the written word: Once it exists, it takes on a life and a permanence of its own (thanks to the readers). So I tend to not be antagonistic in my writing, whether blog or comments. I don't want search engines to be finding pissy statements (or even alliances) that were fun or pertinent during one moment in time, and have had no value since. That's not the legacy I want to leave behind.

PJ said...

I, too, decided not to play in the shitbox anymore, which I have to say is one reason I stopped blogging altogether. For some people, vitriol is sport--they thrive on it. And more power to them if that's what they find entertaining, I just don't share their affinity for it. I don't understand it either, but then, it's not up to me to understand everything (even though I try).

Blogging used to be fun. At the point when I decided to quit, there was very little fun, and in its place there were blog wars sprouting up in so many places I couldn't stand it anymore. Blogovia had become an ongoing "Us vs. Them" battle and damned if the "Them" was always to blame, never the "Us." I want no part of that shit.

Jodie K said...

Amen, brother.

And PJ, do consider a return to your blog. I blog only for my love of words and to peek into the other, interesting lives, getting to know the creative minds behind them. I like true writers blogs. Yours was/is one of the best.

To read Jeff’s adventures and pure joy in every move Sammy makes, or Dawn dishing on her weekend escapes in the voice only she has and O’Tim’s tribute to family and the funny. Then Ole Blue exercising some demons through his poetry and travels and Miss UV describing in words nothing sort of bliss the joy of a Sprinkles cupcake and Talking to the Walls (one if the best blogs I’ve read – get to her from my page) about the simple intricacies of everyday life. I feel a part of this community as well when we commensurate in times of loss, share the joy of accomplishment or the pain of a skid. It’s not about the battle. I choose to make it about something else.

PJ said...

Thanks, Jody. What a cool description of Blogovia you offer ... I hope much of it will return to that someday.

PJ said...

Oops, I meant Jodie not Jody!!!!

Joe the Troll said...

I don't enjoy the battle as much as it may seem, but I won't back down from one, either. One needs to do what one is GOOD at. :-)Sometimes people need to be told, perhaps repeatedly, that their behavior won't cut it. In the case that I'm sure inspired this, a particular blog was a constant target of this sort of aggression. Perhaps it will now be free of it, and the wound can heal and people can now go to that blog for the kind of discussion Jeff describes. It will be enjoyable. But if no one ever pushes back, then it's just one lame fight after another for who knows how long, and who the hell needs it?

In other news.....

I created the word "Blogovia" for two reasons. One, I hate the word "Blogosphere", it just sounds lame. Second, it fit the fairy-tale-troll-under-a-bridge motif I have. It's like a kingdom, or a Duchy or somesuch. I am VERY glad to see it catching on! "Hail, Hail Blogovia, land of the free and brave!!" (Imagine Margaret Dumont singing......poorly.)

Jeff said...

I'm kinda bummed, Joe, because I thought I invented Blogovia. It was in my head, and when I typed it I thought, hey, that's kinda cool. Musta been in there because of having seen it from you at some point, though. Bummer. Maybe I'll start calling it Blogistan. Or Blog Kong.

Jeff said...

Oh, and to clarify, there wasn't any single case that inspired this, nor was there any single person. It was a cumulation of blogs/posts/comments, coupled with a conversation I had with me mum the other morning (a real-life conversation on the telephone), that lead to this post.

PJ said...

Ahem. I invented the word Blogovia. I also invented the word Blog, as well as inventing the entire Internet. You may all bow now.

PJ said...

... coupled with a conversation I had with me mum the other morning

Yep, we had one of our good talks, which I loved. Of course, I had to set him straight on a few issues but hey, what's a mum for?

:-D

Joe the Troll said...

Sorry, Jeff. It's been the title of my blogroll since I started, so that's no doubt where you saw it. I always say "Blogovia" instead of "Blogosphere."

But don't miss the point! It's COOL that it's spreading. I may even make a map like that one that Tolkien made.

Blogistan sounds like someplace Bush wants to bomb. I think Blog Kong has been given back to the Chinese bloggers. Blogovia Forever!

Miz UV said...

You should head on over to Cats, Cupcakes & Shooze then. All fun, all the time!

Jeff said...

Right now it's just cats & shooze, Paula. Lemme know when you get the cupcakes in there and I'll come a' callin'.

Sour Grapes said...

Nobody was ever more up for a fight than I was, but it doesn't feel good like it used to feel good. Bloggoland is too balkanised, compared to Usenet. You can win and nobody knows. So what's the point.

I've pulled back and now do blogging as it was originally: a log of the places you've been and the things you've seen, with comments if appropriate. I do a lot of net-surfing (gak!) so it gives me pleasure to point things out to other peeps. Nobody in the world needs to know my feelings on Scooter Libby. They wouldn't brighten up anyone's day, but a site of cupcake porn would.

It may not be the answer for other people, but it's the answer for me. If anyone feels like trying it, I recommend it for the buzz factor.

PS: What happened to the pop quiz challenge? I'm now so far ahead (because of playing more) it's no fun. Why don't they make it 1-2 player?

PJ said...

it doesn't feel good like it used to feel good.

Yeah, aging is a real bitch Grapey.

[ducking and running]

Jeff said...

I forgot about the challenge, SG! Just went back and answered some more. I think what's more important is not total points, but percentage of correct answers and average time to answer. I'm at 61.8% correct with average answer time of 3.4 seconds. You?

Jeff said...

Okay, with 100 questions answered, I have 608 points, getting 62% correct and answering in an average of 3.3 seconds.

Wondering what we're talking about? Check out iLike and go to the challenge.

ravenous said...

I completely agree with you Jeff.