There has been an interesting trend in the past few weeks. In some respects, a disturbing trend. Sort of an oddity in the blogosphere.
It is a trend of people getting uptight, angered, or downright silly with regards to the posts a blogger makes and/or the comments blog visitors leave. I find both reactions odd. It might just be that I have an skewed perspective, but I tend to think others find it odd, as well.
Rather than raise any hackles by mentioning specific blogs, posts, comments, and individuals, I'll keep it generic. Perhaps if we think about it, we'll realize how silly some of it has become.
First, we have to consider our view of blogs. I like to think of them much like television shows. Some are well liked and viewed by many people. Others are on the "watch it when I can" list. And still others are the type you go out of your way to avoid. And like television, there are far more blogs available than anyone can ever follow on a regular basis.
Sometimes, a good t.v. show goes through a slump. E.R. is like that, for me. I love E.R. and have watched it since the very first episode. Occassionally, there is an obvious case of writer's block, because the show stinks. I've been known to skip weeks at a time when the show is that bad. But I check it out every now and again to see if it's improved. I don't opt to reject an historically good show because of slump.
Despite being a fan, I don't always agree with the message or philosophy being promoted by the show. The producers, directors, and writers all have their own beliefs which influence the show's theme. But I won't go to great lengths to tell them I believe they are screwed up. Given the opportunity, I might ask why they hold their beliefs. I wouldn't necessarily attempt to influence them. And I certainly wouldn't try to use their platform to prove them wrong. I might, however, use mine.
The shows creators, however, must understand that some people will take offense. And sometimes those people will react strongly and negatively. That would be a poor reason to stop producing the show or somehow remove the opportunity for criticism. Along with the good comes the bad.
And like any good television show, the viewer has options. If the show is that distasteful, it can be turned off. I don't appreciate Howard Stern's broadcasts. I believe him to be crass and his shows to be pointless and mundane. So, I don't listen to them. Millions do. He is successful for exactly that reason. But I don't have to listen to him. And he doesn't have to pay any attention to my comments. We both go our separate ways, happy that the other is free to have their thoughts.
As bloggers, we must remember that sometimes our actions will result in comments we neither need nor desire. Our visitors don't always know which is good and which is bad. Likewise, as visitors, we must remember that the blog is not our own. The author is free to provide as little or as much information as they so desire. It is, after all, THEIR space. It is THEIR journal. Take it or leave it.
If you leave it, check back from time to time. You might find your old favorite is back on the track you wish they had never left.