Speaking of courtesy

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

The Happy Tutor has written a longish weblog posting regarding my earlier posting, The Lost Art of Courtesy.

Happy writes:

I wonder, though, BB, are courteous blogs “scaleable”? If we want to reach an audience of 10-20 personable losers, and we all constantly comment on each other’s posts, then it would be cozy, but closed. Let’s say that 400-4,000 people read a blog, could the author possibly be “courteous” to all, going to their blog, and exchanging bland comments and notes?

Sigh. I never know with Happy Tutor postings whether he’s agreeing with me, or disagreeing with me. Should I respond to the Happy Tutor persona, who disagrees with agreement, compliments that which is to be despised? Or should I respond to the person behind the Happy Tutor persona, who has real opinions and real thoughts.

If I’m in a playful mood, I’ll usually respond directly to Happy, and fun is had by all. However, when I’m in a more thoughtful or somber mood, I find the persona to be irritating.

Are blogs online simply to be overheard? Or are they an extraordinarily exhibitionistic way to maintain a small social network? If you want to exchange pleasantries with a few friends, why not use email or a listserv? Why post personal conversations where millions could read and where every banal remark will be permanently archived in Google or the Wayback Machine? Why not keep a paper diary and circulate it by snail mail to your friends, and have them do the same?

Weblogging – Open door communities, with no borders or boundaries. Does this scale? Who gives a shit.

Now, Happy – you want more, knock at my door, and as password give your name and true opinion, and we’ll talk.

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