This has been a spooky day of independent but bizarrely related weblog postings. At least, I see them as related.
I’ve been having a discussion with Jonathon in the comments related to a posting of his about criticism and how this is a necessary aspect of weblogging. Of criticism, he states:
I’d like to see it more more widely practiced. I shy away from criticizing other bloggers — because I like the people who write the blogs I read regularly and I’m reluctant to offend even virtual friends. I wish I were more courageous. Blogging is diminished by the tame cameraderie that Dvorak condemns.
Jonathon has an extremely valid point. If we don’t feel comfortable criticizing, or perhaps questioning, each other than we are all going to be deadly dull, very quickly.
Still, regardless of how skilled you are, how soft the application, how benign the intent, don’t kid yourself — if you criticize a person’s content in a weblog, whether it be the writing, an opinion, or the look, it’s personal. Yes, criticism is important, and weblogging will be nothing more than murky grays without it, but it’s still personal.
The saving grace is that the positive effects of the criticism can offset the negative if the criticism arises from and flows through our respect for each other.
I am in agreement with Dane when he says:
Bill, I don’t mean to imply that you should leave spelling, grammar and style out of your posts; just that your readers, on a whole, will not object to finding a occasional misspelled word.
Of course, we all know that I am the Queen of creative grammar and spelling, so I don’t think anyone’s surprised that I would agree with Dane. Bill has some equally valid points, but I still agree with Dane. Perhaps we should focus on the thought, rather than the medium.
Finally, this evening, I read the following within a posting at Karl’s:
Sometimes – out here – I realize that I don’t have the background to stand up to intellectual discussion.
He later wrote:
The need to scream – I’m one of you – tugs at me. I fall for it sometimes. And then reality sets back in.