Yes…. Justin McKeating does look a bit crazed doesn’t he? He has a right to be proud though, I picked up The Blog Digest today and it is as interesting as the cover is amusing. The blurb states it is the “the ultimate anthology of blog writing from the last twelve months,” and it certainly tries to live up to that promise by covering a whole range of subjects. The book features lots of excellent writers from the blogosphere, and myself, as you may expect.
But I’m having a bit of a crisis of confidence here folks, so help me out. Are blogs helping people get to know each other? Do they build understanding or simply lead to more hardline attitudes? I only ask because the last post on the Middle East descended into a string of insults (once again) involving people who really should know better.
If rational and intelligent people cannot have a civilised conversation on a blog that tries to remain as non-partisan as possible, where is the hope for world peace? Maybe that’s why it makes more sense to take a side: at least only one side will accuse you of bias.
I don’t know, I’m feeling a bit disappointed that however hard one tries to encourage a whole different group of people to independently share their experiences and build a positive conversation – it is doomed to failure unless you take a very authoritative line and actively weed out the troublemakers. In other words, bang some heads together and force people to live with it. Or avoid talking about anything sensitive at all.
The conventional wisdom seems to be that blogs are good because people are allowed to express their views. Except, increasingly, it looks like the only outcome is that rather people learning from each other, the online space simply becomes an even bigger penis-size-comparing-contest. What a monumental waste of time.
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