Keep Trying

Wednesday, June 04, 2003

Meet the New Boss - Same as the Old Boss

Jason has some thoughts on yesterday's Blogging Criticism post.

Look at the number of bloggers out there. One whiff of criticism of the medium means that the blogger himself is under attack and a defense must be made. Who better to lead the charge than three of the biggest guns?
But, such a defense, while not favorible, is not too out of the ordinary. It is the same thing seen in politics or religion or any other situation where people have definate positions and vested interests in what is being criticised. The best way to win a debate is to end it, even if your first response completely smacks down the opposition and destroys any semblance of 'debate'.

Unfortunately that does nothing to help the medium (or any cause being debated). When you slam the door on critics, you reinforce what they believe by not allowing an insightful discussion to occur where ideas can be exchanged and minds changed. You do yourself a disservice by seeming like a hardass in something that really should be discussed, an ever evolving technology. You cheat your readers by not creating an environment for constructive discussions that could lead to greater understanding of what blogging is and what can be done with it. You also destroy any arguement you're trying to make that blogging deserves respect as a journalistic medium because you remove any possibilities for bridging that gap.

Constructive criticism should be met with constructive debate, no matter what the topic. The purpose of such criticism should not be to enrage you but to make you take pause and consider why the other side feels the way it does, whether or not they are making any points that you should consider more fully, and how to approach them to correct or fill in any gaps within their logic.

I think the big bloggers would answer: "What is there to debate? Blogging is great - period. There is no self-interest, no hidden agendas, no desire for a New Media World Order. We're just doing this for fun and for the good of the people."

By the way, I am all for change. Big media needs to be prodded to present the story more objectively. We need to acknowledge that everything we read and write is tainted by by personal or group bias. However, I find it troublesome that those who benefit most from blogging continually deny any gains. In the words of the Who, "Meet the new boss - same as the old boss".