You write a blog post and post it. Someone comes onto your blog and has an alternative point of view. But, instead of engaging this commenter in a logical argument, you lash out at him, belittling his point of view and then using sarcastic remarks in subsequent comments. Is that smart?
This happened recently to me. (I won’t mention the blog because that would result in more traffic.) When I first read the author’s post, I thought it was insightful, but lacking in a couple of key areas. After reading the author’s immature response to my observations, I now think the author is a bit immature, perhaps even an idiot. I won’t be back to his blog — not because I got my feeling hurt — but because there is probably not much else I can learn from someone who does not have the skills to engage in an argument without resorting to ridicule and sarcasm.
Attacking a commenter might get you some momentary traffic, but is probably unwise in the long run. A blog works best when there are contributing points of view that are different from yours. If all you want is your friends and family agreeing with you, that is probably ok on a personal journal. But, I suspect many authors want their ideas challenged by the readers who find holes in their arguments.
Any dissenting opinions? If you agree with me, please don’t post a comment. But, if you have an alternative point of view, please share it.
Some things going through my head on recent walks:
Supreme Court Nominee: I think the message your party is sending you, Mr. Bush, is take the job seriously. We know you are busy with lots of things like the Iraq War, Katrina, Wilma… but this is an appointment for life. Learn a bit from Covey; this is more important than it is urgent. Spend the time doing it right.
Libby Indictment: Ok, CNN, Fox and all other news people. Get smart about this. EVERYONE outside the Beltway should care about this case because it is about abuse of power to silence dissent. Anyone who has voiced an unpopular opinion at a city council meeting and then finds “code violation” letters suddenly being sent to their home; anyone who has been on the wrong side of eminent domain; anyone who finds themselves being tax audited shortly after pissing off a government official.. (yes, news people, this all happens in real life, outside the Beltway). Get it right; this is not about the application of a narrowly-defined law regarding the CIA, blah, blah, blah.. It is no smaller than protecting free speech in America without fear of reprisal. Really.
Oil Companies Gouging: Oooh boy… We are a Market Economy. Nobody was helping the oil companies in the 80s-90s when there was massive mergers, consolidations and bankruptcies… Now that the market has turned, and the oil companies have the advantage, there are howls of gouging. (Ok, maybe a little gouging) but nobody forced you to buy an SUV you can’t afford… I know you have to fill it up to go to work because you are one paycheck away from poverty every week, but… oh, wait… maybe it is a lesson to live within your means…. but I could be wrong….