Friday, August 22, 2008

The (Non) Rules of Blogging

It’s hard to believe there are any real rules to blogging. I started this because I like to write, and I felt this was a great place to spread good news, tell personal stories or make observations. Along the way, whether by accident or intent, a few items generated some conversation. They weren’t intended to be controversial, but a couple of topics inspired some people to offer their opinions. That’s all good.

But that isn’t necessarily the purpose of my site. I created this as my personal platform, and not as a public forum, especially when it comes to slamming other people. I love when people respond and enhance what I’ve written, like with my “Things That Aren’t Here Anymore” blog and several others. That’s what makes this fun.

One of my other postings drew a lot of attention, and I was bothered by the blind hate that people expressed in their comments that followed. But those comments on my site were “vanilla” in comparison to those that were shared in broadcast e-mail to the CHS baseball community. Those all seemed to be from anonymous authors.

Through all of this, I watched as a man was ripped to shreds by people who didn’t have the decency or balls to put their names behind what they were writing. He may not have been the right fit for the job, and he made his share of mistakes, but I don’t think he deserved the public ridicule he received, especially from people who didn’t even take ownership of their criticism.

This isn’t about what I wrote in my own blogs. I raised the topics, and I’ll stand by that. But I also believe I was fair and balanced in my presentation of the issues. Readers took the ball and ran with it, and some of the comments got out of hand.

Apparently, there is an anonymous reader who isn’t happy that I won’t let him or her have a voice on my blog. That isn’t what my blog is about. That's why it's called "Sid's Side." There are other public forums to express yourself. And there are a lot of blogs out there that don’t even allow for public comments. If you don’t like reading what I have to say, then don’t.

This isn’t about censorship or freedom of speech. I am in full support of open exchange of ideas and opinions. But this is not a traditional medium, and there are no universal rules. I haven’t established standards for this site, and my approach will change and evolve as the site grows. And it will probably change from topic to topic, too. In fact, I even pulled one of my own writings because I wasn’t sure it sent the right message or tone.

I’m simply not going to host another debate that knocks and bashes someone who deserves a fair chance. As I said before, this is a guy who is incredibly talented, bright and fair. That may not be what some people want. I don’t think their complaints are even about him, but, unfortunately, he will be the target. That’s too bad, because those people don’t yet understand how lucky they are. He absolutely will make a positive difference. I know he still needs to prove himself. So let him.

Clearly, not everybody agrees with me. That’s fine. The disagreements won’t be played out in this blog. I’m not about to engage in the childish banter that plagued the community last season and fueled nasty e-mail battles. I don't see any benefit whatsoever. I’m happy to discuss this or any subject in an intelligent conversation, so feel free to send me a note or give me a call. I assume you know how to reach me.

In the meantime, I’ll keep the comment box open, and I hope you’ll respond. Now you have an idea of how I’ll run this thing.

And remember, anybody can start their own blog to express their views. You don’t even have to put your name behind it. Just keep in mind that what you put in print is subject to libel laws. Good luck.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I want to know who the gutless person is who you won't let comment and who won't leave their name. So what if it's none of my business. I want to know.