Daniel Dura

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Do Politics and Blogging Mix?

with 16 comments

It seems like the conversation that is on the tip of everyones tounge right now is the recent politically oriented blog entries that are popping up on blogs and mailing lists everywhere. I just thought that add my 2 cents and let you know where I stand. And to tell you the truth, I am still moving around a bit from day to day as I decide what my true stance on the subject is.

First, I 100% completely support free speech. I believe that an individual should be able to post whatever they want on thier blog. It is there personal thoughts and thier own forum.

Now my next point is somewhat of a question, and this is where the contradictions in my arguments occur. Should aggregators that gather news geared towards one subject sensor posts about ‘off topic’ information? Does that take away from the ‘free-speech’ of the blog writer? I guess it comes down to what an aggregator is, and that question really doesn’t have a good answer either. Lets take cnn.com for example. They are a news service that ‘aggregates’ articles that they believe people will find interesting. Do they decide that some articles are just not worth publishing? Of course. So, if an aggregator is just gathering news from different sources, is it required to take all of those sources’ articles (or posts in the case of blogs) or pick-and-choose which ones could best represent its clientele? I don;t know, although I would tend to say yes.

One solution to this, maybe, would be for blogs to better utilize the catagorization that is available in RSS 1.0. Maybe then, the aggregators would be able to filter out blog entries that are more appropriate to its audience. But, some blog writers may not want their entries filtered at all. So…is it the right of the aggregator to ‘sensor’ the posts, or is it the right of the blog publisher to have his thoughts published in all of thier entirety, no matter what the subject? Maybe it isn’t even a right, maybe this is all just a matter of blogging and community ethics, either way the coin flips.

Now, let me also present another case, which has made me think. David Humphries said, in regards to this subject:

“I learned that flog also allowed me access to a community. It’s impossible to read the blogs without getting a sense of who the bloggers are — and I think that’s a good thing. I don’t mind reading — or skimming — the off-topic rants and raves because that gives me more insight as to who’s out there. We are a community. As we have people who will delight and inform, we also have people who enrage and challenge and go off-topic. Sometimes, they are even the same person. It all has value.”

I must say that I see the value in this line of thinking also. We are a community. Communities, no matter what thier emphasis, are usually just a microcosm of society in general. We have people who have many different views on many different subjects, regardless of the communities main reason for coming together. Will learning about others thoughts and views help strengthen the community. I would tend to say yes. But, again I also see that it can take away from it also.

So, as you can probably see, I really have not come to any conclusion one way or the other. I think that these type of discussions are good in that they are testing the limits and defining the ethics of these new types of communication (blogging, mailing lists, etc.).

Written by Daniel Dura

February 8th, 2003 at 10:02 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

16 Responses to 'Do Politics and Blogging Mix?'

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