Friday, July 28, 2006

first law of blogocombat

The first law of blogocombat is this:

When you respond to a statement, do it
with Utter Disregard for Who Made It.

By obeying this law, I may be banned from Blog Business Summit.

But first, let me explain to you this...

First Law of Blogocombat: consider the opponent to be anonymous.

I mean, don't even click on the person's name to activate the embedded URL and visit their profile, site, or blog. Let your reaction be to the words themselves, and not considering who is saying them.


In this manner, one becomes objective and is pitting one idea against another, not one person against another. Plus, you are not unduly influenced by the position, title, or charisma of the person whose ideas you're debating.

Blogocombat, at its best, is one set of text responding to another set of text. No egos. No hurt feelings. No personal hostility. No desire to hurt another person. No desire to dominate anything or anyone.

Just the simple advancement of an idea, sometimes gentle, other times harsh or abrasive.

As the ancient Greeks philosophized that the soul was divine light burdened with a dying and already dead body, consider your "self" to be deeply buried in your body and thus beyond the reach of angry comments and bitter remarks.

If you're angry, postpone the debate to another time.

You may be naturally passionate, have an unpaid and non-buzz agent enthusiasm for a topic, a web usability expert, a music band, a design theory, a garment fashion, a television talent show, a political candidate, a religious belief, a money-making strategy...

...but never engage in blogocombat in any state of extreme emotion.

Take the blogocombat campaign as a joke, as a way of testing the weak spots in your opinion, as an experiment in debate maneuvers.

I may be banned from Blog Business Summit, like I said earlier.

They did an article about the increasing mentions of the word "blogger" in the Wall Street Journal, like it might mean a good thing for the blogosphere. Unfortunately, content analysis provides no understanding of the context or semantics of the word occurances and their tally.

I posted a comment critical of content analysis without semantic hermeneutics, and of the WSJ's understanding of blogs.

Someone posted a subsequent comment praising the Wall Street Journal, calling it THE newspaper for Business America or similar.

Without investigating who posted that comment, I fired off another critique...then realized later that Steve Brobeck is one of the team bloggers of Blog Business Summit. Oooops. Or not oooops? That is the question.

You decide.

I now quote the comment exchanges.



27 Jul 06 | vaspers the grate wrote …

This content analysis is of interest from, as you say, an interest level, a temperature indicating the heat of conversation revolving around the word, and hopefully the practice of, blogging.

Not blog acceptance, however.

That would require a semantic analysis of the content analysis results.

Judging from past articles at WSJ, and the MSM in general, especially newspapers, I’d be very slow to say this is a good thing, all these mentions.

How often is it, “the bloggers are spewing forth their unedited, non-journalistic opinions”—? and such?

27 Jul 06 | Steve Broback wrote …

Right, this can’t be construed as acceptance. It is likely a non-trivial indicator of interest though.

I find the WSJ coverage to be very objective in this regard, very few articles about “bully bloggers” and a LOT of coverage on how influential bloggers are these days.

The numbers speak for themselves. The WSJ is THE daily business paper for North America, and their coverage of this topic is exploding. They write about what they think is of interest to their readers…

28 Jul 06 | vaspers the grate wrote …

they regurgitate and their coverage of blogs has been worse than clueless

28 Jul 06 | vaspers the grate wrote …

P.S. Steve Broback sounds like a paid enthusiast artificial WOM buzz agent.


I had no intention of disrespecting, or picking a fight with the editors or contributors or authors of Blog Business Summit. I visit this blog more than most other blogs I visit. I like it.

But come on. That comment really did sound like commercial spam, orchestrated and paid for by the WSJ.

Did it not?


Teresa Valdez Klein said...

Oh Vaspers, don't be silly! We're not going to ban you for disagreeing with us.

That would be incredibly unbloggy.

steven edward streight said...

Hi Teresa.

Steve Broback said...

Vaspers, you comments are always welcome and eagerly embraced. Please keep them coming.

I would agree that the WSJ's blogging perspective is generally that of an outsider looking in. Sometimes they don't quite get it. But I have seen many articles that I would say would be very helpul to corporate-types who want to understand the medium.

Their coverage of an event we hosted last year was slightly disconnected from what we saw as the core reality, but they do seem to understand that this is an important shift in corporate communications, and I generally appreciate the examples they put forth.

steven edward streight said...

Hi Steve.

carrie said...

i think it is important to consider who the blogger is before you comment!!! otherwise you could end up putting your fut die-wreckly into your mouth

steven edward streight said...

Hi Carrie.

I disagree. I never pay any attention at all to who posted a comment.

I react only to the words that are typed.

If I was more gentle to my friends, or more harsh to people I don't like, that would make me a partial, biased writer.

I try to have no bias.

No special favoritism toward someone's ideas, just because I like them. That leads to very disturbing results, I think.

Step on toes?

I feel that web surfers cannot afford to be super sensitive and hyper-reactive to praise or flames.

I may be better able to deal with the comment of a friend, more tactful, because I know a lot about that person and why they may have said what they said.

But I could never give priority or preference to a statement merely because a friend or ally or family member posted it.

I am more wary of people, I guess. Two of my very best and long term friends have recently posted rather scathing or critical comments about me.

I turned the debates into posts, one is "bad comments on my YouTube videos", which is a satire post, but true nonetheless.

I see flames as little more than jokes or jealousy.

Agreement with my ideas I do not seek. I prefer only additional insights, like your comments tend to be.

Admit it. You only agree with about half of what I say.


carrie said...

you are right. i disagree with many of your ideas! for example i think that you want too many rules and restrictions on blogging and how to blog etcetera. but i still find your ideas interesting whether i agree with them or not.

as a friend, i can also say that i wondered about how your credibility with the business blogging world would be impacted by your videos because some of them are quite "out there" but you are you and you are interesting whether i like what you say or not.

sometimes you make me mad, too. but who doesn't.