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A Matter Of Opinion

Self-referential blog post

This is a blog post about blogging. I received a copy of a Time Magazine column by self-titled nerd Lev Grossman in my mailbox. Dunno who put it there (was it you, boss?) but I found it very interesting and pertinent to what we do here.

An excerpt:

Web publishers have begun to offer commenting on everything -- posts, videos, pictures, whatever -- like it was a kind of interactive condiment. ... In theory, it's a great thing. We're giving the people a voice! But the reality is that commenting either attracts loathsome people or somehow causes ordinary people to express themselves in a way that is loathsome.

I have especially noticed the latter problem in my experience handling letters to the editor. Some of the nicest people I talk with on the phone or in person can be very nasty in print. And that effect is compounded when, unlike with S-R letters, writers are permitted to post anonymously.

But perhaps what some call "nasty," others would shrug off. Grossman says, "Maybe commenters are just on one side of a cultural disconnect between two incompatible ideas of what the social conventions of the Internet should be."

Here's your chance to comment on comments. It would be especially nice to hear from those who may read but don't (often) comment. Do comments make the posts more interesting or turn you off?

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A Matter of Opinion is really a matter of three opinions – those held by the people responsible for the opinion pages of The Spokesman-Review. Check in regularly to find out what they’re up to, what they think and where they differ and to joust with them if you want.