Sunday, September 28, 2008

A worrying issue and a disturbing trend...

I never thought that I would ever write a post like this...ever. I feel bad about writing this, but then blogs are your vent right? So I will vent about something that has been bothering me for some time now.

When I started blogging in 2005 there were very few bloggers. Most of us minded our business and did what bloggers normally do, and that is use our blogs to write about our little problems, poke fun at managers and just about anything that we needed to speak out about. Comments were rare and none of us were bothered about comments. The comments you see at my earliest posts are recent comments. Then came 2006 and everybody and their neighbors were blogging. Some new bloggers attracted by popular blogs entered blogging to make it big. They missed the point that their blogs was not for others but for them. And the aspiring writers amongst them did not realize that, typing a few words in a blog template does not make you a writer. Popular is what popular decides. The word popular is derived from the word “people”. Period!

Amidst the sea of bloggers is an ocean of non bloggers. They read what they like. They have a mind of their own. And aspiring writers had better be aware of this. So my advice to aspiring bloggers and newbies is chill and use your space for speaking out if it helps you, like it does to me. There is nothing you can do to attract readers. They will come if your writing appeals to them!

However more than writing, there is something more important. And that is respect for fellow bloggers and an understanding of blogs. Blogs are perhaps the only space where you can shed your hypocritical social and political correctness and BE YOURSELF. None of us are perfect. We all our pet peeves, biases, prejudices, viewpoints etc. and blogs are an excellent vent for these. Moreover you connect with people going through similar experiences and get to either give or get advice or support whatever the case may be.

Now I have had more then anyone’s share of anonymous comments. Some good, most stupid. But they were anonymous and frankly a comment without an identity doesn’t matter and I have shrugged it off. There were some instances when people took pot shot at my comments at other blogs, but again in very agreeable language. But off late I am noticing many bloggers, specially (a) newbies (b) once dormant and now active (c) dormant and only commenting kind of bloggers taking on the mantle of policing the blogosphere, chiding bloggers for airing their viewpoints, attacking commenter’s virulently for their viewpoints and going around telling bloggers how good bad or downright stupid the quality of their writing is!

These are vermin’s of blogosphere and are a danger to a community that has coexisted peacefully even though they express very personal views in their blogs. The very nature of blogs requires complete respect for a bloggers blog and his right to expressing his/her views or the purpose of blogging is defeated. If you do not like a post, ignore it. If you want to disagree, do it in an agreeable way. If you think a writer is dissing India and you don’t agree, you can always say that you respect his/her views and that you had better experiences! There is no need to get personal and judge the blog and commenters as negative or complaining or anything else! Or you could blog about your optimism for India in your own blog! That is what it is about…to voice “your” views!!! (Please note India is used as an example only) Stop trying to change the bloggers mind!!

And for the critics of bloggers writing skills or English or topics I have only this to say. Just because we express ourselves in the English alphabet and “write” our viewpoints instead of saying it, doesn’t mean that we think of ourselves as Shakespeare’s or Arundhati Roys. So stop going around dissing bloggers writing skills. Would you tell a blogger bemoaning a loss in his blog that his English is pathetic and he should just shut up? Hope you get the point here.

This culture of intolerance is worrying me. I can hold my own against it. But there are many who can’t. Unlike these morons I cannot go around telling these people to ignore the morons and carry on blogging. So I am writing this post, hoping that at least one person on the verge of closing his/her blog because of the above mentioned people, will read and retract their decision.

Ever wondered whats with Chennai auto drivers? The answer is right here!