In a post yesterday on the Howard County Citizens Association listserv, Mona Brinegar took issue with the HoCo loco blog community. “The problem in our blog community is domination of one-sided arguments and bearing down on open discussion until it is nonexistent.”
Wow! There is a lot to dissect in that seemingly simple statement.
Let’s take the “domination of one-side arguments” first. There is really no barrier of entry to blogging. It costs nothing to start a blog but one’s own time. In HoCo, we have an extraordinary collection of blogs that cover every topic under the sun. If one or two blogs appear to “dominate” it is only because the blogger is a proliferate poster who writes with the reader in mind. Most blogs, this one included, are only as good as what they put up everyday. Dominance can be fickle.
What I really don’t get is the “bearing down on open discussion” cut. If anything, blogs that liberally allow comments, provide a forum for more open discussion of local issues. Blogs and their comments keep an issue alive much longer that a printed article in a paper or a one minute segment in a broadcast. Sure, there are those anonymous commenter’s who go off half cocked with acerbic diatribe but those types of comments only reflect poorly on the commenter, not the discussion.
Perhaps Mona is jealous since her own attempt at loco publishing was short lived. Howard County Issues was published nine times in two years. The last issue was published over a year ago. It’s hard to build an audience with that little frequency, much less achieve anything remotely resembling dominance. It's failure to find an audience could also be attributed to it's underlying message and lack of concern for the reader.