Does Blogging Help or Hinder Online Debate?
September 11, 2012 3 Comments
Time was when the scholar, the preacher and the politician sat down and wrote a book, or at least a pamphlet or article, and sent it out into the world as an invitation to engage in debate. Today there are many other ways of reaching people and interacting with them. It is a long time since Wired predicted the death of blogging, but it still seems to me to have a lot of life left in it. For some, the blog has become a substitute, if not for the book, then certainly for the pamphlet — they write write long and detailed posts, sustaining an argument over many pages. Usually, they attract similarly weighty comments from their readers. Others aim at a more popular treatment, and very often their comment columns are all but taken over by people who seem to think debate consists in trading insults. More than one person has been put off blogging by the sheer nastiness of personal attacks and abuse, which has impoverished the blogosphere and online debate generally. So, perhaps the jury is out on whether blogging helps or hinders online debate. It provides an opportunity for debate, but we don’t always make the most of it. Partly, I suspect, that comes from the different expectations we bring to it…
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HT: eChurch Blog