Sunday, February 10, 2008

Is a Blog a Virtual Living Room?

Or is it more like a Virtual Garage Sale?

If I have you over for a visit and you volunteer an opinion on my ugly couch, that's rude. But if I put that couch out in my garage sale and you stop by and comment in passing that it's the ugliest couch you've seen that day, is that just as rude?

Or, if I'm an artist and I put my work up in a gallery exhibit and you come to my opening, are you forbidden to say anything critical about my works?

I think a blog is more like a gallery exhibit than a virtual living room, at least for those of us who make stuff and show it to the world.

This all in response to the questions put forth on a famous blog and a less-famous blog recently.

My 2 cents. Unless you want to make your blog private and open your comments only to your nearest and dearest, you gotta be prepared to hear a few things you might not like. A private blog is more like having a party in your living room. A public one is not.

Now, if someone's being drunk and disorderly at the gallery opening, I might have security see them to the door. That's called moderating comments or banning someone. But I'd be hard pressed to ban someone for not liking my knitting.

15 comments:

Sarah said...

I am so loving all this hoopla!
:)

I think calling it a gallery opening is right on target. And I have been to a few where the art was so not my style and heard plenty of comments I might lock myself in the bathroom and cry if I were the artist. But knitting is art and it's never going to suit everyone. Put it out front and center and if it's not someone's cup of tea they ought to feel comfortable enough to speak up.

Please stop me in my tracks if I am knitting something so ugly it hurts.

gale (she shoots sheep shots) said...

Well put!

The Bon said...

Very well put indeed!

Emily said...

I am so out of the loop I have missed the hoopla, but I can guess what its about in general if not in specific. I think its too bad if people want to say negative things, but just like in life there's not much you can do about it. I can be pretty sensitive myself about certain topics clearly but I would close comments if I really couldnt handle it! If you post a pic and ask for opinions you should expect to get them.... right?

Terby said...

Ah, the tempests in teacups.

I think I have enough of an opinion on this that I'm going to comment on my own blog.

Emily said...

Just read some of the hoopla. Tempests in teapots indeed. It seems like maybe these people arent super aware how much nicer commenters on knitting blogs are than commenters everywhere else on the web... stuff like Go Fug Yourself obviously, but it gets way worse. Someone linked to this article that I thought was really interesting and depressing:
http://www.advocate.com/issue_story_ektid51690.asp
Clearly, this is barely even a tempest in comparison.
OK, end rant....

Emilee said...

It certainly is a tempest in a teapot. 99.9% of the comments are fawning, it's not surprising at all that a bit of mild criticism would seep in. That being said, I don't know why anyone would bother leaving a negative comment on a knitting blog. If I don't like something I click the little X in the corner, I don't take the time describing why I don't like it.

GURO said...

Finally, someone found the right words for me; gallery opening. That's exactly it. We show off our knitted art. If someone starts to express their mind a lot on other topics (politics, religion etc.) on their blog in ways I don't care for I generally don't comment on that and in some cases stop visiting. I may be a chicken, but I'm a well behaved chicken.

Bezzie said...

I kinda just want to actually see a tempest in a teapot. I'm not sure I've even seen a tempest.

Gallery opening is good. Esp. when showing off artsy-fartsy socks.

LizzieK8 said...

I don't think there was any denying that the rude individuals had the right to say what they said. The question at hand was, why bother to be rude? What necessitates someone to not follow the adage, "If you can't say anything nice, don't say it all"?

In the old days, (of which I grew up in) one didn't make a rude comment. It was bad manners.

Yes, if someone says, "Do you like my hat?" they are opening themselves up for negative comments. It takes a bigger person to say, "How you!" instead of "That is one fugly hat!

Carol said...

You make an excellent and rational point!

Anonymous said...

Problogger wrote something interesting about debate and disagreement on a blog. He thinks is fosters more readership.

http://www.problogger.net/archives/2008/02/13/4-reasons-you-should-encourage-foster-and-harness-dissent-on-your-blog/

Poops said...

Hoopla! Hoopla!

(I'm having a Spongebob moment.)

That's as intellectual as I can get today.

I like you way more than the Harlot. You knit prettier things. And you're much more cleverer.

So there.

*poops sticks out tongue and runs away*

YarnThrower said...

The whole Yarn Harlot thing reminded me so much of the story called "The Emperor's New Clothes". A swindler made new clothes for the emperor, and claimed that only smart people could see them. So everybody pretended to see them, though of course nobody could actually see the clothes (because they didn't exist), and nobody stepped up and said, "Hey, the emperor isn't wearing anything at all." People just stated the party line, because it was what they thought the emperor wanted to hear, and to make themselves look "smart". Anyway, I imagine that the "errant" commenters were rewarded with heavy traffic to their blogs that day...

Kathy Kathy Kathy said...

I have to take the opposite tack in order to ensure positive comments. Namely that I DON'T promote my blog to my nearest and dearest. I'm really not prepared to hear a few things I might not like. Stroke my ego, please.