Department of Shameless Self-Promotion: I was surprised and humbled to find myself mentioned in two other blogs this morning.
Michael Leach, publisher emeritus of Orbis Books, tossed me onto a list of his favorite Catholic blogs (I’m breathing some rarefied air — check out the company I keep!). Thanks, Mike!
And my neighbor down the blog, er, block, Max Lindenman, has some thoughts this morning on blogging and comments:
In the end, the relationship between blogger and readers, though intimate to an unprecedented degree, cannot be a relationship of equals. A blog is not a corporation or a limited partnership; it has a sole owner and proprietor, and that person deserves the exclusive right to make decisions. He’s earned it by doing the most important work. Filling a combox with thousands of words of commentary takes skill and intelligence, to be sure. But choosing and framing topics so as to incite that kind of verbal effusion takes skill and intelligence, plus a special kind of informed discretion. Add the fact that the blogger is posting under his own name, usually with his own photograph, and has scattered more than a few key biographical details to the winds, and it becomes clear that blogging also takes a certain amount of guts.
Now here comes the part that’s unfair to readers: this sole owner, proprietor, content-generator and decision-maker is also human. That means he has a limited threshold for badgering. Anyone truly determined to fracture his peace of mind or puncture his ego stands a fair chance of doing either. But that could turn out to be a pyrrhic victory. Readers and their right to express themselves deserve a high priority, but the blogger must assign his own autonomy the very highest priority. Push a blogger to the point where something’s got to give, and that thing could be you.
A few weeks ago, I was talking this over with a woman who blogs on Patheo’s pagan forum. She told me, “My blog is my house. I’ll give the bum’s rush to anyone I think deserves it,“ adding that this is a characteristically pagan way of seeing things. Vas heil, and pass the hammer, thinks I. Right away, I squashed a couple of troublemakers, and have eighty-sixed one or two a week ever since. In case anyone’s curious, my traffic has been improving steadily.
Greg’s solution, I think, is much more charitable, and yes, more Christian. Whereas I rely on my intuition to spot an incorrigible turd, he calls everyone to conversion. It’s the best deal in town, folks. I wouldn’t hold out for anything better.
Thanks, bro. Check out what else Max has to say. HE is the best deal in town, folks. Really.
Meantime, a tip of the hat and warm diaconal bow to a good FOB (Friend of the Bench), Fr. Austin Fleming, a.k.a. A Concord Pastor. ACP is celebrating four years of blogging today. Ad multos annos! If you haven’t visited, stop by and see what you’ve been missing. ACP remains one of the most thoughtful — and often, most beautiful, visually and spiritually — corners of the blogosphere.