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Goldilocks in the Blogosphere

Recently a commenter mentioned that they're new to this blog. Suddenly I thought, "Dear me. The poor devil!" Perhaps this blog needs what some blogs have: an introductory paragraph that allows the reader to quickly know if they're barking up the wrong tree. Won't the poor devil be offended if they are female, environmentalist, neocon Republican, academic, a danged liberal (especially Left Coast), motor-crazed, suburbanite, New Ager, shopaholic, global Warmist, RV potlucker, TV watcher, Bible banger, etc. That's getting to be a pretty big segment of the population. Who's left!

What if an introductory blurb scared away people who disagree with the blogger, who in turn actually enjoys disagreement? Over the years I've generally made friends with people who think I'm 90% full of crap. There's a big difference between 90% and 100%. And the 10% that they consider tolerable encourages them to try to redeem me, which is charmingly futile. On the other end of the spectrum, most people don't enjoy discussing things with someone that they're in 100% agreement with. You might as well play tennis with someone who won't return your serves.

Some people solve the problem of offending readers by avoiding controversies. What does that leave to discuss? The weather, small practical details, pretty scenery, harmless generalities, Hallmark card platitudes. Should a blogger come out with both guns blazing or practice neutrality? 

One way out of this conundrum is to imitate success. One of American television's longest-running success stories is The Simpsons. It is relatively controversial as TV shows go, and even seems to thrive on it. Once I read a conservative pundit admit to liking The Simpsons, even though his side was the butt of the jokes 2/3 of the time. Compared to the media and the entertainment industry as a whole, he thought 2/3 was a great number. Perhaps people are good sports about being on the losing end of the wise cracks if they see the show turn right around and roast the other side a reasonable fraction of the time. 

Essentially there are two models for a blog, which are analogous to climate. London or Seattle tend to have temperatures that don't swing much, from day to night, or from summer to winter. New Mexico freezes you most nights of the year, becomes comfortable for about 15 minutes (one hour after sunrise), and then bakes you for the rest of the day. Only its statistical average is comfortable.


Anonymous said…
There's no right way or wrong way to organize a blog.
You make me laugh when you list "females" as one group that might be referred to us once as the "female race" as I recall. That's actually somewhat refreshing since we all really know that each gender is always complaining about the other, telling jokes, etc. Yet we somehow are supposed to be politically correct and if you chose not to be you might as well paint a target on yourself.
So just go right on telling it your way but just remember this........just as you know that the efforts of your friends who try to redeem you are but "charmingly futile", so are your efforts essentially futile as well when you go off about whatever it is that is your current complaint.
Indeed, Anonymous, fair is fair, so I won't expect to convert my readers to the Way of Truth.