Sunday, July 15, 2007

TRUTH OR POPULARITY? THE BLOGGING CONUNDRUM.

"The truth can be very inconvenient!"


Recently a commenter on this blog made the criticism that, too often for that person's liking, I was "Picking at a scab." The person went on to suggest that each time I raised questions about a certain issue (in this case very indirectly) that the person boycotted my blog for months. So be it! At least that person was honest and should be applauded for that.

I've had a few other people doing the same thing to me although they lacked the courage to say what was upsetting them or why. Others have completely disappeared off my radar without a word of explanation despite the fact that I had fully supported their blogs for quite a long time.

It's a difficult issue for all blog authors: whether to avoid contentious issues, adopt trendy attitudes and go all out for popularity; or to stick out your chin and, inconveniently for some, tell the truth (at least as you see it).

The problem for me is that I question everything: family issues, social issues, political issues, moral issues, religious issues, educational issues, media issues, academic issues, economic issues, national issues, international issues, you name it! Surely that is my right.

The other problem is that I do not belong to any particular group and I have no agenda other than, in my small way, trying to make the world a better place (God knows, it needs it)! That means I have no natural base, no ready made groups of supporters. Most of the time I stand alone except for some wonderful free thinkers (spread among my Links) who also question everything and who visit my blog frequently as I do theirs.

Do I have all the answers? No, I do not have all the answers or even any answers. But know this: I will continue to raise what I think are important questions and I will not bow to pressure from anyone be it direct or indirect.

That said, perhaps 'Popularity' and 'Truth' are mutually exclusive!

What do you think?

21 comments:

Gadfly said...

To hell with popularity! Go for the truth. And question, question, question all the time. Don't accept the status quo and don't accept conventional wisdom. The Old Woman said that some years back science proved that a bumblebee couldn't fly but the bee disn't know that and just kept on flying, doing its thing. So conventional wisdom has to be questioned because sometimes it isn't correct. You go, Daniel, and devil take the hindmost. To your own self be true whether other people like it or not. And write for yourself, what urges you, not what other people want to hear.

Daniel said...

Hey, gadfly, welcome! I am encouraged by your words and your visit. I fear that truth is a scarce commodity in this world!

ninglun said...

I don't think it is necessarily a case of popularity or truth as mutually exclusive things. Sure, the second is more important than the first, but bloggers probably need to ask themselves whether their aim is to persuade, or at least to encourage readers to consider the point the blogger may be making. Any writing is an interaction between writer, topic, and reader in a context of situation and purpose. Good writing takes all of these into account, as I am sure you already know. But not to care about what Mr/Mrs/Ms Unknown out there may make of what we say is just a bit unrealistic.

I am not saying to compromise the message. I am saying that a strong sense of audience is a plus.

In the end, we all prefer if people take notice of what we say, after all, especially in an activity like blogging, which I see -- and I think you do to -- as being a conversation: a conversation that is going on, I should add, whether or not people are actually making comments.

I know the comment and the blogger with whom you begin, and I see you have been there recently too. He's coming along rather well in the art of conversation, isn't he, but without sacrificing his obviously strong views on some very thorny issues.

We're all learners in this, no matter what our age or past experience. That's my feeling anyway.

vjack said...

It all depends on why you are blogging. I pick truth over popularity because I blog primarily for myself. But I can't say you should do the same without knowing more about your motives for blogging.

If you want to increase your traffic, attract more regular readers, etc., you'll find thousands of good posts about these topics all over the Internet. And yet, not enough of them address this question you are asking.

I wouldn't worry about losing some readers. You'll find new ones. The freethought blogosphere is expanding so rapidly that there is bound to be fallout. As so many new blogs emerge, it forces folks to be more selective about which ones they regularly visit.

Kvatch said...

Truth and popularity mutually exclusive? Almost seems a tautology that is proven by the existence of Faux News.

That said, I go for popularity every time. The curse of having only 10 brain cells and no long-term memory. ;-)

Lucyp said...

Truth should always be written, Popularity should be way down anyone lists of priorities if it means modifying their views in any way.
We all have opinions and we are free to state them regardless of how well or not they are received.

mary walsh said...

I don't see the use of the internet as a "feedback" forum so much as creating a thought process that makes people think.

Many people will not write anything on a blog site they visit and that shouldn't really matter to you Daniel. What is important is that your message is out there.

Have more faith in yourself! You're doing fine! There is just so much to read and so many forums and interests that people have to make choices. You're Mine!

Daniel said...

Ninglun, your view, as always, is carefully considered. The saying that 'you can't please everyone all the time' springs to mind.

Vjack, I blog because I want to contribute to the world I live in and make what I hope is a positive difference. Honesty is often a two-edged sword but what the hell! Thanks for calling!

Kvatch, your humour is always welcome!

Lucy, it's so nice to hear from you again!

Mary, what would I do without your unswerving support? Of the many positive traits that humans can have I probably value loyalty most!

Granny said...

It's your blog. Those who don't like it can seek out something else. Heaven knows there are enough to choose from.

That's what that little X at the top right of the screen is for.

Oh and truth trumps popularity although I don't see why we can't have both.

Daniel said...

Hey, Granny, your wisdom is always appreciated.

Renegade Eye said...

You might lose commenters for reasons having little to do with beliefs. You have to visit others blogs in return,

I link to anyone who supports my blog. To make sure I visit the blogs I'm linked to, I do something as day 1 visit blogs starting with A.

I have an actual troll, trying to destroy my blog.

I linked to this blog.

Daniel said...

Renegade, thanks for dropping by. I've added your link to mine as well.

Desert Peace said...

Daniel... I have to agree both with Granny and Renegade...
Say what's on your mind, in your heart. If I wrote to 'please people' I'd be writing about gardening or fishing rather than the genocide of the Palestinians at the hands of the Israelis.
I speak the truth on my blog, it's not there for entertainment purposes.
If people don't like my views, they are free to X out, as Granny suggests.
Renegade's point is good... we must establish our own private network of blogs and visit them regularly and participate regularly.
As for this blog, I obviously like it... I keep coming back :)

Coffee Messiah said...

Popularity? What's that?

If that were the case, we'd all have crazy nude photographs on our blogs.

From what I've seen, most people who write from the heart, don't!

Cheers! ; )

Daniel said...

Coffee, crazy nude photos, eh? Now there's an idea!

Desert Peace, thanks for calling by. Since my recent attempt to close down my blog (which, unexpectedly, backfired badly on me), I feel much more comfortable and relaxed.

Numbers of hits or comments are no longer an issue for me. It's the quality that counts plus the feeling that I'm doing something worthwhile!

Cheers.

betmo said...

um- yeah :) have you read my blog? daniel, telling the truth is never very popular but it is necessary. i wouldn't begin to know who i have pissed off and who doesn't come around anymore. i only know of a couple who have asked that i take them off of the blogroll and never go to their sites again. i really think it depends on your motivation for blogging. if you want lots of readers, preach to the choir and write well. if you are here to share and tell the truth, you will have a more loyal following but probably smaller. besides, odds are, more folks actually read your blog than comment.

i try to err on the side of blogging as if i was blogging for one person- me. :)

Daniel said...

Yes, I have read your blog, Betmo and admire your stand against those who would dilute your message. You have my full support!

The old saying that the truth hurts is relevant!

The ghost of yesterdays dinner said...

Daniel
Do you still support Islamic suicide bombing?
That surely would be a good reason to stay away from your blog

Daniel said...

As I've always done, I support the right of any occupied or oppressed people to fight back using any means at their disposal, ghost.

If that means you'll stay away, haunt someone else, I'll manage to live with the disappointment!

Cheers!

marcelproust said...

What is truth? said jesting Pilate, and would not stay for an answer. [emphasis added]

Anyway, I'm still here, Daniel. If I stayed away, it was as much because I didn't want to offend you by the answers I might be provoked to as it might have been because I was afraid of being offended by any unwelcome truths in your blog.

Daniel said...

I am well pleased that you are here, Marcel. The depth of your character is evident.

Most humans are afraid of the truth (including myself on occasion).

Cheers.

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