Morally Crude Blogging?

John Hobbins thinks Jim West’s blogging style is “morally crude.” I confess that I find Jim West’s style mildly annoying, such that I don’t usually bother to read the most popular and prolific biblioblogger except on rare occasions, but he does hit the nail on the head at times.

I read somewhere that there are two types of bloggers-the linkers and the writers. Jim West tends to be a linker, with brief comments. Brief comments do tend to miss the nuances. John Hobbins and I are both in the writer category–we write longer posts on average (and John writes in a much more scholarly way than I do). We’re both less popular in the blogosphere by such measures as are available.

What do you think? Is the style morally crude? Is it perhaps some specific opinions, and not the approach to blogging? (Note that I do find the thread John linked offensive, but I’m used to skipping through things that offend me in the blogosphere.)

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  1. I sort of like what Gary Simmons says in a comment after John Hobbins’s post (which is what John might have done over at Jim’s blog instead of posting his three paragraph post):

    You give this all of three paragraphs, and it seems your focus is more to call attention to what you believe blogging should and should not be about, and you provide a negative example and your intent to be(come) a positive example.

    Jim West, in a different follow-up comment, misses this point completely. Or does he?

    …. in fact, i welcome your disdain. i’m not at all troubled by it nor do i intend to change my methodology to suit the views of others…. how could or would you know how horrible i am if it weren’t for the fact that you visit?

    John replies to Jim, it seems, to try to rob Jim of his welcomed joy, his dare that John disdain him further:

    Rest assured, Jim, I do not visit your blog.

    It all reminds me of something that too often takes place at school recess among the bullies:

    “He’s a bad, bad boy for saying all those bad things. And I’m a good boy because I try to make the playground nice and never say anything bad, unless they deserve it.”

    “Oh, yeah, well, I don’t care. And you’re a hypocrite.”

    “Nuh huh. I don’t care that you don’t care. I never read what you say. I’m not even reading your comment now. She told me you’re bad, and I’m just making sure she gets heard. I don’t really care what you say. Sticks and stones, but you’re hurting her and Zwingli too. Step over the line again, and just you watch out. I never never say anything bad about anybody, unless they deserve it. I am better than you are. See how much better the playground is now?”

    1. I see your point, I think. Yet I don’t see much problem with pointing out a blog post that one finds offensive.

      I guess my playground taunt would have to be: “So there! I only read your blog when I find it really interesting!”


  2. One other thing I noticed is that I’ve had two comments in the last hour or so on this post, and I normally get about that many in a week. There’s probably some meaning in that, other than that I don’t have that many readers … but I’m not sure what it is.

    1. Well, I’ll confess I read John’s blog but not Jim’s. And although readers can decide whether I was, as a blogger, as “bad” as Jim, John has picked on me. (He’s written an entire post to correct my blogging. Anyone who googles my name finds it in the title of his post. And, recently, he’s written a comment at one of his posts – to someone who doesn’t even know me and whom I don’t know – to say how much of a step backwards my approach is in John’s view; there he also linked to my blog. When a mutual friend emailed us both privately, asking John Why, then he was quite defensive and went on to offend further, if privately. To our friend, he insisted that he can write anything he wants to about me at his blog, that I need to follow his comments threads to keep up with what he writes about me – if I want to know how to defend myself against his negative comments).

      So, generally I agree with you, Henry, that there’s not “much problem with pointing out a blog post that one finds offensive.” But I do feel there can be bullying in the name of “pointing out” the “offensive.” That’s why you got me over here today in particular. BTW, as I’ve told you before, I do read your blog if I don’t comment enough here.

      1. I do get your point here, and I’m sure I’ve been a little over-nasty from time to time about someone’s post that I didn’t really like. There’s a balance here between ignoring things we believe are wrong and blasting people unfairly.

        There is also, however, room for a bit of a sense of humor about our blogging. I think I often sound pompous on the blog when I was grinning as I wrote. It’s worth trying to get that humor through …

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