Thursday, February 16, 2006

Padgitt and good thoughts on the dangers of blogs

This is from the head of Doug Pagitt on January 11, 2006-

Blog Announcement by Pagitt

"After three years of keeping a blog and reading many I have come to a conclusion: In my experience personal Blogs are useful for allowing people to stay in touch and know what people are up to, but are not a suitable place for the exchange of ideas - ultimately they do more harm than good - in my opinion at least.

Blogs allow people to draw assumptions, and jump to conclusions (then link to them or comment on them without interaction or correction) that would not take place in casual conversation nor would be tolerated in other settings. People would never be able to "sound bite" one another and draw conclusions in a vacuum and then go on and on about them on their own blogs.

I think that blogs are adding to a culture of misunderstanding. Too many times, it seems to me, that the way people read blogs and respond to them is like listening to one end of a phone conversation and then having the person set down the phone and begin to comment on what the person on the other end is saying with the other phone partner no longer being part of the conversation.

I have decided to stop using this blog for the sharing of ideas, it will remain a place of personal updates.
I am toying with the idea of creating a passworded blog for the exchange of ideas with people who will behave in ways that are acceptable in other situations, but I am not sure about that yet. I might move to audio or video casts in the hope that most of the people who use this technology so poorly will either be too lazy to listen to the whole thing, or will have to pay more attention than they currently need to.

I am a big fan of the posture and technology that allows for all views to be shared and easily interconnected, but I am convinced that in the circles I run in the use of blogs to share ideas and thoughts for the world to pick apart, misunderstand and use for their own benefit does not lead to a better world of deeper understanding. It is a negative force in the process of creating more open and interesting dialog. Maybe after some time passes we will all learn to use this technology in ways that increase understanding and companionship.

So, unless I change my mind, and please do not attempt to change it for me, you need not return here for thoughts, but you are welcome to keep up on the life and happenings of the Pagitts.

Please know that is not in response to any one particular post but is a decision I have been contemplating for some time."


Tim said...

That is a fascinating article - and the temptation to take something out of context and share it with others is strong :)

I certainly see where he is coming from. I do think that if you really crave serious feedback and thought about issues that you should do it with friends (and enemies) that will be intellectually honest and put the energy into the conversation that's needed.

I think also that Doug Paggit is in a lightning rod position - he is going to have more and more people taking him out of context and such - as opposed to an average joe sharing ideas.

Personally, I like blogs for more than keeping in touch. Writing a blog forces me to think through some things more logically. I also get some interesting feedback here and there.

Right now I'm not expecting or hoping for incredible thoughts - just enjoying my own diary and the interaction of some friends.

Matt - you rock!!!

Mike Exum said...

It seems ironic to make such a post. I do not share this view of blogging (not that I could never be pursuaded), but I have pondered the whole cultural phenomenon in several different lights. This one is a new one for me.

Many blessings....