Flamewars in the Blogosphere

I don’t want to be the guy that shines a spotlight on the many varied and obscene warts that exist in the blogosphere. Far be it from me to hold myself up as an example of exemplary behavior. However, there is a disturbing trend in the world of blogs these days and it really needs to stop.

godwinslaw.pngFlamewars are nothing new on the internet. They date back to the early usenet days, where some smart dude figured out a key scientific law known as Godwin’s Law. Godwin’s Law states, in essence, that as a discussion online is prolonged over time, the probability of a comparison involving Hitler increases.

Eventually, usenet gave way to forums and forums gave way to blogs and blogs gave way to social networks.

The scientific law seems to have been preserved as a core guiding principle of internet interaction. Unlike the super smart Jason Calacanis, I don’t believe it’s all that healthy for the blogoshpere.

Well, it might be. It all depends on how the disagreements are aired. Healthy dialogue out of a mutual respect combined with lethal verbal barbs are fine, and in many cases serve to make the world a better place. However, going personal – in life, in politics, on the web – is almost always uncalled for.

Take for instance the recent hidden “cold war” between two influential technology bloggers, both supposedly friends. One does small business with a competitor and now they don’t talk to each other. Apparently. Silly pettiness.

What about the mommy blogger kerfuffle where one supposedly A-list blogger got petty with a longtail blogger over who did what when and where and why? Something to the effect of, “I did this first and you’re a lying thieving bitch”. Mmmmmm…. Female cat fights. Can I get mud with that?

Public relations and bloggers is another catch topic we like to talk about, and have. Bloggers want to own the medium and force PR to cooperate. PR wants to use longevity as a bludgeon tool to get bloggers to fit their paradigm. Stupidity.

And don’t even get me started on politics. Left vs. Right. McCain vs. Obama. He said this, no I didn’t. It all boils down to frivolity.

When is it all going to end? When are we going to realize that people are people and every person should command the respect of others, regardless of sides, positioning or dialogues.

This is a commentary piece for The District of Corruption show to be aired live on July 1, 2008 at 4pm EDT. The archive can be heard here.