Richard Brownell is calling out John Dvorak on … well a lot of things, but one that drew the particular interest of Robert Scoble was that Dvorak moderates (By moderate, I mean delete posted comments or moderating comments to prohibit posting.) comments on his blog posts. Scoble goes on to surmise that with the new “cool site” coComment, you could “out” the bloggers that delete comments because coComment caches everything independently from the site. Other than declaring yourself a complete lunatic by researching your past comments to see if any were deleted, I don’t see any other reason to “out” anyone for deleting comments. More than likely, they know they deleted or moderated a comment, and most importantly, its their blog and they can do whatever they want. Anyone that wants to “out” someone or berate them about how they run their blog, is wrong.
Many of the top bloggers are on crusade to make everyone know that blogging can be just as effective as Mainstream Media. They champion the idea that blogs are in fact under the constantly growing media umbrella and because of that assertation they acquired the mind set that all blogs must go about their business as a Mainstream Media publication. However, those assertations are completely wrong. There are many blogs out there that have risen above the crowd and placed themselves right up there with major news and discussion sources in our modern world. We all know them, and they have a name: “A-List Bloggers” Those blogs and their writers, have managed to separate themselves from the glut of other sites out there and because of that have gained some level of public trust. Whether or not they actually deserve it is not the issue. Some sites have adopted that trust and have taken on the characteristics of mainstream media: Reporting the facts, Doing the required research, or in the case of those that have comments: Not stifling any of the voices of their readership. This is great, and I people have clearly responded to those sites. The problem is that those readers, and in particular, those writers have decided that those added responsibilities should apply to ALL blogs. That is where I draw the line. Let me state this very clearly:
Blogs, by definition, can never be treated as a major news source, nor should they ever be, and their authors should never be held to the standards, or garner the protections, of a mainstream media author.
This is not to say that no blog can ever be treated as a reputable source for news and no blog author can be considered a “reporter,” but just because someone started a blog does not mean that they are obligated to be forthright, research all the facts, and never delete anyone comments. Its their blog, they pay for hosting, and can, quite frankly, can do and write whatever they please. If they wish to take on the added responsibility of research, reporting both sides, never deleting comments (or allowing them in the first place) then that is their choice, and I think most would thank them for taking the extra time and putting in the extra effort, but no one should berate or question those that do not wish to hold themselves to those standards. They can do whatever they want, you don’t have to read them.
To Robert Scoble, to Richard Brownell, and to anyone else that agrees with them: We appreciate that you go the extra mile for your work on your blog, like many of us do, but stop dictating what others should do on their blogs and lets not think of McCarthian ways to “out” people for the way they operate their own blogs. However, if you want to talk about it, feel free to leave a comment here (I won’t delete it), link to this in your rebuttal, or send me an email. All comments and thoughts are, of course and like always, welcome.
Note: In case you were wondering, I don’t delete comments and I try my best to reply to any that question any aspect of this site. But we do reserve the right to stop comments on a particular article if the conversation is going nowhere or has little or no connection with the topic at hand. For proof of all of the above see the endless comments on this little peice I wrote a while back