I have been considering this week what makes me a loyal follower of some local blogs, while with others I remain a casual visitor. We have quite the choice in Howard County: some are witty, some informative,some challenging, some acerbic, some downright depressing. Some appear to be thinly disguised commercial ventures.
The blogs that draw me, again and again, are ones whose writers appear to be following this simple process: learn more, think more. And then, they write.
Perhaps this is the blogger's equivalent of "measure twice, cut once." Willingness to learn more, and to really think about what is learned gives the blogger the ability to grow and change over time. This doesn't guarantee that the blogger will necessarily always reach the correct conclusions, or that the blogger is then a "better person" than other bloggers, or even that I will agree with the resulting posts. It means that Jane/John Q. Blogger acknowledges that she/he is not the Center of the Universe.
When the writer's goal is to be to be the Center of the Universe, then the blog commits to Being Right, all others be damned. And some readers want this. They want a place where their point of view is mirrored, their opponents skewered and ridiculed. And that will work for them--until, by chance, their opinions change, and the blog no longer "fits" them.
One of my favorite family stories is about an event which occurred when I was too young to really remember. My sisters were helping my parents take apart the old swing set, to prepare for the arrival of a new one. Each piece had to be removed before the frame was taken down. And so my sister Barb climbed up on the glider and began to unscrew it. She wanted to do it herself, so she didn't listen to warnings from onlookers.
( I'll allow you to figure this out on your own.)
Though it is far too late for her to benefit from this point of view, I think my sister needed to learn more and think more. In this same way, a blogger who is determined to "take down" the opposition may lack the vision to see the big fall that awaits inflexibility and narrow mindedness.
And so I give a big thank-you those Hocobloggers who allow learning, thought, change, and varying points of view. Your posts, the discussions which follow them, and our community are the better for your efforts.