It's always good to start out with a nice visual, right?
Blogging is a tricky thing.
There are lots of blurry lines, which makes it difficult to hold blogging up to the standards of regular media. Would people be telling me I'm personally attacking James Cameron if I blogged about disliking even the idea of watching Avatar? Probably not.
So far, no one has told me I hate Stephenie Meyer, and I've made it pretty clear how I feel about her writing style. (Annoying.)
And remember when I told you I thought Rocket Boys was poorly written? No one told me I was running a hate blog against Homer Hickam.
But saying you don't like a blog is tricky. Especially if the blog is what I like to call an "In-between*" blog.
It's okay to say you don't like a "Subject" blog, (politics, fashion, home decorating, etc.) because it's obvious that it probably isn't the writer you don't like, just the product/message. For instance, it's okay to not like a certain fashion blog, because it's okay not to like leggings as pants. It's the fashion you don't like, not the person inside the leggings pants. For these type of blogs, it's the product, not the person, you don't like.
Then there are "Family" blogs. It is good manners to say only nice things about a family blog, because if the person just wants to post cute pictures for grandma in Florida, you should probably stick to the "if you can't say anything nice" rule. Let grandma enjoy the baby photos, and move on.
But the "In-between" blogs are tricky. They've got the cute baby photos: say something nice!
But they've also got the politics, the religion, the opinions.... the product that they are producing for mass consumption. They've also got the friends. The real life and online friends that would do anything to stand up for the person. And sometimes the product. I would know. I write an "In-between" blog.
It's easy to confuse disagreeing and hating. It's easy to see disagreeing, or even, gulp, being annoyed with an "In-between" blog as a personal attack. Because, well, "In-between" blogs seem so personal. It is the cute kid photos. Darn kids.
Is it still possible to like (or, at least not dislike*) the person, but not the "product" of an "In-between" blog?
Is it okay to disagree, sometimes strongly, with a message/writing style/content of a blog without being labeled a "hater?"
I hope so.
Because otherwise I owe James Cameron, Stephenie Meyer, Bella Swan, Homer Hickam, and......someone else........... a big fat apology. Which will be awkward, because I've never met any of those people in real life.
*In-between? Inbetween? In between? One of the many subjects not covered on this blog is grammar. And also spelling. If you don't like this product, please feel free to return and exchange it for another.