happy woodland creatures, and also kittens.

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.


The Boob Nazi said...

I HATE AVATAR. I am so happy it didn't win all the categories.
And I understand that you don't hate a certain person but dislike what she said. UGH.

Miranda said...

I definitely have an "in between" blog too. I offend many people, and often, but hey, they don't like they can stop reading.

I'm very wary of the "sunshine and rainbows coming out of my butt all the freakin' time" blogs. No one's life is that perfect.

TheOneTrueSue said...

I love my sister-in-law but her blog is twelve kinds of Seriously So Blessed annoying, and so I don't/can't/won't read it because it makes my blood pressure border-line Death Star.

I definitely think you can dislike a blog without being called a "hater."

And for the record, I think it's also o.k. not to like a particular blogger on a personal level based on what they've written - not everyone will click with everyone else. But just like in real life, I can dislike someone without going around telling people that I dislike the person. That's just going to invite all of the OTHER people who don't like his or her style to leave increasingly negative and cutting remarks.

I didn't think your original post or title was over the line. But a few of the comments were very mean spirited.

Sometimes the best thing we can do is exactly what you're doing - decide that since you do not agree with the opinions of the blogger, you will no longer read or comment on the blog.

And for the record, I like that particular blogger very much as a person, even though I disagreed with her post vehemently. (Kind of like how I still liked my grandpa, even though I knew he was a raging chauvinist - except - I think she just expressed herself badly in that post. I think she is far more feminist than that post would indicate. At least that is what I choose to believe.)

turleybenson said...

I know what you mean, and I'm really, really, really disappointed in that "in between" blog right now. Really, really.

Ru said...

The fact is, some people like to be offended. I'm not talking about you disliking a certain post, I'm talking about people who would extrapolate beyond that to conclude that you dislike a human being, which is pretty far off-base. The worst kind of argument is a personal attack; the second worst is creating a personal attack where the was none. Neither actually address issues.

Cindy said...

Did she change the post in some way? I just read it and didn't find it offensive at all (and I do kind of consider myself a sort of feminist) but I related to her "most of the time I think I am more" part.

NIKOL said...

You didn't say anything unkind. If something annoys you, saying so isn't mean spirited. It's just honest. People just like to stir up drama. Or they're too sensitive. Or a combination.

Would it all be better if we joined hands and sang "As Sisters in Zion?"

Rynell said...

Here I go again...I totally agree with you. I agree to disagree with many people, although they don't really know it, because I don't really know them.

Lisa Louise said...

i think it's ok to dislike the in between blogs, if they get offended then that is their problem.

Tammy said...

If people are going to write a public blog they have to be ok with public opinions. If they are going to allow comments on their blog they have to be ok with negative ones. One can easily take the comment option off of their blog and one can easily make their blog private to only invitees.

It is ok to not like people, to disagree with people and it is ok to do it publicly if that person has opened themselves up for that.

I am irritated that people feel they have to walk on eggshells in the blogosphere. Sometimes part of the fun is riling people up with your own opinions. I guarantee cjane enjoys this too.

And the definition of "mean spirited" is in the mind of the reader/writer.

The interesting thing with blogs is that the more honest you are the more readers you will get especially if you are a little mean and judgmental. So what does that say about people?

I don't think you needed to write this "sort-of apology post" for your readers. cjane can be completely ridiculous as well as everyone else in the world. She has welcomed the comments so go ahead!

Jen said...

Yes. Thank you. Excellent post. I like you, and your blog, too.

Ashley said...

(de-lurking here to say) No, don't apologize! There's no need. This blogosphere is a crazy world we live in. She was public and unapologetic about her opinion, and you should be about yours. (And, I agree with you.)

Can't remember how I stumbled across your blog, but I enjoy it!

Jen, RN said...

If you're going to post something like cjane posted on a blog read by thousands of people, it's going to be up for 'discussion'. I think it's ok for us to be entitled to our own opinions about what is put 'out there' without being attacked for it. Besides, she's a person, not a god, and what she says isn't gospel truth and sometimes she has weird ideas.