Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Imagining Blogpower

Right, this is the post that James was referring to, published a little late due to unresolved connectivity issues - I may be less present than I would like until they are resolved. As James hinted, he has seen the main body of this, but I should emphasise it's my own view, and should not be seen as anything remotely approaching an "official" blogpower opinion. It may also seem to foreshadow or repeat, uncredited, arguments from the comments to James' most recent post, my apologies for any inadvertent repetition.

Devil's Kitchen has mentioned us, and quoted our manifesto. However, I feel he’s understated the issue that is concerning so many of us in saying that certain people have been "rather snooty about some of the other people included on the Blogpower blogroll". Also, as Blogpower knows, the manifesto is not set in stone but is up for discussion. Very lively discussion, at that. I'd like to set out the tentative conclusions that I personally have reached after that discussion and other developments, and invite your response in the comments.

In that discussion, our esteemed colleague Gracchi made the point that we have been sidetracked into concentrating on freedom of speech. He points out that Blogpower was not established specifically to support that principle, but for us to help promote our fellow bloggers. It is not as though, by excluding one or more bloggers from our ranks, we are depriving them of their right to express their views: they would still be free to post to their own blogs. We, on the other hand, should have some mechanism by which we can decide whom we are happy to help promote and whom we are not. Just now, people are having to take quite radical decisions, ranging from actually leaving the collective to refusing to display the blogroll or even the banner. That is, in itself, undermining the purpose of this group.

Much has been made of point two in James' original manifesto. Let me reprint it here in full:

2] be broadminded and accept that others in the scheme are going to have views opposed to ours. So what?;

"Broadmindedness", to me, does not necessarily imply an absolute commitment to freedom of speech, and my tolerance for robust debate has been severely tried by a long thread in which, among other things, point 2 of the Blogpower manifesto was very aggressively used to dismiss a dissenting point of view. Given some of the other views in that thread that were not being challenged by the same commenter, that has made me even more uncomfortable. For me, the disclaimer above my blogroll is looking increasingly inadequate to convey the strength of my feelings... If this post seems blandly worded, it's because I am trying extremely hard to discuss the issues dispassionately. It's not easy to strike the right tone, especially in writing.

And if we are going to treat the original manifesto with such unquestioning reverence, then the vast majority of us had better pull a finger out and reach ten posts a week...

15 comments:

youdontknowme said...

I am reaching 10 posts a week.

If you don't like my blog why not just but may cause offense or BNP blogger in brackets?

Seriously, I don't know why you are getting in such fuss over my blog. It's not like I encourage people to go beat up black people. I don't even link to the BNP.

james higham said...

To answer ydkm, I resent that your blog has seemingly taken precedence over all others in the blogpower roll and threatens to derail the blogpower initiative. Note I didn't say I resented you personally but I sure as hell want you back where you should be - just another log no more or less contentious than mine or anyone else's. One person's blog must not derail the others.

The second point is we have no times for this. Apart from my current medical woes, there is the day job situation. All of us are trying to post, answer comments and surf others' blogs. That's enough time for blogging. To have to deal with political situations and hysteria as well is just too much and NOT AT ALL what Blogpower was meant to be. It was meant to be a positive, fun thing and by heck, we're going back to that.

Finally, Ian, I 100% support the post and Tin Drummer has indicated so as well, half Blogpower is in agreement so what's our problem? Who's keeping the fire stoked over this one guy's blog? Let's let the issue fade, get the new blogroll in place sometime over the weekend and all will be [hopefully] well.

Spicy Cauldron said...

I'm sorry. I cannot have any linkage to BNP-related material on my blog, so I've made the decision to withdraw from Blogpower/Defending the Blog.

The fact that referencing this situation on my blog has led to this guy attempting to use my comments section as a platform for BNP spin and lies, until I closed comments on that post, shows that any association, implied through linkage and unintentional, with the BNP is bad news. You need to do something to salvage what was a brilliant idea, one which has led to my discovering many new and great blogs I would otherwise not have come across.

Please remove my site from the blogroll ASAP. And best wishes to those working hard whose efforts are being undermined by the stain of the BNP.

This is NOT a case of 'keeping the fire stoked over this one guy's blog'. It is a BNP-supporting blog. It is offensive to many people, not least of all myself, to be linked to him and to be linked from him.

Categorising the blogroll won't do anything useful for those of us who are offended by him, so I can only assume if he isn't removed that sooner or later more of his mates will join and before you know it, Blogpower will have been taken over. You can't hide the fascistic away in drop-down category menus. He'll still be there, and that's the problem - not the presentation of the blogroll.

Unpremeditated said...

I fully agree with Ian's post. I support YDKM's right to say whatever he wants to say, I would even defend it. I do not, however, have to promote it.

youdontknowme said...

I resent that your blog has seemingly taken precedence over all others in the blogpower roll and threatens to derail the blogpower initiative.

That was not my fault. I merely joined. it was everyone else that made such a fuss. I have done nothing that made by bnlog stand out except for joining.


The fact that referencing this situation on my blog has led to this guy attempting to use my comments section as a platform for BNP spin and lies, until I closed comments on that post, shows that any association, implied through linkage and unintentional, with the BNP is bad news

You mentioned me and the BNP and got a lot of info wrong. what do you expect me to do when you mention me?


It is offensive to many people, not least of all myself, to be linked to him and to be linked from him.

Could you point out a few of my posts that are offensive please?


so I can only assume if he isn't removed that sooner or later more of his mates will join and before you know it, Blogpower will have been taken over.

How can we take over? this blog will still not be in our hands.

youdontknowme said...

by bnlog=my blog

sorry

james higham said...

Spicy Cauldron, Ian handles the blogroll. Again, I'd ask you not to withdraw until we can run the poll on Saturday [I simply must work till then]. then we will act on the vote. Stay with us until then. this is a personal request, James

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

I agree with everything that Ian has said and I appreciate his calm and reasoned approach. I also agree with James that we mustn't lose sight of the original initiative of Blogpower.

Anonymous said...

What I like about this blogroll is the diverse and challenging views - I am free to agree, disagree, or change channel - my world would be all the poorer if I did the latter though.

I am struggling with posting at the moment due to technical issues (infected personal computer, being rebuilt as we speak), and I have also discovered that others can email to be my blog !! which has caused confusion.

But I would like to think that is tolerated in the scheme of things, when an overall view is taken of my participation.

My thoughts as to the listing format - why can't we have one which scrolls down, shorter and neater on the blog. As we visit each one we will gradually identify the ones we can engage with - and will repeat visit - others will gradually just be disregarded.

Not quite in the manifesto, but the roll was a lot shorter when the manifesto was written.

But like everything in life, this is just my thoughts on things - to be taken or left as your discretion.. Best wishes though. Shani

youdontknowme said...

it's ok spicy cauldron. I liked your blog so much it's my blog of the week so I will forever link to it.

Ian said...

Spicy Cauldron, I e-mailed you earlier today. Would you let me know, preferably by e-mail, if you didn't receive it?

james higham said...

Shani, good idea. Now technically, we'll have to get Ian or Thunderdragon on to it because I'm a technical dodo.

ThunderDragon said...

I don't know how to do that, so that'll have to be Ian's job! ;)

The Morningstar said...

I've tried to keep my nose out of this issue, mainly because it should be a non-issue.

This should be about whether YDKM writes a blog and supports the aims of the group. If he does then there should be no problem, unless he was to write something that is obviously racist.

I attack religion in my blog, I've also posted about being involved in the BDSM scene, I swear, attack the Labour party and I'll attack the BNP, Conservative party, Lib Dems, green party and anyone else who I disagree with.

If anyone disagrees with a post I make I'll argue my corner in the comments or through email, but until the BNP is forced to disband for legal reasons I'll also support anyones right to join, or support, the BNP no matter how misguided I might personally feel they are. I'll even support peoples right to vote for New Labour though we've had ten years of proof that they must be deluded...

It really is a non issue, we either have free speech or we don't, we either have the right to offend or be offended or we don't.

As long as YDKM is not racist in his posts then he should stay.

james higham said...

I think the poll will certainly help clear the air here and show where the weight of opinion is. Let's give it a few days and if anyone else pulls out before then, that's very sad and I'd hoped they would be patient just a little longer.

Incidentally, the poll was set so no one could vote twice from the same address.