I just had a very interesting discussion on Twitter about the “clownfraud” stigma associated with being a blogger and whether it can be erased completely.
We all agreed the answer is no, it cannot be removed.
But I think that’s perfectly fine. My previous piece didn’t intend to take down the stigma, but rather the complete dismissal of a medium without any consideration of the writer’s ability solely because of the form.
I think we can make a metaphor between blogging and pickup basketball in these regards (or pick-up whatever sport you want). Assuming you’re not an NBA player, let’s pretend you’re going into a gym where you’ve never played before. You know no other players on the floor. Before anyone even takes practice shots, do you assume they’re all trash? Maybe they tell you they all played Division I ball — do you take them at their word?
Of course not. If you’re anything like me, or most pick-up players, you understand to be prepared for whatever. Don’t assume the small dude can’t destroy you and don’t assume the tall guy will be a force. You wait for them to show their skills on the court before trying to definitely analyze them, right?
That’s all I want when it comes to the stigma about blogging. Don’t judge the medium; judge the player on their talents. In other words, don’t throw out opinions because they come from bloggers instead of from a traditional form of media. And conversely, you shouldn’t assume quality writing is coming from those traditional media outlets, regardless of how much they supposedly value credibility. Read the writing first (and try to leave your bias at the door), and then decide whether I’m full of crap or not.
I used to do the same reprehensible thing with the infamous Bleacher Report blogging website. The site’s a magnet for what becomes joke fodder in internet circles because with such little burden to access, any idea gets through to a large audience. Though there’s still a good many articles there that make me sigh or laugh, they do in all honesty have some good writing over there whether you want to believe it or not.
From Bleacher Report to SB Nation, the stigma will forever be there, and you know what — who cares!
Blogging is a wonderful thing, whether it’s about sports or anything else. The barrier to entry is so low that anyone can have a voice, which can do great things when it comes to issues that don’t see much light.
This is undoubtedly a double-edged sword. While some may have much valuable experience and wisdom to share over the Internet, others may spout nonsense all willy-nilly — or worse. Thankfully the cream rises and those that separate themselves as respectable bloggers will probably see results if they have the dedication and passion for it.
I find that broadening perspectives and spreading understanding through well-informed yet under-reported opinions even in spite of giving an outlet to the ignorant opinions is incredibly valuable — much more valuable than having no outlet for the ignorant views at the expense of the competent ones as well.
So for the foreseeable future there will probably be a stigma associated with a passion for blogging. Whatever. I just want people to not pass judgment on a medium and deem it incompetent because it doesn’t fit biased outdated perspectives on respectable media. Blogging has shown it’s earned as much.