The Mocking of On-line Communication

The last couple of posts have been about the apparent reluctance of women to both blog about Buddhism or to join group sites related to Buddhist blogging. And previous to that there were many posts in the buddhoblogosphere about the denigration of Buddhist blogs in general. I was considering continuing with some of that but happened upon a few things on-line that gave a refreshing pause.

Twitter is for Losers is a post I ran into a few days ago. It evolved from a Twitter chat for under 30 professionals (#u30pro) that had just concluded.  David Spinks, the author writes:

From my experience, the two things that seem to draw mockery are twitter and blogging.  They’re still viewed as “lame” by many who aren’t involved.

And further:

But it’s interesting isn’t it?  The most open forms of social interaction online draw the most mockery while those platforms which essentially allow you to do that same, but within a “closed” or private network, are acceptable.

Attitudes in the wider Internet community are also reflected inside the on-line Buddhist community as well. It seems many more people are comfortable posting, commenting and interacting within some “framework’ obviously controlled by others, with memberships, rules and limits, however arbitrary, than opt for a much more open atmosphere.

There are many comments following that post as people express their experiences and possible explanations for this still prevailing attitude.  I offer little by way of explanation but am reminded of similar attitudes about Usenet, bulletin boards and the Internet in general years ago.

On this topic I encountered 2 interesting humorous takes on the phenomenon of blogging. Some laughs are always welcome when it comes to on-line issues.

The oldest one, (which has been somewhat modified in the second take) is just called

Blog

and contains over 1,000 comments that basically describe comments on blogs.

Some choice comments about comments include:

  • Deadpan rejoinder.
  • Non-sequitur speculation about whether ”Texas Hold-Em” refers to livestock.
  • Cryptic, inexplicable drive-by trolling that references and misinterprets a statement made months ago. Unhinged name-calling, insinuations of totalitarianism. Baffling pun and or in-joke; link to scary site.
  • Something about quantum mechanics and postmodernism.
  • Superior suggestion that recent comments are wasting bandwidth.

The second take which just started is at a blog called Coyote Crossing.  The post is titled:

This is the title of a typical incendiary blog post

It begins:

This sentence contains a provocative statement that attracts the readers’ attention, but really only has very little to do with the topic of the blog post. This sentence claims to follow logically from the first sentence, though the connection is actually rather tenuous. This sentence claims that very few people are willing to admit the obvious inference of the last two sentences, with an implication that the reader is not one of those very few people. This sentence expresses the unwillingness of the writer to be silenced despite going against the popular wisdom. This sentence is a sort of drum roll, preparing the reader for the shocking truth to be contained in the next sentence.

This sentence contains the thesis of the blog post, a trite and obvious statement cast as a dazzling and controversial insight….

And some of the more than 400 comments include:

  • This comment attacks the post author by using the phrase “ad hominem” incorrectly.
  • this comment goes on for far too long in a manner only tangentially related to the subject, frequently veering into personal details of the commenter’s life that were really better not shared in a public forum.
  • This post erroneously claims to be first.
  • This post was intended for another thread entirely but was posted here due to a mix-up in the poster’s browser tabs.
  • This comment is a long, snarky response to an irrelevant comment made above. Fortunately, both are so far down the comments list that neither will ever be read.
  • This comment takes umbrage at the excessively poor comment moderation and violates many of the cardinal rules of the blog while doing so.
  • This comment castigates the blog owner for not writing about some other urgent matter.
  • This comment is sexually charged, and directed at the most prolific commenter. It also references a Monty Python skit.
  • This comment merely proves that I was here. It’s a form of graffiti, really.
  • This comment is just to say that the commentator is just too busy right now but promises to be back later to provide the first really insightful comment on the subject (but never does).
  • This comment rebukes the blogger for not saying what the commenter himself/ herself would have said on the topic.
  • This comment was not made, as the commenter is lurking
  • THIS COMMENT IS MISSPELLED, ATTACKS THE AUTHOR’S SEXUAL ORIENTATION, AND IS IN CAPS.
  • This comment advertises a online company that can provide you with dubious sex-enhancing drugs and post-grad degrees.
  • This comment makes lengthy, incoherent threats to the blogger, and points out that goats are on fire.

Both are quite a humorous catalogues of comment types.  We’ve all seen more than a few of these and likely made some ourselves.   (comments on Hard Core Zen come to mind)

All in all it is a useful reference for those new to blogging. Sort of.

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5 comments on “The Mocking of On-line Communication

  1. Heh, love it. Let’s play, “which of these are you most often guilty of?”

    I claim “this comment goes on for far too long in a manner only tangentially related to the subject, frequently veering into personal details of the commenter’s life that were really better not shared in a public forum.” Not here, so much, as on “real life” friends’ blogs, where I sometimes experience a false sense of privacy.

  2. Your best post ever. /sarcasm

    YOU ARE OBVIOUSLY IN CONFUSION ABOUT YOUR SEXUAL ORIENTATION AND MY PERSONAL-REPRESENTATION-OF-AN-OMNISCIENT-BEING-WHICH-IS-ACTUALLY-A-RATIONALIZATION-OF-EXPRESSED-HATE-SPEECH THINKS YOU WILL BURN FOR A KALPA IN AN IMAGINED HELL THAT MAKES ME FEEL BETTER ABOUT MY SELF.

    Have a nice day,
    Anonomous Troll
    http://www.zendirtzendust.com
    http://www.elephantjournal.com
    http://www.tiferetjournal.com

    I think that included everything Ad Nauseum.

    I do think it funny that I do hear from friends and family that they can’t stand bloggers and twitters yet they use nor have any experience with them. Part of my job is to get new staff at the library more familiar with online networking and communication tools. It is a slow, slow, slooooooooooooowwww process to get staff comfortable with and able to understand the benefit of these tools.

    cheers and great post.

  3. This sentence endeavors to illustrate the commentater’s sympathies in regards to the subject material — and, by coincidence of a strange typo, endeavors to remind the reader of hash-browns, thusly distracting everyone from the original statement. This statement proceeds without regards for potatoes, nor for linear dynamics. Odd, short reference to a concept grasped, to some manner of depth, by the commentator. Another sentimental statement. This last sentence endeavors to sound friendly, but perhaps clumsily fails in that endeavor.

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