Blogging … Not All Fair


There is an article in the Hindustan Times today … this article describes the not so savoury aspects of human nature when brought to light on the blogosphere. This article brings out some of the important aspect of the web 2.0 environment which have been overlooked in the initial euphoria of something new.

First of all, this is an axiom … web 2.0 is participatory. In all senses of the term. It gives a say to everyone. Which is a nice thing. But, that would be an utopian world. In the real world, there are people who use a tool, and there are people who abuse the tool. This is true of anything in this world … there was, for example, a dialogue from the movie Maachis (this was a movie around the them of terrorism in the Punjab!) … it went something like …

Ye maachis, diya bhi jalati hai, aur chita bhi!

Or …

This matchbox lights the candle, as well as the funeral pyre!

This aspect of the usage of the tool is something which a lot of us seem to have missed out on. I usually look at web 2.0 primarily in the organizational context, and this is the issue which is raised by a lot of people whenever i am talking to them about blogs, and wikis … what if someone wilfully writes something which is not nice, or inaccurate? Simply put, in the organization, there is no such thing as anonymous contribution. Not only is this something which helps to surface who is doing what, it also is an important ingredient in the organizational context, of adoption, because one of the reasons for adoption is reputation.

Coming back to the article, this is something which happens in the real world too, though to a much lesser extent, mainly because of the lack of anonymity, as the author of the article puts it. Kudos to the ladies who would, all sorts of feedback notwithstanding, continue to put their viewpoints across. I do tend to agree with Melody Laila when she says …

When you start a blog, you start with the premise that it will be open to all …

Keeping this in mind, would it not be a nice idea to ensure some kind of control on the kinds of things which can go on with your blog? This is the balancing line one must draw between reputation, and the cost for it. Overall, though, i would give complete credit to Neha Tara Mehta for raising an issue which otherwise doesnt get debated too much …

The encouraging part? Neha cites the Blogging India: A Windows Live Report, 2006 which says that nearly 45% of the netizens believe that blogging content is as trustworthy as the traditional media. Goes to show that bloggers must be getting something right!

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