|If you don't know what this is then I give up. I really do!|
I have thoughts sometimes. I know, I bet your surprised right? Sometimes they'll form out of reading an article form somebody else on the Internet. Other times it'll be after receiving an email from a friend of mine, or having a chat on the phone. I even got inspiration for a series of articles after seeing a child play in a sand pit. I must make this abundantly clear, the child was a relative and I was babysitting... shesh. However, I rarely actually follow through on these thoughts and publish any articles based on them. Mainly because my brain has a million and one things going on in it at any given space in time and I get easily distracted. Of late though a number of continually recurring themes seem to have coalesced into something resembling cohesive thought. It seemed too good an opportunity for me to pass up, so I've developed these disparate strands into a thought of the day article.
Why do we blog? Any of us, why do we do it? Why the hell do I do it? Because at times I've asked myself this very question. Especially when my Frontline Gamer email was being filled with a torrent of abuse, and the odd death threat. Hell I'm up to 17 death threats now. Salman Rushdie eat your heart out... well... not quite. It does at times seem like an utterly thankless bloody task. I devote a lot of time to it. I actually work really hard to bring what I think is quality content to those who decide to read it. I don't get paid a wage for doing it, and very rarely do I get any thanks. But, I do as I say sometimes receive a torrent of abuse, and if any of you are wandering why I don't make my email address widely known on this blog, there's your answer! So to put myself through all that I've got to be getting something out of it right?
Well for a little while the answer was actually no. It just seemed that what I was doing was largely ignored or derided by some 'delightful' individuals. I figured it was the Internet. I'd started blogging because some friends had told me I should, and because in all honesty the level of debate and dialogue on hobby forums rarely lifts its head from out of the cesspit that lurks in the darkest reaches of most people's minds. After that initial motivation though and getting a few followers my motives began to shift. I actually wanted to get good at this blogging malarky and actually be useful, entertaining, thought provoking. Hell, possibly all three at the same time if I can. for me that's where my motivation still lies, I want to be good at this and I want my followers and readers to value this blog. So your feedback and comments are massively appreciated.
But here's the thing, blogging is fraught with pitfalls I didn't even realise existed at first. There are the obvious etiquette issues, which I've recently become aware of. But there are also clear legal considerations to be fully aware of as well. I can hold my head up high and say that hand on heart I've got a clear conscience on both scores. The final thing though is a far more tricky subject, and that's actually the prospect of offending people. Look it happens and I'm not going to say that things I've written haven't caused huge amounts of offence. I'd offer up my death threats and abuse emails as evidence that at some level I'm offensive. In my opinion though those individuals who I have offended are a bunch of insecure, whack job, inbreed ass hats. Yeah, that's meant to be offensive, but with a point, so it's allowed. Honest. That sentence I intended to cause offence, I set out to deliberately harm somebody.
That is a very different stance and position to what I normally hold while I write on my blog, and actually what the vast majority of bloggers out there write is done in the same good faith. We don't usually mean to cause offence. Obviously there are those out there who do wish to offend. Probably because it's the only way they'll get attention, and arguably because they're insecure in there own mind and opinions. But I'll make a sweeping generalisaton and pluck a fabricated figure a out of my ass and say 99.9% of us mean no harm. We're just trying to give our honest opinions, and although the way in which we do that can cause offence I'd ask that people bear in mind we didn't mean to piss you off intentionally. I would defend anyone's right to be offended, as I would defend others right to cause offense, even if I disagreed with them in doing so. Because I truly, deeply believe with every fibre of my being that dialogue is healthy as long as we all learn from it.
So if you've been offended by anything I or any other bloggers have said, done and or displayed please understand we 9 times out of 10 didn't mean to (that figures getting less and less now isn't it?). Plus if you happen to be a poor unfortunate soul who has caused offence, don't feel too bad about it... if that wasn't your intention. It happens. I was once told by a very famous lecturer that my very existence is likely to offend somebody one day. I thought he was being a bit harsh, but having seen my face I can understand what they were saying! It's part of human society, we get on each others nerves. If you have got on somebodies nerves try to see it from the other persons perspective, and don't take it personally. Likewise if you are the offended party don't fly off of the handle just explain yourself calmly and I'd bet most people will see your point of view and rectify it. Sometimes though a clear difference of opinion exists and there can be no ground given, if this happens for the sake of your own sanity just walk away from it. Peace out!