Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
~Martin Luther King, Jr.

With blogging we often hear, “don’t discuss politics or religion”, and the longer we blog, we learn there are other hot topics to stay away from, too.

Why?

Anytime we publish a post on a controversial topic, we open ourselves and our beliefs up to scrutiny. Weย  risk attacks by trolls or naysayers who may show up on our blogs and attack US,ย  instead of discussing the topic at hand.

For some, the experience can be so devastating they quit blogging. discuss hot button issues on a blog, or not

Today’s Lesson

I’ve seen many blog posts where a blog author has stated their views on a specific topic only to be slammed, threatened or humiliated by those who comment. Seeing situations like that can make a fellow blog author think twice about standing up for what they believe. In fact, it can even silence their voice.

Granted, as blog authors we have the option of deleting derogatory comments or even closing comments on posts, however by doing so we’re not exposing ourselves and our readers to both sides of a topic. Instead we’re sending the message, “I’m right.”, “Don’t argue with me.” or, “Your opinion doesn’t matter.” .

On the flip side, by not sharing our true beliefs we can easily become like sheeple; following the herd, never questioning what’s right or wrong (for us), not thinking for ourselves and not daring to take a stand.

But with a blog, we can play devil’s advocate. Educate our readers. Make them think. Listen to their view points and learn more about the topic, as well.

Fortunately, with blogging we have choices. We can stay away from those topics which are hot button issues, or we can publish posts on topics we’re passionate about and let our voice be heard.

The choice is ours.

Today’s Assignment

Do you blog about things that matter to you, or do you prefer to play it safe?

If you play it safe, are you doing so in order to avoid controversy?

Care to share?

signature for blog post

Related Posts with Thumbnails
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
Look Who's Talking
  1. FriarNo Gravatar says:

    There are way too many Sheelpe in Blogoland, in my opinion. One some of these blogs or FB posts, all the opinions and comments tend to be the same. People agree with the authors and each other, because it’s the “right thing to say”. And then everyone pats themselves on the back for being so open-minded and politically correct. It almost becomes like a cult…

    It makes me want to scream:

    For God’s sake…someone have an opinion…or make a joke…or say something different….do anything….PLEASE !!!!

    • PatriciaNo Gravatar says:

      where were you when I needed your comments Friar?
      Check out Patricia’s awesome post.How Do You Celebrate May DayMy Profile

    • Well, since you want an opinion ๐Ÿ˜‰ here’s mine. First off, you said “on some of these blogs or FB posts.” That makes sense because not everyone is going to do things the way you think they should everywhere, all the time.

      Plus, not all folk are as comfortable as you are to stand up and speak their opinion so straightforwardly. Folk have different reasons for being online and “getting into it” or debating, may not be one of them — that’s their prerogative and you can’t make them change unless they want to. Some are shy. Some avoid confrontation. Such is life.

      Maybe you’re hanging with the wrong crowd and you should find folk just like you who aren’t afraid to tell it like it is. You can always ignore, unfriend or block if this is causing you so much frustration.
      Check out Davina Haisell’s awesome post.Guest Post- The CallMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Friar,

      What I find fascinating is how (some) bloggers who are like minded will automatically be attracted to one another. In one sense you could say they help to validate each others viewpoints, and on the other hand, these are bloggers who often make friendships off the blogs. Not much different than in real life (in my opinion).

  2. PatriciaNo Gravatar says:


    But with a blog, we can play devilโ€™s advocate. Educate our readers. Make them think. Listen to their view points and learn more about the topic, as well.”

    This is what I thought blogging was for…and to hopefully bring about some discussion…I got over 5,000 threatening emails to a post that had the word ab…tion in the first paragraph…it was in a descriptor about something else not about a health issue….but it was picked up and once again I was the recipient of garbage…

    My job as an ethics professional is to teach people how to think and use their brains and feelings for tandem results….my career as an adult educator is only now becoming a popular major in schools….
    I have only had 2 successful discussions about subjects on my blog – which I find disappointing….the last post that was controversial last year, I formulated several ideas and then got “talk radio – and opinion pieces” from a number of people and the oldest commenter used his/her good brain power to truly read what I wrote and respond several times.
    I nearly gave up blogging that day…I was so frustrated.

    I no longer feel that I am doing good teaching on my blog…I still think my best discussions and comments are when I find an opening in the comments section on someone else’s blog and respond.

    SEO failure too..

    In the Fall, I worked with 6 – 10 year olds ( all considered slow learners) on how to discuss and ask questions. How to connect and discover values….It was the most exciting work I have experienced in years. Of course, it was for free….and I was not following the guidelines and program, so I was not asked back for not following directions. 7 of those children are now out of special education and still calling me for books to read and to ask questions.

    Glad and happy dancing to find you here Barbara….I miss you ๐Ÿ™‚ and your great words. Timely piece and so graciously presented. Thank you
    Check out Patricia’s awesome post.How Do You Celebrate May DayMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Patricia,

      That’s unfortunate you become the recipient of threatening emails. Sadly when we write about some topics, we get more attention- both positive and negative.

      Thank you for sharing your story of the young children you were teaching. Although you weren’t asked to return, it sounds like you made a lasting impression on the children – and that’s what really matters.

  3. Hello Barbara – It’s great to have you back; you’ve been very much missed! And how like you to celebrate your return with a juicy topic!

    We’ve regularly posted our opinions on our blog and will continue to do so there, on Facebook and via comments, even when they are dismissed with the implication that somehow there is no thought behind them. I’ve been chastised by those who seem to feel their views are somehow loftier or more appropriate too many times to count. Yet, when their points are refuted with logic and fact, in carefully neutral language, the ad hominem rears its ugly head. If you’re going to discuss, discuss like a grown-up and take your intellectual lumps. Leave the name-calling, whining, and scolding out.

    My cousin, a very wise woman, maintains that intelligent people routinely take the same set of facts and draw entirely opposite conclusions. She and I get along famously because we discuss openly despite our opposition to each other’s political views. And we’re not vested in changing each other’s mind, but in listening and responding.

    It’s exhausting to deal with the negative energy of inappropriate dialogue. The secret is to listen to everyone and don’t be afraid to express, even if you disagree. If your arguments are weak, they should rightfully not stand. If your opinions are correct, yet your arguments are weak, then you’ve got work to do to defend them. There is much more that we all share as humans than to have to muzzle conflicting viewpoints. Thanks.
    Check out Betsy Wuebker’s awesome post.A Happy Easter at Our New PlaceMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Betsy,

      That’s what I’ve always admired about you; you share that which you believe in whether others agree, or not.

      The story about you and your cousin is a perfect example of how we can think/believe differently than another person, but yet we highly respect them and their opinions, and neither one feels the need to prove they’re right.

  4. Blogging is one way of sharing your thoughts and opinion to other people, with this you freely express what you feel inside or what you think about the society, government, media or any other trending topic in this world. You can blog anything you want or anything that you like to share to other people and get feedbacks, itโ€™s a way of sharing thoughts and learning some new things from the other people that give their opinion to your blog.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Quickest Way to Lose Weight,

      That’s true. Blogging works perfect for us to share, as well as expand our knowledge base. It’s like a two way street.

  5. I write about what I’m passionate about, and sometimes that’s controversial. I welcome comments, whether they agree or disagree with me as long as they are respectful and thoughtful. If the comment is insulting or disrepectful to my point of view or anyone else’s, I delete it. I won’t allow arguments; I do encourage honest discussion.
    Check out Lillie Ammann’s awesome post.Stroke Awareness Month 2011My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Lillie,

      I agree. If a person shows up in our comment section and becomes disrespectful to our other readers, their comment should be deleted. Comments like that not only change the dynamics of the post and comments, but can make our readers uncomfortable, too.

    • WhittNo Gravatar says:

      I agree entirely! Write about what you are passionate about! Chances are, the more passionate you are about it, the more outspoken you will become about it. Depending on the topic, it could make people uncomfortable, and I think that is usually because it calls them to examines their own lives. I’ve seen a lot of people lash out, because they don’t know what else to do with it.

  6. Jo WakeNo Gravatar says:

    I write about what interests me, I hope my readers (I don’t have as many as some of you) will enjoy my thoughts and opinions. Some of the most controversial topics, i.e. politics and religion, don’t really rouse my passions anyway. Maybe I am getting too ancient to worry about it that much.
    Check out Jo Wake’s awesome post.Superman- Dryer- ElectionsMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Jo,

      I hear you. With age I’ve gotten to care less about some issues, but other issues are now piquing my interest.

  7. I have this section in my FAQs:

    Q: Why did you delete my comment? It didnโ€™t contain profanity.
    A: I obviously delete comments that contain profanity, spam, blatant self-promotion or personal attacks. But I also reserve the right to delete a comment simply because I donโ€™t like its tone or its content. This is MY space and *I* decide what gets published here. Want to speak freely? Start your own blog.

    I had one experience with people attacking me on my own blog. I will not allow it to happen again.
    Check out Vered | Social Media Consultant’s awesome post.Developing Your Facebook PageMy Profile

    • LyndsayNo Gravatar says:

      I think that is a bit ‘overkill’. So you don’t like the “tone” of some people’s comments?!

      Taking such a sensitive position is a bit like the kid in the playground making the rules up because it’s her ball!

      You’re right… Eventually everyone goes off and starts a new game without you. Then what’s the point in having a blog at all?!
      Check out Lyndsay’s awesome post.Are You Considering Therapy For StutteringMy Profile

      • Hi Lindsay. I know what you’re saying. “Tone” is a pretty general word and there are a lot of grey areas. I’ve seen some of the “tones” that Vered is talking about. They are tones that I would remove from my blog too. It’s disruptive and taints the whole atmosphere of the comment thread. The attention ends up revolving around the person who has set that tone. Readers and commenters end up either trying to fix things or stand up to the offender, while others just sit back and watch uncomfortably. Not something I would want to anticipate seeing on a favourite blog of mine. It gets nasty, so I can understand Vered’s strict stand.
        Check out Davina Haisell’s awesome post.Guest Post- The CallMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Vered,

      I like your idea of having your “rules” spelled out in your FAQs. That way if anyone has an issue with their comment being deleted, they’ll see the answer right there on your blog.

  8. Hi Barbara. It’s nice to see you back ๐Ÿ™‚ What a great topic to bring with your return.

    “We risk attacks by trolls or naysayers who may show up on our blogs and attack US, instead of discussing the topic at hand.” This is where I think things get lost in the mix… in the “attack” as opposed to it being a discussion.

    Some people seem to thrive on the adrenaline of confrontation. Folk should be able to stand up for what they believe in and be prepared to not have everyone agree with them. I’m still learning this and I think in the 3 years that I’ve been online, I’ve come a long way. It still stings sometimes when someone doesn’t agree, but I try to remind myself that the sting is something I need to look at. Heh! The learning never stops ๐Ÿ™‚

    I love when I see conversations, in blog comment streams and Facebook posts where people can have differing opinions and still be civil to each other. Granted, nobody’s perfect and we all have our bad days. What I love noticing about the folk who I associate with online is that they are open-minded and supportive in whatever way they can be.
    Check out Davina Haisell’s awesome post.Guest Post- The CallMy Profile

    • Hi Davina, You are on to what I think is the big thing: one needs to be secure in one’s opinions, yet disassociated sufficiently as an individual from them in order not to be personally affronted with a reasoned disagreement. People just don’t know how to argue! ๐Ÿ˜€

      But even more so, people are reluctant to set boundaries, such as those Vered articulates or what I found myself doing today in a comment stream on Facebook. “Why can’t we just all get along?” I believe we can, even when we disagree. But bad behavior is something I won’t tolerate in my old age. Heh.
      Check out Betsy Wuebker’s awesome post.My Dinner with DavinaMy Profile

      • Yeah, why *can’t* we all just get along? I think it’s easy to be swept into the emotional component when it’s something you feel passionate about. But getting all emotional weakens a person’s stance and really, folk just stop listening because of that. Maybe if we all felt more passionate about each other instead of our “causes”? ๐Ÿ™‚ I admire Vered for setting good boundaries.
        Check out Davina Haisell’s awesome post.Guest Post- The CallMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Davina,

      That’s true. When others don’t agree with us it can sting, however like you said, it’s also part of our learning process. What’s also fun about having a blog is we can share with our readers how and why our views have changed, and get them into the discussion, as well.

      Yes. It is great to see others communicating, sharing their views and showing respect for one another. Good thing we’re not all the same. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. TeganNo Gravatar says:

    I definitely don’t shy away from controversial topics. I don’t want to sound mean but, I don’t blog to make friends! There’s a line of course, when blogging controversial and sensitive topics. Never be disrespectful to the other side, and never make it seem like YOUR viewpoint is the BEST and ONLY viewpoint. Keeping controversial topics not mean or rude means opening up for reader engagement and discussion.
    Check out Tegan’s awesome post.How To Woo a Woman on FacebookMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Tegan,

      I give you credit for not staying away from controversial topics. It sounds like not only are you aware of what can happen, but also realize the comments can get out of hand. I think being prepared is half the battle.

  10. Alien GhostNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    My guess is that each blogger has a different way to confront controversy, not only in blogging, but in real life too, so it is difficult to say which way would be right because itโ€™ll vary from person to person. What might seem a โ€œlight and easyโ€ blog for some, might be a confrontational one for the blogger, and vice versa.

    Personally I like to push a little every time but trying to care about readers feelings in the process. One could consider oneโ€™s blog a โ€œhotโ€ one but in reality could it be just a polemic generator.

    On the other hand, personally I donโ€™t like those blogs that only talk about beauty, so comments are the same and it all becomes a happy dance of friends without any dose of reality in it.

    You see? This post you made has created lots of different opinions and lots of talk from your readers, yet there is a very civilized conversation, which proves to me that a blog can be pushing and still be nice at the same time.

    Raul
    Check out Alien Ghost’s awesome post.Itโ€™s Shopping Time!My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Raul,

      That’s a good point. We could easily publish a post not thinking it’s controversial and end up being attacked by those who feel it is.

      What you said about liking to push a little with your posts reminds me of how when we do, we can also be teaching our readers to be more open minded or help them to become informed consumers.

  11. My blog is mostly about my healing from incest. I write from my own experiences and don’t claim to be an expert on anything but my own experiences even though over the years I have read so many books and don’t so many exercises, some of which worked for me and some of which didn’t. I don’t get many negative comments but occasionally I do. One of my very young readers (early 20’s) came looking for inspiration and what she found was an article on a particularly painful spot that I was in and wrote about. She made a very long winded & judgmental comment about just forgiving & forgetting and getting on with my life. I wrote an equally long post telling her why she didn’t know what she was talking about. I shared her comment with my readers. She had the right to her opinon and I had the right to mine.

    Occasionally I speak about my spirituality and my beliefs about religion on my blog. Those posts will sometimes bring a commenter who has different beliefs than mine. I am okay with that. Sometimes they want to convert me to their beliefs and some basically leave telling me I am going to Hell for my beliefs. I usually will tell them that when we die, we will find out who is right. As long as their comments are respectful, I post them. If they cross the line and become abusive, I will delete them. I don’t expect everyone to have the same opinion as me. Life would be dull if everyone thought the same way all the time.
    Check out Patricia – Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworker’s awesome post.Grieving Is Normal For An Incest SurvivorMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Patricia,

      Thank you for sharing the story of the young gal who shared her opinion and how you handled it. That’s a great way to not only have more to blog about, but to take the conversation to a deeper level. I’m sure your second post answered questions other readers had, as well.

      I agree. It would be dull if we all thought alike. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. FriarNo Gravatar says:

    I miss the good old days on my blog. When nobody was shy to have an open discussion about pooping and farting. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Friar,

      Maybe you’ll have to revive some of those old topics. ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. HilaryNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara .. I am opinionated .. but I don’t tend to get too controversially involved = too negative and I have enough of that to deal with.

    Good discussion and understanding is so necessary in this world – but I’m not very educated in that direction.

    Also we forget that each of us may come from another country – with different cultures and that makes a huge difference .. my opinions on the world are very different from most Americans, who may well not have left America .. and I haven’t travelled that far (really in the scheme of things) but I’ve lived abroad and have experienced other countries and their ‘mores’ because I’m part of Europe.

    So when I blog I’m quite careful sometimes in what I write and perhaps try and clarify certain things .. though my blog is general I don’t really do religion or politics … I’d rather encourage people to think about other aspects of life ..

    However .. my blogging is for me to meet others, to learn about different parts of the world, to explore my own mind .. and I tend to move off if controversy comes up .. I haven’t the energy.

    Unfortunately life in the blogosphere is being bamboozled by ‘problem makers .. spammers .. etc’ and we can get taken out so easily .. little blogs can disappear – and then the hassle of getting them back ..

    I love peoples’ considered thoughts – but so often comments are left that mean nothing .. ie they’re not thought out, they’re just a statement with no reference .. I’m lucky I don’t get many – thank goodness.

    I guess it’s the same with people – there are some I’d never mix with … and many I would, many I need to give the time of day to because I shop there, they’re at the Care Home .. we may have completely different thought processes .. I try and be relevant to the slot I’m in .. be it life, or blogging ..

    Cheers and it is good to have you back .. have a wonderful summer .. Hilary
    Check out Hilary’s awesome post.Z is for Zephyr โ€“ that is what Z is for My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Hilary,

      Good point. With our blogs being seen by individuals from all over the world, we don’t necessarily know if what we’re sharing is “proper” or not.

      Yes.. That’s true. Just like in real life we will find people in blogosphere with whom we don’t mix or agree with. It can take a lot of energy to fight for what we believe is right, so in some cases it’s best to not even “go there’.

      • HilaryNo Gravatar says:

        Hi Barbara .. also we may use words and phrases that will be taken differently if read in another country .. and in this country of course we have different words for the same things in different parts of the country, let alone the dialect .. chinese whispers appear in blogs without it being obvious ..

        It’s challenging and in that respect if we write something controversial or a point is looked at from a different perspective then controversy may be in the air without the realisation.

        Interesting and ongoing conversation .. cheers Hilary
        Check out Hilary’s awesome post.These are my Reflections of the A โ€“ Z Challenge of 2011 My Profile

        • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

          Hi again Hilary,

          That’s true. Words can mean something totally different depending on the country/region. I know I’ve learned a lot from reading you blog and Cath’s, too. One thing I learned was instead of assuming I know what you’re referring to, it’s best to ask and avoid any misunderstanding.

          • HilaryNo Gravatar says:

            Hi Barbara .. it’s so easy to completely misunderstand – or be too arrogant to think it might be different to my way of thinking .. I only learnt this late in life – sad?!

            Still we continue to learn and grow .. that’s what life’s about -but I think blogging enhances it – where would we get such varied ideas … so much eye opening, with people from around the world commenting – it’s great.
            Check out Hilary’s awesome post.These are my Reflections of the A โ€“ Z Challenge of 2011 My Profile

  14. SineaNo Gravatar says:

    I blog about what I love…organizing, time management, love of family, school, dogs. However, I may use my Hub Pages articles to take on some topics that might be considered to be more controversial.

    My first attempt is called Why Forgive. It features radical forgiveness based on God’s word and some video clips of Joyce Meyer’s preaching. So far I have had all positive feedback but I knew it could bring controversy.
    Check out Sinea’s awesome post.Finishing the School Year Like a Champ – Part TwoMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Sinea,

      It sounds like you went into your “Why Forgive” project with open eyes knowing what you shared could be controversial. Fingers crossed it stays positive. ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. I do agree that starting the debate and playing devil’s advocate is a good thing in almost all areas of life but there are so many loose cannons online, no matter what you say in some cases there will always be someone ready to take an angle that frankly offends. For that reason I tend to blog quite neutrally and stay away from controversy to avoid the spoilers out there. Not completely happy with it but from a professional standpoint I believe this is how it has to be.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Holiday Ideas,

      Yes. We will always find a few spoilers out there, however, I think if we’re passionate about a specific topic, we should state our opinion and deal with the trolls, even it it’s just to say (to them), “thank you for sharing your opinion”.

  16. George AngusNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara,

    I tend to shy away from those hot button issues on my blog and I use Twitter or Facebook if I want to offer my opinion on a controversial matter.

    George

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi George,

      Good idea! That way your writing blog can stay on topic and you can voice your opinions/concerns about other subjects on your social networking sites.

  17. suzenNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara! Gosh, I’ve missed you big bunches, and yet have been so busy myself that I am hard pressed to find blog reading time and have my own scheduled 6-8 wks in advance! I hope that it is all “good stuff” that has kept you away!

    Hot topics? I don’t think about that much really. I am opinionated, that’s for sure, but I’ve read posts by others that I’m in philosophic opposition to and don’t comment. I’m not addicted to my own opinions and wouldn’t want them to define me, who I am, etc – do you know what I mean? My blog is all about healthy eating and I’m thrilled to expose the lies we are told by government, big biz, and pharma. So far I get nothing in comments but agreement or thanks for the info.

    Last weekend I gave a power point presentation at an Earth Fair – probably several hundred people – and I asked my audience if they trusted or believed in the FDA or USDA. Not ONE hand went up. Guess what I’m writing about isn’t considered hot button topics – just educational

    Happy May Hugs
    suZen

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Suzen,

      I admire what you do. You’re not afraid to express you opinions and are always looking out for the best interests of your readers and their health.

      How fascinating that those in your audience don’t trust what’s being reported by the FDA and USDA. You’re right. You’re sharing educational information; not necessarily hot button issues.

      Keep doing what you’re doing. We need more like you. ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. indian homemakerNo Gravatar says:

    I do blog about what I feel strongly, sometimes I hesitate in hitting ‘publish’ but despite the hesitation and an occasional disapproving email, I am glad blogging (and trying to make a difference) is available as an option today.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Indian Homemaker,

      You’re right. With a blog we do have the option to share that which we’re passionate about and even if that means an occasional negative comment or email, it’s worth it when we feel we’re making a difference.

  19. Cath LawsonNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – I still don’t have another blog. But when I do write, I tend to write whatever I want, as you know. But I do it because I want to write about it. I wouldn’t deliberately write something with the main aim of pissing lots of people off.

    Welcoming other points of view is always good. But derogatory comments, death threats etc, attacking the writer instead of discussing always get deleted.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Cath,

      Hopefully you get another blog real soon. I miss your writings.

      Yes. It is good to hear other points of view, but when a commenter leaves a death threat (I remember the one you got) it’s best to hit “delete”.

  20. RichardNo Gravatar says:

    I blog about things that matter to me. but for the most part, those are uncontroversial subjects. On occasion, I will run across a controversial topic that I just feel a strong nee to blog about. At those times, I try to be sensitive about the subject I’m blogging about. If I get strong comments that disagree with my points of view, I still allow them as I don’t believe in censorship.
    Check out Richard’s awesome post.What Kind of Blogger Animal are YouMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Richard,

      I know what you’re saying. When we do blog about a controversial topic, we should take our readers feelings into consideration and blog responsibly.

  21. Tell me about it lol. I do write about some political topics and bureaucracy that attract a lot of trashing. Even on my technical blog, I do write a lot about blogging ethics which young bloggers find difficult to digest (I mean those who want to make money by plagiarizing or seen-elsewhere-1000-times kinda posts). But I don’t care. At my age (40) I feel I have some responsibility towards the nextgen and I keep serving my sermons and thoughts.
    Check out Ajith Prasad Edassery’s awesome post.10 Yesteryear Indian Brands that I am emotionally attached toMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Ajith,

      Keep doing what you’re doing. I think it’s important for those of us who are seasoned bloggers “try” to teach newbies the ethics of blogging responsibly. Good job!

  22. Mandy AllenNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara, I tend to write what I think and don’t worry too much about people having different points of view, each are as valid as my own point of view. I do not, however, like rudeness so if someone posts a comment that is particularly rude rather than wishing to promote discussion I would, quite likely, erase the comment or possibly be more inclined to comment on the tone of their comment rather than the content, per se.

    Enjoy the journey.

    Mandy
    Check out Mandy Allen’s awesome post.F is for FaithMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Mandy,

      I agree. There’s no excuse for rudeness on another person’s blog. Visiting and commenting on other blogs is no different than knocking on the door of a friend. We (should) show respect when visiting others in the real world, and online it’s really no different.

  23. Kelly FelixNo Gravatar says:

    Speaking as someone just setting out on my first blog journey (5ish days including loss of service) – I’ve already felt the wrath of comments – but in my profession (GM food) I’ve kinda got used to it!

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Kelly,

      I’ll bet. Just like SuZen (see earlier comment), when you bring up controversial topics which can affect our health, there will be many who disagree. Stay strong. We need more like you to spread the word and help educate others.

      Happy Blogging! ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. RickNo Gravatar says:

    I have a family blog but occasionally will post about politics and religion. I state my opinions but try to give reasons for my beliefs and evidence for any facts I claim. It is fun to have contrary comments and to see if those that comment can support their claims or if they just resort to name-calling.

    I supported proposition 8 and blogged several times about that. If you cannot speak your mind then any other activity becomes almost meaningless.
    Check out Rick’s awesome post.Till EverythingMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Rick,

      I like your idea of stating why you believe what you do. Oftentimes if a reader knows the back story, they’re less apt to attack.

      P.S. I ‘m assuming you’re talking about Proposition 8 in California, re: marriage.

  25. Hi Barbara!

    I tend to stay quiet on the hot topics on my blog because I think I just feel, as a small blogger just starting out, I don’t have much backing me up. Also, I tend to come across as confrontational and aggressive online when my tone in person is really just matter-of-fact. I tend to say things rather bluntly and don’t have the best grasp of diplomacy. =) It gets me into trouble by the people who want their feelings stroked at every turn.

    Unfortunately, it seems that the population of soft-touches grows. Sheeple move in herds, and even though they’re not the brightest, they do tend to trample the solitary non-sheeples. =)

    Delena
    Check out Delena Silverfox’s awesome post.epc LisburnMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Delena,

      You’ve raised a good point. If we write in such a manner our words can be easily misconstrued, i.e. as you said, “bluntly”, we could easily be setting ourselves up for confrontation.

      Yes. Sheeple do appear to move in herds, both offline and on. Although it can be difficult for the lone person who’s trying to make a difference be heard, as long as they’re persistent with their messages, I think they’ll succeed.

  26. Pam SheratonNo Gravatar says:

    I read almost everything online but I do not comment on everything that I read-it’s not a question of being open minded but I see it as showing respect to other people. If I know that my opinion on a particular topic is likely to ruin the harmony online, I’d rather keep it to myself. A simple comment or post can sometimes result in spreading hate and where we are standing now, I don’t think that the world deserves any more hate!
    Check out Pam Sheraton’s awesome post.The Benefits of Filing Your Self Employed Tax Return OnlineMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Pam,

      That’s very considerate of you and I know what you’re saying. Even though our opinion may be quite different than others, if we feel strongly about it, it’s not necessary for us to voice it, but instead, live it.

      P.S. I agree. No more hate! ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. Hi Barbara,

    I have to admit I am a “safe” blogger, and I don’t feel great about it. It is not like I am losing sleep or anything, I just have urges and wistful dreams of blogging not for keywords, targeted traffic, search engine placement etc. and just blog my mind.

    I used to be slightly famous in certain circles as a conspiracy buff and revisionist historian, I had a radio show and everything… then, now I have three kids and a dream of making money as a blogger and middle class ambitions that I know makes me a “sell-out”, but hey, that’s the right thing to do, right? Who knows, you might have just made the true me stir and rise from the ashes of suburban mediocrity. Fun post, thanks.
    Check out Terry Tiessen’s awesome post.Internet Marketing Training For Network MarketersMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Terry,

      It’s good to see you again.

      That’s a tough call, isn’t it? On one hand we’re told if we want our blogs to be found and to make money (with them), we need to use (and spend our time on) whatever techniques possible. Yet on the other hand, by blogging from our heart (and possibly NOT making money), we can spread our messages/beliefs/findings literally around the world and truly make a difference in people’s lives.

      Please keep me posted on what you decide. ๐Ÿ™‚

  28. Joseph@wigsNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara, thanks was missing some nice topics since ling time which was missing from your side & you have come out with some juicy & interactive topic!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ I would like to add that blogging is just a medium just to voice your opinions as like we vote for someone in different ballot boxes!!! I feel there shouldnโ€™t be any sort of differences which needs to be popped out in case of voicing our feelings & intentions towards some particular topics as it is just our personal opinions. Just like when someone writes that,” Words written are writer’s personal opinions which shouldnโ€™t be harmful to someone” Same manner, people should understand that they shouldnโ€™t object over certain unethical topics which can lead to some haywire conversations. I feel freedom of speech clearly authorizes us to use this service with proper commands & aims to maintain harmony!!!

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Joseph,

      I like your analogy. Sharing our opinions is very much like voting for the candidate of our choice. It’s just that – our choice, our opinion. And each person has the right to theirs.

      In a perfect world everyone would get along and respect the opinions of others, but unfortunately that’s not the case and it trickles over to blogs as well. ๐Ÿ™

  29. kingsleyNo Gravatar says:

    I blog about the things that matter to me. I blog mainly after politics and health. I try to play it safe so i will not make any enemies. Even though i try my best to be impartial on each side, i still get sediments from comment posters, especially when i blog about politics.
    Check out kingsley’s awesome post.Independent Vigrx Plus ReviewMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Kingsley,

      That’s smart to stay impartial, but like you mentioned, when discussing politics it’s easy to “push someone’s buttons”.

  30. EinnaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi! I don’t know how I got here but I sure am glad I did.

    Anyway, before my first blog just “died”, I did put up a Comments Policy asking readers to freely comment but to stick to the topic and refrain from name-calling and trash talks. The blog was purely lame so it was so surprising how the discussion turned from completely innocent to absolutely out-of-whack, like crazily insane if that’s even possible.

    I am from the Philippines where some people can get pretty fired up when others express disagreement especially when it comes to politics and religion. Which is why I tend to avoid blogging on such topics because the discussion can get so tiring. We can’t all agree at everything but can’t we at least agree to disagree?
    Check out Einna’s awesome post.The Big RH Bill DebateMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Einna,

      We never know, do we; when the comments can take a turn for the worst?

      You’re right. Where controversy shows up in our comment section, it can be tiring, especially if we try to extinguish “the flames”.

      I’m with you. Let’s just agree to disagree. ๐Ÿ™‚

  31. AnnaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi, Barbara
    Nice to see you again (I missed your great blog and your posts). And now about the today’s issue – I see no problem in expressing my point of view in my comments. I think that blogging is the sphere where you can express your opinion. But while commenting posts we have to respect each other – the author and other commentators.
    What concerns avoiding such controversial topics – that’s not good for a blogger – his/her blog won’t be interesting for others and soon this blog will be dead.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Anna,

      Yes. We do need to show respect for others – the blog author and the other commenters, even if we’re in disagreement.

      I know what you’re saying. Staying away from controversial topics can make a blog less interesting, especially if the blog is in a “controversial” niche.

  32. Hi Barbara,

    I loved this post. In fact, it reminded me of another post I recently read. Perhaps you’d like to read it, too:

    http://ariherzog.com/arrested-for-blogging/

    I tend to play it safe with what I blog about, as well as with what I tweet about and post on Facebook. I manage social media platforms and blogs for my company, so we obviously try not to be too controversial. If it was my personal blog, I’d probably allow myself to be a little bit more ‘daring’ with what I write.

    I really admire people who speak their mind in their blogs, on Twitter/Facebook, etc. I think, though, that it’s important to stay respectful when voicing your opinion.

    -Petra

    P.S. ‘Sheeple’ is my new favorite word ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’d never heard this before reading your post! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Check out Petra @ ascentive’s awesome post.AscentiveDE- Telefonieren รผber den PC- von PCPrima Blogspot http-tco-yLJre7dMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Petra,

      I hadn’t seen the article written by Ari, but did check it out. Thank you for sharing the link.

      You’ve raised a good point. When we’re online representing a company/business, what we share needs to be monitored. It certainly wouldn’t do a business any good to get in a virtual “fist fight”, just to prove a point.

      Sheeeple is a great word, isn’t it? 8)

  33. Shivam GargNo Gravatar says:

    Hey Barbara,
    I feel that it is not possible to make everyone agree on what you say in any article.So a blogger has to cope up with criticism.But there is no fun in playing safe.This is what blogging is make your words spread.Change the mind of people.
    Check out Shivam Garg’s awesome post.Jumpline Web Hosting CouponMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Shivam,

      True. Bloggers do need to realize they’ll eventually “meet” someone who doesn’t agree with them, no matter how safe they play it.

      Yes! With blogs we can increase the level of our readers’ consciousness.. Oh, what fun, hey?

  34. Hi Barbara, first time commenting on the site. Love the blog!

    As for this post, i wholeheartedly agree with what your saying. I think a lot of this comes down to people caring about what others think about them and their reputation.

    Sometimes you just have to stand up for what you believe in and let it all out. I can definitely see both sides of this debate. An interesting one no doubt.
    Check out Jenny @ BingoBabe.co.uk’s awesome post.Chris Moyles Likes Playing BingoMy Profile

  35. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Welcome Jenny, ๐Ÿ™‚

    Yes. It’s a tough call. Do we blog about that which we’re passionate about, or stay quiet to avoid controversy? Fortunately when we’re online we do have options. Take George, for example, (earlier comment), he uses Facebook to vent, but his blog.

  36. Hello,

    I am a business-type blogger, I love to blog both ways – business and personal. I like to have 2 types of posts and articles, business articles and personal posts. It’s amazing to have a blog where you can earn money and share your life to others. It’s really great to have someone to talk to. Keep up the good work!

    Best wishes,

    George
    Check out George Williams’s awesome post.Tractors PowerMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you George,

      That’s a great way to blog; where you separate your posts. You can not only appeal to different audiences, but would also have a greater range of topics. (and make money). ๐Ÿ™‚

  37. MyleneNo Gravatar says:

    Someone told me that a good choice is a choice we can assume all the consequences, good or bad. I think it can apply to blogging too. If we chose to blog about things that matter to us, controversial or not, we have to be know we can deal with the comments that can come with it.

  38. EvitaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara

    Oh this was so good to read. I recently wrote a post that I felt strongly about and definitely got some great conversation going. But it also made me think, and this has been in my mind since day one of online writing…. do I go there or not. I live on the edge of society, not within the status quo and a lot of people find that threatening in this or that way when I expand upon how “sheeple-ish” the current systems are. Everything within me wants to help people wake up and stop just blindly going with the status quo which is not serving our health, happiness, environment or spiritual evolution… but often, too often I would fall back and not want to go there.

    I have seen the attacks and the comments on other people’s sites and I thought, nah, that’s not for me. And yet my inner being is telling me to speak freely about those issues that I feel strongly about for the greater good and not hold back. From this January I made promise to myself to speak more openly and more boldly. I declared it openly too in a post. And I have been, well, um,… getting there slowly.

    You know that quote by Martin Luther King alone said so much…

    I think I am seeing the creation of a post on this for next week where I will be linking to this for sure.

    Thank you for saying what you have said. It supports my courage even more.
    Check out Evita’s awesome post.How Our Lives Are Influenced By What Is In Our Energy FieldMy Profile

  39. HeydonNo Gravatar says:

    I think there are varying levels of conformity.

    For instance, the expression ‘sheeple’ is a term of disparagement for those that conform. However, for the expression itself to be useful in communication, we must conform to a consensus regarding its meaning.

    I refer you to xkcd: http://xkcd.com/610/

    Like your site!
    Check out Heydon’s awesome post.Display-None IssuesMy Profile

  40. Chevy CamaroNo Gravatar says:

    In regards to blogging, I don’t think that a blogger should hold back at all when writing a post. I mean, what’s the point of blogging if you’re afraid to say something that will offend someone. In today’s society, no matter what you say, somebody out there will not like it or disagree with you. If you think about it, it kind of defeats the purpose of even having a blog if you “pull your punches” while writing.

    I just started my Camaro blog a week ago and I’m looking forward to having lots of heated “discussions” with Mustang and Challenger owners.

  41. Someone told me that a good choice is a choice we can assume all the consequences, good or bad. I think it can apply to blogging too. If we chose to blog about things that matter to us, controversial or not, we have to be know we can deal with the comments that can come with it.
    Check out how to take a screenshot’s awesome post.How to take a screenshot on a mac easyMy Profile