Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Snitfest du Jour

Miss Snark took Sandra Scoppetone to task yesterday about her post about her editor leaving. Both Ms. Scoppetone's original post and Miss Snark's commentary on it have stirred up the dust and brought the bats winging down from the belfrey. The fan's on high and snit's flying everywhere.

I have read Ms. Scoppetone's post, and I can see both sides of the debate. Both are right, and both are wrong. I fear Ms. Scoppetone is going to pay a heavy price for this post simply based on the nature of blogs and their readers.

Most people red blogs with about the same attention and concentration that they do the Sunday comics. This is not great literature, in spite of the few bloggers who do truly believe their shit doesn't stink. Most blogs are informal and, usually, somewhat chatty, and most visitors read them with one eye and their mind on tonight's episode of their favorite reality show.

What I'm saying here is that subtlety in a blog post is not rewarded. In fact, it can cause you great discomfort, even harm. The reason is that subtlety WILL BE MISUNDERSTOOD. There is no maybe, no possibly. Subtlety will be misunderstood, and the snit will fast and furiously.

Ms. Scoppetone's post was a naturally sad reaction to losing an editor who had been very good to her and worry about her future, since she is between contracts right now. Her remarks were not, to me, excessively inflammatory, but I can certainly see how they could be, and have been, construed as snotty and disrespectful to younger editors. Her one very brief statement about how her new editor will no doubt be a good one, was a little too quick and went unnoticed.

Bloggers have to realize that they must be very clear about what they say. There are far too many middle-school minds out there just waiting for an opportunity to light a fire and pour gasoline on it at every opportunity. Stop, think, then write, and, for God's sake, don't flame the commenters. That only makes it worse.


At 5:42 PM, Blogger Gabriele C. said...

What brought her down, imho, were her remarks in the comments. The way she slapped back at the anonymous posters (who may not have a blogger account and have to log in as Anonymous) were personal attacks and a very unprofessional reaction.

For anger and whining, a LifeJournal with a Friends Only option is a better way - you can share your feelings and limit the readership to people you know. That's why I have both. ;-)

At 7:17 PM, Blogger Carter said...

I have to agree, Gabriele. If she had just kept her mouth shut, there would not have been such a problem. As it is, her replies make her out to be an overly-sensitive person who will be difficult to get along with. That's probably not a good image to project at a time when the status of your next contract is undefined.

At 7:54 AM, Blogger Vernieda said...

It was definitely her response to comments -- both in her blog and in other places -- that brought her down. Personally, I read a few months back of her blog entries and the image that's portrayed is, as you said, that of an overly-sensitive person.


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