I just unsubscribed to a couple of blogs. They were decent enough blogs with occasional discussion-worthy topics but their communities were kind of a drag. It was difficult to get into any kind of interesting coversation. The only comments allowed were positive “Oh I so agree with you” type of posts. Anyone disagreeing was labeled as a hostile and ignored or even deleted for being negative.
Now, I’m all for positivity. In fact, it’s my goal for the new year. No blog wars. No Twitter battles. No Facebook feuds. Positivity only. Last year featured enough toxic sniping to last a lifetime. However, I seem to have missed the memo that equated respectful disagreement with negativity.
This is what’s wrong with the blogosphere today. Everyone is supposed to blindly follow the appointed guru and not ask questions. Before everything turns into a giant kumbaya complete with group hugs, let me assure you all that it’s ok to disagree with your favorite blogger. I promise, as long as you’re respectful Chris Brogan or Darren Rowse will not ban you to the comment hall of shame. They welcome your point of view, even if it isn’t the same as their own. Jason Falls will not sentence you to eternal damnation for offering opposition on his social media blog and Liz Strauss will still smile and chat with you in the hallways of conference halls if you don’t share the same point of view.
Now, I’m not saying you have to be all Amanda Chapel about it, because loud mouthed attention seeking isn’t the same as respectful disagreement. However, if you have something to say, you shouldn’t feel as if you need to follow the crowd.
Go ahead. Tell your favorite blogger why you feel he missed the mark or why you don’t think she’s capturing the entire picture. Be nice about it. Don’t curse and get all loud. Offer respectful disagreement and watch the conversation take on a whole new direction. Most of us are geeks who didn’t go along with the crowd in high school anyway, so why do it as adults?
Debate is good. Debate is healthy. Debate and disagreement aren’t the same as fighting or being abusive.
To me, there’s nothing more boring than watching the same five people travel back and forth between each other’s same five blogs and do nothing but agree with each other. Why are so many bloggers afraid of a spirited discussion. Not a negative discussion but one that offers many different points of view? My assignment for you, dear blog readers, is to visit your favorite blogs until you find someone with whom you don’t quite agree. Offer a respectful rebuttal and see what happens. It’ll feel good, I promise.
Don’t agree? Tell me in the comments. I welcome your point of view even if it isn’t the same as mine.
Deb Ng is a professional blogger and founder of the Freelance Writing Jobs blog network.