brouhaha in blogaria


The recent brouhaha in blogaria has left me with quite a feeling of d�ja vu. [drat...can't figure out how to generate the accent grave for the a...]

Why? For nearly seven years, I've been a member of a mailing list of women who had children in September/October of '96. Every couple of years, somebody posts something that sets off a similar firestorm. From bottle vs breast to responses to 9/11. And each time there have been harsh words, real hurt, and people who've left the community. Most of the time, they come back. Not always. The process is almost always accompanied by non-combatants wringing their virtual hands and expressing fears that the community has finally self-destructed, that it will never the same again. But then the rhetoric calms, the participants retreat to lick their wounds. Off the radar, apologies are often exchanged. Sometimes it takes a while. But the community endures, and even strengthens. Those who left are welcomed back. And we move on.

Perhaps things will be different in blogaria. But I suspect not. It's populated by the same kinds of people as the mailing list I'm on. Caring, articulate, passionate people who can hurt themselves as well as each other, but who gain so much from their participation that they're willing to work through the conflicts.


Oh my god. We're twins. I've been a long-time member of the July 96 list... and our list (like yours) has fusses like you describe... and actually, after 9/11, I didn't come back. Oh, we made up and all but a few months later I just didn't want to be on the list anymore. My heart wasn't in it. And the differences were too pronounced: I was one of only two non-North-Americans on the list. Of course I could go back, and I'm sure I'd be welcomed but...

Perhaps the bloggers involved in this fuss are more diverse? I think that might help.


The September96 list has about 60 members who are still active after 7 years, and of those I can off the top of my head identify at least 5 who are not in North America (one from England, originally Spain; two from Australia--one of whom was in Austria; one in Israel; one in the Netherlands). We also have several active members from Canada.

I've gone through a couple of periods where I withdrew from the list--we're on Yahoo!Groups now, so it's easy to switch to "nomail" mode. Sometimes because of things going on there, more often because other parts of my life demanded more attention, and list traffic was taking too much of my time and energy. But each time I ended up back there. I guess that's why I'm not terribly disturbed by the "high profile" bloggers who are talking about walking away from their blogs right now. I suspect that for most of them it will be both a positive and a short-term break--and that they'll be back, because they feel too connected to the community to leave it entirely. (Of course, that's just a guess...)

Liz, I always check for unusual characters at the evolt character entity chart. . . .

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This page contains a single entry published on December 3, 2002 8:19 PM.

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