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Rules to blog by, for blog publishers and readers

Rules to blog by, for blog publishers and readers

by Dr. Jeffrey Lant

Maybe HE likes all the hubbub.

But will you?

The calm of my Cambridge, Massachusetts neighborhood was punctuated the other day by student protestors outside Harvard University's Science Center. There 1960's wannabees chanted "Harvard, Harvard, shame on you, honoring a racist fool."

The cause of this mayhem was Professor Martin Peretz and his latest blog post on his The New Republic website: "But, frankly Muslim life is cheap, most notably to Muslims." It was more than enough to stir up a reaction from the politically correct, who live to chant and picket.

They shouted... they taunted... they heckled... and HE, owner of The New Republic, the subject of so much fuss, got valuable, eye-catching full-page publicity in The Boston Globe, New England's paper of record.


One of America's most experienced provocateurs had succeeded, yet again, in using his blog to get even more publicity for his "take no prisoners" opinions.

Martin Peretz' blog had done its work and done it well.

Will yours? It most assuredly will... if you understand the true purpose of a blog, run it accordingly, and learn to be a responsible blog publisher and blog reader. Here are recommendations to assist you.

Bogs MUST be honest.

The purpose of a blog is to give ANYONE ANYWHERE in the world, whatever creed, class, station, nationality, or political position, the opportunity to be heard on any subject whatsoever.

Thus, your task as a blogger is to open yourself up... to tell the truth, straightforwardly, honestly, bluntly. The blog is, first and foremost, about you, its publisher and focus. To write anything other than the whole truth, so help you God, is to demean the medium -- and yourself.

If you are new to blogging, you'll find this kind of openness difficult, challenging. Most people grow up adept at masking their true opinions. For fear of what the listener may say or do, we moderate and water down the way we really feel and what we say.

That will never do on a blog where truth is called for at all times.

Now, you may think you are a straightforward, honest person but blogging will show you soon enough that you, like all social beings, are considerably more adept at masking how we feel, our true views, rather than telling them.

In the novel "To Kill a Mockingbird", for instance, there is an incident that makes this point lucidly, succinctly. Atticus Finch is walking with his children past Miss DuBois' home. She is a notorious termagant and scold. Does he say that to her? Certainly not. He lifts his hat cordially, saying "Good afternoon, MissDuBois. You look pretty as a picture." Scout, his young daughter, says just loud enough "You notice he don't say a picture of what." Miss DuBois just catches a few words and wants to know what the impish Scout has said... but Atticus Finch is a wise man, a gentleman and knows the value of good relations, over the strict, unyielding truth. He lifts his hat again and moves his children along. Most of us would do the same.

But bloggers cannot. Bloggers must opt for candor, honesty at all times.

The more honest YOU are, the more reactions you will get. Take Professor Peretz, for example. Given that he is an experienced blogger, I take him at his word, when he writes his latest anti-Muslim diatribe.

Others, who feel differently, will abhor and detest what he has written... and propose such sanctions as having a speaking engagement at Harvard cancelled. But this is wrong.

Voltaire, that very clever fellow, said it best:

"I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it."

Unfortunately, sanctimonious members of the Academy (usually the least intelligent on campus) have forgotten their true calling: facilitating free speech, not suffocating and penalizing it. Blogs, then, do the work academicians should do (the reason they are given tenure to do), but are now too often emasculated, self-protecting and lazy to do.

Thus, when you write, the objective is always to achieve Harvard's ultra clear motto: "Veritas", the pure and always unsimple truth.

Write regularly,consistently.

One of the major problems with most blogs is that they are not regularly produced. Remember, whatever else a blog may be it is also and always the story of your life. It is a window into your thoughts and occupations. Blogs must therefore be regularly undertaken. Don't start it.... unless you mean to do it.

Write regularly and consistently, being always aware that the first day you do not feel like writing your blog is the very day you must be sure to write it... or risk the ending of your blog altogether.

The more honest you are, the more and stronger reader reaction you should expect.

When Professor Peretz posted his incendiary opinions about Moslims (a subject on which he writes often), I suspect he knew that tea cups in Cambridge and beyond would be rattled. What's more, being a true provocateur,he probably relishes the instant, insistent responses of those he has provoked. He might not like being followed through Harvard Yard by hecklers... but he cannot truly have been awfully surprised by such a response. Relish, rather than alarm, was most probably his reaction.

You, too, need to reach this level of reaction and response as you achieve greater candor and honesty in your bog. Because as my grandfather used to say, some damned idiot is sure to protest; the stronger the opinions rendered, the stronger the response from those disagreeing. (He would have been a great blogger, grandfather Walt would have been.)

Prepare for the reaction... expect it... ignore it.

Blogging is one of the jewels of the Internet... treat it with care and consideration.

Millions and millions of folks have come and gone on this planet without leaving even a foot print in the dust. To our chagrin and detriment, we do not know them in any way at all. But blogging has changed all that, not merely for the potent and celebrated... but even unto the lowest among us. At last they have a place for their opinions...not matter how alarming, uninformed, and (to the rest of us) silly they may be. And this is a very good thing... for our job is to cherish the bloggers, protecting and defending them, even at their most reprehensible and loathsome. And that includes you, too, Professor Peretz, as you sit in comfort and security here in Cambridge, spewing venom. I defend to the death your right to say it... and blog it worldwide. Defending you, I have done the right thing, while taking joy from the fact that every hostile word you blog drives down the certified circulation figures of your moribund rag, The New Republic. In the end the marketplace, not censorship, will determine your fate. So blog on....

About The Author Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., where small and home-based businesses learn how to profit online. Attend Dr. Lant's live webcast TODAY and receive 50,000 free guaranteed visitors to the website of your choice! Republished with author's permission by Vaurn James

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