“Are bloggers opinionated?”, asks Chris Garrett on Performancing. He’s asking for opinions. Well, yes, but more so than the next guy – I’m not so sure. Most people are pretty opinionated about some things. Some people are very opinionated about most things. Maybe it’s because I live in the NY metro area, but almost everyone I know expresses a couple of passionate opinions per conversation. Often with gratuitous expletives. And they don’t have to be about real important things. New Yorkers can get pretty animated about almost anything.
I recall that one day at work there was a group of women talking and one of them said very heatedly, “It was terrible! Totally wrong and it was unfair! Disgusting. I’m going to write to Fox right away!” and on and on. I’m thinking, Hoo boy, what outrage has Fox News committed now. I was just about to ask and to give a big “Right on!”, when it became clear that they were talking about American Idol. I don’t have opinions about that, but they sure did. Very, very strong ones. I don’t think any of them have blogs. Wouldn’t even consider having one. I wish they’d all start one. Then they might have less time to send out e-mail forwards that won’t have the desired effect unless the recipient sends it on to five or ten of more victims friends.
I’d be willing to be that for most bloggers over thirty, newsgroups and messageboards were the gateway drugs. I know they were for me and I was way over thirty even then. How many hours and how much bandwidth has been spent battling over the merits of Microsoft vs Apple, PC vs Mac vs Linux, Netscape (remember Netscape?) vs IE vs Mozilla products in general vs Opera, POP vs MAP, tables vs divs and of course whose HTML editor sucks the most?
Then there was music – Your favorite band sucks. And religion. You’re worshiping wrong. Or too much. Or not enough. Or, most likely, the wrong God. I don’t know for sure, but I bet there are some spicy discussions on foodie boards somewhere on the interwebs.
There was something to get anyone’s blood pressure up, but the discussions move pretty fast. You go away and come back and on a busy board you might not even be able to find the dead horse you wanted to beat. With blogs, you can post an article and if people want to show up and flog it they can continue to do so for days if they so desire. Or longer. They’re made for it.
For myself, I don’t think I ever started a single blog with the purpose of expressing a lot of opinions. The opinions just show up and insert themselves, or so it seems. They kind of bubble over. OK – that might indicate an opinionated person, but that brings me back to the question – who isn’t? Really, I just found that I like the process. I like having a place to kick a thought around and if what I’m saying doesn’t resonate with anyone, that’s OK. They can move on and maybe come back another day. I like having conversations with people, too. I’ve just been doing this blog for a little over a month and have “met” some real great people. I Also, I like having a website of sorts and I don’t have a reason in the world to have my own. Running others doesn’t count the same way. A blog can be a good way to scratch that itch.
You know what, though? I’ve found since I’ve been expressing my opinons to strangers on the interwebs I have fewer pointless arguments with folks offline. Maybe bloggers are pretty opinionated after all and blogs serve as a safety valve so we can be less obnoxious to friends and family. What do you think?