Tuesday, November 11, 2008

My approach to blogging, and to Hoaxers

If you've browsed through my blog, you would recognize my disdain for traditional media. In my experience, the media's corruption is not a phenomena limited to the USA - it is as global as the news agencies are, but it is also local at countries like Israel, France and the UK - where the government does not control the media and there is supposedly freedom of the press (OK, perhaps there's no real freedom of press in France). Simply put, the media throughout the world is infiltrated by ideologues who have no or limited standards. Worse - the ideology those who provide us with information hold is often against the interest of the public they serve.

With the availability of free tools to distribute personal opinions on the web, people began writing whatever they felt like. Personal web logs, or blogs are/were used to write whatever one wants, true or false. Malicious or benign. Under pen name, anonymously or in person. You can say whatever you want. I don't know of cases before Charles Johnson's "little green footballs" where blogs had real impact on national politics, for all I know he put the first and crucial dent into the main stream media. You can complain about main stream media and point out to mischief all you want but it is only when your writings gain some credence that you can be taken seriously.

Credibility can be lost in a flash once dishonesty or foolishness becomes public knowledge. Dan Rather can attest to that. Bloggers often disregard their own lack of credibility and for that reason are dismissed. It is hard to distinguish yourself as honest when you swim in a muddy pool where every one can pose as someone he is not.

I - a blogger
Personally, I had no urge to grab any attention or to express my self into a void. I agree with the demotivator: "Never before have so many people with so little to say said so much to so few".

It's not that I lacked political passion, or was in some way indifferent to news. I'm in fact a news-addict and have been known with my friends to be very opinionated. I just didn't feel the need to scream it out my window, or put it on the internet.

I began blogging after 4 years of horrific terror attacks on the country I was born and raised at. I thought it was a worthy cause, and I take pride in some of the things I link to. I believe in contributing to victims of terror and put it on the top of the page. I believe in speaking out against the distortion in the media which labels murderers as victims and victims as "the new Nazis".

I made a conscious decision to write under a pen name, and boy was I proven right recently; Joe the plumber was pummeled by the hostile media. I did not wish to expose my family or I to hostile bureaucrats. Being an every day citizen without political or financial powers places the regular person at the mercy of the vindictive government and media machines. Freedom of speech is a right which puts those who practice it unprotected under physical danger these days. I was initially more worried about extremist Muslim backlash than left wing nut jobs who proved to be as menacing and deranged as the Jihadists.

I preferred to link to other places at all times to express my point of view. There are few op-eds here, and many clips of news bits from other blogs and news sites. Opinion is expressed with regards to "web evidence". Which is flimsy, but as shown, no more flimsy than traditional media. I'm not a reporter, it's not my profession and I don't delve into research beyond a regular web surfer.

I try to build my credibility by preferring to express my opinions in relation to what is available elsewhere. I don't invent news bits or come up with "scoops". I don't go on research trips or interview people of power. Some things are simple enough but are just not my profession and not within my time limit. I have a day job, and my blog posts are written in my moments of leisure at work or at home, usually at work. So as far as time allocation is concerned, I prefer to spend the least time researching and writing. Having seen something on the web, and recognizing the urge to let it be emphasized on this site I spend about 5 minutes and put it here. There are usually 1 to 2 posts a day, but sometimes about once a week.

I'm not trying to grab attention either. I wrote for a whole year with very little link backs and a traffic of 1-2 visitors a day and was fine with that. This is my outlet to express my personal opinions, not a garbage bin for every loon in Hollywood (like huff-post). At some point I found some bit of news before others and got a link back from a bit more influential blogs out there. At another occasion my wife opened a user account on LGF to participate in commenting, and later the spin-off links were introduced so every so often she or I would use that to link back. Many other blogs use that service as well as other techniques to self promote. Believe me, I haven't made a dime from this site (google-ads are still holding to 5 cents to my account after 3 years) and am not really planning on making any. We link back here to inform about something we found, and usually before linking back try to verify that the same news bit was not linked by others.

So why add the "stumble this", "digg that" links/buttons? Just standard procedure I guess, I saw it on every other blog and thought - why not. It didn't actually produce much traffic. There was one post that was dugg in about 3 years.

Hoaxers - blech
I loath them. If you noticed how my previous post regarding that "Eisenstadt" guy, it started with skepticism. I mentioned prior weird posts and that I found it to be a source of disinformation. But I did not deviate from my "formula" to maintain my honesty, I link to somewhere else and do not invent the bits I referred to. I did not rewrite my post - but added an update when I became aware of other opinions who believe the guy is a hoax.

At the very least, the guy is a dunce and a trouble maker.

The web allows all sorts of creeps to pop up and claim they are someone who they aren't. Some people express opinions similar to others only to grab attention and blend in, and then spread deliberate lies in order to create disturbance. Some are in denial as to who they are (think they are just conservatives but hold extremist point of views). I recall the famous fracture in the right wing blogosphere when LGF revealed the Nazi relationship European "conservative" bloggers held. I personally removed links to sites that all of a sudden started talking about "White Europe". I also noted to other bloggers to remove comments with racist overtones.

I try to hold my own. To keep writing honestly about what I found and what I feel. Many have disagreed. Rating mechanisms on link sites and aggregators allow those who disagree to bury or "unrank" opinions they dislike. I'm kept amazed at those who feel a need to "unrank". But to tell you the truth - I don't care much. I'm just amazed - which my wife thinks is proof that I do take it to heart. No, it's just stupid. See - if you disagree, you can comment and express your disagreement, you can blog back, you can discuss on discussion forums, you can just move along to whatever else interests, but to "click down" is a vindictive action and a juvenile one. Anyhow - good luck with your thumbs down clicks - hope it fills a void in your life...

I don't claim to be anyone of major importance - just a guy, in an office, in cold and gray Michigan, who misses both Israel and Colorado knowing he would probably not move back to either soon, expressing own opinions. You may disagree and move on, you may dislike and be repelled because of grammatical and/or spelling imperfections, or you could just pop every now and then and see what 'the dude from cold and gray Michigan' had to say now.

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