Friday, January 05, 2007

Forum Wars

A couple of days ago a post by my sister hit the front page of digg. This was pretty cool, although she already has lots of readers and media attention thanks to her Blogcritics posts, her blog, and her TV, Eh? website. I thought her post was interesting, but nothing new, mostly because I already use open source software almost exclusively.

Others obviously found it useful and interesting. She has a fairly large readership, but all it took for it to hit critical mass was for her to mention open source and Linux. She has received all kinds of emails and comments.

The interesting thing to me is that the comments from digg were very different from the comments she received from Blogcritics. I read digg everyday, but for the most part I use it to find interesting resources or sites, and have stopped reading the comments. For some reason they almost all descend into arguments as to whether the article is a dupe, blog, inaccurate, or whatever. Lots of inane, uninformative jabber that doesn't contribute to a discussion.

A lot of the comments on digg concentrated on whether or not she was a techie, with some stating they were burying the story as inaccurate. They seemed to feel she was trying to put something over on them, and missed the point of the article entirely. It seems they were confused by the thought that a person could be intelligent and not a techie at the same time. Some seemed to feel that the ability to maintain a website made a person a techie. And some didn't quite know what to make of the word "communications."

The Blogcritics commenters on the other hand were, as Diane put it, "Really supportive, helpful people with common sense." A lot of them were Linux zealots (sometimes we can be almost as bad as Mac zealots), but they seemed to genuinely want to help, or at least add intelligently to the discussion.

Obviously I'm generalizing here. There are intelligent comments posted on digg, and I'm sure there are boneheads commenting on Blogcritics, but there seems to be a definite trend in the quality of comments depending on the forum. Perhaps the popularity of digg brings out more of the unwashed masses, or maybe a secret cabal weeds out the undesirables from Blogcritics.

And for the record, although she is intelligent, articulate, and has many talents, she is definitely not a techie.

1 comment:

Diane Kristine said...

Aww, thanks. I have to say though, I don't have that many readers, and being dugg was way beyond the norm. I've had some of my TV writer interviews on my blog Whedonesqued, Wikipediaed, and descended on by House fans, but this was the first time I'd ever had that much spillover from a Blogcritics post onto my own blog. I don't know exactly what it meant in terms of hits for the Blogcritics post, but that says to me it was huge.

They'll all go away now that they see I write about House and Canadian TV all the time ;-)