The Smart Way To Run A Blog
As a special Thanksgiving gift, Yours Truly has decided to share his not inconsiderable experience in blogging matters. So there we are.
When I started writing this blog I decided that the smart way of doing it was to limit interactive battles to the mere minimum, and devote the time to my little space on the Internet instead; at least as much as my fiery nature can manage.
Since then, I have been insulted many times, by many people, very publicly: from homosexual journalists to frustrated bloggers, and from failed seminarians to outright nutcases. Add to that a lot of atheists and perverts, but those I do not even count as worthy of notice.
Whenever I detected something of the sort, what I did is to look for the commenters who supported the attacker and ban them from my blog (yes: there are people out there who will praise you on your blog and insult you elsewhere; that's how much they love to see their nickname on the Internet). Then I make a knot on my handkerchief, and remember the episode at the appropriate juncture. Then… well, that's it, really. But trust me, I have a long memory, and the knots on my handkerchief are rather strong ones.
This way of running the blog has several advantages: it avoids the never-to-bed-and-you-know-you-have-to-work-tomorrow internet evenings; it avoids giving more ammo to atheists who then mock us for attacking each other; it saves vast amounts of adrenalines; it avoids making of the blog something self-referential, and it allows to dedicate the time to the blog topics instead, ad maiorem Dei gloriam.
Let me stress this particular point again: the savings in adrenalines are vast.
From blogger to blogger, I must say this to you: it's the smart way to go. I know it out of quinquennial blogging experience. Mind, it does not mean that I will leave an attack unpunished. I tend to leave very little unpunished. It means that, as smart people used to say, est modus in rebus.
We Catholic bloggers should learn from the Church. The smart one, I mean. The one before John. Those churchmen did not leave much unpunished, either. But they knew how to do it in the proper way. This was, of course, before the advent of the Age of Stupidity, but you get my drift.
The temptation to get into that Twitter brawl or that Facebook row can be big in the moment. But if you pray and write a blog post instead, whilst on the Internet others are attacking you from several places you will be the winner, big time.
In addition, with advancing age I have become less confident in my ability to teach idiots to think, or to induce reprobates to save their souls. Idiots will not think, because they're idiots. Reprobates will not save their souls, because they're reprobates. All others (those who are neither idiots nor reprobates) do not profit from inter-Catholic Internet quarrels. They profit from a blog passionately written about issues different from the blog author having been offended.
If you are a blogger, my suggestion to you would be to never link to the wrong sites – you bring traffic to them – but to deal with the matter at hand – or with the person at hand – in a general way: this and this is wrong, or: if Grima or Pollyanna tell you this and that you do not believe them, and the like. No traffic to them, and education of the reader. When the reader then meets the condemned attitude, he will know why it is wrong. If the reader never meets it, so much the better. You never bring traffic to the wrong sites in order to show that they are wrong.
I have followed these rules fairly strictly these five years. It has helped me a lot. It has also avoided to make of this blog – written ad maiorem Dei gloriam – a platform for my personal grievances. If anyone insults you on the net, let it stay on the net, for the permanent shaming of those who so insult you; and answer in due course, and without any haste, in the matter itself.
Of course, it is very human to want to react and respond to those who insult us. It is human and it can be even right, as we know how nasty liberals and fake Catholics can be. But it might bring little advantage in the end. The reader will remember the blogger who has not reacted long after he has forgotten the thirty who did, no matter how right they were to react.
I am not suggesting to take the high road. I am suggesting to take the smart one.
You will look, and live, so much better.