Boxing bloggers backed up against the ropes of honour.

A friend of mine forwarded me an article from ‘Web Pro News‘ entitled ‘The Politics of the Blogosphere’ written by a guy named Joe Lewis. Now, this is interesting because I grew up in Midwest America (Ohio), and when I travelled up to Michigan to watch Detroit Red Wings ice hockey, they played at Joe Louis Arena (I wonder if it’s still there? I’ll have to search the Net for it after I finish writing this post.) Now admittedly they do spell their last names differently, but there’s a connection here (possibly only tangible in my own mind) between this Lewis’s article content, and the profession of the famous Joe Louis who had a stadium named in his honour. Who was the famous Joe Louis? Well, some say he was the greatest heavyweight-boxing champion of all time (Check out Wikipedia’s entry on Joe Louis).

Ok, so here’s my connection. After reading the modern day Joe Lewis’s article about how bloggers are starting to openly criticise each other as if in some political arena vying for page-clicks and readership growth, we are now once again seeing the shadow side of humanity impinging itself on a great thing. With 57 million blogs now speaking their minds out in the blissful Blogosphere, we now have to contend (no pun intended) with that age-old tradition of the battle for power. Hey, you’re working hard to regularly write interesting and informative content for the worldwide Internet community…the only problem is how do they know you exist? Thus, the ‘battle’ and struggle for attention; the competition has begun!

If you’ve witnessed any contemporary democratic election you couldn’t have looked past the TV commercials (costing millions of dollars of course) where instead of telling the community what the candidate hopes to do for future posterity, they spend their time verbally bashing their opposition. It often reminds me of kids on the playground ‘chopping down the tall poppy’ so that one of us wouldn’t be overcome by an inflated ego (How nice children can be!). The only small difference is that now we’re dealing with adults; some people never grow up.

It’s becoming a boxing ring in our brand new world of the Blogosphere. People want to be known, want to be popular, powerful, and revered. The positive result is often hard working grass-roots effort hoping to achieve an identity through altruistic interaction, creation, and communication. Sadly and unfortunately, this type of enterprise takes a lot of effort and the paradoxical opposite also comes into existence, and that is aggressive, winner-take-all, dog-eat-dog competitiveness. There are many reasons that people are judging each other’s blogs harshly. The main one of course is simply a difference in opinion or beliefs…I mean how many wars are begun based around some ignorant perception of supposedly ‘different’ human beings’ so called ‘strange’ cultures?

Another reason these fights come about stems from two parties that have similar interests but who both want to be recognised as the main authority on a given subject. How different are Republicans and Democrats once elected? How different are Protestants and Catholics for that matter? Surely, they are much more similar when compared with Neo-Pagans or Theravada Buddhists. Still, they can hate each other’s perceived differences with a vengeance.

A funny yet very common reason in consumer capitalist society that these word-slinging literary pugilists are taking to the ring has to do with marketing. So many of today’s most popular products, websites, services, and even blogs, became so because of simple publicity. This means that if you do something that stands out as original, passionate, inspired, or even ridiculous, you will have separated yourself from the crowd, from the flock if you will. Now throwing punches isn’t nice, but any successful marketer will tell you that even if your publicity is ‘bad publicity’, it’s better than ‘no publicity’ at all!

So put on your body armour, don your gloves, and step into the field of battle. You may just have to utilise those mental and strategic martial arts once you’ve entered the Blogosphere. Fighting may keep you alive, and strangely enough, it could even put you on the map.

However, Jesse S. Somer doesn’t condone any form of violence in the Blogosphere or anywhere else for that matter. If you can’t make it to the top peacefully, you probably aren’t going to stay up there for very long. Nobody likes a bully.