Kirk Evans Blog

.NET From a Markup Perspective

They don't talk politics on ESPN or The Weather Channel

They don't talk politics on ESPN or The Weather Channel

  • Comments 21

Gauge your readers and don't abuse your readership.  Do not post your political views on a blog that your readers subscribe to receive technical information.  They don't talk about politics on SportsCenter on ESPN, and they don't toss in a shout-out for their favorite candidate while giving the local weather on The Weather Channel.

If you read my blog, you read it because I have written about XML, ASP.NET, web services, WSE, BizTalk, and other geeky things.  You don't read my blog so that once every 4 years I can dump my political rants upon my unsuspecting readers.

I am not one of those types of people who feels compelled to police the main feed on weblogs.asp.net, who routinely criticizes people on newsgroups and forums for not staying "on topic."  In fact, it is the occasional off-topic post that makes many blogs even more interesting.

If you want me to lose respect for you, post your policitcal views.  Worse, post something with absolutely no substance, just "Vote for candidate_here".  Worst of all, call the other candidate a "moron", "idiot", or some other name that signals that you have absolutely nothing to offer other than playground namecalling.  If you want me to lose respect for you quickly, post something about your policitcal views in your blog.  Worse, post something about the candidate you don't like and back it up with nothing more than uneducated emotional tirades.

At least have the guts to put such posts in a category or in another feed so that I can read the tech stuff I am interested in separately from the political blather you are now a self-proclaimed expert on.

  • I agree completely. There's too much namecalling in the world right now based on how someone did something wrong, and this candidate can do it better. Noone knows what will come of the next term, noone can predict the future. We should all silently vote and express our opinions to ourselves, or keep them close, not let them fly into the open. What happened to the days when politics wasn't appropriate for conversation at the dinner table? :) Apparently with evolution of man, comes the evolution of angst.
  • Let me guess: You're a Republican? ;-)
  • I disagree. Blogs are personal publication, not mass media:

    http://www.tallent.us/CommentView.aspx?guid=2c66002a-84d4-4ad0-81e9-588d32840b29
  • <kidding>
    Funny to read this given what you started the week of UGA vs. Georgia Tech last year. ;-)
    </kidding>

  • It is a blog. People can write about whatever they want. Isn't that the point.

    If you don't like what they are writing either tell them or stop reading it. Just because it is on MSDN doesn't mean it is technical or has to be technical.
  • Kirk for President!
  • I'd say the the first one the best. And the second one sucks. A big time.

    Best wishes,
    Your Communist Friend from Finland (I don't use Linux, though)
  • If you don't like what people say, just ignore it.

    This is neither the weather channel, nor ESPN, both of which have obligations to their advertisers and a set remit, it is something people do because they want to. No-one is getting paid to write stuff here. By its very nature a web log should be personal. It makes for very dull reading if no one is allowed a personality.
  • Don't write about politics. You are guaranteed to alienate 50% of your audience.

    When writing this post, I could have bet good money that I would see at least one post like Matthew's above.

    I tried to word the post carefully to draw out political posts as the main point. I stated this very specifically, and even went so far as to repeat it within the same paragraph.

    Don't write about politics. You are guaranteed to alienate 50% of your audience.

    Argue against astroturf. Write about your cat, your new herb garden, the odd taste in your mouth after getting a cavity filled. Post pics of your kids, your vacation, your car. Talk about going to the fair. Argue *for* astroturf and how you changed your mind.

    If you feel compelled to write about politics in a venue where you typically write about something else such as gardening or auto repair, ask yourself why you feel compelled to write about it in that venue. Is it because that is the only place you want to vent, that you think it would add a bit of personality into your blog? Or are you really looking at the number of people that read your blog and thinking "I could influence a lot of people to vote a certain way."

    Everything you write or speak seeks to influence somebody somehow. You convey an idea to someone else. Your readers subscribe to your blog because you typically write about ideas around a certain topic area that they find interesting. Switching gears from your typical posts on stamp collecting to berrating a political candidate is an abuse of your readers.

    If you want to write about politics, give me a way to filter through it. Write it in a separate category away from your typical posts.
  • >Don't write about politics. You are guaranteed to alienate 50% of your audience.

    Actually, that should be "you will alienate 50% of your US audience". If I write about politics, I'll alienate between 75 and 80% of my audience? Why? 'cos a fair few of them are outside of New Zealand, where I live, and MORE importantly, we have more than 2 political parties over here......

    Personally, I LIKE reading other people's opinions on politics - it expands my view, and makes me think. Thinking is good. And if I dont want to, the delete key is around 5 centimeters away.
  • If you are going to write about *not* writing about politics in your tech blog, give me a way to filter out your entries about not doing this thing or not doing that thing. Hrrrmmmpphh. ;-)

    Now, as Bill Ryan pointed out, politics are important and are not necessarily something that can be put into a tidy little box to be ignored. Political decisions have impact on our lives as technology professionals. Tax incentives impact job creation. Copyright laws have impact on the definition of fair use, etc.

  • Cale - I did. I put the post in a category called "personal". If you want to filter out, you could subscribe to one of the other category feeds.

    This would be a nice feature of the .Text blog engine, though... provide a feature where you can combine multiple categories into a feed.
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