Sunday, October 05, 2008

blogging and Blogger

Blogger has a new feature called 'Following'. If readers so choose, they can become 'followers' of this blog. Its an interesting idea and a reasonable extension of blogs as popularity contests. It may be similar to the number of friends you have on Facebook; publicly available knowledge of how popular you are - in this case, only if your readers use blogger (or have a blogger ID, I guess) which sure limits the number by a half or two thirds, I think. In my case, fifteen blogs that I read daily are on blogspot out of just over thirty. I can, but have not yet, add a widget to my blog listing my follower(s) -one for now, so it is not that exciting. I can also read the blogs in a reader on Blogger, whether or not they are on Blogspot.

Ironically, I use it now for the blogs that aren't updated frequently - Party Pooper, I'm talking about you - for the feed. I know that the Marmot will have new material up every day and even a few times a day, so I might as well go there and have access to comments as well as posts. This means I am mostly a follower of relatively static blogs. "Nothing much happens on your blog so I follow you" is the message I am really sending. Of course, if I pick up a few more followers then, I would add the widget and add others to my following list but, for now, its not that useful.

To be clear, I am not asking or urging others to 'follow' me, just commenting on the value or lack of value of the feature.

Something unexpected happened a few weeks ago in the comments on this blog. Three years ago, I discussed a newspaper review of Sokcho and picked up an unrelated comment about an adoptee whose family, unknown, is/was living in Sokcho.

It is an interesting comment, in that the adoptee got into serious legal trouble -apparently he killed a man -and is in jail and, I guess, looking into his background as a way to relieve the boredom. A friend of the man wrote the comment as the man injail cannot access the internet.

Anyway, a month ago, another person, anonymous, left a comment about the man; cheifly saying that he should be "six feet closer to hell for what he did...". I struggled with the issue of deleting or posting the comment and, today, have posted it. I am not clear in my mind why I posted it and am interested in comments what you would have done.

I do not have a policy, in my head, or posted, on comments and perhaps I should make one. I do not see it as a censorship issue as the anonymous poster could make his/her own blog, even while remaining anonymous, and post the comments. I sympathize with the man in jail a little, even though I know almost nothing about how or why he is there (presumably he murdered someone) but I am also a law and order type ( the son and grandson of policemen) and definitely sympathize with anyone who lost a friend or family member to violence.

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