A couple posts back I mentioned that I wanted to write a post but I wanted to find a way how it wouldn’t be very controversial. And then I posted about sex ed. Annie asked me if this was the post that I thought was too controversial. To be honest, no, it wasn’t. I never really considered that my opinion on sex ed not belonging in school was controversial. Of course I also expressed my opinion on abstinence only, which I think is an admirable thing along with proper knowledge, but a serious public health hazard by itself.

Anyway, I was thinking just how much controversy a personal blog can take. I know there are blogs trhat are built around adressing controversial topics, or addressing everyday topics in a controversial manner. They exist to fill a need for controversy, but then they are clearly marketed as such. I’m talking about personal blogs, mommy blogs, adoption blogs, other non-thematic ones. How much controversy is still okay?

There are several BNB’s (Big Name Bloggers) out there, whose blogs have taken a turn towards getting attention by stirring the once peaceful and quiet following: even lurkers will comment on topics like circumcision and breastfeeding. While both topics have their place, when all you have is tween girls in the house, why does it keep popping up every week or so among the topics addressed? ย I’m sure it brings in the hits, and the clicks and the ad revenue, but… why?

Being a crusader of certain topics is completely understandable. But suddenly having an interest and expertise in the hot topic of the week is slightly annoying and somewhat suspicious. Do these bloggers act like this in their offline lives as well? Do they actually like being vehemently disagreed with?

So… where is the limit?

20 Responses to “Controversy?”

  1. christie says:

    I think some people like attention whether it is negative or positive. Or maybe they use their blogs as an outlet? Sort of like people will say things in chat rooms that they would never say in public, forgetting that they are VERY public.

    • Hevel says:

      Well, if their venting is synchronised with what’s trending on twitter and what the most searched for terms are in Google for the week, I can see it. I think the money in blogging (ads, sponsored posts, affiliate linking etc.) are more of a reason: bring in the crowd with the controversy, and they’ll click on something. Hence the ad free status of kosherkola.

  2. Leah says:

    Yeah, I never really understood that either. Then again, I don’t want to be a “BNB”. I’m just me, allowing others into our living room to see what life can be, a place where parents of little kids with disabilities can see it doesn’t have to be scary, a place for those who’ve never been exposed to those with differences can see we’re just a house full of kids with a few extra dr. appointments thrown in.

    • Hevel says:

      You see, that’s why it’s so strange… most of these BNB’s started out just like that. With popularity comes the odd behaviour. Odder than my own blog. ๐Ÿ™‚ There are two particular blogs on my mind right now, and both had been turning out weird content lately.

  3. Christie says:

    Oh, I think you are saying they may be posting things that would bring traffic to make money?
    I dropped a blog recently because the title was so odd and off coming that I didn’t want the link on my blog.
    And it is one of those for profit blogs.

    • Hevel says:

      Yes, and I don’t mind it to a certain level. There are some bloggers who went off the deep end and I feel like they are exploiting their children as blog fodder and their followers as well… and I’m just wondering, where is the point when it gets too much?

      I’m trying to think who you dropped… may be one of the same blogs I’m thinking about.

  4. happymom4 says:

    I know about one blog–I think we are thinking of the same one. Not sure about your second one. I try hard to stay OFF of hot topics on my Xanga blog because I want it to be peaceful and serene most of the time . . . it’s my safe space and I would like to keep it that way . . . and Katya’s blog, well . . . since I’m basically strictly blogging about her adoption and then her progress now that she is home with us it better stay pretty tame too. I don’t need adrenaline from controversy to feel good.

    • Hevel says:

      Yes, one blog is the one you are thinking of. The other one I can link you in private.

      I have been trying to avoid controversial topics, but recently I feel like I need to address some of them. I know that my friends understand where I’m coming from, and I try to see all sides of the story… even if it doesn’t come through like that. At the same time I feel like my existence as a semi-religious gay Jew in Israel and being an (adoptive) father is controversial and I never addressed those topics properly… because I was just afraid of looking like a provocateur. I realize I have to embrace this side of mine, and yes, it has a place on my blog… butI don’t want to piss anyone off. Well, maybe the pope.

  5. Leah says:

    Well, I’m gonna try it and see what happens. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. Annie says:

    I happened on a BNB by accident, not realizing it was one, when I got a comment from the author on MY blog. Well, I always go “visit” people who comment because it probably means we have something in common….and reading that first post, I thought she was an interesting enough “mommy blogger”, but then I saw the zillions of comments, and ran for my life. I just see no reason to join a group of hundreds following the blog of someone who doesn’t need any new friends. (And by that I mean – how can she even read all those responses? And why would she want to?) But, I had the feeling….especially after she never commented again, that maybe she commented on MY blog JUST to get me to go to hers. I felt manipulated, honestly. But, perhaps that was unfair. I just noticed that a couple of OTHER comments were “Thanks for stopping by my blog.” and I noticed she never did stop by mine a second time.

    I think that Smiles and Trials is getting to BNB status…at least she is getting almost too big for me, which is strange to say because she really is a true “e-friend”. She adopted two of her girls from Ivanovo and we “met” that way. Her blog was the first one I read; she helped me get mine going. And, she and I have even spoken on the phone a few times. BUT – when I read a post, I want to be able to comment on it and have the writer read my comment. I want to forge (or keep) a sort of relationship….distant, but REAL. I don’t want to feel like my comment just adds to the “clamor”. There is just a sense that with all those numbers, the quiet little “tea party” is no longer a place to get to know one another, but a place where the blogger is now “holding court”….really, whether he/she intended to do that or not. Christine does not have ads, or manipulate things in any way to be popular (though she did enter that contest) – but her life is just naturally interesting, and her children, amazingly, allow her to take photos of them (unlike mine). Still, the vast number of people who are present, make me feel unneeded somehow.

    I feel badly when almost no one comments on a post. Why bother writing? I guess I hope for a nice little party where we can all share experiences and get to know one another. If no one comes to my party, (and by its nature I can’t tell if they just sit there and don’t talk) it isn’t fun… But too big a gathering is not nice either.

    What ARE the ones you are thinking of?

    • Hevel says:

      Sometimes it’s nice to comment on a blog with lots of comments, if the commenters have a community, if the comment system is set up ina way you can properly comment on someone’s post and you can get notified of a reply even if it’s weeks later… I know BNB’s who read and moderate every single comment on their blogs. I have no idea how they do it!

    • Leah says:

      So if someone happens to have a large following (and Christine has had a large following for several years) that makes them someone you don’t want to follow? That reasoning doesn’t make sense to me. Christine doesn’t advertise on her blog. It isn’t a paid blog. She doesn’t keyword her posts to top-searched terms to generate traffic. She is just a mom who writes about her kids. But, just because someone has a paid blog (which I do) does not mean they keyword their posts to top-searched terms. (I don’t.) It doesn’t bother me if nobody comments on my posts. I have lots of posts nobody comments on. The fact I can see the number of people going to my blog tells me they’re reading. The lack of comments just means nobody has anything to add. Or maybe I said it perfectly? LOL

      • Hevel says:

        I think Annie means that in some blogs over a certain size, a conversation you two are having right now would be next to impossible, and not only because Blogger’s commenting system sucks.

  7. Jon Hayenga says:

    I think I have to agree with your thoughts about people using controversy to make a buck with the ads. And some people just alway have to push their opinions, that are “always” correct. NOT. lol…..

    • Jon Hayenga says:

      I hope I am not guilty of that, minus the ads, over on my LJ? ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

      • Bozรณt says:

        You are guilty ๐Ÿ˜› with all those posts about the church and stupid politicians ๐Ÿ˜ฎ :)))))

        • Jon Hayenga says:

          Well, I don’t think I can ever be charged with being a big time blogger. LOL………..
          And the only attention I am looking for is to open people’s eyes about the nutters that want to run/ruin this country. :p

  8. Annie says:

    Leah, here’s what I mean. It isn’t that I wouldn’t want to follow a popular blog on principle, only that what I love about blogging is communicating and making friends and acquaintances….a feeling of community. It is more like choosing to go to small, intimate social gatherings and not enjoying large ones. Because, yes – there is too much “noise” on Christine’s blog for me these days. So many comments that I can’t justify taking the time to read them all, when I can’t place where the people are from, and when I haven’t read their blog, and don’t have time to check it out. I work full time and have a big family so I can’t devote a ton of time to blogging. The blogs I like are the ones where I get to “know” the author, and can also get to know a lot of the usual respondents.

    Not that I don’t still enjoy reading Christine’s blog….I do, just not perhaps as “religiously” as before, since it is no longer just me and her and a few other like-minded people having tea….it’s like she’s rented a hall and I’m standing at the back of it.

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