In my day-to-day life, when a student asks me a question, I rarely blurt out a ready answer. I need to think, plus I’m a fanatic about presenting both sides of an issue before demonstrating why I hold to an opinion.
Pound for pound, my blog posts are more direct, assured, and yes, dogmatic, compared with how I speak face to face. The adjective one friend has used is “pontifical.” I trust that I am not one whose letters are weighty and strong, but whose presence is weak; rather, the blogging medium requires sharper argumentation.
Why the bolder style? First, in my blogs I write only on themes which appeal to me for some reason, typically because I have a firm opinion on them or because no-one is saying what needs to be said. Why bother to write that “I’m 55%-45% on this issue” or just to chime in to say “I agree with so-and-so”? My motive here is not unmixed: I want to attract readers, and crowds will not flock to my site, unless I have something to say and the desire to express it well and colorfully.
Second, I have had plenty of time to think, write, and ask others for their thoughts before I publish. I maintain an Ideas File, so that the majority of my posts have been “simmering” on the back burner for months or even years. Some essays are adapted from books I have written. What’s more, none of my posts in their current edition are the same as when they first went out. I usually update them as soon as I get feedback, typically to clarify a point here or to anticipate an objection there.
Like the man asked, What do you get when you cross an atheist with a Jehovah’s Witness? Someone who knocks at your door for no reason. When people write a blog, they should have a better reason than just checking in.
A “by the way” – my blog provider inserts advertisements into my page. Most are harmless; the ones that aren’t – well, just accept that I cannot see them and don’t endorse their products.
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