Yet again I think you guys are sending mail to the wrong person here.
I pointed out the lazy blogging habits of certain Freethoughtblogs authors because it bothers me to see people trying make a name for themselves by posting fluff, when there are so many quality, hard working science advocates and educators out there.
I agree with you, mate! But what can we two do against a whole houseful of the opposite opinion?
Here are some recent posts from Butterflies and Wheels, which shows how many words were copy/pasted from a secondary source, out of the total words of the post:
Oh right… Then why the hell would you send this to me? I am not Ophelia Benson. I am Avicenna the Last. I think the problem here is you failed to read the title of the blogs. Hers is Butterflies and Wheels, mine is A Million Gods. Easy mistake to make. They both have 3 words in them.
How to read satire 555/895
Michael Nugent visits the slime pit 556/791
I do that too. However? One finds that blogging is less about “word count” and more about writing stuff people want to read. If you can write a single line that makes people want to read your work then you have “succeeded”. Blogging is about the transfer of ideas from a person to others by written medium. Writing expressively on the idea for no real gain is pointless blogging. There are articles where in retrospect I could have written “better” but frankly I know I am not a professional writer nor am I “good” at it. I make a variety of mistakes and I regularly return to correct things I have written or change stuff I am not happy with. If Ophelia’s writing style and niche in the “blogosquare” is such then that’s her niche.
This isn’t simply trying to be transparent and quoting people accurately. Anyone who took high school English knows that if you can’t summarize a large chunk of text, you probably don’t understand it. Quotes should be supplementary, not nearly 50% of your piece.
Actually? If you are doing a piece involving a blow by blow breakdown of a view than you may require to quote large chunks of text rather than summarise because people will suggest you are taking it out of context.
Blogging isn’t the same as handing in an academic paper, but having this much of someone else’s writing pasted into your post is intellectually lazy and sloppy writing. You could argue substance over style, but there’s so little substance there. It would be fine to do a TMZ/tabloid style take-down of subjects, but even those mediums have an element of entertainment and/or humour; it’s not to be mistaken for serious, quality information.
Or you know. Saves people the trouble of swapping between my work and the article in question that I am taking a surgical two by four to while stopping accusations of quote mining. I also link to the original work if people wish to read it there.
I’m not saying these peanut gallery style blogs shouldn’t exist. I’m saying that they should be given the credibility a peanut gallery deserves, which is much much less than well written, content focused bloggers who aim to communicate science and secular humanism with quality information. Those are the bloggers that deserve your serious attention and the guest speaker chairs at events.
Again with this?
Let me get this through your incredibly thick skulls. This isn’t the first such message I have gotten. It probably won’t be the last. My “Peanut Gallery Blog” is one of the few blogs representing atheism from a viewpoint of a non-white ex-hindu and since I live in two different parts of the world and have an understanding of two different cultures, provide a rather unique bridge between Hinduism in India, Hinduism outside India and Western Culture and the Atheism of all of that. I see myself as “like” Hemant Mehta whose Jain upbringing makes his viewpoint different.
Again, I write for myself. For my amusement. My relatively new found popularity is still a novelty to me. I still am amazed that people want to read my blog. And while I try and cover science blogging, it’s extremely hard to do so while holding down a major “job”.
And here is the thing. I don’t get offers to be a guest speaker at events. I haven’t done a single event. In fact the biggest event I have been part off was a rather nice tea where I fear I kind of was excessively vocal about my actions during the Rape Riots among a bunch of Indian atheists which included one (in retrospect) very uncomfortable woman. That’s my “first” and indeed only event and there were less than 20 of us there.
The fact of the matter is dear mailer that Indians are one of the least represented groups at such events. We aren’t invited. They don’t see us there. In fact many of us WANT more Indians to be seen at such events so that we can discuss our own issues.
So here’s the issue with your message. We can write quality and we can write quantity. If a quality post does what a quantity post does then why should you write 3000 words when 300 may suffice? Until then? I shall aim for quantity only when quality doesn’t suffice.
And honestly? I don’t know who you guys think I am but “Speaker at Events” is not it.