On any given day in the Blog-o-Sphere one can find witty posts, beautiful photographs, thoughtful commentary, hilarious graphics and videos, charming gardens and homes, things that inspire, good cooking--in other words, many marvelous wonders. On this same day, though, one may encounter distasteful subjects, questionable facts, insulting satire, blog bashing and trolling, rude comments, racist remarks--in other words, many unpleasant experiences.
Obviously, one steers clear of those blogs that offend or distress (or in some cases bore). Sometimes though these blogs come to you by way of comments left or from seeing a blog on another's blog list. I enjoy blog hopping and will look at blog lists and click and roam. Finding a new enjoyable blog is satisfying. Stumbling into a blog that is full of disharmony and muck is not. If someone I don't know leaves a comment on my blog, I like to click on their name and see what their blog is all about. Sometimes this is successful, other times not so much. I think most of us bloggers do this sort of thing; that's part of what blogging is about, meeting new people and reading interesting stuff.
Sometimes, there are brouhahas. A favorite blogger comes under attack. These things happen. Loyal followers gather around and stand up for their friend. Occasionally it gets way out of hand. Or there is a controversial post that garners strong reactions, both positive and negative. How much one involves oneself in these events is a personal choice.
Rules of etiquette are often ignored in the blog world. This runs the gamut from name calling and petty squabbling to more serious offenses such as plagiarism and stalking. Just as in the "real world", there are all types of people in blogging and you will run into a wide variety.
I am saying all of this as I have recently come across several instances of what I think of as negative blogging. Some are intentional, some are not. It makes one leery of straying too far from the familiar fold. Unfortunately, there have been a couple of incidents in my regular "stomping grounds" as well. You can ditch and run, or roll up your sleeves and participate. There are consequences though. Integrity can be lost, as well as the trust that has been built up between bloggers. It is up to each individual blogger to make the choice. Hopefully it will be a worthy decision. Choose your battles wisely.
On the flip side though, love is strong and flowing in bloggerville. Friends and strangers both answer the clarion call for help. Yesterday, a blogging friend made a plea for prayers and healing and many answered. It's a beautiful thing.
Blogging is a satisfying adventure. There are negatives, but there are many positives, too. You get back what you put into it. Just like in the real world.