Blogs can serve a very good purpose in the world of information. Blogs have ended the careers of newcasters lying to swing elections (Dan Rather) or show the fake elements of photographs trying to skew world opinion (fill in the blank terror group and Iran). Blogs can keep the media honest, blogs can share information in a network fashion, and blogs can spotlight things that big media doesn't care about. I like to point out how I rarely hear about Iraq on the nightly news anymore but I can read about it all I want on the Mudville gazette, Michael Totten's site or Michael Yon's dispatches. The Internet is serving a positive purpose for me. Comment boards on high traffic blogs will eventually disappear as they will become too big of a liability. What kills blogs that share wonderful information and can awaken people to ideas and issues are the dumbass comments by random posters.
Autobloggreen, Future Pundit and Next Big Future have made me excited about technological things that could be right around the corner. These are examples of the good blogs can contribute to information networks and sharing. Even with these blogs, mention a code word and the crazies come out. Mention "peak oil" and the fucking loonies come out. Mention "George W. Bush was right" (I don't know when you would say this but go with me), and you get flame wars on the boards. The anonymity of the web has allowed people to be gigantic douchebags. We've covered this. This turns off a lot of folks from using web sources or trusting information they find on the web from people who are telling the truth but watching random Joes/Janes tear down their credibility. This retards the discourse that might be achieved because some bloggers are concerned with credibility and are trying to offer an alternative to the big media outlets and are shutting down their comment boards.
Economic and financial blogs suffer from this horribly. I love investing and finance. I love to search these blogs for analysis and a point of view, I might not share or have not even considered. I have learned quite a bit from cruising these blogs. I also notice the same 10 posters cruising the same sites. I have commented on this before, and believe me I have noticed any even worse trend, which has inspired this post. Here's a sample comment thread on an unmoderated comment board.....
Title: Random Post on the Gold/Oil Relationship
comment 1: nice post have you considered X? I think X will happen.
comment 2: I am a fan of X as well and consider it a hedge to Y.
comment 3: I think gold is great for protecting against hyperinflation and deflation
comment 4: Let's not start the hyperinflation/deflation debate again. :)
comment 5: Oil is a bubble.
comments 6-18: Comments hijacked by peak oil believers and skeptics. This could be an additional 40 comments.
comment 19: Back to gold, I think it has room to go higher in price.
comment 20: the central banks keep trying to hold gold down
and here it comes.....
comment 21: it's jew bankers like the Rothchilds in London who are trying to control the price of gold.
comment 22: the jews will get us to strike >fill in the blank Arab country< any moment.
What the Fuck People!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is 2008. Let's stop with the Jews control the world conspiracy theory. The lame-o recycled protocols of Zion crap must go. If the Jews did control all, don't you think Europe would have a better opinion of Israel and would side with them instead of the Palestinians? Same with the UN's hatred of Israel. Don't you think the Jews would have picked a spot of land in the Middle East with some oil under it????? Some blogs are better than others with shutting down the conspiracy theory shit, and believe me, I love to discuss conspiracy theories. What I dislike is horrible racism in a forum meant for discussion of other subjects. I believe in freedom of speech, but the original topic of a post or essay is what comments should be directed to. You want to be a racist, you can on your own time and on your own website. Go do it there.
I am highlighting anti-semitism here because I have noticed it pick up a bit on some financial and investing blog comment boards I visit. I used to read comments to maybe learn a different point of view, and I'm running into centuries old racism. It is disheartening. It is not even fun to argue with these tards. I love the Jews. A lot of people hate them, but they never change their ways. Plus, Israel is surrounded by countries that hate them. When those countries try to start shit, they get blown the fuck up. This anti-semitism is on political blogs as well like the daily kos and even obama's supporters' blogs. I've run into anti-semitism in many different places, and the Internet is no different. This I think will ultimately doom high traffic blogs. They will have to shutdown comments, moderate them much closer, or suffer the consequence of a big media outlet using a comment to smear a blog by attributing it to the blog host rather than the anonymous comment poster.
On a side note, I enjoy arguing with the Chinese commie defenders that pop up on business websites with talking points straight from Beijing. I love the Chinese; I dislike the oligarchial dictatorship running the show. I understand defending the homeland and being patriotic, but they take everything so personal and fail to ever recognize the enviromental destruction being forced on that country and the political killings in the thousands every single year. They take every attack personal, then dump on the USA and expect you to not take it personal. A good person rises above the attack. I freely take the abuse hurled at my homeland from anaonymous internet posters because they are little douchebags hiding behind their CPU screen. The absolute beauty of the USA is that you can rip it and the President to shreds in speech, and no one shoots you the next day. Sometimes the Chicoms even say "I live in NJ, my relatives back home say...". First, you can call them on their BS by asking why they don't live back home if China is so great, or asking who won Monday Night Football? If they can't answer that quickly, they aren't in Jersey. You know that! The odd inferiority/superiority split personality the China defenders have is even more pronounced than the defenders of Islamo-terrorism. The China defenders are easy to get mad, easy to spot, and easy to argue with in a fun manner.