Blog - web log: a shared on-line journal where people can post diary entries about their personal experiences and hobbies; "postings on a blog are usually in chronological order". (source ordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn)
Community - A feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals (source google.com)
Troll - (bold is added by me) In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion. (source Wikipedia)
I know this has been said to death, and everyone has been putting in their 2 cents in the past couple of days, but I need to say my little piece on the matter. I don't have the prose of others, and as we've seen my poetry can be a bit forced, but I'm going to borrow a minute of your time anyhow.
Why are you here? Why do you read these gaming blogs? If you blog yourself, why do you blog?
Probably because you enjoy all of the above, or you wouldn't be doing it. I highly doubt anyone is getting paid to read or write this stuff (not counting the lads and ladies that are actually publishing - heck, many of them aren't getting paid either). No one is forcing you into the blogosphere. You are here because you enjoy the community, the camaraderie, the attention to some extent, the joy of giving to others of yourself and your skills.
So why the fascination with shitting on people? Not all of us. Not most of us. Way less then some of us. The aberrant few. The type that kicks puppies and tortures kittens. The type that sets a fire, then waits for the fire department to respond and watch them put it out as they risk their lives. The type that would rather watch someone trapped in a car accident then help - not out of fear for their own safety, but the joy of watching the suffering. I've dealt with the above in my career, and they are not wired like normal folk.
Online communities have the same types of aberrant individuals as normal communities, but in far larger numbers. Anonymity. It lowers inhibitions. Those that would never act out on these impulses in their "real life" are more apt to do so online. A "troll" in your community, amongst your neighbors, would not last long. Online, "trolls" have the ability to regenerate like an AD&D Trolls of old.
Of course, online communities also allow those that are painfully shy to open up. Anonymity. It lowers inhibitions.
The blade cuts both ways.
If this were a forum, a strong hand by moderators would keep the "flame wars" and "trolls" under control. In this community, the OSR Blogging Community, there is only us.
We are not friends, at least not most of us. Online acquaintances at best. But we share a hobby and a community. A good, healthy community pays dividends on a daily basis. I'd like to think this is a good, healthy community.
K, done preaching. Off my soapbox. Carry on, nothing to see here!
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