Well, here we go again. Its been a long time since I've piped up on the drama-of-the-week, but I just couldn't resist getting in the ring on this one.
Kiss My Alas wrote a very well written post about her take on Big Bloggers effecting Small Bloggers. And, despite his recent departure from the world of blogging, Tamarind has taken it upon himself to respond at The Pink Pigtail Inn.
While it is not always comfortable to receive criticism, whether constructive or not, its something we all have to deal with. The internet is a public space, and as has been said before, even if you may be the most neutral of parties, eventually someone is going to disagree with you or dislike your blog.
Mama always told me that if you don't have anything nice to say then it is best to say nothing at all. However, nice is one of those arbitrary words that is entirely dependent upon perspective to have any meaning at all.
Discussion and argument are part of what makes blogging such an interesting passtime. The irony is that I have quite a neutral opinion myself. I think Tam makes very valid points. I think Alas makes very valid points as well. I don't think either of them is wholly "right." Disagreeing with someone is not necessarily being a dick. How you do it could be perceived as dickish behavior, but the simple act of disagreeing is not that. But as Tam has said, dickish behavior is highly subjective.
What troubles me about this whole argument is fear of linking and/or commenting. I like that sometimes Larisa and Tam and other big bloggers link to and comment at some more obscure but interesting blogs. It may be unfortunate that not every person that reads these bigger blogs is a "nice" person, but to blame any negative feedback that occurred after you were linked from a larger blog is to ignore the purpose of linking, which is to share readership and to promote discussion.
I think we all need to step up and take responsibility for our own spaces. Regardless of size, eventually a troll or someone who very vocally disagrees with you will happen upon your blog. If you don't like what is being said then you have a right as a blogger to moderate comments. No, you can't control what is said at other people's blogs about you/your blog, but you can choose to respond to it or ignore it.
I respect what Zel and Alas have said about different sensitivity levels. I agree that greater diversity makes for a better community. However a blog is not a private space (unless we make it so), and we all know that when we create our blogs. There are options to limit who can read what you write. It is a known risk we all take when we make our words open for the whole world to read. If you are not ready for that, then maybe it is time to reconsider your permission settings.
Basically, what I'm saying is that I don't want to live in fear of giving someone some link love, whether they have a large readership or not. And I for one don't want any of the larger blogs to not link to me if I happen to say something they want to talk about (regardless of whether they agree or disagree with me).
What kind of blogging community would it be if we couldn't have something as benign as Tuesdays with Tarinae at A Healadin's Tear? Oh wait, we can't have that anymore because she's gone too. /cry But I think you get my point.