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I used to love it when there would be a heated discussion on All About Romance, or a controversial blog that would ignite discussions on other blogs.

Now I avoid them.

I also keep my own blog pretty controversy-free, because I'm a big chicken when it comes to defending my stand. It doesn't mean I don't have strong opinions, but I tend not to voice them because I just don't think quickly enough to defend them.

And to be honest, I need some mystery about myself to keep y'all guessing ;)

What about you? Do you feel secure in voicing your opinions in cyberspace, or do you feel your opinions could taint your online persona?

What are some hot-button items for you? Politics? Religion? RWA issues?

Have you stopped reading someone's blog and/or books because of something you read about the author that changed your opinion of him/her?

Do you think published authors have to be more careful than unpubs?

Curious minds want to know.

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Heather said...

I have to admit that I've stopped reading people's blogs because of something(s) they've posted. It's never been a matter of disagreeing with their point of view, though. I pull the plug when I find a blogger's personality distasteful based on what they blog.

Still, if I ever meet these people in public, I'll still reserve judgement until I get to know them personally. Internet stuff is so open to interpretation — maybe they have a super-dry wit that sails over my head on the Internet. Also — sometimes I worry that people might not find me as utterly hilarious on my blog as they do in person.

See? That was a joke right there. A bad one, but a joke nonetheless. But someone might come along and read that comment, and think That Heather is one stuck up you-know-what. I, personally, never find her hilarious, and I will never read her blog again.

Anonymous said...

After the entire blogosphere thing about my former publisher, I was left like roadkill on the side of the road. Whoa. It got nasty. I do want information, but things online can go too far. I tend to avoid blogs that leave the realm of information sharing and begin to revel in gossip and controversy. It might make for hot publicity for their blog, but that isn't enough reason to dip into the dirt and roll in it like a little piggy.


dawn said...

the one thing about a person's blog is that it is their blog & the gist of who he/she is. i almost didn't blog about my tat, but then i thought it out and realized that it was my tat and what it represents is huge for me and if someone has a problem with it or anything else, they could stop reading my blog. if they have a problem with me, that is their problem.

dealbreakers for me: adultery, stealing, a**holery, homophobia... i will be honest, mary. those are what makes me move on.

Marianne Arkins said...

I am a VERY opinionated person with extremely strong views on pretty much everything. Mostly, I manage to keep it off my blog. I simply don't believe that's the place to air those kinds of things. I actually have a private blog where I can gab about that if I choose. Occasionally, I have so much bottled up that it bubbles over (like my opinions on kids today and their misguided sense of entitlement... wait, I shouldn't even start).

I have two writing friends with political opinions that are completely opposite from mine -- in fact, if the person they want to win the presidency does, I may give serious thought to moving to Canada. Or Greenland. Or anywhere but here.

And yet, I've managed to never say anything to them about it -- snarky or otherwise, though I will admit that, if they weren't my friends, I probably would have stopped reading their blogs long ago because they are quite vocal in their support.

There is also a very popular author whose books I like who also keeps a blog, and is very vocal about her political views -- again, far different from mine -- and there are times that I have considered not reading her blog any longer. I do take breaks from it, but typically go back after a few weeks because I do admire her fiction writing.

Somedays it's really, really hard to keep my big mouth shut. I've been blogging for two years now, though, and I have somehow managed to do just that.

I have no clue if any of that actually makes good sense... hope so!

Jennifer Shirk said...

I've stopped reading people's blog because of what they've posted, too.
I don't mind people talking about their opinions and they don't have to jive with mine, but sometimes people can be too "in your-face" with them.
With the amount of blogs out there to read, I really don't have time to waste on bad behavior either.
Just my 2 cents.

Julie said...

Funny you should ask. I'm a VERY peripheral player in a current knit-blog drama of epic proportions, and I find the whole thing a giant pain in the keester. My bit is due to me speaking my mind, so I figure, if I've gotta be dragged into it, even slightly, at least it was for being honest. Most of it revolves around quitting reading a blog, and leaving the writer a message telling her so. The reason I quit reading? Personal attacks on other people. Not constructive, not helpful, not even a frustrated steam-blowing, but full-on hatefulness and cruelty.

The person writing the blog claims they have a right to their opinion. They're right. They do. They have a right to act like anything in the world on their blog, even a hate-filled jerk. And I have a right to quit reading, and tell them so. And I did.

I think anyone with a blog should be aware that they're posting their opinions to THE INTERNET. Somehow a lot of folks manage to miss that point. Meaning anyone with the time and patience and a serch engine can track down whatever refrence you make to anyone at all. I do a lot of book reviews on my blog, and am not always kind or happy, but I always keep in mind that odds are good the author will read it. And I make sure I'm willing to stand by what I say. (And never, EVER turn it into a personal attack.) To do anything else is really short-sighted.

It's the internet. If you write it, they will read. Anyone, think your blog is unpopular and you only have two readers? Guess again. Everyone in the world with internet access can read it.

Anonymous said...

If the blog controversy affects me personally, I read it. Rarely do I get involved. And I always verify the information out there.
I have quit visiting blogs the the controversy became the central focus.

MJFredrick said...

Hi, Heather! I've stopped reading blogs where it's "poor me" or attacks on RWA, mainly BECAUSE I disagree with their POV. But you're right - what you read and what they mean may be different things. Still, people need to remember that all the emoticons in the world don't hide a snarky attitude.

Joanna, I know how that affected you. That's how I'm feeling with the current controversy I'm involved in. I finally just said, "Enough. Leave me out of it." I don't agree with what's happening, but I can't change anyone's mind.

Absolutely, Dawn! Your tattoo is a huge symbol of your new life and you and anyone who doesn't admire the heck out of you for it can take a leap.

Marianne, I'm pretty amazed at my own restraint ;) But like tomorrow I plan to blog about movie ratings, which is one of my peeves, something I feel strongly about. It may strike some as strongly and others as "meh." But I don't think it will be controversy that will set the blogosphere on fire ;)

Hi, Jennifer! Exactly - I hate when bloggers are in your face - "I feel this way and you should too and if you don't you're a dope." (Though I may have had a bit of that attitude with this controversy - oops) I hate being made to feel bad about myself for not believing a certain way.

Julie, you? Speaking your mind?? Say it ain't so!! ;) But personal attacks ARE frustrating! You're right about book reviews. I always try to be positive, though I haven't done one in awhile. When I didn't like Nora's Blue Smoke, I was even worried she'd see that - like she'd ever come to my little blog!

Mary Beth, I agree - but I used to seek out blogs with trouble. Now I can barely read Smart Bitches.

Tracy Montoya said...

Mary, this is a great topic. (Yes, I crawled out from under my rock for a bit.) I think I'm probably too opinionated sometimes on my blog, but I never attack people and won't turn into a viper if someone disagrees with me.

I hate how the anonymity the Internet gives one makes some people go all uncivilized and say things they'd never say to a person's face. The stupid cat fights! The anti-RWA drama. The subgenre versus polar-opposite subgenre yammerings. Ugh.

Every once in awhile, I'll post something semi-controversial on my blog, but since I don't have a huge audience, I rarely stir up a hornet's nest. And I only do it once in awhile--most days, I just can't drum up the energy to entertain a bunch of negativity. :-)

MJFredrick said...

HEY, Tracy! You're right about the anonymity of the internet letting people go crazy, but a lot of times authors' names are attached to personal attacks - that can be scary.

LOL, and yes, you can be controversial - I've read your American Idol posts ;)


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I'm a mom, a wife, a teacher and a writer. I have five cats and a dog to keep me company. I love bookstores and libraries and Netflix - movies are my greatest weakness.
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