Friday, August 1, 2008

Drawing A Line In The Dirt

I hate to know this about myself, but I am more than capable of John Wayne moments. You know, the scene in the movie where the Duke has listened to the ranch owners snowballing the town folks about how they need the freedom to do what's best for the growing town. Wayne takes that stance, arms crossed over his chest, then says something like, "Like Hell you're going to do that". I feel ol' Marion Morrison coming on just now...
Recently, during the run-up to the affiliation with SezWho, I received an e-mail, sent by [at least allegedly] Graham. He wanted to post to this blog,running an article entitled "Top 10 Reasons Why the Entrecard-[SezWho] Partnership Rocks For Bloggers". He said he'd rather not run it on the in-house blog, believing it couldn't handle the increased traffic the post would bring to the site [Really? Who knew?]. He pointed out that the article would be Dugg, StumbledUpon, and in general sought out by many EC'ers curious to hear the Front Office's take on the whole matter.
Understand: I agreed with most of Graham's positives about his post running here. And I certainly didn't object to hosting his post in theory. But I did have an issue or two. The fact that, around that time, EC's own forums were subject to subjective editing made me question Graham's reason for moving his article here. Also, I have some special feelings about this site. It's the longest-lasting of my blogs. It's the blog I have reserved for personal opinions on some sensitive issues [along with some badly-written comedy]. So, not wishing Graham's deathless prose HERE, I offered him space in one of my other blogs: "the blog lab". I had addressed Entrecard issues on several occasions there, and felt [still feel] it was a more appropriate venue for such a piece. I never heard back from Graham. Shortly afterward, the post ran on another site. Fair enough. The post was Graham's to move to whichever site he wished. No hard feelings.
In recent days, there have been "teaser" announcements about upcoming "big" news. And, as happened in the days before the SW agreement was finalized, the censorship machine has been turned on again. An unknown number of sites have been booted off EC. A common thread running through most of them is a growing dissatisfaction with Entrecard. No one denies that anyone who operates a business has a fundamental right to carry on his or her operations in any way that seems proper, and violates no law. But I'd guess that the potential new dance partners are not stupid. They certainly are seeing the controversy, the turmoil at EC just now. (By the bye, a rhetorical question: is it wise to work on another "affiliation", while technical issues with the previous one [SW] remain unresolved? In a recent 'blog lab' posting, I stated that the technical issues with several platforms, especially Blogger, needed to be addressed ASAP. SezWho, to its credit, sent a reply through a representative. They acknowledged the problem, and basically hoped I'd hang in while the issues were worked out. Fair enough. At least SW accepted the criticism. EC seems most likely to sweep such legitimate complaints under the rug, or, worse, punish those who bring those complaints forward.
But that's really not what has me worked up. In recent days, I've seen posts on a few sites offering at least an acceptance born of fear. These bloggers said things like, "Watch what you say", or "Entrecard must have been right in punishing these bloggers". Everyone has the right to their opinion, but these posts sound, in their own way, like the sort of thing we're seeing coming out of the People's Republic of China in the run-up to the Olympics: the lid has to stay on, the control has to remain in place. Folks, we're all a little paranoid. But when a blogger's "comfort zone" is so compromised by an entity that they feel the need to defend such practices, it's time to stand up for our fellow posters' rights.
I'll be curious to see what happens over the next few days. Either way, I hope you'll keep coming back. I need an audient [singular of "audience"].
-Mike Riley


Laura said...

Sounds a bit weird about Graham wanting to post about SW in another blog. I don't know if there is some conspiracy or whatever. I didn't find any reason to use SW. I'm trying the EntreBar today. I like it so far. I can switch logins and drop cards on the same blog while I'm reading it instead of going back again just to drop a card.

arthur said...

Newbie on EC, but reading your post sounds interesting..

The entrebar makes the fast dropper happy..