The other day, a colleague shared with me a link to a post on Lee Rosenbaum's CultureGrrl blog speaking out against the recent the call for a U.S. "culture czar." While I see where she is coming from, I wanted to share with her and my fellow readers some thoughts regarding the issue. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that there is no place to post a comment. The only option is to engage Ms. Rosenbaum in private discourse via e-mail. Here is an entire blog post devoted to providing a counterpoint to other online voices, and yet the author provides no opportunity for her readers to engage her and her readers in a public discussion. As my fellow texters might scribe, "WTF?" Okay, I'm gonna get up on my soapbox here for minute. We've all heard about Web 2.0 and the cuture of sharing, etc. We drank the Kool-Aid and started blogging, podcasting, social networking, posting social media, creating wikis - experimenting with a variety of forms for sharing content with each other. For many of us, there is an understanding that this online sharing is of a reciprocal nature. If you throw your content out into the universe, then you cannot truly engage with anyone until you allow them to respond. And for the record, a private e-mail doesn't cut it.
What if someone doesn't agree with you? That's okay. We frequently encounter people who do not agree with us, but that doesn't stop us from engaging in conversation. In fact, disagreement is not necessarily a negative thing. When approached from an inquisitive stance, disagreement may lead to clarification, exploration, and possible consensus.
And if someone out there on the Web responds to you in an insulting or derisive manner, you have three options: 1. Respond to them. 2. Take the "high road," and let your readers respond to them. 3. Delete the comment.
Now, I am not saying that Ms. Rosenbaum deliberately does not want her readers to engage her and each other in public discussion of her ideas. Maybe she never considered the implications of not allowing comments to her blog.
Ironically, there is a "Share This" icon at the bottom of the posting - so that you can share the author's thoughts with all of your friends and colleagues. Wouldn't it be nice if she returned the favor?