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Courting Controversy? 4 Ways to Enlighten Without Alienating Readers!

I hate to be the bearer of bad news.
But be forewarned.
If you’re a “serious” blogger or writer, at some point or another in your blogging career, you’ll be forced to take a stand or express an opinion that may cause disagreement or debate.

Sometimes it may be intentional or strategic on your part. Other times it can come quite by accident.
Suffice it to say, it comes with the territory.
Anytime you have a platform or public visibility, there’s a potential for it to happen.
Let’s face it.
Words are powerful. And whether they’re written or spoken, sometimes people can misconstrue them, “respectfully disagree”, or take offense to your word choice or delivery.

No worries. All controversy need not cause dissension.
These situations can provide great opportunity for intelligent debate and enlightenment.

Take for example an incident that happened awhile back ago within the blogging community.
I was doing my usual surfing and stumbled upon a very interesting and lively debate at a popular blogging site.

From what I could decipher, the blog owner had an issue with a design program and its functionality. To make a long story short, he said that in his recommendation, it was not the best value for one’s money.

In all honesty I couldn’t truly assess the merits of his argument, because I’ve never used the program. Still, I learned some things I didn’t know before, and the author earned my respect for honesty and courage. Not to mention, there was so much traffic on this site, that if it were a “physical” highway rather than a “virtual” one, we’d be riding bumper to bumper even now.:-)
With this in mind…
Here are 4 ways to court controversy without alienating blog readers.

1. Recognize that people have a right to disagree and to freedom of speech. Diversity of opinion is what makes for a more enriching human existence, and blogging experience. If we all thought alike, imagine how boring the world would be! It’s not what you say, but how you say it.
2. If you choose a position, have statistics and examples to support your claim. It adds credibility.
3. Never attack in your approach or your response. Don’t give specific names or identifying details that may cause discomfort or disrepair to someone’s career or reputation. That’s just plain mean and uncouth.
4. Use humor when applicable. I often find that criticism is more “palatable” when it makes others laugh. Dr. Phil often uses it even.:-) As he often states, “Be a hero.”

Remember to always remain open to opposing views. It can be refreshing. :-) A wise man once stated that “The true sign of intelligence is an open mind.”

How about you? Have you ever had to deal with blogging controversy? Do you believe that blogging should have boundaries?

Image: Francesco Marino

Categories: Blogging Sense, Blogging Tips, General
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Comments

  1. Henry says: 6/27/2010

    Jennifer
    Good advice. I especially like the 1st suggestion which many, many people forget.

    Some folks just want people to agree with them or validate their own opinions and views.

    We do live in a democracy which means more than the right to vote. We need discussion
    from both sides.

    Reply

  2. Jennifer Brown Banks ) says: 6/28/2010

    Henry,

    I couldn’t agree more. Thanks for your time and your thoughts today!

    Reply