Why is it that when people debate using blogs, this almost inevitably degenerates and causes negative feelings?
Here’s an attempt at a theory to explain that. When X and Y are debating, it should be X talking to Y and Y talking to X. Trivial, no?
But blogs break this trivial requirement. When X blogs about what Y wrote, it’s not X talking to Y. Instead, it’s X talking to The World about Y. The result is twofold:
- Makes Y feel publicly attacked
- Invites The World to the debate, thus feeding the debate with fresh new people who are not yet tired of it, and who may be missing earlier parts of the debate, since it’s not easy to trace back a debate-by-blogs to its origin.