Reason To Blog Number 14: Meet Guys

We’ve long since identified the two primary, and occasionally contradictory, reasons to blog:  Self-promotion and desire for self-expression.  This is old news.  But a new reason has just emerged, one that would have been laughable.  Until now.

Law Professor Ann Althouse has announced that, after years of living a life of desperate solitude, she is engaged to be married to a man who she first met as a commenter on her blog. 


After 4+ years of writing at each other, we met in real life and found real love.

Those must have been some comments, as Althouse is a very popular blogger and not easily swayed by some snarky comment.  Congratulations, Ann.   Anticipate that for the next few months at least, she will be giving classes on the relative merits of various catering halls and bridal shops in the greater Madison area.

But as long as we’re talking about Althouse, let’s take a quick look at something else she had to say about blogging that’s quite relevant.  This comes in response to a post by conservative Gay Patriot asking why liberals hate Althouse.  “[L]eftists in the blogosphere today are so humorless so self-righteous that they can’t abide the least bit of mockery, criticism or a combination of both?” 


What they don’t get is that I a m a pure blogger, really a blogger, showing you what blogging is. I don’t think they really are bloggers. I don’t think they really are journalists either. I’m called deranged or whatever when I’m riffing in a bloggerly style that they obviously don’t understand or appreciate. They are journalists posing as bloggers, mucking up their journalism and simultaneously writing dull blogs.

In contrast, via  @kevinokeefe, the New York Times standards editor gave his view on how to blog:




  • What should be avoided in all of them is any hint of racist, sexist or religious bias, or any suggestion of nasty, snide, sarcastic, or condescending tone — “snark.”
  • If something could easily fit in a satirical Web site for young adults, it probably shouldn’t go into the news pages of nytimes.com.
  • Contractions, colloquialisms and even slang are, generally speaking, more allowable in blogs than in print.
  • Obscenity and vulgarity are not.
  • Unverified assertions of fact, blind pejorative quotes, and other lapses in journalistic standards don’t ever belong in blogs. 
  • Writers and editors of blogs must also distinguish between personal tone and voice and unqualified personal opinion. 
  • A blog or news column has to give readers the arguments and factual information that led to the writer’s conclusion — enough argument and fact on both or all sides of the issue to enable the reader to decide whether to agree or disagree
  • That does not apply to editorials or Op-Ed columns, which “are not intended to give a balanced look at both sides of a debate,” as the Readers’ Guide says.
  • Headlines on analysis should try to capture the debate rather than taking sides in it.
  • If the comments contain vulgarity, obscenity, offensive personal attacks, say that somebody “sucks,” or are incoherent, moderators are advised just to chuck them out. 
  • And this is why Ann Althouse found a man through blogging, and the New York Times is fighting off bankruptcy.  Got it?

  • 9 thoughts on “Reason To Blog Number 14: Meet Guys

    1. Turk

      What they don’t get is that I am a pure blogger, really a blogger, showing you what blogging is.

      That’s like saying there is a correct way to write a novel, paint a picture or decorate your house.

    2. SHG

      My take on what she meant was that her blogging was the absence of rules rather than the model for others to follow.  Of course, it’s not like she’s got the wit or substance that you offer, but then that’s why she’s never gone to war with Oprah’s lawyers.

    3. Turk

      but then that’s why she’s never gone to war with Oprah’s lawyers.

      Sometimes, you just got to do what you got to do.

    4. Jdog

      But, of course, there is a correct way to do all of those. There’s not only one way, but . . .

      Kinda like the old Kipling thing:

      There are nine and sixty ways of constructing tribal lays,
      And every single one of them is right!

      The problem is that while there may be huge number of ways of doing it right, there’s aleph-null ways of it wrong, so the chances of getting it right randomly are zero.

      But I digress.

    5. SHG

      Have you considered the possibility that if your comments were a little hotter, you might have been the fiance?

    6. John Kindley

      lol, that I have; but Meade (her fiance) was a far smoother operator than I; Althouse was presumably not attracted to former students like me who liked to spout off anarchist thoughts and question the value of what she does as a law prof.

      btw, I no longer have the distinction of never having tried a case to a jury, and am 0-1 in that endeavor, having allowed myself and my client to be successfully ambushed and railroaded. (Though I was not so foolish as to try the case without experienced co-counsel.) At least my innocent client now has ineffective assistance to add to his list of solid issues on appeal, which includes collateral estoppel.

      And with that last remark I’m sure I’ve laid to rest any remote suspicion that I aim to promote myself on the internet.

    7. SHG

      Welcome to the Trial Lawyers Club.  The bad news is that the next loss isn’t any easier.  A few more trials and you will have earned the right to “spout off anarchist thoughts.” 

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