I have noticed a trend present in the comments section of blog postings across the blogosphere. Blog commenters spend a great deal of time discussing what is NOT said, instead of constructively evaluating what IS said. Based on the paradigm shift that Web 2.0 blogs have on the typical reader/writer roles, the reader gets the chance to be the writer when he/she makes comments on an article, thus the original writer becomes a reader of these comments. This allows the reader to publicly inject opinion into the original author’s work, a task that comes with a burdening responsibility to maintain the agenda and flow of the article.
The reader is basically changing contextual details of the content in a way that alters the direction of the content for other readers. The reader/commenter must be aware of their core responsibility to maintain article relevance, focusing first on comprehending what IS written before getting excessively outspoken about has NOT yet been addressed. It is human nature even in spoken conversation to interject with alternative theories before the speaker has a chance to rest the point. As with spoken conversation, sometimes a reader doesn’t even attempt to relate to the writer’s point of view, but instead funnels the information through his/her own life experiences… thus completely missing the writer’s objective.
Certainly there are times when it is important for the reader to interject with alternative information, specifically if he/she feels that the writer is misrepresenting fact or deliberately ignoring crucial details in order to derive a false conclusion. But it seems to me that quite often supplementary information in blog comments stray away from the writer’s key objective. Before one introduces supplementary content into the work of another, two questions should be asked: Is this added content relevant to what is already written? Is the content I am adding purposely excluded from the original article for a creditable reason?