How to blog

Dave Winer and Danny Sullivan have, in the past 24 hours, both written very personal blog posts about their reactions to the Henry Louis Gates arrest controversy. Both posts are personal and provocative, and both remind me how much I enjoy reading blog posts written by people who started blogging before there were “how-to” books about how-to blog. Dave and Danny move with ease between highly-technical topics and highly-personal points-of-view with ease, fluidity and passion.*

Their divergent reactions to the arrest — both from their white male perspectives — underscore a personal belief of mine: that events like the Gates arrest serve as Rorschach tests to which we each see the same thing, but respond in very personal ways. Conversations, debates and discussions following these events are good things — what Dave and Danny have done. However, a lot of what I’ve seen in the past few days has been bad: efforts to politicize, generalize and sling insults related to the controversy.

I highly recommend reading Danny’s post, “When I was Handcuffed, It wasn’t a racial thing, it was a police thing” and Dave’s post, in which he explains why, “I don’t view the Gates matter through a racial lens, I view it through a Harvard lens.”

They are differing points of view, but both are examples of great blogging — no matter what your opinion about the Gates arrest might be.

(Personally, I tend to be more like what Dave explains — a “yes-sir” compliant type when encountering people with badges.)

*Danny has both a personal blog, Daggle.com and is editor-in-chief (and creator) of SearchEngineLand.com, where he uses a blog platform to practice professional journalism and commentary. Dave blogs at Scripting.com, or, I should say, Scripting.com is Dave Winer’s platform from which he communicates with various audiences in many different ways — but, like me, almost everything he writes is both personal and professional.