Thursday, August 26, 2010

Social Media and the Sin of Detraction

I've had more traffic to my blog in the past couple of days as a result of my "Open Letter" to PokerStars that I put on tweet blast last Friday but I think that's finally starting to subside.  For that reason, I wanted to wait a bit before posting again.

How do I know I'm getting less traffic? Because  my comments are drying up (Apparently, comments are a big deal to bloggers.  Just ask @DeputySD. Check out his blog while you're at it, and leave a dadgum comment already!).  I've only been blogging here since June.

Prior to Saturday, I was lucky if I'd get one comment after a post.  Said comment was usually always from my dad and usually always supportive and humorous (to me, anyway) about whatever it was I'd written. After Saturday, and my Open Letter post, that changed.

It would be disingenuous for me to say that when I wrote the post - and then tweeted about it - that I didn't think it would be read.  But, like @Mark_Gahagan, I was surprised at some of the folks who did end up reading it.  Mark has a terrific blog, by the way, which you can find here.

Because of the extra traffic, and the accompanying comments, to my posts, it all really got me to thinking. 

First of all, who the hell am I to go calling out Negreanu for a comment he made about Annie Duke, on or off the record?  Don't I have better things to do with my time and how can I be so presumptious as to speak out on behalf of all women, especially when (as I've learned) the c-word is not offensive to all women?

Good questions, and the short answer(s) is that of course I can't and don't speak for all women and definitely I am no better than Negreanu or anyone else when it comes to sticking my foot in my mouth.  I was just trying to make a point that Mark and Tony G made much better in their blogs - that as one of the biggest ambassadors of poker, Negreanu, whether he likes it, knows it, or not, is in a public position that carries responsibility and people/fans are watching (so don't go giving a beat down on the womens with what some consider to be the gender equivalent of the n-word).  I mean, come poker really a sport and ready for primetime or not?

Second of all, though - and this is the real point of this post - in what way did I aid in "the culture of personal destruction" and commit the "sin of detraction," as one commenter slammed in my face?   Ouch.  While the guy did a nice job of slamming women in general, which I of course disagree with, that comment really got me thinking, having been raised Catholic and all (but this ain't a post about faith/religion).

Just what is twitter and facebook and blogs and all of social media?  Are we all of us so busy shouting into a vast echo chamber, as Leo Laporte suggests (via @nikiblack), that we're missing the point? 

I don't know.  But I do believe that words matter.  I also happen to think that social media is fun and can be  edifying, even if the only people truly listening are your mom and dad.

With that, though, I would like to take the time to apologize - not for my belief in the importance of gender equality - but for my role in all of this.  There's no way to recapture the feathers that have been let loose from the bell tower, but maybe this is a start.

In the meantime, peeps, good luck at the tables.


  1. I live for comments. Without comments how would I know that I exist? That is the corollary to the slight more famous 'S/he with the most comments wins' maxim.

    -Dawn Summers

  2. Comments are nice, but I think we know that the great majority of readers will not leave a comment. I think the ratio is something like 1 comment per 30 readers or so.

    There are countless of battles to be "fought" and we can't ever get involved in all of them. But the reality is that yes, there are still many issues revolving around gender AND race equality even to this day. I think that actions that in a way help perpetuate this behaviors should be addressed and discussed. What is the best approach? Who is to say? But at least in this instance there was a certain level of awareness and indignation that shows (even if it is a little) that there is less tolerance from society to this type of outbursts, or at least that’s what I like to think.

  3. I'm with you, Edgar. And I agree, it seems as though race and gender will always be issues we'll be dealing with...and that's sad. But, hopefully more and more people will be confident enough to stand up for what they believe, no matter the issue. That's a good thing, imo. So glad you're reading the blog and thanks for your comments!


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