How to Respond to this Blog Post

I’ve noticed that several of my blog posts have resulted in discussions that haven’t gone the way I’ve wanted them to go.  I was pondering this when it hit me that, of course they haven’t, because I’ve never told you, the readers and commenters, what I wanted.  How can I expect you to react the way I want without telling you how?

Therefore, for this post, I’m going to explain exactly how I want the discussion to go.

1. Express surprise at my opinion, but remark that it is a new way of looking at things that you hadn’t before considered.  (You may, if you wish, make a few flattering asides about my prose style, but that isn’t necessary.)

2. Express polite, reasoned disagreement (ideally, this disagreement will be something really stupid so I can answer it easily).

3. When I reply, say that I’m right, and you’re wrong, and that I’ve completely changed your mind about the issue.

4. Direct others here, making sure they are people who will, as the kids say, “get with the program.”

There.  That isn’t hard.  Thank you in advance for your cooperation.


Published by

Avatar photo


I play the drum.

41 thoughts on “How to Respond to this Blog Post”

  1. Well put! I admit, it never even occurred to me that you could use a tactic like this successfully, it’s making me see blogging in a whole new light. Are you really sure it will work out that way, though? Your readers aren’t used to working very hard, since you write such straightforward books, so they may all be too intellectually lazy to get with the program.

  2. Oh this is amazing! It’s the changed the way I look at things. Hey is your license plate hanging crooked? I hadn’t considered this before. Oh and your writing rocks.

  3. I’m a bit surprised that you think that dictating your readers’ response is a good way to conduct blog discussion, but when you express your program with such clean, sharp lines, I feel I have to at least consider it.

    I disagree nonetheless, on the basis that I believe the freedom of my form of response to your blog posts is guaranteed by the First Amendment.

  4. I must say I’m rather shocked at this new approach to your posts. And while your prose style has, indeed, always captured my attention as no other writer has (with the rare exception of such illustrious Hungarian authors as Neil Gaiman, Roger Zelazny, and Mark Twain), I will admit I’m forced to look upon your post, nay all future and even past posts, in a new and different light.

    To the left, however, I find your post lacks the speech-worthiness and inspirational, rally-the-masses gusto of some of America’s finest speakers– George Bush and Rush Limbaugh spring instantly to mind–and you would do right by incorporating some of their highly-factual public addresses into your own work, be it public or private. (I look forward to any paltry counter-argument you may come up with for my disagreement to your failings in this matter.)

    I will, of course, be sharing this post with my more literate friends and colleagues, as they should be aware of this rather avant-garde model of blog posting you have embarked upon. Scalzi, for one, I suspect would be delighted to comment upon this.

  5. Yes, but if you refer to the blog post you wrote in 1886, you’ll realize you took an entirely opposite position. I’d like to know exactly how you explain this change in opinion…

  6. Thank you all for your interesting an insightful remarks.

    Matt: My readers like, totes kick ass and shit.

    cturkel: A little. Artistically.

    Chaos: You are wrong. Wrong wrong wrong. You are so wrong, your new name is Mr. Wrongetypants.

    Jen: Um. Oh yeah?

  7. Wow! You are right, and I am wrong! You have completely changed my mind about this issue! I now realize that the First Amendment applies to government restriction of speech, and that while a matter between private entities may indeed be a free speech matter and/or a censorship matter, it cannot be a First Amendment matter!

    I will be sure to tell all my friends and associates who can be trusted to follow instructions carefully about you!

  8. Curses! My rational and impassioned argument foiled once again by the searing light of Reason! I am humbled, sir. My life has turned the corner of Truth and shall never against be the same. Bravo, sir! You have touched this mortal soul and changed his mind, for you are most certainly correct, whereas I could not be more wrong. I bow to your wisdom.

  9. It is amazing how hard it is to respond to a blog post that is nothing but a list of things you should do to respond to it…
    On the other hand it is a wonderful innovative idea that will hopefully begin to catch on in other blogs as well.

  10. A Teckla in need of a thrashin’
    Expressed inappropriate passion
    In poetry, to
    a Dzurlord he knew
    Who demurred in a violent fashion.

  11. I arrived at this discussion road-weary; it’s that sort of day. I’ve now read it; and am leaving with a smile. Well done, everyone. Steve, your prose is exceptional. I am banking some goodwill for later, naturally. :)

  12. Indeed.

    [Says it all, if said in the appropriate tone with the appropriate props, which will have to be imagined by the intelligent reader, which I’m quite confident will be led to do so]

  13. Beautiful!

    In line with Karen Prior’s comments about dog training. When your dog has a habit you don’t like, train an incompatible habit.

    What a great way to change the subject!

  14. Struck dumb by the blinding light of pre-Joycean clarity.


    “The demand that I make of my reader is that he should devote his whole life to reading my works.”

    This seems a reasonable request.

  15. Do you realize that you may in fact have come up with the formula to finally bring peace to the Internet? As well as ending for all time the troll problem? You follow in the footsteps of Gandhi and Dr. King. Hopefully no one will be sufficiently in awe of your good work to assassinate you….

  16. I had often wondered where your flawless writing comes from, but now it’s so obvious. You ponder! If we had known earlier, we could have provided better ponder fodder. I only wish you had used letters rather than numbers to set off your points – it would have been so much more literary.

  17. L. Raymond: By using numbers, I signify an implied critique of the male Western hierarchy that privileges alphabetical discourse with its neo-colonial disdain for Arabic numerals. Or something.

    thindu: Oh, good idea!

  18. Dude. I ask people for TV recs, and I specifically say *NOT* 22-minute shows. What do I get? Literally (actually-literally! not the new figuratively-literally!) at least a quarter of the people recommending 22-minute shows. Why on EARTH should your political discussions go more smoothly than that? If you said, “Please send me links to shirts that are black. BLACK SHIRTS ONLY PLEASE,” you would get four links saying, “You should get the red one,” two saying, “Why does it have to be black? I think you would look nice in blue,” two arguing with you about how blackshirts, the political thing, are bad, and two for black socks. Because internet.

  19. Screw you, Stevie. I’m never buying one of your Jack-Ryan-in-elftown books again!

  20. Wow, I had never thought of that or seen it written so cleanly and in such a nice font. I must, however, say that it is unclear how it relates to the really important issues I want to mention over there.

  21. I so never thought of that. You’ve created an entirely new paradigm! Of nickel! And you’ve shown no quarter! I’m deeply amazed.

  22. @skzb: Of course! My interest in letters was only supporting the superiority of the hierarchiness of male westerners who disdain Arabic colonels. I would never have seen it that way without your brilliant exegesis.

  23. thindu: As per your suggestion, the site rules have been updated to include a link to this post.

    L. Raymond: See how nice I am when everyone just does what I want?

  24. Let’s see if I can do this correctly:

    2) I’m certain you’ve already considered this, but WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN??? ‘MURICA!
    3) Interesting. Your responses have totes adjusted my ill-conceived perspectives. My life has been renewed.
    4) (already done)

    How’d I do? (:

    (PS: Sorry I didn’t respond sooner; I was down sick…)

  25. @skzb, I’m surprised that you settled for just updating the site rules. Surely the brilliance of your idea deserves to be spread everywhere that your readers have access.

Leave a Reply