Saturday, May 23, 2009

Beware of Blogs

The other day I happened to be in earshot of some of our elected officials and overheard them discuss some comments left by 'one of those bloggers'. Well, the name they referenced was that of a frequent Herald News commentor, but not of one of our local bloggers. I read with interest Mike Moran's recent column. Mike makes mentions of bloggers pounding on their keyboards and I had to wonder does he know the difference between a blogger and a commentor?

Probably not.

It seems to be a fine line, easily blurred.

A blogger is someone who has a blog or writes for a blog. A blog is web log, an online journal where a blogger will share opinions, views, observations, etcetera. A commentor is someone who comments in the comment section of a blog or website. The Herald News is not a blog, and those readers who choose to comment are not, by default, bloggers.

I'll admit I'm a bit protective of that difference. I think being a blogger requires a little more work and a little more responsibility than being a commentor does. That said, I'm flattered to have people comment. Commentors are important and blogging is not some elitist club, anyone can start a blog.

I talked about this a few posts back, how I and other local bloggers were anticipating the launching of several candidate blogs. These would be blogs that would either promote certain candidates or belittle others. Hey, maybe they'd do both! Well one candidate has launched a blog, but I think he's getting more than he bargained for.

City Council candidate, Chris Marcelino decided to plug his blog in the comment section of Fall River-tastic. I had a friend IM me about this yesterday afternoon. My first thoughts were that the blog was pretty well written, but I chuckled at a title that said: "Finally Bristol County has a new place for the most unbiased and factual news source in the area." How can anyone consider a blog written by a political candidate unbiased and factual! Shortly after that found myself discussing it with Shamrock, the Fall River-tastic-one! Shamrock had about the same opinion I did, but then came back to me and told me he had found pretty much the same post on a blog from Tulsa from 2004! In other words Marcelino has plagiarized pretty much the whole damn thing. Of course by now, Shamrock has written a post about Chris' deceptive little blog and he has rather lamely defended himself saying he posted it for informational purposes. Chris a little advice for you, when you basically take someone's work and pretty much copy it word for word and fail to give them credit, that's plagiarism. For Pete's sake I learned that in middle school! Mr. Marcelino will deny it. But friends, I read this blog yesterday and can tell you his name was at the bottom of the post and nothing to indicate that work wasn't his. Shamrock caught him and now he wants to set the record straight. My opinion is he thought he was pulling a fast one on all of us. Chris if you want to plagiarize something, try my election ballot, it will be the one with no marks next to your name.

Lefty's View: Beware of blogs because anyone can start one. Beware of bloggers because we're sharing opinion but it's up to you to figure out which bloggers you can be any stock in. And remember if a blogger doesn't have a blog, he's not really a blogger, he's a commentor.


Anonymous said...

hmm, who was the frequent commentor ?!

Lefty said...

without going into detail about the conversation and the news story in question I'm sure it would be fair to say.

Anonymous said...

You are sure it would be fair to say or not fair to say? If it is fair to say then who was the commenter?

Anyone catch Poulin and Herren on the radio? It was actually intelligent radio. A nice change of pace.

Lefty said...

sorry, not sure if it would be fair.

Anonymous said...

C'mon Lefty, inquiring minds want to know...