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Saturday, 22 November 2008

Blogging for Dummies: A Guide

Seasoned blogger Barnsley Bill shares some tips in Blogging for Dummies, complete with live updates from commenters (including yours truly). It is hysterically funny because, sadly it is so true.

I have reproduced the list and will update it throughout the day linking to live examples that I know of and commenting on relevance, feel free to point to others.

1. Choose a witty sobriquet. Something which makes you sound clever, preferably a character from an obscure novel. If you haven’t read a book use a character from a film.
[Check. MandM plays on a number of cultural icons Eminem - Look Who's Back, M&M lollies, Subway Biscuits and it happens to be how people refer to us (and its less spack that Mattie and Maddie)]

2. Pick up on grammar or spelling mistakes to emphasise your point. If you haven't got a point choose one from someone even angrier than you.
[The observant will have noticed that particularly Matt makes a lot of spelling and grammar mistakes, we think he is dyslexic, but its always a good comeback when you can't refute his argument]

3. Use a straw man to make everyone who says anything reasonable sound like they are advocating child murder. If you don't know what a straw man is, you are probably using one anyway so don't worry.
[Couldn't find an example where one of us was accused of advocating child murder, though I have some dim recollection that it has happened, but here is one where Matt is asked if he wants to confess to being both gay and into pedophilia, ironically this comment came in a discussion where Craig Young complained, justly, that gay men are often falsely accused of all being pedophiles and Matt asked for some more info on his stats.]

4. Exaggerate, misquote and mislead. Deliberately misconstrue simple points in order to emphasise their advocacy of a position they were not taking.
[This happened to me on The Standard just the other day; I pointed out that an income of $40,001 did not make one "wealthy", especially if one had a family an lived in a main centre. Apparently I meant I was an uncaring tory and had no sympathy for "the 70% of New Zealanders who earn LESS than $40000."]

5. Lend legitimacy to your argument by using the following expressions: guardianista, NuLab, dear leader. This will instantly confound MPs and impress your blogging chums.
[I couldn't think of one off hand but then Cactus Kate came to the rescue.]

6. If you're in danger of talking about the issues, remember you're on shaky ground, back away. In fact its probably safer if you avoid this risk altogether by not reading the original post.
[Matt argued that sustenance rights do not necessarily entail statism and anonymous said "So if the government doesn't remove the wealth of the rich the poor will starve." Or here, where the person actually admitted they did not read the post before commenting.]

7. Talk about some mythical age in which this country hadn't had it so good. Usually before there were any immigrants or before social welfare became a 20 billion dollar a year entity.

8. If all that fails reduce everything to 1984. Pick a theme and repeat it over and over again until the internet ceases to exist, or we're all dead, or whatever it is that you're sure is going to happen happens. This is a sure fire way to deal with your crushing sexual inadequacy.
[Sounds like most of the people I went to law school with at Waikato. Sadly it also sounds like most of the lecturers too. Auckland Uni is a massive improvement on that score.]

9. Post a pompous long-winded and convoluted reply that nobody can be arsed reading, so they probably won't bother refuting it. They will just reply that you are a wanker and so one wins the moral high ground! Courtesy of Oswald
[Matt gets accused of engaging in this all the time but if you actually read what he says it is worth wading through. Great live example here, in fact the blog post that sparked these comments could be said to suffer the same problem]

10. Accuse anyone who made a devastating and witty critique that completely blew your point out of the water to be posting under a fake name. Suggest they are really someone that your friends don't like. Courtesy of Madeleine
[Multiple examples from this particular person I am thinking of but here is one where he wrongly accuses someone else of being Matt]

11. Post as anonymous and then complain when other people allege that the other anonymous's comments are yours. Courtesy of Madeleine

12. When you do spot something that most people don't understand but you do, find a way of making a clever statement demonstrating your superior understanding. (Even if it has no bearing whatsoever on the topic just as as long as people think you are cleverer than them) Courtesy of Madeleine
[Couldn't find one off the top of my head but Roger Nome attempts to do this here:"Ahh - argument by analogy. It enjoyed its hay day back in ancient Greece, but it's still good for convincing the masses that a false premise is in fact sound and true." Matt's response is priceless]

13. If in doubt, especially good when you simply lack the ability to respond and you know you are outgunned, invoke the never fail technique of calling everyone hate-filled, intolerant, bigots and wonder out loud where all their venom comes from. Courtesy of Matt
[Exhibit A and Exhibit B and Exhibit C]

14. When discovering someone's post or comment too late to implement 2.-13. (because of wide-spread link and comment support) throw your toys out of the cot and point out, anonymously of course, that the National have not yet removed the draconian legislation affronting free speech and you will have their site torn down. Courtesy of Matt
[See most of the comments from the anonymous's on this thread]

15. If a woman says something you don't like attack her appearance and shaggability. Either call her a fat, ugly, smelly, ham-burger, stuffing heifer or make a llewd suggestions and set up a poll on her sex appeal.
[This was Critic's favourite line of attack against me, and Nexus's, but neither student mags have online examples anymore, though here are two: James Jenkins; Scalia (though Scalia I think is not trying to attack me)]

16. Psychoanalyse your opponent. Refer to their upbringing, their relationship with their father, how much they were breast-fed, their attraction to fire and their alleged sexual inadequacies.
[See here and here.]

17. Godwin's law; find an analogy between the person you disagree with and Hitler (or Muldoon if you want a kiwiana version).
[I think we have all seen examples of these]

We have tapped a rich vein here, the latest three offerings are from Madeleine again

18. Start referring to excreta in your post or comment. i.e. "Pooping in the mouth of democracy". OH DEAR, this "offering" courtesy of OECD

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