Welcome to my inaugural blog entry! I am HoaiPhai.
Why I am blogging
I’ve been thinking about starting a blog for a long, long time. The original idea was to write about things that I really enjoy, such as photography, friendships, and the fun stuff we step in as we walk down life’s path. I just never seemed to have the time to create my own blog.
Then my brother started talking about what he calls “blogging”, which was
basically just commenting on news stories found on-line. The range of opinions on the stories was sometimes alarming, but always interesting and thought-provoking. The sites welcomed input from readers and stated that comments were moderated, so thinking that an impartial professional was ensuring that free speech, within reason, would be respected, I began adding my own comments.
I found that on one Canadian news site that moderated all comments, more often than not my comments would not make it into the threads. On other semi-moderated sites my comments would disappear, sometimes within seconds of my having posted them. Other times my opinions would fall victim to having been flagged by other readers as inappropriate.
This really surprised me. I had read the sites’ Terms-of-Use documents—my comments were devoid of any threats, abusive language, or expletives and my comments were on-topic (or not further off-topic than others’ comments). I believe I was censored because of my opinions, and this angered me. I tried finding in the FAQ or “contact us” files of the sites how to contest such actions by the moderators or others commenting, but could find no solution. I found it frustrating and disappointing that Canadian news outlets were providing something merely approaching an open forum.
And that is why I am here.
What you can expect
As you’ve probably already figured out, I’m not a professional writer so I’ll be blogging about things that strike a chord with me personally. Some entries will be in response to items in the news that prompted me to start my own blog. If you read the same news item on-line that I did and read the readers’ comments, you might find some of my blog entries here somewhat familiar…I forsee “recycling” some of my comments to those stories and fashioning them into parts of my own blogs. Other posts will be inspired from personal experiences or will be feeble attempts at humour.
Whatever the inspiration, they will be categorized as either “Rants”, “Raves”, “Yawns”, or “About”. Rants will be about things I dislike or disagree with, Raves will be entries about things of which I have a more positive opinion, and Yawns will be about topics that defy pigeon-holing in either of the first two categories…like this post, for example, which is also labelled “About” due to its semi-biographical nature. At this point I’m not ruling out the addition of more categories if the need arises.
Comments: My blog, my rules
Realistically, I don’t expect many comments to this exercise in getting things off my chest. Due to lessons learned when my comments on other sites were moderated into the trash can, I invite all points of view. If you disagree with my point of view, please try to change my mind. At the very least you’ll be helping me better understand your position. Hey, you might even succeed in turning my opinion around! What I do ask it that you put a little thought into your comments and show a little respect for others who hold an opposing opinion including, perhaps, me.
That being said, there are a few things that might get your comment edited or deleted. Spam is the first thing that comes to mind. Linking to an item that will solve some problem having to do with the topic of my post is OK but linking to commercial sites for no apparent reason is not. Listing your website on your comment as anything other than a blog or personal website will get my suspicion nerve throbbing so your comment better be really on-point for it to make it through. Adamantly defending your position is in, obvious trolling is out. Venomous personal attacks are a no-no. In the unlikely event that I feel it necessary to edit or delete a comment, I will leave a reason in the comments thread and, if possible, contact the comment’s author privately with an explanation. The WordPress ToS, of course, apply.
P.S. I really hope that leaving the title of this first post “Hello World” is not the mark of the newbie doofus.