Some commenters and email correspondents have given me a (mildly) hard time for not leaping into Avenging-Angel mode and castigating the spruikers — the Shaun Stennings, Dean Letfuses, Steve Goodeys and Sean Woods of the world — more stridently and with more fire and damnation as ‘scam artists’, ‘criminals’ and ‘low-lifes’.
To some, it’s as if trying to see all sides of an, erm, disagreement about [allegedly] deceptive sales practices and a trail of hyperbolic claims and broken promises makes me some sort of, I don’t know, panty-waist. Hardly. The spruikers themselves aren’t thrilled with thePaepae.com either. (Deeply wounded emotionally, in some cases, apparently. Outraged. Oh diddums.)
My journalism training (and experience) has taught me to be careful: To always aim to be able to support my assertions. (But comment is free, right?) That’s one of the reasons for my ‘interweaving’ and ‘cross-linking’ which exasperates Matthew Gilligan so, also discussed here. (See? Can’t help myself.)
I know I can get a bit purple-prosey (word?) but I try to be fair. I try to give reasons for my statements. I even got a note recently from Shaun Stenning saying ‘you seem to have a good reporting angle’ … this followed some earlier communications from him of a different tone entirely.
So it was refreshing/confirming to read this about Heather Armstrong‘s lessons from ten years of blogging …
The biggest lessons learned:
“I don’t know if my children or my website have aged me more, but I’m willing to be[t] that my website has. I know so much more about what it means to be human and how human react to things. About impulses. What the last 10 years has taught me, the main lesson, is to first give someone the benefit of the doubt. To not believe everything I hear. Because so much has been written and said about me that’s completely untrue, to live with that, I don’t ever want to do that to anyone else. I started out writing about celebrities but I don’t criticize anyone on my website any more. I want it to be an uplifting place to be.”
via Marshall Kirkpatrick at ReadWriteWeb
Well, horses for courses, Heather, respectfully. Maybe I’ll feel that way in a few years?