Guest Posts?

It seems my previous What Can Be Done About Israel post was a real blockbuster—60 comments and counting, many of them quite (very!) lengthy. A lot of the comments were really enlightening as well, as is often the case with my very well informed readership. Which has led me to ponder an idea: what if some of my readers were allowed to submit guest posts for my blog? On the one hand, this is supposed to be my personal blog, which would normally mean that I should be the author of all the articles. On the other hand though, the point of a blog is to allow everyone to have their say, and to foster a community—guest posts would seem like the next logical step in this direction. So what do my readers think? Should I allow guest posts here, or should it really just be my personal soapbox?

I should mention that I won’t necessarily have to agree with absolutely everything my guest posters say. However, they will have to have what I would consider to be a well informed opinion, worthy of respect. For example, if you can make a good case for libertarianism—which I respect in principle but don’t think would actually work in the real world—then I may publish your article. However, if you try to say that George Bush was a good President, I will simply delete your submission immediately. :-)

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Perhaps the first such article could be Sagredo’s Israeli-Palestinian peace plan. ;-)

  
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i post at a few group blogs and i know that some bloggers do have guest posters. i don’t see anything wrong with it at all :) i don’t happen to do it at my particular blog but that doesn’t mean i wouldn’t.

  
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HOWDY LADY SACHIKO!
Your idea to give space to guests in your blog seems fine to me you see I believe that everybody should have even the smallest space for an opinion my sole discrepancy would be to reject opinions for any other reason than insulting and or creating an unacceptable situation within your readership.

  
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I would prefer that you keep your blog your own, with linkages to other people’s work. Otherwise you could end up like:
http://www.dailykos.com
where people just take off on their own tangents.
Even if you were more selective then you could still end up like:
http://www.thismodernworld.com
Here they have 4-6 selected guest contributers, but have very different abilities as writers.

Both of these sites started as individual blogs like yours, but soon became innundated with guest columnists, and then in the case of Dailykos, became the Democratic Party’s unofficial sounding board.

I sense that you are starting to find your voice in the blogosphere, and that there is no sense in allowing it to be possibly drowned in the cacophany of guest authors. Especially so soon after finding a resonant cord with so many of your commenters.

  
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I certainly share your concerns Akacra. If I did do it, at least half the content here would still have to be from me. Would that be acceptable? On the one hand, I would like to maintain the purity of my voice as well; on the other hand, I have so many intelligent and well informed readers who have very worthwhile things to say, and I think they deserve a relatively public forum where they can express them (not just some obscure personal blog). Still, I guess they can do that in the comments already.

  
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Sachiko,

You’re such a generous lady. However, plz try to maintain the purity of your viewpoint. Plz ensure that those guests are real ones but not the fraudulents.

  
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Wow, mentioning libertarianism & my middle east plan in the same blog, My dear Sachiko, I do believe you’re flirting w/ me ;) (read in fake southern drawl).

I’m flattered that you might think of me writing for you, and I’ll admit I’m tempted, but I seriously don’t have the time right now. I have a lot of irons in the fire with my own affairs right now, and just can’t take the time to formulate substantial, coherent blogs about worldly issues. I will certainly contribute comments whenever I am available, as I couldn’t stay away from such a charmer, but not for now. I’m sure if you decide to allow guest bloggers, you’ll pick some very well read, and highly eloquent writers to cover a vast array of topics. I look forward to continuing my patronage!

  
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Well it is rare to find a conservative whose opinion I can respect. ;-) Still, I do have a few libertarian fans (such as OldiesLover) whose opinion I normally admire as well, so it seemed like an obvious example of something I can respectfully disagree with my readers on. As for your middle east peace plan, you have now run out of excuses not to post it in the What Can Be Done About Isreal thread! :-)

  
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Hi Sachiko,

I haven’t been here in a while. Anyway, I don’t believe that you should have guest posters in a blog. A blog is basically a diary, which for the purposes of communication, is open to interpretation and comment online.

To allow others to make entries to your blog would be an unnecessary step, as we can all comment freely in the comments area.

But, yes, sorry for my absence. I found a friend has cancer, and that changed my priorities greatly.

  
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Yeah – I gave this idea some thought, and I’ve come to agree with you and Akacra. I’ve decided that my blog will remain mine and mine only for the forseeable future (I never like to say never though!).

I’m very sorry to hear about your friend, but welcome back anyway Dane.

  
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Dear Sachiko & Contributors,

I find myself agreeing with Akacra (who I note has posted many a thoughtful comment).

However, as someone interested in professional writing, there is a middle way. Close editorial control of published “guest” articles can enrich a blog. One has to weigh-up whether or not one has the literary acumen (and time) to carefully vet guest contributions. (In fact, all sites and publications vet their content. The ones that tend to survive are devoted to quality and building a regular readership).

Guest contributors must explicitly agree to publication before an article is posted, because the central lesson one learns as a writer is that worldwide publication can rock many a boat. A contributor should also agree that the site owner retains editorial control.

If you work with someone closely, know him or her well, and could trust them with your life savings – why not publish an article that’s inline with the sites aims and purpose? (Just remember you may have to defend what they wrote later!)

Kind Regards, NB

  
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