Blog tip #6: never underestimate your audience…

They may be smarter than you!

A few years ago I remember reading a list of twelve characteristics of knowledge. The one that stands out most distinctly in my memory is that when you share it or give it away, it multiplies. If there is a risk in getting close to the audience, there is also a positive advantage in terms of what a knowledgeable audience can tell that you didn’t already know.

After 18 months of writing Slugger it seemed obvious to me that I had learned an immense amount about Northern Ireland, 1 simply by writing about it on a daily basis, but 2 from a knowledgeable audience. This kind of knowledge share is almost impossible to replicate in ordinary life.

Previously: Quick, Light, Consistent…The first Irish Blogger Conference is at the Digital Hub in Dublin on Saturday 7th October, admission €15. Open to all: bloggers, and blog curious politicos and journalists a like. If you want to come along, register here.

, ,


    emense ?


  • The Devil

    Yeah and you haven’t learned to shut up yet Fealty

  • Nevin

    Knowledge – or propaganda? 😉

  • Mick Fealty


    On this thread, I’d put 1 in the first category, and 2, well that’s Playing the ball not the man rather than propaganda. It’s also the one basic rule on Slugger.

    Propaganda can be spectacularly counterproductive in the context of the net. The capacity for someone, somewhere to get in round the back and blow the whistle is a powerful disincentive, since whilst online reputations are hard to build, they are very easily blown.

    This is more the case with bloggers than commenters, who, especially with the liberal regime we have at Slugger, often swap identities rapidly so that they can never be held to account for what they say.

    There has been a suggestion at the Guardian CIF site that all commenters should have an archived home page that enables people to examine their history of ‘work’ in the same way that public figures can be found on the net, or bloggers can through the main archives of the blog site.

    As propaganda generally has a tendency to deny the past, and recast current events in a light favourable to the desired cause, this might be a powerful disincentive for the kind of blatent propagandising that sometimes take place in blog comment zone.

    Up to now I have prefered build a strong human culture of engagement over such technical controls. But in any future development of Slugger it would be well worth thinking about.



    It would be nice if you also pointed out that some of us (I would hope most of us, but you’re in a better position to say than I) don’t switch identities at the drop of a hat, and are happy to be held accountable for our comments and opinions.

  • Mick Fealty

    That goes for the best of the commenters certainly.And the rigour it applies is enabling rather than disabling, which I think in NI is a consistent fear that people have about open engagement with the ‘other side’. Your convictions may remain the same, but you ideas should get sharper and more robust.

    You can also weight, what is important, and is not.