I got an e-mail message from a recent Kennedy School graduate from the United Kingdom, currently working at the Prime Minister's Strategy Unit in London, about my blog and the comments on it regarding British reaction to the Virginia massacre.
He was most interested in the tone of the comments, writing me: "I'm surprised by the civil tone of the responses, even those which are acid in tone. It's such a sensitive subject I'm surprised people weren't more lunatic in their response."
I wrote him back stating that I thought some of the comments were pretty strong and emotional in tone, at least as it seemed to me.
His return e-mail message was fascinating: "I think you exist in a rather refined corner of the blogosphere. Normal commenters do not sign their comments 'Thanks, Leslie.' It's actually anthropologically rather interesting. I'm guessing by the tone and the publication that these people are older public servants. By virtue of their age and background they are taking a completely different approach to blog commenting than most younger people would."
I should add, however, that my daughter, who I will confess is very sensitive, did think the tone was harsh, particularly any aspersions on her dad. She was angry at the commenter who thought it was good I was finally learning first-hand what people outside the United States were thinking about America. "I would like to write a response back to this person," my daughter e-mailed me, "who couldn't have gotten you more wrong. Little does she know a Swedish paper is your homepage and you get the Financial Times [London] every day at home."
So, I have a question to readers. Are there any twenty-somethings reading this blog? Maybe, amazingly, any people who are still students? If so, what's your reaction to this blog's tone? Is this the fogiesphere?
Posted by Steve Kelman on Apr 26, 2007 at 12:08 PM