Dear Tech Bloggers Who Think I Want (Or Care About) Your Political Opinions:

I don’t.

I’ve unsubscribed from a few of your blogs in the last month because you mistakenly believe that since I like your tech writing I must also relish your political pontification.

Um, no.

Honestly, I want your political opinions as much as I want those from TV, movie, or music “stars” that I like, which is to say not at all. I don’t look to you for my political bits any more than I’d look to get tech musings from Kos or Drudge. 

I’m sure I’ll see you guys in January when it’s probably safe to re-subscribe. Meanwhile, I’m finding there’s enough overlap in the tech blog community that I don’t think I’m missing much…

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12 thoughts on “Dear Tech Bloggers Who Think I Want (Or Care About) Your Political Opinions:

  1. I agree with Tom too, especially the way he put it, not saying that people shouldn’t post such stuff, just that he won’t be reading it.

    I find most political commentary, even from acknowledged ‘experts’ to be utterly boring and shallow, failing to get beyond the ‘lizard A vs. Lizard B’ thing. It’s odd that someone who can really look beyond the surface at tech things can’t do the same with politics, considering how important it is to our future.

    But then I suppose if they feel strongly enough to risk losing readers to say what they want, at least that shows some integrity.

  2. Tom,
    Sorry I am late to the game on this topic, but I agree. I don’t see the point of it at all. Are they trying to persuade us to vote a certain way? If so, hate-filled diatribe is not exactly how one would convince someone to vote for their candidate.

    Are they just trying to tell us how intelligent they are for voting for Candidate X, and why voting for Candidate Y means you’re an idiot? Like we really care.

    I just don’t see the reason behind this. It really spoils the tech-side of their (Roughly Drafted, Daring Fireball) writing IMHO. And I get this overwhelming sense of arrogance when I am done. Sad.

  3. I agree with Tom’s sentiment for a different reason: the political stuff in the Tech blogs is a bit too “interesting” for me: it shows up and I think “this sounds controversial and intriguing” and I start reading and then I read the 300 comments and then I realize I haven’t read any of the tech stuff and I’ve wasted hours and there are still a dozen articles left IN THE LAST DAY ALONE, in this one RSS feed.

    Whatever the opinions of the writer and commenters, I suppose I find it all too intriguing (I am interested in the upcoming election, being an American with a brain, and all, but sort of wishing I could vote for a third candidate named “NO”…) and in the end, it’s all so time-consuming, and hence, time wasting, and recently it’s sort of all just come to a head. When it cools down (January? we’ll see) I will go back and look at some of those blogs again too.

    By the way, in general, I find my favorite stuff in Google Reader is the small stuff like xkcd and We The Robots (great web comic, check it out!) that has a small immediate payoff and I can knock it off quickly and move on (instead of getting “stuck” on some intriguing but ultimately meandering and fruitless political diversion/argument/shouting match). I also sometimes get annoyed with a well written blog with way too many interesting links. Love those, but they are a bit exponential, a bit, not-so-self-contained.

  4. I completely agree Tom … I rarely discuss politics and I’m mostly neutral to Republican when I do …

    Daring Fireball is full of nastiness and hatred during political campaigns and turns many tech issues into political debates full of hogwash partisan technobabble.

  5. Alex,

    “unsubscribing’s a bit of an overreaction”

    If I only read a few blogs I might agree with you. However, I subscribe to over 100 so killing a few for now doesn’t seem to have much impact on my reading except that I’ve cut down quite a bit on the signal-to-noise ratio.

  6. for international readers its a little tiring too, but the headlines always make it clear so its easy to just read the tech columns, unsubscribing’s a bit of an overreaction!

  7. I say amen to that.

    As for freedom of speech. Of course technology bloggers have the freedom to write about politics. But, I also have the freedom to not read it. They can fool me once, because I came to their blog expecting to read about technology, but they won’t fool me again.

  8. Scott,

    “it is their blog and they have a right to talk about whatever they want.”

    Whoa! I never said otherwise, and it’s not relevant to my point. They could all just as easily start posting daily NASCAR updates and the result would be the same.

    As for pigeonholing, I know what I subscribe to these bogs for, and what they’re primarily known for. To say that they can “deviate sometimes” misses the point. I’m not talking about an occasional post, I’m talking about a consistent flow of posts fed by the upcoming elections. To write that off as simply deviating is being more generous than it deserves, in my opinion.

    Finally, and most importantly, nowhere did I call for them to stop, or insist they do so. I simply explained that it’s not what I subscribed for, and that I’m gone for now. I’m sure they don’t care, but I didn’t even claim to have left for good. Their “deviating” — such as it exists now — will halt of its own accord, and I’ll be back then.

  9. I only agree with this if the bloggers are arguing that McCain is NOT a nasty, feeble idiot. 🙂

    Seriously though, I know how you feel about this, but I don’t think anyone can separate themselves into “political” and “non-political” animals. I do think that blogs like RoughlyDrafted go a bit too far in that direction, but then it is a very “special” US election this time.

    I find it jarring myself when you find out something personal about the blog author and prefer them to remain mostly anonymous, but I realise that’s not going to happen also.

    For instance, I have been reading John Gruber’s “Daring Fireball” blog a lot lately as he seems both smart, knowledgeable, and also succinct. All fabulous qualities to have. Then I recently found out that he is a fan of, and sometimes even links to, what I find to be one of the worst, and most disgusting tech blogs there is, (IMO of course) “Gizmodo.” How can such an erudite, smart guy have anything to do with those nasty, negative, pornographic idiots? He even seems to be *friends* with them! The Horror!!

    But then I realised that it wasn’t a reason to *not* read his other stuff just because he takes a moral position that I can’t agree with or doesn’t see something that I see, or indeed, has friends that are “questionable.”

  10. On the other hand, it is their blog and they have a right to talk about whatever they want. You pigeonhole them as tech bloggers, but mono-faceted people are rarely of interest to anyone. I think it’s ok to be primarily a tech blogger and deviate sometimes.

    You’re free not to read it and they’re free to say “bite, me, it’s my blog and I’m gonna write what I want.”

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