Sunday, August 27, 2006

About This Blog

Sometimes I get comments which indicate that people aren't clear on what this blog is. The "nutshell" reply is that it's a record of my thoughts and experiences which I choose to share with others who may find them interesting. The audience is a combination of friends, family, and folks who have found their way here through my comments on their sites, links from other blogs they read or random searches. This is not intended to be a mass market blog and I make no money from the effort I put into it. It's a personal blog, though it is one with an atypical writing style compared to most personal blogs.

There are some things that this blog purposefully is not. It is not intended to be a resource for Japan-related news, photos or tourist advice. That being said, if you live in Japan, you will likely find some practical advice in my posts from time to time as well as a perspective and chronicle of experiences which you may not encounter in other blogs from folks living in Japan. I do talk a fair bit about the mechanics of living here and I discuss my experiences in Japan and that may help you understand things better here.

In terms of how I approach my posts, there are certain things I consciously try to avoid. One thing I try very hard not to do is post reactions to hot topics of the moment in the news either world-wide or in Japan. If I have a reaction to a bit of news, I usually reply as a comment on a site which is devoted to that news, not on my own site. I see no point in recreating the news story here so I can comment on it in my blog when Japan news sites and U.S. newspaper sites conveniently allow me to add a comment right under the original story. This site is not intended to be an echo of other sites and I try to avoid "recycling" the content of news sites for my own purposes.

A lot of what I do is think about things from a psychological perspective. To some, this is going to appear like I make a lot of very little. That's probably a fair perspective, but it's also beside the point. I analyze things and consider them based on patterns I see and in light of the psychology I studied in university and my ongoing personal study since graduation. It's what I do. It's what enjoy doing. If that doesn't suit your interests, I can understand that, and you may want to give this blog a miss.

This blog is also about me exercising my writing skills. They may not be perfect, but they are quite good. In fact, I know they are better than average and I don't say that to boast or brag, but rather because I think that false modesty is a bit ridiculous past a certain point. I point this out because I believe that this blog is as much about my style as about substance. My style can be quite indirect and some people prefer strict directness and brevity. Again, you can show yourself out if you don't enjoy taking the verbally scenic route.

Finally, I believe it's also worth noting that this is not a forum. While comments are allowed on most posts, this isn't a democracy where everyone gets to say whatever they want. I warmly welcome people to offer their perspective and take the opportunity to share their ideas and experiences and genuinely enjoy when they do so.

However, if you're got a chip on your shoulder or feel the need to be abusive or cop an attitude when you have an opposing viewpoint, you can save your poisonous typing. If you think that you can hide your contemptuous attitude behind passive-aggressive or vaguely disdainful wording, think again. Anyone with a pattern of negativity will not be allowed to continue to comment. Comments are moderated strictly by a third party. That's right. They aren't moderated by me so if you feel like being a jerk even knowing your comment won't get posted because you get some satisfaction from the notion that I'll bear the brunt of your attack when I read through comments during moderation, you can think again. I won't even see it. You'll be completely wasting your time.

Though I know this may sound a bit "defensive", the attitude of some of the commenters to this blog have forced me to make the situation clear. There are a lot of folks out there who seem mainly to read other people's content so that they can take issue with it and aggressively respond. They don't simply disagree, they want to cut you down in the process so they can feel superior. I don't do this so people can elevate themselves at my expense. I do it as a creative exercise and an archive.

Finally, as regards my posting a link to other blogs, I put up links to blogs based on the comments I receive on my blog. I follow the profiles of commenters and look at their blogs if they have them. So, the best way to get me to link you is to comment. I also am very happy if anyone would like to link to me as well, though it is not a quid pro quo situation. You don't have to link to me just because I link to you and I won't take your link away if you aren't reciprocating.

Thanks for reading.