I just experienced a spike of blog traffic from posting several articles about church. I have had a lot to say on a number of controversial topics for awhile, and I’ve historically kept to “safe” topics. What I learned is that safe topics are boring and that it’s very hard to get people engaged in the discussion with no risk.
My July 8th post about church had 109 visitors – an all-time record for me. Prior to this, nothing I’ve ever written on my blog had ever been read by more than 15 people. 109 may not sound like an impressive number to more established bloggers, but to me, it represented nearly a 1000% increase in traffic. That was enough to indicate that I had “moved the needle.” Yesterday’s blog post relating to churches and Toastmasters clubs generated 117 views – breaking the record again.
For months on end, my blog was dead as a doornail. I felt like I was talking to an empty room. I don’t allow these things to discourage me; I’ve come to realize that there are ups and downs during the writing process. Also, more importantly, I’ve learned that when people read a blog and get interested, they tend to look for a history of posts, and inconsistent spurts with long periods of inactivity don’t look good. I have been blogging 2-3 times per week on average since last November, and this past month, I’m glad I did.
Since this is a business network and not a debating forum, I won’t be elaborating on the topics here, but I’d like to look at a different angle. I had always accepted as an absolute truth that controversial topics are bad for business relationships, but now, I’m not so sure about that. Acting like a baby and throwing insults at people who disagree with your opinions is not good for relationship building. Bombarding people with messages slandering the politicians you don’t like is not going to build goodwill either. The stereotypical finger-pointing and self-righteousness that have historically characterized controversial topics are destructive, and I believe that this is why topics like religion and politics have become “taboo.”
But what would happen if people acted like grown-ups? I think we could have some interesting, engaging, and productive discussions. What do you think? Is it possible that we are coming to a point where we can have civilized discussions in the public square on just about any topic? That would sure be refreshing.
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