Thursday, November 02, 2006

Defining My Audience



No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were. Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

"Meditation XVII" of Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions, 1624, John Donne.

When you write a book or a magazine article, or make a movie, one thing you have to do is define your audience. Whom are you aiming to attract, inform, excite, whatever? I think the same thing can be said for a blog.

Since my positions so often fall on the side of conservatism, you might think that my natural audience would be conservatives. That’s not how I see it.

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First of all, I hold so many liberal positions that I can’t define myself as purely conservative. To name a few, these positions include reasonable environmentalism, pro-choice on abortion, an interest in New-Age philosophies and religions, support for a reasonable social welfare net, some kinds of social engineering, and so on. I won’t go into my conservative positions today, but they outnumber my liberal positions.

With some of the things I believe, then, some conservatives will not be happy with me.

Liberals will not be my natural audience either, obviously. I think they are wrong on most everything these days, except on a few issues.

So, who is my natural audience? Whom am I aiming for?

My Natural Audience

I am aiming this blog at intelligent people from both political persuasions. The key word is intelligent. I don’t expect every intelligent person in the world to agree with me on every issue. I do, though, expect them to make an effort in their lives to arrive at the truth about politics, news and entertainment. I believe every member of a democracy has an obligation to become educated about the issues. I don’t want anyone voting who does not know the issues and where they stand with regard to them.

I guess it’s all right to vote against George Bush or Republicans because you have a gut feeling against them. However, I prefer that you dig deeper than just relying on your gut.

This means you make an honest effort to discern reality.

One way you can do this is to read widely. Another way is to view the news and stories about important issues, but from a variety of sources. Then, you can make up your own mind. You’ve got to do some research.

Know Your Sources

Please be honest about what you are watching. Know that all the major networks are biased towards liberalism and against conservatism. Yes, FOX is biased in favor of the conservatives, and so is much of talk radio. Still, though, much of what you will hear and read on a daily basis comes from a liberal bias. Take this into account when you study the issues. I think it’s all right, and even good, to listen to liberal shows, but don’t mistake them for truth. Be smart in your listening and reading.

Whom Do I Respect?

Do I respect my audience? Yes. If you are open to the truth, whether it be from a conservative or a liberal perspective, I have profound respect for you. We need you in a democracy. We need good liberals and good conservatives, not knee-jerk leftists nor automaton conservatives. We need people who think and read and ponder, and then make the best judgment they can.

Truth Seekers

My natural audience, then, are truth-seekers. Liberal and conservative truth-seekers. From Buddhists, Christians and Muslims to Wiccans; from hawks to doves; from high school dropouts to Ph.d.’s; Black, White and Hispanic. Anyone who seeks the truth and is willing to take its difficult journey. We may not agree about our conclusions from that journey, but we will respect each other for making the soul-wrenching trek.

Rock


(*Wikipedia is always my source unless indicated.)

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5 comments:

SGT DUB said...

Such a long time ago when the media was concerned about the truth. Today is just about an agenda to press a select group's message at you. Truth, what does it mean anymore? Truth, it will set you free. Truth starts in the home with the parents, then moves to the office, to the classroom, but most importantly in ourselves. We can't be truthful to others unless we are true to ourselves. Continue to stand tall for truth Rock, it might catch on.

Rock said...

Sgt Dub, you said:

Truth starts in the home with the parents, then moves to the office, to the classroom, but most importantly in ourselves. We can't be truthful to others unless we are true to ourselves. Continue to stand tall for truth Rock, it might catch on.

You're right, Sgt. Dub. We can't lose hope. There are millions of good people in the world like you and others who hunger for the truth without hatred.

I am honored by your comment. I await a guest post or two from you if you've got the time and inclination.

I hope things are going as well as possible in Afghanistan. Keep up the good work.

Thanks for your support.

Sarge Charlie said...

My friend Sgt Dub and you have it right Mr. Rock. I am sure that there will be a time when we do not agree, actually we have crossed that threshold a week or so ago when you maintained your belief that sitting out an election or a none of the above is an option. I clearly did not agree with that position, I strongly believe that sitting out is allowing someone else to make a decision for you. We both made our arguments and were unable to convince the other to change their opinion. What we are able to do as thinking adults is agree to disagree and go foward.

The truth can be found whereever you look for it, your truth may not always be the same as my truth, we, our country, are a huge melting pot that contains the sum of all of our experience, strength, and hope. I do get angry at people that lie and then maintain that lie by repeating it over and over, hoping that you will start to believe them, to me this is an insult. An example of that is John Kerry a couple of days ago, he was clearly wrong, but is was not in his sole to say I was wrong and go forward. Had he been able to do that it would have been ended, now a large number of Americans and our military forces are angry, so unnecessary.

The truth will set you free.

Tarek said...

SHIT... I wrote a big ass comment, but then a pop up erased it.. So I'm just gonne write the jist of it...

Hey rock, how goes it...

This is actually one of the posts where i agree with a lot of what you said.. Truth, I think can sometimes be white or black (stealing is wrong, the sky is blue, gravtiy pulls things towards earth) but most of the times it's a combination of both.. Ok so CNN will give me the liberal point of view and the Fox will give me the conservative point of view, it is the job of my brain and common sense to make the truth out of it.. Unfortunately we tend to be biased ourselves towards the people who say what we want to hear...

But the thing is, you tend to be a hardliner about your conservative views.. I wish commented on some of the previous posts you made, but I swear I've been swarmed with work, but I'll be commenting some more, more often!

You're Arab Muslim audience!!

Rock said...

Tyk,

Nice to hear from you. I'm glad you're still with us. You said:

SHIT... I wrote a big ass comment, but then a pop up erased it.. So I'm just gonne write the jist of it...

Hey rock, how goes it...


Tyk, I know this might seem unusual to you, considering the tone of other sites and probably Myspace etc. but I want the language on this site to be a tad elevated, not stuffy, but without the salty language. I usually moderate language like this, but I consider you to be important to the world (am I exaggerating?), being an intelligent, well-spoken Muslim, and we need this, and the Muslims need this--so I accepted your comment. Don't take me wrong, I'm not expecting you to be grateful. I just want you to reach inside and realize that you are talking to the whole world and what we say here can have an effect on people's lives.

That being said, I continue to deeply respect you, and it's okay to be somewhat informal, as I realize you're a fun kind of guy. Your blog has a charming flavor to it, and you should keep it that way.

This is actually one of the posts where i agree with a lot of what you said.. Truth, I think can sometimes be white or black (stealing is wrong, the sky is blue, gravity pulls things towards earth) but most of the times it's a combination of both.. Ok so CNN will give me the liberal point of view and the Fox will give me the conservative point of view, it is the job of my brain and common sense to make the truth out of it.. Unfortunately we tend to be biased ourselves towards the people who say what we want to hear...

I am honored you got it, exactly as I meant it to be gotten. You said it even better than I. You're right, CNN gives the liberal point of view, and FOX the conservative. One isn't necessarily better than the other, and we need to hear both. But, you're right too, we are biased and hear what we want to hear.

But the thing is, you tend to be a hardliner about your conservative views..

Yeah, I guess you're right. I'm just as hardline, though, on my liberal views, if you notice. Still, I promise to try to be open. I'm not very open, though, as you have seen, about the Israeli question. On that issue you and I will just have to respectfully disagree. I will listen to your side of things, though, and your side of things on this issue is important to hear. I won't denigrate you for how you see things, but we'll probably never agree on these.

I wish commented on some of the previous posts you made, but I swear I've been swarmed with work, but I'll be commenting some more, more often!

That will be great. I look forward to it. Plus, I really do want you to write a few guest posts. You being in Lebanon and being Muslim gives you a unique perspective. Plus, you have an audience on my blog that will appreciate hearing how you see and feel about things.

Just by being open enough to visit this blog gives you cache, I believe, and you can have some effect on the opinions people have about Muslims and their side of the issues.

Yes, I am dead set on my opinions. On the other hand I, like you I'm sure, try to listen to God. For clarification, the God I listen to isn't necessarily Christian, nor Jewish, nor Muslim. He is just God, if He exists. I choose to believe He does exist, and I try to listen to Him. So, if He talks to me through you, or through anyone else in my life, I will be respectful and humble, and try to learn.

So, I am not above you, nor smarter than you, nor better than you. I am, like you, just trying to be a good person and live a good life. I've been given some talent by God for insight and writing ability, so I want to use it for the good of the world. I sense you are a good person, so I invite you to help me do God's work. Not in a stuffy way. You can still be the fun-loving guy you are. But in a way that does honor truth.

You've already done that by being open to at least communicate with my audience and me. Thanks.

Take care.

Rock