I got online and started reading. First I read Heather's posts(1 & 2). Next I jumped over to Cashmerette's post where I was linked to Charlotte's post. Holy smokes. You guys. There's a lot of chatter happening! And, you know what? I think it's really awesome.
I didn't read all of the comments, but I did read a good deal of them. I didn't see anyone making personal attacks against... anyone, actually. From what I can tell lots of people have been able to express their points of view on a topic that they have opinions about. Aside from a bit of Hamleting, it looks like there's been a really great conversation taking place. Also, it looks like there's already been a good deal of responsiveness to feedback on both sides of the line as a result. That's cool, right?
Heather's email and expressed concern got me thinking about the way we communicate online. I think it's really difficult to know exactly what someone is saying and how they are saying it by solely reading words on a screen. While a lot of us know of each other online, most of us don't know each other in real life, and there's a lot of room for projection and (mis)interpretation. We all communicate differently.
In real life, I work as a litigation assistant. It's my daily experience to listen to persons expressing opposing points of view in a well organized and respectful manner. This method of communication is very normal for me; I am very aware that it's not the way a lot of other people carry-on discussions. But, I most certainly do not take offense to general statements of opinion. I also probably think that you're a good person, even if we disagree.
I would feel differently if I was singled out, called names, etc... That's not what I see happening. I hope we can all continue on this way. I truly think it's wonderfully beneficial to maintain open channels of communication. And, I think it makes our community better and stronger to feel comfortable enough to start this type of dialogue.