It seems, of late, during these balmy, Spring-like January days, a new sport has emerged among the Deaf and hard-of-hearing populace. It is a sport where one attempts to out-ridor Mr. Ridor himself, posting anti-Ridor comments on blogs or writing up opinion pieces that tell Mr. Ridor to get-a-job, such as this one by Jame Berke.
The sport is full-contact, in-your-face brutal, in response to Mr. Ridor’s surprise at not being invited to the upcoming February 3rd “Vlogging/Blogging the Future of Gallaudet” conference. Ridor’s supporters agreed with Ridor that he should have been invited, on the basis of his three years of blogging that has produced a million hits on his blog. Ridor’s opponents, meanwhile, have engaged in roughing-up Ridor on the field itself, posting personal attacks towards Ridor on their blogs or in comments on other people’s blogs.
Ridor has contended that HE, as the most well-known deaf blogger of all, should have been invited to participate. Some have said that WoparSB, Jamie Berke, Teri Sentelle, Brian Riley, Maureen Klusza, Tony McGregor, Dan McClintock, and Barry Strassler, among others, should have been invited. Ridor said that if you have not been blogging for at least SIX months, you’re not a qualified Blogger. Which makes me, right here at BiblioMarket, unqualified to call myself a Blogger. [insert amused smile here…] Ah, well…. But that’s Ridor, and that’s the kind of thing Ridor is known to say. That’s what makes Ridor …..well, Ridor. Most of us have learned to take Ridor’s comments with a grain of salt.
But some felt that was not enough. Some decided to take issue with Ridor’s recent ‘please-donate-to-me’ campaign, putting him down for attempting to make a living through RidorLive.com
I, too, cringed with dismay when Ridor issued his call for donations, and I’ve been asked by him personally to financially support his efforts, but at the same time I realize that he may feel the need to do this if he is expected to keep RidorLive alive. I don’t know what his financial means are, and do not really care to know. But I know he is not the only one. I know of another well-known deaf Blogger who regularly attacks Ridor, who is himself asking for donations…. for, of all things, a Piano….. [insert surreal ragtime music here.]
I do not and would not ask for donations myself, but I do make it possible for my readers to help support BiblioMarket through the sponsorship links in my sidebar, or to purchase ad space among the sidebar buttons. Purchases or ad space would provide a small commission or advertisement revenue to BiblioMarket. At least, that’s the theory! Alas, so far I have not earned any revenue from this Blog. [note to marketers: feel free to contact me about advertising space!]
That said, I do own an online bookstore, with over 10,000 available books, and have owned it for ten years, so I do make a living from the Internet. That’s another way my readers can support this blog – make a purchase from my bookstore. I imagine that almost all the deaf bloggers out there have found some way to be paid for their efforts, even if it’s just a small amount from advertising graphics. Personally, I applaud Ridor if he is indeed able to make a living from his Blogging efforts. Heck, I’d love to be sponsored to deaf events around the country, and sponsored to blog about it, and make a living from it. I see no need to put the man down if he can achieve that dream.
Now, let me comment on the V/Blogging conference and the absence of Ridor from the participants. Every year, there are conferences for authors. Writing has been around far longer than Blogging, so it’s to be expected that there are dozens of different annual conferences for authors all over the world. Even so, not all authors are invited to conferences, no matter how popular they are or worthy they deem themselves to be. The same will be true of Blogging. This is the first Blogging conference for the deaf, and will not be the last, nor will it be the only one in the game. Others will come. Each conference that is established has a right to choose whom they will or will not invite to participate.
That said, I feel Ridor *should* have been invited, but not because of the number of hits he has gotten in three years. I feel he should have been invited because of his length of experience, despite the sometimes crazy intensity of his postings. He should have been invited because his postings have been mostly about Gallaudet and the pulse of the deaf community. Several other Bloggers, I feel, should also have been invited, and I, for one, will miss their participation when I attend the conference as a spectator. HOWEVER, this is not my conference, nor Ridor’s, nor anyone else’s that posted the vitriol on their blogs or in comments. This is Jill Bradbury’s baby, and as such, she can invite whomever she pleases. Yes, I would have liked there to be more Bloggers invited, and Yes, there are some ‘Bloggers’ invited to this conference who are not bloggers under any liberal definition of the word, but this is all besides the point. Bradbury, and Bradbury alone is entitled to the choices made for participants in this conference. There will be other Blogging conferences and opportunities. In the meantime, I look forward to attending this conference in February and learning everything I can from those whose experience far exceeds my own. If you go too, be sure to chat with me while we’re there. -Ken @ BiblioMarket