*This is not aimed at any commenters on this site. This is aimed at the small handful of people who have taken to constantly name-calling both at the AIH twitter account and certain writers accounts, but it goes beyond us. This happens to pretty well every hockey writer and every blog and in the paid media. We are people and we get that you disagree with us, but please don't resort to that. Keep up the discussions here and everywhere else civil. Although there is a lot of disagreeing on this site, it has always been respectful. Keep it up.*
Before reading on, read "Raising the Level of Hockey Discourse".
I tend to write opinion pieces based on easily found facts. I'm a university student and the only real outlet for writing beyond history and education is writing here. I also like to grow as a writer. One of the ways I try to do that is to apply my actual learning into my thought process before I write something and to synthesis the information in a way that is logical and practical. I usually try to see the topic from the side of someone disagreeing with me before I even publish a piece. I feel that by addressing issues before hand, the discussion can move in more constructive directions faster.
Arctic Ice Hockey is diverse. We are university students and professionals. We are live all over the place. We all like (or love) the Jets. We are not one entity. I like advanced stats for the simple fact that they explain what has happened. I also like narratives and a factually based narrative gets my attention and love every time. Narratives are a form of storytelling. Numbers are also a form of storytelling. The two can be blended together to tell wonderful stories and teach lessons, much like we can learn from past errors in history (read The Madman and the Butcher by Tim Cook to learn about Canada's missteps in WWI). We all can learn.
Which brings me to what I really want to talk about: listening and talking. The wonderful Laura Saba wrote about raising the level of hockey discourse by being better consumers. We also need to be better discussers. We, collectively, need to talk to each other and not over each other's heads. It is okay to disagree. It is okay to not want to consume something because you find yourself consistently disagreeing with the author. I get it. It's okay. But don't name call and don't yell.
Everyone has limited time to actually dedicate to blogging. People have a limited time to dedicate to the internet in general. Let's use that time properly. Instead of say, that's laughable, or that's wrong, actually set up a factually based argument in disagreement. If you have time, write a Fan Post!
As readers (consumers), please don't see us as all one entity. We are a bunch of people with differing viewpoints who write in one place; like a newspaper is. Sometimes we write crap. We have all been there. Instead of yelling, constructively tell someone what they can improve upon. Don't LOL them or say they are wrong or stupid. Instead, respond politely and point out weak points in their argument.
We can all be better. We can all read and write better pieces. We can respond more constructively. We can discuss points without spinning around in circles. We can end conversations amicably when they are going no where. Consensus does not have to be met. Not everyone has to value the same things. Lets try to have constructive conversations and understand that we all have different viewpoints and everyone will not always agree. It doesn't mean someone is wrong, it just means that they don't agree with you. Lets all be kind. Lets all be okay with disagreeing. Lets all understand that we all are human and have different opinions. Lets keep discussions on topic and about good writing. Lets all work together to read better articles AND practice better discussion practices.