Saturday, May 17, 2008

Mea Culpa

For those that read this blog on a regular basis, you'll notice that the previous post is missing. I've deleted it, and while it might not still be on the internet, I'd also like to apologize for that post. Ryan Magarian was kind enough to call me today and share his perspective on what I had written and, for that, I'd like to thank him.
In a nutshell, I'd written a post critical of a local establishment, that on further review, came off as very personal and negative. I don't know the owner of this establishment personally, I think we've met twice and only for a brief moment. After Ryan's conversation with me, and rereading the post, I've chosen to take it down. One of the risks of having a blog is that they don't come with an editor, or someone to be a second set of eyes to say, "Hey that might be over the line". Instead, its very easy to write a post that, to the author, looks like what he or she is trying to achieve, but to the reader sends an entirely different message. In the end, its not about what I meant to say, its entirely about how people who read this post interpreted what I wrote, and its my responsibility to ensure that my message is clear and on point. Clearly, I failed to do this, and I take full responsibility for the message that was, regrettably, posted. I sincerely apologize to anyone that I may have offended, and I'm afraid that I have offended a few people.
In retrospect, this has gotten me thinking about why I even blog, To be honest, it started as an exercise in writing for me. I'd just completed a magazine article and I wanted to get disciplined about organizing my thoughts, and writing on a regular basis. Additionally, I wanted to move away from what I've seen in some blogs as a need to be always right. I wanted to share my successes as well as my failures in creating drinks, I wanted to attempt to foster a positive atmosphere in which people could learn from my mistakes and share their successes. I also wanted to help to bring the cocktail community together, not to sow more division. I've clearly gotten a little off track, and I'm recommitting myself to fostering a positive cocktail community, especially here in Portland. What we share is an enjoyment of cocktails. Its that simple. We shouldn't turn it into anything more than what it is, and tearing others down is not the way to help our community.
Lastly, I'd like to thank everyone who reads this, and who takes the time to share the opinions and thoughts on my writing. I appreciate any and all thoughts that you'd care to share with me. Hopefully most will be good, but I can also accept that my opinion my not be the gospel truth, and I can take responsibility for the posts that I have made,

Thanks for reading,



Jacob said...

Hi Lance,

I read the post in question, and while it struck me as over the line too, I did find the perspective interesting. Anyone's who's blogged for a while knows the feeling of regret that comes when you hit "post" too quickly. I've definitely been there.

I really enjoy your blog and hope you keep it going as you have been. And a nice about blogging is that when you make a mistake, you have a reason to write even more to bump it down to the bottom of the page. Bring on the next posts!

J Thornton said...

In general, I think constructive criticism actually works to improve a community and a craft, but one must be careful with tone and always remember that tastes are opinion, and thus likes and dislikes - or general critiques - should be presented as matter-of-factly as possible. I've seen professional criticism and punditry in many a magazine or on lots of commercial sites succumb to emotionalism, negativism and personal insult.

I thought the deleted post did make some valid points, which I believe both enthusiasts and craft-masters could learn from.

I think professional establishments NEED to know about bad experiences of patrons. It's all part of quality control.

But, yeah, maybe discussions such as that should have been presented in an extremely diplomatic fashion.

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