As I see it, there are at least 7 types of bridge bloggers. Those who want to ....
- tell stories focusing on their own trials and tribulations
- report on, and review, big hands, big performers and big matches
- discuss problem hands ( real or imaginary ) with regards to bidding, defence and declarer play scenarios
- advocate or review new conventions, signalling methods and complex squeeze plays
- reminisce about the great old days, the colourful characters they encountered, with fascinating and amusing anecdotes
- raise serious and/or controversial issues, hoping to open up both useful discussion and debate
- satirise the absurdities, contradictions, hypocrisies and stereo-type characters which many players still fail to recognise
However, with respect to the last two categories of blog writers, who I might add are in a real minority, they need specials qualities. Firstly, they have to bold and brave, being quite aware that they might upset and offend quite a few people in the process. Secondly, they have to make sure their factual content is based on truth, and their opinions based on sound analysis and argument, especially if they are to convince a sceptical readership. Thirdly, they have to be risk-takers by entering into uncharted territories where few have gone before........knowing that navigational mistakes are always a distinct possibility.
As I belong to Bigot-Johnson's team of blog writers, I have found it necessary to come up with a code of conduct to protect my precarious position :
1. Avoid quoting facts which you can not substantiate or support
2. When giving opinions, no matter how extreme, try to ensure that they are (i) not motivated by malice , (ii )based on fair comment, being genuine and honest views
3. Never get too personal, choosing instead to keep individuals and groups unidentified and unnamed whenever it seems prudent to do so. Any resemblances made should be restricted to a small group of readers who are already in the know, and very much aware of your tongue-in-cheek approach......and who most likely share the same points of view
4. Avoid being completely one-sided with your opinions, looking to give a more balanced overview wherever possible. In every contentious and controversial issue, there are always different schools of thought, and different ways of looking at, and resolving problems.
5. Accept the reality regarding the laws of probability in that mistakes might well be made, and that certain lines may have been crossed. In such circumstances, corrections and apologies will need to humbly made.
6. Endeavour to stick to the principles you initially adopted to apply in your writing , remaining true to all of them as best you can.
7. Beware of those who make comments contravening the above rules 1-6 .
Contradictions will expose you as someone guilty of both double-standards and hypocrisy....in other words a fraud.
The Howard Bigot-Johnson blog is certainly one that has attempted to push the boundaries of bridge literature into new areas. These initiatives involve over-lapping bridge topics into other academic disciplines such as law, psychology and philosophy. Moreover, some of the posts try to move bridge into the theatres of the absurd, where humour and surrealism dominate. The whole blog attempts to get readers to see bridge in a completely different light....even if most of the content comes across as dark.
Indeed, Howard Bigot-Johnson tries to be the Wolynski of the bridge world, desperate to mould himself in the image of America's finest blogger.