What's the classiest finish to an Internet catfight? The shining example will be July 2008's Boing Boing vs. Violet Blue. It wasn't about player-hating and girl-on-girl sex, we'll all say. No no, it was about freedom and blogging and privacy and good versus evil. Now that we've all moved on, the New York Times steps in a week later to clean things up with a G-rated rehash that suggests Violet Blue may be the real winner. What have each of the participants learned?
Xeni Jardin, for one, has changed her tune. The extragalactic editrix says she still considers Boing Boing to be the editors' personal site, but "[w]e are no longer just a small personal blog, obviously, and the way I think about the blog has changed.” She'll need to factor in the possibility that other hangers-on will want a piece of her in the future.
Blue, a social climber who used her friendship with Xeni to get prominently name-checked at least 70 times by a powerful blog, is only the Bizarro World winner here. She's got her MySpace Queen photo in the New York Times, to the envy of other self-described "sex bloggers." She got the newspaper of record to parrot her phony claim that she has no idea what she did to drive Boing Boing away. It's almost a factual error. We're 100 percent sure that Jardin spelled things out in detail to her more than once.
The rest of us have learned just how much of the blogosphere's drama goes unblogged. There's an unspoken agreement among clique members to keep the real story off the Internet under the premise of solidarity. Against who? We didn't get the memo.
(Photo: Ann Johansson for The New York Times)