I've been thinking about this here blogging lark.
Nothing new there then, you might say.
Except that this time I'm thinking about it in conjunction with its potential to be a force for good or evil.
I posted recently about Rachel's hideous experience with a deeply disturbed cyberstalker.
This woman committed true crimes for our times.
She used blogging as a tool for a vicious and sustained campaign of harassment, eventually going on the run and using internet cafes to continue her abuse.
Rachel's experience was clearly extreme and all the more horrific given the other things she was dealing with in her life at the time.
But I doubt if there's anyone who's been hanging round the blogosphere for long who hasn't had negative experiences to some degree or other.
From bullying comments to malicious emails;
from frustrations with the technology to fears re exposure;
from spammers and porno merchants to painful misunderstandings that take on an existence of their own;
all life is here.
Rachel harnessed the power of the blogosphere to eventually catch her stalker.
A button was produced with the stalker's photo and the Crimestoppers number.
A host of blogging good guys published the button on their blogs, with the result that the stalker was eventually caught in an internet cafe in Aldgate.
(I was deeply mired in Hay at the time, so didn't take part in this particular aspect of the campaign.)
Then take the story of Dina's book and its journey through the blogosphere.
As Lee, who initiated the journey, commented:
'It goes to show that not every virus is malignant.'
So next time you're wondering if blogging has a place in your life ...
Or you're feeling intimidated and considering allowing yourself to be bullied out of the playground ...
The potential to do good is here too.
It's up to us.