One of the mindshifts that is necessary for me to gain the most out of blogging is the willingness to embrace criticism. Having my ideas, my planning and my implementation of how to do my job open to be contradicted, disputed, queried and requiring justification by others is where the most personal professional growth will occur. By leading my "sacred cows" out in the wilderness of the wide open web where anyone can have a potshot, they will either develop armoured hides (as in the ideas have merit and their usefulness is confirmed) or they are slaughtered and new thinking will rise phoenix-like in its place.
I believe that there's a real skill in challenging assertions and providing an alternative point of view. The really skilled challengers (regular ones on this blog like Alex Hayes, Artichoke, Bill Kerr and Doug Noon) know that getting my attention when they read something contentious or contrary to their educational (and life) experience isn't as simple as saying, "I think you're wrong." Diplomacy and tact are important ingredients for successful criticism and a willingness to expose your own thinking for the benefit of another person who you may only know through their blog takes some guts.
It's nice when people agree with you - it confirms that you're not a lone pariah - but the greatest conversations on this (or any) blog come when my writing is challenged and stretched beyond its comfort zone. Don't get me wrong. This is not an invitation for trolls to deliberately come baiting. If you think I'm off track, tell me why. I'm always ready to embrace your criticism.