One of the best rewards from blogging is that it marked the first time my thoughts, ideas or writings have actually come under criticism. The scribbled red marks that one gets back in grade 12 english - that I didn't interpret the poem well or whatnot - are simply too easy to dismiss as pointless and subjective. But on the blogosphere, when someone, even an anonymous person from the other end of the internet, actually takes issue with your train of thought on a subject that's relatively concrete, it's entirely different.
I remain quite tentative about reading my comments at times, though I do appreciate them, because criticism is still something I have difficulty handling, and on the internet it's rarely anything but harsh. However, the implantation of the idea that one must be ready to defend their written word is important, and I owe that, and by proxy, harsh comments, a lot.
I have a post on student loans over at Maclean's that is currently being savaged, in case you're wondering where this is coming from.