Monday, January 24, 2011

A Thank-You to "Trolls"

I know. You’re shocked, but hear me out.

We’ve often talked about the necessity to be careful on the Internet and to remember when writing your blog or tweets that people are watching and it’s important to keep things as professional as possible, and for each of us the meaning of that is different. Certainly if you read the tweets of a handful of agents you’ll very obviously see how different we are. I like to keep my personal and professional lives separate, and I tend to have separate accounts for those things. That being said, after a while on Twitter I can see how easy it is to get comfortable and let some of your inhibitions go. I’ve been chatting with more than a few people and I’ve gotten to know others. So it’s easy to forget the 5,000 or so other followers I have.

But thanks to the “trolls” (I could think of no other name for those who like to pop into the blog for the sole purpose of bad-mouthing me) I am reminded to keep it simple and keep it professional.

So thank you, “trolls,” for reminding me to scale it back whenever I think of letting go.



Cassandra Frear said...

This is just great. Love the droll humor. And it's so true. More than once, someone has pulled me up short for my own good.

Internet communication is tricky. I'm still sorting out how as a writer to share from my life, but not over-do it.

I'd love to see a post on that!

Anonymous said...

Good reminder. When I first started my blog, I was terrified of these people. I've relaxed quite a bit, but not completely. For awhile I had guy writing what I can only describe as anger manifestos on my site. I'm glad he's gone.

Kate Douglas said...

They're out there, but don't forget how many truly wonderful people there are as well. Even trolls aren't enough to ruin the good folks you come across, either online or in life.

ryan field said...

I can't go a day without comment moderation on my blog. Trolls are always lurking and trying to comment. And sometimes on blog posts I wrote a year, or more, ago.

Karen Duvall said...

LOL on the trolls, aka Anonymous. Funny how the trash talkers are reluctant to reveal their true identities. It's hard to take those types seriously.

Natalie Decker said...

I read this title and literally sprayed pepsi out of my mouth. Trolls are downright annoying at times but funny at others. Why? Because some of the things they rant about are so stupid you end up laughing at them. I mean, it's not saying you are the better person or whatever but you kind of are since some people know when to keep their mouths closed. Got to love the trolls though. =)

Shirley Wine said...

You've just gotta love trolls!

And your droll sense of humour.

Sometimes they make you laugh. Other times want to pull your hair out. They come in all walks of life,not just on the internet.

But cyberspace seems to let them release their inhibitions. They can rant and rave and come out of their holes and be most annoyingly... annonie-mouse.

Quite apt that!

Unknown said...

So here's my initial thoughts here "Crap am I a troll?" Did i say something in my dry sarcastic sense of humor that is sometimes misread on fb? Then I tried to mentally check everything that I might have said to you. But instead had to go through all the stuff I said to others first and I just realized I am a smarty pants. I don't like the trolls this much thought gives me a headache.

dolorah said...

All creatures - great and small - have their purposes . .

I get reminded of this same thing upon occasion.

David said...

Good blogs are wonderful. Someone is taking their time to share their opinions about the world in a meaningful way. And many times those opinions are received by over 90% of followers as "This is so true," or "Of course, why didn't I say that!"

And since there is truth in most everything, there are people out there who may see the world differently, who might not have the same sensibilities. What does it mean to crap on a blog? Not sure. But good blogs should spark discussion or profound thought. Blogs that have nothing but followers don't seem as successful to me.

So when do counter opinions go too far? And what is the difference between a mean spirited troll and a troll who has something to say? After all, we are all equal, and the owner of the author of a blog is not necessarily the unequivocal word on a subject.

It's hard to stand up against the masses. Especially when the masses have the comfort of others who say the exact same thing. But this doesn't make them right.

So...'trollish' enough? I hope not. Instead, perhaps, we could label this post 'respectful disagreement?'

Anonymous said...

You suck... just kidding...

stephen matlock said...

Most of the trolls I get are simply comment spam. Very few are real trolls.

And I moderate everything (volume is pretty low), so it's not a difficulty to ban them before they even post.