A boatload of bloggers has been following Mitch Joel’s lead and talking about how they blog. There have been some wonderful posts that look inside many bloggers’ strategy from Mark Schaefer, Gini Dietrich, Jason Konopinski, and others. From what Ken Mueller discovered over at Inkling Media when he posed that question to some of us, people seem to get out the keyboard and just write already.
Me, too. No notes, just thought processes in ideation all the time taking up valuable brain space. Since blogging began for me two years ago, everything is a story, everything has an angle, everything is blog fodder. It’s maddening, and I read science fiction at night to shut down.
About Negative Comments
So, rather than follow Mitch Joel’s challenge to share how I blog (oh, maybe I already did that), I want to look at a very intrinsic part of blogging that makes the world go round. It’s comments, but it’s not the type of comment you might think.
Detractors and bot spammers and people with some real negativity are showing up in comments. This has happened to me when I post on a national level, and it’s no fun. It also happened last week over at a client site, JD Match, where someone named Bob asked me if I didn’t have anything better to do than to blog about something that detracted from making the world a better place.
Over at Spin Sucks yesterday, my friend Jenn Whinnem wrote a post about her employer, Connecticut Health Foundation and how it measures success. A headline adjustment caused the headline to imply they were measuring ROI; her article didn’t really address that. The comments came out of the gate fast and aggressive. For a guest blogger who rarely blogs to feel that angst on the receiving end, it’s not fun when you’re on the firing line.
There is a range of emotions I experience when I read a negative comment the first time. Let me try to share what they are and see if you have experienced any of the same:
1. Immediate lack of confidence. Did I write something wrong? What did I say that didn’t sit well? Should I go find it and switch the language?
2. Angst. Darn it, I hit publish too quickly; I was in a squirrely mood and it showed in the flip tone. I needed to let that post sit over night.
3. Anger. The urge to launch back with a slew of discourteous words is so tempting I fire off a retort then come to my senses and delete and rewrite something as smooth as silk pie.
4. Relief. After I reread the negative comment, I realize while it’s directed at me, it’s not about me. It’s about the commenter who likes to bring discomfort to bloggers in their own community.
Managing negativity in a blogging community is one thing. When you write at a national level, it’s expected. If you’re a guest in someone else’s community with a guest post, there ought to be respect. Well, heck, there ought to be respect anywhere, but that’s a bit lacking at times, isn’t it?
At Michelle Quillin’s house today over at New England Multimedia, I’ve written a guest post, 10 Tips To Handle Negative Blog Comments. I’m certain her community will be nice to me as a guest, and I’m hopeful, too, the 10 tips will prepare someone for how to manage a bit of angst in comments.
Now, it’s your turn…how do you manage detractors and dissenting comments? Please share so we can all learn.