Of Bloggers And Trolls: Oh, My!

Sometimes all it takes to get back into writing is to sit down and do it.

Got a comment this morning that I promptly deleted, since I’m just getting too old for that shit.

If you want to call me out objectively on anything I’ve written, step right up, my friend. Let’s have a beer and chew that chat, all right? I’m down with dissent, constructive criticism, and I don’t shy away from debating anyone I know. I call it like I see it ‘cos I’m too lazy to keep up with lies.

Love dissent and debate, in the real world. Online, who wants to type that much? Still, I try to engage.

But when the extent of your entire comment is “you’re rambling lately,” the delete bin is for you. I used to be one of these “Hey, I’ll publish every comment!” types who purport to be encouraging dialogue, but then I realised that, um, no, it’s just encouraging stupidity.

The older I get, the more I think they might’ve been onto something with eugenics. I’m very aware that, while the internet is giving much-needed voices the airplay they deserve, it’s also broadcasting some real fuckin’ tools.

Here’s the deal. If you go around commenting on posts all the time, and you don’t have a blog, and you’re always antagonistic and IN YO FACE BEYOTCH about it, then just shut the hell up. Really. Do some self-medicating, find a mountaintop guru for advice — I don’t care what you do, but just find a purpose in life, ‘cos it’s just sad, sad, sad to see what some folk get reduced to in life… commenter.

Thank god for the nice people who comment to share stories and are awesome and open and rah-rah-rah, because they’re the reason we keep pushing “publish.”

Them’s the new house rules. No more troll comments published. Dissent? Okay. Be smart and respectful and tell me I’m wronger than than wrong, I’m down with that.

Otherwise, hey, don’t like the writing? Don’t read it. Don’t like my opinions? There’s the door. There’s only 100 million blogs in the world, I’m sure you can find some carbon-copy of you out there somewhere. Good luck lookin’, Skippy.

Life’s short, man. I’m living it as me, writing what I want to say, and that’s the way the blogging cookie crumbles. If I gave a fuck about pleasing anyone in specific, I’d be checking my Google Analytics more than once a month. And probably swearing a LOT less.

Instead, I write or I don’t.

Sometimes the writing blows monkey chunks. Welcome to the “I’m a real person” thingie. Creativity isn’t a tap you turn on and it rushes out. We’re lucky to tame the whirlwind once in a storm season. Now and then: Brilliance. The rest of the time? It’s why sailboats come with motors. Sometimes you’re gonna coast a while.

And that’s blogging. A less-than-selective writing process.

You want consistency? Read a book.

You want real-time accuracy? Snapshots of a person’s life in weekly digestible bits, largely a little less censored than they ought to be, flaws hanging out for the world to see? Read a blog.

You want to be the loser that just writes negative comments without anything of value, lacking useful critiques? Don’t.

As much as many bloggers are self-involved twats, there are a lot of bloggers are ripping off Band-aids most publishers wouldn’t pay to publish. They’re being brutally real about their lives, thoughts, and worldviews.

Bloggers started this whole firestorm of openness and communication that we haven’t figured out how to use for the betterment of mankind yet — Twitter, Facebook updates, blogs, video blogging. It was all born because some dude began journaling on the web a couple decades ago.

Maybe blogging hasn’t definitively changed the world yet, maybe there are lots of twats making it look ugly to others, but I still believe in the power of blogging, the quest for individual truths, the dynamism of millions of voices saying what needs to be said if only for a dozen other people.

And when people who might be timid otherwise finally have the courage to click “publish” and start their blogs, they don’t need spineless hacks pissing on their parade.

There’s a growing call to remove “ANONYMOUS” comment ability. Having one’s name on their vitriol doesn’t make it any more valid, just not as despicable. Maybe one day I’ll remove anonymity here, too.

In the meantime, I blog on the things I think are interesting, important, or that I’m just obsessing about.

Because that’s what blogging’s for. We now return you to your scheduled silence.

I thank those of you who’ve read me (inexplicably) for years, who’ve shared your experiences and opinions. You’re awesome.

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This entry was posted in Autobiographical, Battle of the Comments, Cyberbullying, internet, Journalling, Steff Rants and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.

6 Comments

  1. Matt
    Posted March 25, 2011 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    I feel your anguish, and I don’t disagree with the thought… but like I said on FB, “Successful troll is successful.” He pushed a button and got the desired response — not just the post deleted, but a whole other post dedicated to his idiocy. And as they say on teh interanetz, “Don’t feed the trolls!”

    Love you, Steff; love your writing… but I gotta call this one as I see it: Troll 1, Steff 0.

  2. Martin
    Posted March 25, 2011 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Totally agree and loved the links to your other blog entries always nice to hear a genuine voice in the ether of the blogosphere ta again Martin

  3. Posted March 25, 2011 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    You’re right for deleting it, you don’t need the negativity. There are plenty of us who enjoy you, so just relish that!
    katean´s last [type] ..Ladies who lunch

  4. Posted March 25, 2011 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    i LOVE this post. it may just be my new rambling mantra. this post leaves me reconsidering my stance on certain trolls. but i have always been very strongly into favouring the — if you don’t like it fuck off so if i don’t approve them or even address them at all then maybe they will.
    Corinna´s last [type] ..No need to be coy– Roy

  5. Posted March 25, 2011 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    Making negative comments must be the trolls’ way of creating a little ripple in the waters of life. Or some weird failed attempt at humour? That would be a great interview! Asking the troll: “What do you get out of it?” In any case, thanks for all your writings that I keep coming back to check out.
    Susan´s last [type] ..Dropping in and landing it

  6. Posted March 29, 2011 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    I heard a great formula once about comments which I’ve since taken up. That is: “Anonymous” + asshole = delete. It’s a solid policy that works.

    On the blogs I write, I don’t have too much of a problem with trolls. My Internet denizen of choice seems to be clumsy link-builders; “Great post, just what I was looking for! “, or the ever popular “Great post! I wrote a post on this very same subject on my own blog .

    But, I’ll take that over trolls any day.
    Rob Jones´s last [type] ..The Flaming Lips Play “All We Have Is Now”

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