Bring IT! How Do You Deal with Negative Comments & Criticism on Your Blog?

Negative Blog Comments and Trolls Bring IT! How Do You Deal with Negative Comments & Criticism on Your Blog?

Dealing With Negative Blog Comments & Criticism

Whether you like it or not, negative blog comments are bound to happen. And they’ll do so in many ways by many different types of commenters

Here’s the thing folks – at some point during your blogging journey, you might create some controversy or write something that will bring out the Wrath of Khan in someone. And that’s totally fine – we all know that you can’t please everyone and though you might be likeable to many (or most) – you can’t be to everyone. Except for me of course lol. I”m kidding – I’m sure there’s plenty of folks out there who don’t appreciate Griddy and I’m okay with that. Grrr….:)

All jokes aside – I’m all for stating your opinion and disagreeing with someone if you actually do. It’s what a healthy and constructive discussion is all about. But there’s a way to disagree and a way to handle those people that do. And depending on how you do either – will make a hell of a difference to both you and your readers.

Danny Brown wrote a great piece on this topic a few months back called, Of Comment Trolls and Flash Mobs. You definitely want to check it out as he has some great insight for you and he goes a step further with advice on how to deal with attacks about you on someone else’s blog.

So How Do You Deal with Negative Comments on Your Site?

Do you reply politely? or at all?

Do you delete the comment?

Do you take on a defensive approach or tone?

Do you try and see where they’re coming from and why?

As for Me…

Seeing that I’m the owner and author of this blog, I have complete control over what is said here, who it’s said to and the tone that’s used. Now I may not be able to control a comment the second it’s published, but I sure as heck can do something about it once I read it.

Luckily for me, I haven’t had TOO much trouble with tactless trolls and other un-wanted commenters on this blog. The operative words being TOO MUCH! I’m blessed and honored to have an incredible community of intelligent, funny and respectful friends – or legitimate commenters if you will.

Dealing with a negative comment entirely depends on what is actually written and who it’s targeted to. I do have a comments policy on this blog although it’s not out in the open like most. You’ll find a little paragraph in my WTH is nG section which reads as follows:

*Although everyone is entitled to their opinion, I as well as others, would highly appreciate it if you were to refrain from using profanity, racial slurs, obscenity or any other kind of offensive and derogatory language that is targeted at others. These types of comments won’t be tolerated and are subject to being deleted if deemed inappropriate by ME.

 Note to self – make my comments policy a little more fun to read and find a better home for it somewhere on my home page icon wink Bring IT! How Do You Deal with Negative Comments & Criticism on Your Blog? !

I have ONE rule when it comes to replying to comments of any kind – and that is – be POLITE or DIPLOMATIC if/when necessary and try to reason with the person if there’s room for it. This rule pretty much applies to my life offline as well. But this rule excludes comments from sex driven peasants or dickwads – those are ignored and go straight to the trash!

My blog is my baby. My sweat and tears go into it everyday (or almost). So if someone’s gonna’ stop by and urinate all over it (or the people that make it the great place that it is) – I’m gonna’ try to understand why – even if my blood pressure has shot through the roof.

The thing about trolls is that they sometimes make valid points but their lack of tact or rude tone sets you off. If I see that they’ve said something that actually makes sense and causes me to question my own views, then I’m going to want to know more. I thank them for their opinion and ask more questions – how and why. I also ask them to provide examples or go a little further into detail. If we come to an understanding – great. If we don’t, then I make sure to let them know that I respect their thoughts and that we should agree to disagree.

Remember that depending on how you reply to a comment can often determine the tone of the entire conversation that is to take place.

If it’s a tactless troll just out to get some attention, then I may politely ask them to change their tone – especially if their comment is directed at one of my other commenters. Danny Brown mentioned a great point in his article in that he’ll usually issue a polite warning and has what is called the 3 strike rule.

If one of my readers has been attacked on my blog, I may apologize to them myself for the unfortunate occurrence and let them know that the troll is being dealt with accordingly.

Another way I may deal with a negative comment is to send the person a nice email asking why and if there’s something I said that might have offended them. At this point, it’s always good to go back and read what you’ve written to try and understand what could have lead them to react the way they did. Are my facts wrong? Was my joke misplaced or unintentionally targeted at someone? Did I give credit where it was due?…

You have to remember that everyone is entitled to an opinion and there’s no harm in disagreeing with people – but at the same time, everyone is also entitled to a certain level of RESPECT!

If you want to disagree with me – by all means do so. Heck, I might realize that I was wrong in the first place and thank you for enlightening me further. But if you’re gonna disagree – whether here or elsewhere – do so with eloquence and respect. Be civilized. You’d be surprised how far you can go by simply being courteous towards others regardless of your opposing views. Make it a constructive debate instead of an argumentative one.

Anyhow, I’ve said enough. Needless to say there’s a lot more ways to handle such comments, but I’d love to hear from you and how you go about dealing with them yourself.

What About You?

What tips can you share for handling negativity on your blog?

Have you had to deal with negative comments in the past – either on your blog or elsewhere? How did you respond to them?

Do you have a comments policy on your blog that addresses this issue?

Make sure to share some specific examples if you have any.

Bring IT!

[image credit: via Drivinmedia]

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About the Author

Ingrid Abboud aka 'Griddy' is a whole lot of things with a ridiculous amount of interests. For one, I'm a Social Media enthusiast with a tremendous passion for writing and blogging. I'm also a pretty cool Copywriter but a more serious MarCom Consultant. But most of all, I'm the proud owner and driving force behind nittyGriddy.com - A Kinda Social Media Journal with Net News & more.

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  • Al Smith

    Thanks Ingrid.  You handle this well.  Great suggestions.  I like asking the person why they feel this way and continuing the conversation.  It could be a learning experience for both. A great saying that helps me with this now and hopefully will when I start my blog (soon) is;

    “What other people think about me is none of my business”. 

     It helps me to not take it so personally and get upset.  Thanks again.

    Al

  • http://twitter.com/NancyD68 Nancy Davis

    Just the other day, I had this very issue crop up on my blog. I had been accosted on my way home by a religious nut and realized that he or she is a fool. I do not announce my lack of belief to everyone, but those who know me well know I am an Atheist.

    I blogged about this person trying to force their beliefs on me. I had a religious person comment and I told them (nicely) that I did not want to be changed.

    Later, another commenter joked about aliens. This gave my religious friend a chance to come backwith “why am I an Atheist” and “Jesus Christ is the son of God” i told her then in a not as nice tone that my blog is MY HOUSE. I make the rules in my house, and no, you may not drag others into your point who do not believe as you do.

    I am now going to draft up some kind of policy to prevent this in the future. What a shame it has to come to this.

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  • http://www.birdsontheblog.co.uk/ Sarah Arrow

    Surely life is too short to attack someone on a blog post whose comment you disagree with? 
    Well it is to me, if I read something I disagree with I can choose not to comment. Or voice a differing opinion further down. I don’t understand why people would go out to cause a fight – and I have seen a few on other blogs that have made me cringe.

    • http://nittygriddy.com/ Ingrid Abboud

      Hey Sarah,

      Please forgive the late reply – I’ve been playing catch up the last week.I don’t tolerate personal attacks on this blog – if people want to disagree with something I said then they’re more than welcome to – but I would expect them to do so in a courteous way – one that I can maybe learn something from as well. And of course – not attack me personally where it gets to the point of irrelevancy and offensive language.

      I encourage folks to voice a different opinion if they have one – especially if they have a personal experience or further knowledge to back up their point of view. Like I said – I’m always up for learning something new and I will respect those folks that teach me.

      But much like you – I don’t get why people create fights either. And if someone thinks they can’t disagree in an appropriate manner – then maybe silence is golden after all!

      Thanks a lot for sharing your thoughts on this. Much appreciated. Hope to see you around these parts more often.

      Cheers

  • http://www.seobywebmechanix.com Arsham Mirshah

    Hey girllllllll – been a while, sorry I’ve been ultra busy and couldn’t stop by — MY BAD!  Nice to see you’re up to all good as usual.

    This is an interesting topic .. reminds me of How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie.  

    I’ve only been subject to a slew of negative comments on ONE post (and I should have known it was going to happen): http://www.seomoz.org/ugc/5-reasons-why-you-should-outsource-your-search-marketing-efforts

    What did I think was going to happen by walking into a crowd of in-house SEO’s and tell them they should outsource their SEO efforts… duh!!

    But like you Ingrid, I reply to every single negative (and positive) comment politely and diplomatically.  And most of them had something productive to add, which I sincerely appreciate.  I didn’t read all the way back over my comments, but if anyone was a dickwad, they wouldn’t have received a response :)

    Very cool topic & post… I like controversy (muhahahahha *evil laugh*)! .. Cheers dear,

    - Arsham

  • http://www.TrafficGenerationCafe.com/ Ana | Traffic Generation Cafe

    I feel that it is crucial to respond to comments that are in contrast to your post, even if it is just about explaining your point of view more clearly. As for those unsolicited advances, if I am addressed as anything other than Ana in an otherwise good comment, I merely replace the word with my name and respond accordingly. They usually don’t do that again. If the whole comment is unsuitable, I delete.

    • http://nittygriddy.com/ Ingrid Abboud

      Hey Ana,
      I couldn’t agree with you more, I feel it’s important to respond to everyone as well – especially when they’re disagreeing with you. I want to know why and if maybe they can teach me something. I could be wrong and I’d like nothing more than to learn from others. 

      Of course – it also depends on their tone. It’s one thing to disagree with me and something I’ve said or even with one of my other readers – but it’s another thing to personally attack someone. The latter – I won’t really tolerate.

      I’ve never had to delete a comment here yet – except for the spam and rude or inappropriate ones that are sexual – so I guess I’ve been pretty lucky so far.

      As for addressing you by name – agreed! Well, either Ana or Tzarina of course lol ;) .

      Hope you’re well. I appreciate you taking the time to stop by and share your thoughts on this. Always nice to know how the biggies are doing it ;) .

      Have a great week my dear.
      Cheers

  • http://www.techwork.dk Thomas

    Hi Ingrid

    It has been a while since I have been
    visiting your blog, sorry I have been busy :(

    I haven’t had many unpleasant
    comments on my blog, but writing about Tech stuff some people of cause sometime
    strongly disagree with me and that is okay. Sometimes I answer politely and
    sometimes it is just too stupid and I just let me visitors judge themselves.

    • http://nittygriddy.com/ Ingrid Abboud

      Hey Thomas,
      No need to apologize whatsoever my friend :) . Happy to have you back. To tell you honestly – I haven’t been online as much these last few weeks but I’m hoping to be back to normal mode soon.

      Much like – I’ve been lucky so far in that I haven’t had that many unpleasant comments – except for the spam and inappropriate ones’s – I’m good!

      Answering politely is always the key. What happens after that is what makes the difference.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts Thomas.
      Have a good week.

      Cheers

  • Anonymous

    Now I know what you do; have I been banned from you Top 20 list? Where did my mug go?…..:(

    • http://nittygriddy.com/ Ingrid Abboud

      Noooo of course not! I would never dream of banning you Bill! That would be insane and totally my loss! You da SuperSocialMedia man – like Kim says ;) .

  • http://www.ramblingsofawahm.com AllieRambles

    I’ve had 2 instances of troll-like behavior, one on my blog and the other at another blog.

    The first ones were some of the first comments ever on my blog and he flat out attacked my grammar.  It was odd, like he was the General of grammar or something.  I fixed the issues and never replied to him.  I did let his comments ride because I like to let people know I am human and he was stupid for pointing out things that don’t exist (cuz I fixed them, ha ha!)

    The second was the same exact thing but the nimrod made MY post a negative example on HER blog.  It was something about using “it’s vs its”in the wrong context.  Her post pinged back to me.  I wanted to go off on her on her own blog.  But I simply commented politely, thanking her for catching my mistake.  She never posted my comment.  I fixed my mistakes so her post is null and void now. HA HA!  If you are going to reference someone’s post, let them know.

    So that’s it.  Just dumb-asses mostly.  No mean trolls yet.  But I would just follow your advise if I get any.

    ~Allie

     

  • http://twitter.com/skypulsemedia Howie at Sky Pulse Media

    i normally spank em with a spoon then make them sit in a corner with a dunce cap. i’m old fashioned.

    • http://twitter.com/NancyD68 Nancy Davis

      That’s awesome Howie. I was using a ruler like the Catholic Nuns do. A spoon might hurt more though…

      • http://nittygriddy.com/ Ingrid Abboud

        Ha! I’ve felt the wrath of the ruler as well! Way back when – in Catholic school when I was like 6 or so!

    • http://www.thejackb.com/ The JackB

      I used to get in trouble for poking kids in the eye with my dunce cap.

      • http://nittygriddy.com/ Ingrid Abboud

        Nice Jack! Hahaha

    • http://nittygriddy.com/ Ingrid Abboud

      Muwahahaha! ;)
      Spank them with a spoon eh? Sounds like my old Catholic school as a child – I believe it was the ruler back then lol. Ouch!

  • http://twitter.com/NancyD68 Nancy Davis

    Hi Griddy,

    I have been very lucky. I get very nice comments for the most part. Every now and then I get someone who may be a bit judgmental because I am divorced. Oh well. I am not for everyone, and while I may not always know how to keep a marriage working, I do know an awful lot about divorce.

    My attitude is “take what you need and leave the rest” My mom was a big fan of “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything’ so sometimes I see a blog that I totally disagree with. I may not comment. Or, I may link back to that and show why I feel differently.

    But to just insult someone?No. Not for me. :)

  • http://hajrak.blogspot.com Hajra

    Hey,

    Now what are you guys talking about… everyone seems to like me, maybe because I am way too cool ;) LOL

    Not true, I had a “bad guy” come across my personal blog and say things that hurt… things like “Who the hell cares what you think b***** ” It was like someone “pissing over my blog”! So at first, I cried my heart out, then I got super angry and then I just knew that diplomacy wouldn’t work so I said this “Looks, like 40 people are interested in what I am saying”! There…I had my revenge. And surprisingly, that particular post had a lot of comments! :)

    So maybe nasty people will come across and act like high school time again and use all that fancy words they have been craving to use. Just fight back! Or if that gets a little troublesome, what are delete buttons for, what are blacklists for…eh?

    As for proper negative criticism, take in your stride, they are the nice guys actually. They are telling you what they exactly feel like and c’mon not EVERYONE will agree with you. But if they make it a habit to constantly use you as the punching bag; then it is time to put your gloves on!

    Lovely to have you back! :)

    Hope you have an awesome day!

  • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny Hsu

    Welcome back!

    I haven’t had any problems with trolls but I hate seeing them in comments and in forums. I mean really…get a life!! Recently Pat Flynn, at Smart Passive Income, had a couple bad trolls. I think one he gave a warning to, then he sort of took the nice route, then I believe he finally banned his IP address. 

    I understand people are entitled to their opinion but some are just way out of line and clearly looking to cause trouble with their comments. 

    Luckily I haven’t faced that and maybe I will in the future. I sure hope not though!

    Glad to have you back posting!

  • http://www.kaarinadillabough.com Kaarina Dillabough

    Griddy, so great to see you! We missed you:)

    I don’t know what more I can add to the great comments already made, so I’ll just add a few brief thoughts:

    “Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain…and most do.”
    Consider the source.
    Don’t take the bait.
    That is all.  Cheers!  Kaarina

    • http://nittygriddy.com/ Ingrid Abboud

      Hey Kaarina, 
      It’s great to be back. I’m slowly getting back into normal mode. I really missed all you guys as well – especially the blogging and tweeting part. 

      Some great advice you have for us here my dear. I would say good rules of life to live by. As for your first quote – I’d say scroll to the top of the page and see the quote I chose from Carnegie the day I published this article ;) . It seems great minds think a like haha.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this Kaarina. Always nice to see you here.
      Enjoy your week.

      Cheers

      • http://www.kaarinadillabough.com Kaarina Dillabough

        Wow…totally missed that Griddy! We were certainly on the same wavelength then, for sure.

        Have a fab week:)  Cheers!  Kaarina

        • http://nittygriddy.com/ Ingrid Abboud

          How cool is that?!! That you and I shared the same words on the same day :) ).

  • http://www.lifeasanexperiment.com James D. Burrell II

    Comment trolls are lame. And they smell funny. Well, in fact, I’ve found that people, in general, smell funny. Which is often a product of the food we eat. Lord knows I’ve eaten my fair share of garlic to offend quite a few passersby. It’s also a laundry detergent thing. I’ve got no particular preference… mostly whatever’s on sale, but have you ever been to someone’s home who consistently uses that one ‘spring mountain fresh’ scent that is right above Putrid on the scale of offensive odors? It permeates everything, and it absolutely makes spending anytime in said abode quite unpleasant. 

    But I digress, I say all of this because I have little to add to this conversation because most of my comments are the work of 10-15 loyal readers. I have yet to experience the displeasure of a vile, wielder of contemptuous retorts on my blog. 

    However, expanding the scope beyond the Blorld (Blog+World= Blorld… maybe that’ll catch on), into RL (yes this is RL, too!) I’ve been the recipient of a fair share of criticism, both the constructive and unfounded, baseless kinds. Constructive criticism, albeit tough to swallow, is often genuine and beneficial, and I accept it (often kicking and punching and screaming) eventually. But the unfounded kind? You know that Cee Lo Green song that ends each refrain with the same 2 lyrics? — the same 2 words often utilized by many Americans especially New Yorkers? (sorry to stereotype) — that’s how I react. 

    Of course, on my blog, when that time comes, I’ll probably be slightly more subtle in voicing my displeasure. 

    Ciao. 

  • http://twitter.com/adamtoporek Adam Toporek

    Ingrid, We must be eating the same psychic Cheerios, as I just posted my first comment policy yesterday afternoon. :)

    I’ve been fortunate in not having to deal with any trolls or flamers so far, just your garden variety spam and “nice post” types. In the end, it is a function of topic and blog popularity. The more poplar your blog and the more you hit on hot button issues, the more you will attract the trolls.

    With negative comments, I think it is a matter of degree. There’s opposing viewpoints professionally made (awesome!), negative comments that push the envelope of civility (tolerable, but not encouraged), and outright abuse or attacks (deleted). I made my policy pretty detailed, but in the end, what gets cut comes down to a judgement call based on the answer to one question: is this person helping to build or trying to destroy my community? I think asking that one question can help make the “how to handle” negative comments decision easier.

  • Anonymous

    It’s a pleasure to see you back Griddy, I thought you might have got killed by Jean Reno ;-)

    I haven’t had any abusive commenters on my blog. Not yet anyway. But I’ve had comments which have challenged my posts. One memorable one is the post I wrote for ProBlogger, which was generally well-received, but a small handful of bloggers objected to what I said.

    Now, what I said then is different from what I’d do now. I basically half-apologised at the time, and covered my tracks. I didn’t want to cause an argument. But today? I’d reply with something like this:

    “As you wish. I have no regrets with this post :-)

    And leave it at that, unless I had something specific to say in reply to that comment (which is rare). I don’t think there’s any need to generate controversy or debate to satisfy my own ego, so why stoke the fire? :-)

    • http://hajrak.blogspot.com Hajra

      Oh yes! Your post at ProBlogger! Caused quite a lil storm…didn’t it? ;)

      • Anonymous

        Yeah, it got some people talking, but looking back on it now, I’m grateful that it did. I learned a few things from it :-)

  • http://vizsource.info/ Kim Davies

    Hi, Griddy.

    Great to see you’re back! We certainly missed you (although I haven’t been online that much, but when I do, I check out your site every time). I smiled when I checked today and saw that you have one post available for me to read. Definitely one of the highlights of my day. :)

    I don’t have a comment policy yet because I figured I am too fresh in the blogosphere for that. I haven’t gotten any negative comments as well because there are just a handful of people who frequent my blog (with Bill being my most loyal stalker). But, I suppose when I do and I see them as civilized as you said, then I’d probably see them as something that I can learn from. However, if the comment is downright rude and vulgar, I will not think twice about sending them to the trash immediately. 

    I still moderate first time comments.  Although there are a number of people who won’t go near blogs with moderated comments, it is how my boss wants it so, I can’t do anything about it. The great thing about it though is I still have control over what gets posted or not. So, if somebody pisses me off royally by cussing me or somebody else on my blog, I’m sorry but that goes out to the trash.
     

     

  • Anonymous

    But this rule excludes comments from sex driven peasants or dickwads – those are ignored and go straight to the trash!……….I told you I barely knew you when I sent those pictures………I wasn’t sure what this twitter and blogging was all about; I thought it might be a free dating site or something………..just sayin’…………
    Hola ma’am; been missin’ ya, hope all is well. So good to see you. 

    I will try to keep my cussing to a minimum so I don’t get booted off your site.

    I don’t think I have a big enough presence or have written anything worthy of negative comments. I might have put some people to sleep but they would probably just stay away rather than waste their time with any snarky comments.

    @ginidietrich:disqus made a good point however: ‘The thing about negative comments or criticism is that they are the only way you grow’. I hope to get to the point I am writing thought provoking posts that creates some passion and lively dialogue. 

    Common courtesy still should prevail however; you can disagree but at least be cordial about it. For the people who make it personal, I don’t like so much.

    I don’t have a ‘comments’ policy, I’m still surprised people show up and I don’t want to scare them off.

    My only story is @TheJackB:disqus HowieSPM has had to step in a couple of times and tell me to quit my damn……er, uh darn bitching…………er, uh complaining. Man, how am I going to get around this cussing policy……….

    Hope your week goes well.

    • http://www.thejackb.com/ The JackB

      @bdorman264:disqus I think you should have at it and just let loose.

      • http://www.3hatscommunications.com/blog/ davinabrewer

        Now you’ve done it.

        • http://www.thejackb.com/ The JackB

          I am still waiting for it, whatever it may be.

          • http://www.3hatscommunications.com/blog/ davinabrewer

            Inviting Bill to let loose? You’re a brave one my friend. ;-)

            • Anonymous

              Like I would be able to say anything off color or inappropriate……………

            • http://www.thejackb.com/ The JackB

              @davinabrewer:disqus I have bravery in spades or maybe it is foolishness- still trying to figure that one out.

  • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

    I missed you! Welcome back!

    The thing about negative comments or criticism is that they are the only way you grow. I’m not talking about the trolls, but the people who professionally disagree with you. I’ve found that when someone disagrees with me, they rarely do it on Spin Sucks, but blog about it on their own space. Which is fine – I get alerts! And I’ll go over there and show a real interest in listening. Guess what happens? They ALWAYS take out the personal, apologize, and we reach some common ground, even if we still disagree. And I’m great with that.

    With the exception of one person, who I’ve actually gotten a bit aggressive with when he comments or is snarky, this tact works for all.

    • http://nittygriddy.com/ Ingrid Abboud

      I missed you too my VBFF :) . And it’s great to be back!

      You’re so right in that the only way to learn and grow is from the different opinions of others. But as you said – there’s a professional way to disagree – one that is courteous and polite and one that provides feedback and examples instead of meaningless or mean bashings.

      I’ve seen that happen quite often actually – where people will disagree with you or someone else through a post of their own on their blog – and that’s totally cool. I do have a question(S) for you though. Do you think they would rather disagree with you on their blog because they’re intimidated to do on yours? Have you noticed a difference in popularity or influence or whatever in the people that take it to their own space? Maybe they have a lot to say and their comment would be wayyyy too long? Or maybe their post will generate traffic and a good discussion on their blog? Maybe it’s so they can control the situation?…What do you think? 

      Sorry – lots of questions but I’m curious why some would rather disagree in their own space instead of directly on the person’s blog.

      Anyhow – I think in your example – the reason things turn out so properly and are not made personal is because of your tone and personality as well. When you head over there to see what they’ve said – you’re not aggressive and rude. You show interest and try to understand why in a polite fashion – and that makes a hell of a difference and people respect you for that and realize that they’re dealing with a professional who’s open to ideas and is willing to listen to other point of views in an attempt to learn something, if anything. It shows strength of character.

      Either way – I’m happy that these situations always turn out great for you :) .

      As for the tactless trolls as I like to call them…mehhhh!

      Thanks for sharing your take Gini.

      Hope your Thursday is going well so far.
      TTYL

      Ciao, Ciao

      • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

        I can only speak from experience, but the people who’ve debated me on their own blogs don’t really have large audiences. In fact, I’m usually the only one who sees it (or at least comments). So, in my case, I would imagine they’re too intimidated to comment about it on Spin Sucks. I know I would be.

        • http://www.3hatscommunications.com/blog/ davinabrewer

          Want to add onto Ingrid’s question, I share her curiosity. There have been a few times when I’ve taken my comments and expanded them on my own blog, because I didn’t want to threadjack or appear to be rude to a blog host. I wonder if it is intimidation and/or something else? Maybe they don’t want to be a ‘pot stirrer’ or a troll and instead decide to post elsewhere, don’t realize that you welcome professional, quality discussion? You have a strong, supportive community; maybe they’re afraid they can’t find a common ground there.. that their voice will be drowned out? IDK .. been thinking about this a lot, why we comment in general and what stops us from disagreeing sometimes; blogging it elsewhere, now you’ve given me for food for thought, so thanks as always. :)

          • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

            I think the difference, Davina, is you may blog about it on your own blog for that very reason. I think  @kellyecrane:twitter  did a nice job of creating a conversation about Triberr by disagreeing with me and Shonali and a few others. We joined that conversation and had a really good debate. At the end, I think we still all disagreed, but it was a really good conversation. We’ve had it on my blog and we had it on her blog. That’s totally different than the trolls who blast you on their blog and then aren’t willing to have a conversation with you. Like I said, there is only one person I haven’t been able to will with my charm and charisma through commenting. He just continues to bash me so now it’s kind of fun to see if anything I do will get him to actually stop being passive aggressive and talk to me.

            • http://soloprpro.com KellyeCrane

              Interesting discussion! Personally, whether I comment on a blog or write my own post in dissent is based almost entirely on length. I usually feel like more than 2-3 paragraphs as a comment is overdoing it, and if I have more to say I’ll take it to my place.

              As for negative comments, I’m fortunate that I’ve never truly had anyone I’d consider a troll. Some people get snarky in their disagreement, and I have no problem publishing them (I give my readers enough credit to decide for themselves whether someone is a jerk!). :-)

            • http://www.3hatscommunications.com/blog/ davinabrewer

              I also joined those conversations, and am drafting a post of my own that will hopefully add to my comments as part of those really good debates. Like @KellyeCrane:disqus I’ve been lucky so far, not had much of the trollish behavior you describe. H/T to you for making it fun, not letting it get to you.

        • http://twitter.com/skypulsemedia Howie at Sky Pulse Media

          yes best way to reduce criticism is to make sure no one reads your blog like i do lol i mean do i want more readers increasing the chance one of those haters @dannybrown mentioned comes by? i will stay eclectic and low brow thank you berry much!

        • http://www.thejackb.com/ The JackB

          @ginidietrich:disqus And then you get stuck with people like me who make random comments about cyclists whenever we see you on a blog other than your own. But they made out of love…and letters that make words. See what happens when you live with young children, you act literally.

          • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

            and that is why i love the blogosphere!

            • http://nittygriddy.com/ Ingrid Abboud

              Hear, Hear!

        • http://nittygriddy.com/ Ingrid Abboud

          I figured that much :) . Thanks for coming back and letting me know Gin.

  • http://www.logallot.com Sonia

    It’s never fun running across a few select “groupies” that don’t like or agree with what you say. Your blog is an expression of your thoughts and experiences, otherwise why do it? Nevertheless, you should always maintain control over your blog if you happen to encounter this type of behaviour. If a person disagrees with what you say, you always have a “choice” in how to react whether you would like to beat the hell out of them (figuratively speaking) or just take the high road. 

    I won’t lie, I can be a mixture of both if pushed in the wrong direction, but my blog is my baby and I never want to offend people that take the time to read my blog. I am honored to just have readers there and I would be ready to kick some booty if anyone offended my readers in a tone that wasn’t called for. Call me what you like, but I look at trolls or groupies in this way:”Cowards” (that word should be in bold) are quick to say things behind a “computer”, (I guess it’s more safe for them) but when it comes to face to face conversations, they usually “back down”.

    Wolves always hunt in packs, but never alone or they too will be hunted. Why give trolls the time of day? I guess I am just an in-your-face kind of person and believe in addressing the situation personally. So why bring IT? That usually silences a room, but I always do it with tact. You may not like me, but you will respect me. Life is too short to waste time on people that are just miserable anyway.

  • http://twitter.com/ShakirahDawud T. Shakirah Dawud

    My very first comment on my very first “real” blog post came from a blogger I used to visit often for tips I found useful for beginning bloggers. His words? 

    “Sorry for butting in but:  Your blog requires a smart theme – the font size is too small, and the article seems all scattered about.   Also, categories and tags and they should go in the sidebar – if the theme doesn’t have a sidebar… ”

    That was it. He didn’t even finish the thought. Not a word about the blog post, either. I had written more than one missive and had an announcement in the sidebar about the fact that my blog was in the midst of a redesign and to please ignore, yet this is what he had to say. I replied with an apology for the mess and left it at that. He came back later with positive comments about other posts. 

    I’m an editor and have that ultra-sensitive perfectionist streak most of us have, so I’ve been waiting for the day when someone will take issue with my grammar or usage. That day came recently, but the point was one that I conceded was arguable, and I let the commenter have the last word. I don’t have energy to argue something that doesn’t need defending. I just made the point that I was right, even if I appeared to be wrong, cited sources, and left it at that. On something more personal or opinionated, I might respond, but without much fire, and if the commenter comes back, I’ll probably ignore it except to edit out any profanity lol.

    • http://www.ramblingsofawahm.com AllieRambles

      I find his criticism under minding your efforts to work.  If he has issues with your bog like that, he should contact you privately.  Actually, he should keep his mouth shut unless you ask for it.

      ~Allie

  • http://twitter.com/lifeforinstance Life, for instance

    Hi Griddy,
    I remember when we first talked about starting a blog my coach said, “You’ll have to leave any negative comments there – all of them.” I haven’t had any yet. Sure, sometimes people disagree with me (yay!) but so far so good.  Or maybe I have missed them! It may be that way because I don’t do a lot of controversial topics. If I did it might be different.

    I like what Jack said about leaving the comment alone, not that I’m sure I could do that. My mother used to say the best response to something foolish is silence. In the silence they hear their words echo back to them! I don’t know if that would work on a blog comment!
    Nice to see you out here again Griddy!
    Lori

    • http://twitter.com/ShakirahDawud T. Shakirah Dawud

      Your mother’s take is my take, too, Lori. Except sometimes I’m embarrassed for the poor sot, lol, and feel the need to say something to take the edge off. This happens mostly in LinkedIn group discussions, not my blog, though, so there’s no deleting anyway.

    • http://www.thejackb.com/ The JackB

      @twitter-228904159:disqus Lori, it really can be effective.Some people are shocked when their words are left alone. They will often hang themselves with little to no help from you.

    • http://hajrak.blogspot.com Hajra

      Or maybe you write such kiss a** stuff that makes everyone go wow wow wow and that’s it :)  

  • http://twitter.com/MonicaRicci Monica Ricci

    I will always delete the spam of course. You know, those folks who show up with a “name” like ViagaraForLess and a link to some website and all they do is say something lame and generic like, “I am agree! This blog are many helpful to me!” UGH. Just go away.

    As for rude commenters, I don’t get many (thankfully) but I will typically respond politely and ask for more information, often resigning to the fact that we are free to disagree. If someone says something over-the-top rude about me or one of my other commenters, I’ll delete the post and write a comment explaining that dialogue is welcome provided it’s respectful.

    One guy criticized my blog design (pretty rudely actually) and it inspired me to be objective and I ended up agreeing with him and changing my design, which improved it greatly. So I was thankful for that one! I also agree with The_JackB above about needing to develop a thick skin if you’re putting yourself out in the Twitterverse or blogosphere. You can’t please everyone all the time and it’s easy to be a tough guy from behind the keyboard. Great post, Ingrid!

    • http://www.thejackb.com/ The JackB

      @twitter-14430088:disqus Once we publish our words we no longer control or own them- at least not as well as we might like to.

  • http://moremoo.com Adam

    Hi Nitty nice to read you again! I think when you go online you have no chance to avoid negative opinion as well. What we can do? If the commenter give you a good point that I will just accept this and would thank for learning me something. If the negative comment is not correct, I would probably not publish it as it brings no real value to the conversation.

    Also it depends on how the criticism is served.

  • Anonymous

    Ingrid

    I don’t get many negative comments or criticism over at One Spoon.  Some, but not much.

    On my YouTube Bass Channel though, we’re talking a whole different ball game.  My basic policy is that I don’t mind being criticised – provided within that criticism is a seed of constructive info that I can use to get better.

    Anything rude or offensive just gets deleted with no explanation and that user gets blocked from my YouTube channel (GREAT feature!). 

    Sometimes people say that I’ve taught and played a part of a song wrong.  That’s entirely possible – I always invite them to film a video showing how it SHOULD be done, and then post it as a video response to my video.  Strangely enough, no-one ever takes me up on that.

    Last week Dino posted about this topic on DIY Blogger and he quoted the boxer George Foreman:

    “I refuse to work with people that tell me what I’ doing wrong. Instead, I only work with people who tell me HOW I can do something better.”

    I thought that was a really great quote – people who tell you you suck or you’re wrong don’t contribute to your growth.  People who tell you that THIS might be a better way do.  That’s what I try to encourage – and it’s the kind of criticism I try to give where possible.

    Good to have you back.

    Paul

    • http://twitter.com/adamtoporek Adam Toporek

      Paul, posting music videos (instructional, covers, etc.) on YouTube is probably one of the top places to get horribly flamed. You definitely need a thick skin for that! Reminds me of the old joke “How many guitarists does it take to change a lightbulb? 12. 1 to change it, and 11 to say they could have done it better.”

      I’ve been lurking at One Spoon a bit (good stuff) but will have to check out the music side.

      • Anonymous

        Hey Adam

        What’s cool is that with YouTube I don’t monitor my comments very much for various reasons – and often I find that when people do flame me, that other guys have jumped in and basically shouted the flamer down!  Which is cool. 

        Paul

    • http://www.ramblingsofawahm.com AllieRambles

      Paul,

      I’m too scared to leave a negative comment at Spoon, lol.  You would rip someone up! 

      You know I’m just kidding. Paul rocks! 

      ~Allie

      • Anonymous

        Hey Allie

        now I have to know something: is there a grain of truth in that statement?  I don’t recall ever ripping someone up – but if I did I need to know, cos then I have a blindspot that I need to correct!

        I welcome people disagreeing with me – so if you ever think I’m talking crap, then call me on it.  It’s the only way I can learn!  I’m actually WAYYYYYY more interested in learning than I am in having my ego stroked!

        So if you need to fire away, just let rip!  I don’t bite!

        Paul

        • http://www.ramblingsofawahm.com AllieRambles

          Awe, Paul I was just messing with you.  You have that bad ass gravatar so I figure you could kick some butt. :-)

          There is nothing you need to correct.  You are always helping me and I am grateful for it.

          If I ever feel the need to disagree with you I will do it as graceful as I can.  I’ll let you know.

          ~Allie

          • Anonymous

            That leads to another question – someone told me the other day that that picture I used is fine for my bass guitar site – but pretentious for One Spoon.  What do YOU think?  Should I change it and have a ‘smiley’ normal face picture?

            Paul

  • http://www.3hatscommunications.com/blog/ davinabrewer

    I remember Danny’s post as well as a few others; your comment policy is similar to my own; yes I have one and written about this before. One thing I’ve noticed – the naysayers don’t always come back for seconds do they? Like you I’ll follow up their ‘this is totally wrong, you suck’ comment with a TY as well as a call for examples: please tell why you don’t like this, explain how in your experience this is wrong. Once in a while we’ll get a nice discussion going but often these types of comments are of the ‘hit and run’ variety from what I’ve seen.

    I like discussion and debate, when it helps move the conversation forward. When you’re just going in circles, no one ‘wins’ and it becomes pointless. Gotta learn when to let it go. My other thing is professionalism, which includes courtesy and respect. Tone is a thing, pointed barbs and zingers .. my policy is just to discuss or critique the post or comment, not the person making it; keep it professional, don’t turn it into personal attacks. I also try to use humor to diffuse any heated situations, but so far have been fairly lucky to not be called out too often for letting a few curse words slip or just posting something bone-headed and idiotic. Sure my day will come. ;-) FWIW.

    • http://nittygriddy.com/ Ingrid Abboud

      Hey Davina,
      I thought Danny’s post covered this pretty well and he gave some solid advice. And you’re right – I’ve seen that happen a lot when you reply politely to a troll and ask them to come back for more with explanations or an example and you never hear from them again. Especially when a few people have replied to them with the same requests – maybe it’s intimidation or maybe they were just seeking attention and that’s all.But I’ve seen others come back for more – more so on other blogs – and some actually make valid points whereas others are just there to play devil’s advocate for the hell of it.

      As for professionalism and courtesy and respect – it’s what makes the difference when you’re discussing something. People will always be willing to listen when the tone is polite. Excellent point about humor – I try and do that too if I see that it’s appropriate. It breaks the tension and makes people feel more comfortable – unless of course the other end has no sense of humor whatsoever.

      I’m totally ok with curse words – as long as they’re not targeted towards someone in particular. Then it’s a no-no!

      I think it’s always important to remember to not take things personally and not target the author personally either. If you want to disagree then you have every right to. And I’m all for it as I love to hear different perspectives than my own and I also love to learn from others. 

      To me – it’s common sense – remain polite, be diplomatic if the situation calls for it, respect others – and of course – expect the same towards you. Simple rules of life!

      Anyhow – I’ve rambled enough lol. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on this. You brought up excellent points.

      Hope your week is going well.

      Talk soon.
      Cheers

      • http://www.3hatscommunications.com/blog/ davinabrewer

        I’ll be a devil’s advocate, but I seldom do it to play, for kicks. I’m trying to make a point when I do.. about the other side, the objections, etc. I do wonder if it’s about attention grabbing or pot stirring, to jump into a conversation with a few short criticisms or questions, then vanish? IDK.. just lucky to read good blogs I guess, where I don’t see too much of that kind of ‘trolling.’

  • http://www.thejackb.com/ The JackB

    Most of the time I let the negative comments stand on their own but occasionally I will delete them. I won’t always explain why or offer a response. I don’t have to. My blog is my cyberhome and I make the rules there and don’t care if they seem logical or inconsistent.
    I don’t mind disagreement nor am I bothered by people taking different positions, but like you said it depends on the tone and manner of it. It is not out of character for me to engage with trolls. Sometimes I like jumping in the mud and splashing around.
    But even though it is my home I never forget that every time I post something I open myself up to criticism and comments that may not always be nice. It is good to have a thick skin because people are more willing to speak openly from behind a keyboard.

    • http://twitter.com/ShakirahDawud T. Shakirah Dawud

      A thick skin is crucial, yes.

    • http://nittygriddy.com/ Ingrid Abboud

      Hiya Jack,
      You know – I think I’ve been quite lucky so far – either that or my posts haven’t been extremely controversial in any way maybe – but I haven’t really had to delete any negative comments yet – except for the inappropriate/vulgar ones and of course the sneaky spammers.

      You brought up a great point in that every time we write something online – we open ourselves up and having thick skin and not always taking things personally would be ideal.

      Some people just like to play devil’s advocate for the hell of it. And when it’s the same person over and over it gets tedious after a while. You realize that they’re only doing if for the attention. Which is silly if you ask me!

      I’m all for people challenging my thoughts and teaching me otherwise if I’m wrong or if I missed something. But the tone in which they do is what will make the difference.

      I think we all agree when we say – my blog, my rules! ;)

      Thanks so much for your feedback on this Jack. Nice to see you here again and it’s good to back.
      Have a pleasant week.

      Cheers

      • http://www.thejackb.com/ The JackB

        I have courted controversy intentionally and unintentionally so some of the response  I have received are my own ‘fault.”
        Sometimes I think that the acrimony is created because of misunderstandings created by miscommunication. In a world that doesn’t provide pictures or verbal clues it is not unusual.