3+ Ideas on Being/Stopping a Comment Troll

13 12 2010

I wasn't going to do this, but as a learning experience on blogging, commenting and just communicating in general, I thought this might be constructive and educational.

I've had one dust up with a blogger over on his website- which I sort of talked about here. (The original comments are now off when the blog was switched, I guess.)

My gist of the article and I think the original discussion in that case is that sarcasm and satire online are HARD. Very hard to understand. I think it hurts REAL communication.  Does it stop people from trying? No. But does it mean things get taken wrong, YES.

Now, I've had another dust up where I took umbrage with the way a government agency's twitter and blog were portrayed and was able to illustrate so. 

I was contacted directly after ending the commentary on the blog post and told that arguing in that forum doesn't make anyone look good. 

I'd post comments over there, but after being painted as a nasty troll, a-hole, bully, and someone who pisses all over a blog, I conceded and won't waste my time. I took the advice and am talking about it here.

The reaction on both parts resulted in the creation of two different comment policies.

This is Educational Point #1. 
Have a comment policy. You can do what you like. Here is mine. I would DARE say, in this case I adhered to mine. You can think of your words in blogs as little babies and fain to protect them, but acting like they are sacrosanct is kinda silly.

I am inviting comments. I want to write better and learn from what others think about how I think. I invited thoughts a few months ago. Please rip me a new one, in as nice a way as possible please.

Educational Point #2
Pointing out an issue with someones blog post is not sarcasm, mean, or anything other than what it is (necessarily).

I said in my earlier post that too much of what I see as commentary on posts is just virtual back-patting. This isn't to say that you should beat on everything you come across, but if you disagree, pull the trigger and say so (within the confines of the stated comment policy). 

This leads to Educational Point #3
Grow a pair.
I said it before and I'll say it again: "I'm not right and neither are you." 
Until you "know" someone on the internet, you can't really be sure of how they might take ANYTHING you write. You could be trying to compliment and it's misinterpreted. You could just be saying you don't agree with them and they think you are a hideous, hateful troll spewing bile all over the place.

Educational point #4 (bonus)
Use a commenting system
A common reason people USED to give for commenting issues: anonymity. I don't see it as that common anymore. Sure on message boards and forums it is REALLY easy to be as anonymous as you want to be. With the variety of commenting systems that require some acknowledgment of who the commenter is, this is not much of an excuse. (Danny Brown talks about the big ones here). But then again, that doesn't stop someone from being a d-bag in their comments.

A huge short-coming of the internet: there are no interpreters to make sure your feelings are not hurt. If you are going to put YOUR thoughts out there, OBVIOUSLY you want them shared and thought about. Otherwise, stay home. But now they are out there, be willing to take the lumps, especially if you are be critical or praising. There is ALWAYS going to be someone who sees it differently.


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Groupon / Redbox Deal BAD IDEA?

10 12 2010

Ok, so the Groupon/Redbox came and went.

I got the text as a loyal Redbox customer: 

Friday, Saturday and Sunday ONLY! Go to www.redbox.com/groupon to get 3 one-night Redbox DVD rentals for only $1. Txt STOP 2 quit.

And what did I get? A notice like others, but then quickly a deleted page.
The reaction was as immediate as mine online:

You can see that updated here.

I’m going to be VERY curious to see how this plays out for these two giants.
A great idea for BOTH of them, might have HURT both of them.

Not sure what Groupon limited the deal to, but loyal customers of both might feel VERY slighted. I did not get my Redbox text until at least two hours AFTER the deal went live. 

Which tells me that Redbox was trying to reach more customers, but why share with THEIR customers.

For Groupon, this could be a nice win. Redbox fans who love the cheap movies will now know THEIR brand but who got the Groupon emails?

Groupon sends weird deals to different places.

Should be fun to watch play out.


One Good Wise Decision #reverb10

10 12 2010
#Reverb10 #10 What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out? 

Now this I can play with.
Sorry about the last one. 

I don't make decisions. My wife and I do. We might take input from the children if it concerns them, but we still make the decisions.
The wisest one we've made in a while is one that actually happened several years ago, but culminated this year.

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to be home a great deal for the first two years of our youngest's life. It has turned her literally into daddy's girl.
My wife felt some of the slight, but in large part because she was working not too long after she was born.

Not too long after, opportunity and chance made it so that my wife could stay home full time and we agreed that she would so long as the youngest was not in school full time.

Well, she entered kindergarten this year, YEAH!
And my wife was back on the job market. 
It's worked out GREAT for us.

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#Reverb10 Station Break

10 12 2010

Dear #Reverb10 folks, 

I’ve enjoyed writing posts for the other prompts thus far, but have seen backlash against different ones. Consider this mine for day 10’s:

December 9 – Party Prompt: Party. What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010? Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, shenanigans.


I find myself hard pressed to deal with this. I guess someone else can see the value, but I am not. Consider this my break day… 

if you want to read my other Reverb 10 posts, look here:


Using Twitter Lists Instead of Following

8 12 2010
I've tried being a good Twitter citizen. Following those that follow me. But the incessant ebb and flow of people following me OBVIOUSLY just to get their numbers up is beyond annoying.

I follow those that I find add the value that I want to SEE in my stream. If you want to follow me, I've given up on figuring out WHY. I would hope that you see value in what I have to say, but honestly, I know that 95% are just doing in the hopes that I follow back and pump those numbers up for you.

Here is a GREAT example of the problem.
I have NO IDEA who this new follower is:

Now, I have no IDEA why a breast pump company CHOSE to follow me. 

I certainly WOULD NEVER look for them to follow them. I have no issue with their stream but I don't need to see their offers amidst my stream. Heck, they are already listed 28 times and they have only posted 90 tweets!

 I'm sure there are VERY targeted people and institutions on Twitter that would LOVE the follow and would follow them back, but NOT me.

But that's the problem! They seem to be operating on the old idea of just getting the numbers up, but the majority of Twitter users DON'T need the numbers. They need the RIGHT numbers.

But that's not for me to decide- for me though, I have taken to using lists based on what I want and need from Twitter. 
This is only my profile peek of lists:

Not huge, but I find it invaluable for quickly seeing what people are saying based on location, issues, etc.

I guess one reason I did this as you can see, there were plenty of folks that because of their algorithm, Twitter would not let me follow. I put them in a "wait list." I am ok with my numbers for now. Are they askew? I don't know. I see some following 3 and with 30000 followers. And others that go the other way.

I've kept a balance of following folks I wanted to glean info from and have conversations with.

Hopefully, you are using the lists to their fullest. I like some of the outside tools, but why go there if you don't have to?

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What’s Your Temperament #Reverb10 Beautifully Different

8 12 2010

8th in a month long series

Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful.

I remember the book distinctly. I wish I could find it. I read it when I was 15 and it talked about the “four temperaments.”

This was before the Myers-Briggs thing REALLY hit big and before personality testing was used for everything from hiring to finding a babysitter.

This one focused on the ancient idea of the humors of the body: you were phlegmatic, melancholic, sanguine or choleric.
Guess which one I was?

Give up? Choleric, which Wikipedia describes as such:

A person who is choleric is a do-er. They have a lot of ambition, energy, and passion, and try to instill it in others. They can dominate people of other temperaments, especially phlegmatic types. Many great charismatic military and political figures were cholerics. They like to be leaders and in charge of everything.

Imagine reading THAT about yourself. Especially when you were not sure it was true. Especially when you didn’t WANT it to be true.

I was the ONLY choleric I knew. (I made my friends read the book and take the tests to find out what they were.) What made me beautiful then was that people took what I said to heart.

At fifteen, I was a leader and didn’t know. I was in EVERYTHING from chess club, to band, to church youth, you NAME it. Rarely was I the “named” leader. I did not run for stuff, I did not try to take a position of power in anything. 

YET, those that did were always close to me in some way. Often my friends, and if not, they eventually did. I was a social butterfly in middle and high school. I was just as likely to be friends to the “burnout smokers” who hung out behind the school as the football players as my fellow marching band participants.

Why? See that line hidden in there: CHOLERICS “try to instill [their ambition, energy, and passion] in others.”

I learned from that “moment” in my life- my words had meaning to the people in my life who respected me at all. All of my words- good, bad, and ugly.

I learned that I need to be CAREFUL with my words because unbeknownst to a fifteen year old and still at times when I forget, what I said could hurt- even if I wasn’t trying.

Thus I tried and still do to use what I say as usefully as possible. It’s a beautiful thing to inspire people (especially when you aren’t even trying), but the flip side of that coin is that the same ability can also tear people down without trying.

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I am a Nashville Wannabe #reverb10 day 7: community

7 12 2010

7th in a month long series:

Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?
Obviously the blogging community has been huge for me this year. I’ve met FANTASTIC people who are willing to share and show the ropes.
However, blogging has become something of the excuse for being on Twitter. I think many avid Tweeting folk will admit it. They blog maybe once/week, but they engage Twitter as much as they can.
Twitter has enabled me to discover the ROBUST community of social media users in Nashville, TN. I’ve talked about a few before here. And if you follow me on Twitter at all, you will find me RT’ing the heck out of a few of those folks and more.
Why Nashville? 
Nashville, if you forget, as many people have, was hit by a huge natural disaster this last year.
However, in one of the best examples of making lemonade out of lemons, Nashville bonded together into “We Are Nashville.”

All of this community stemmed from one blog post: http://www.section303.com/we-are-nashville-4366

That’s community I enjoy to see and love to watch. I am looking for those other opportunities to see what other communities are doing ALL the time.

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