Feb 17, 2012 Blog Content
It always makes me roll my eyes, at least a little, when I hear someone say, “Nothing personal, but…” or “No offense, but…” You know what the “but” means, don’t you? It means that whatever the person is about to say (or write, as the case may be), is likely going to be extremely personal or extremely offensive.
And it doesn’t have to be.
Zombie bloggers seem to take things more personally than most, which leads to a overly emotional reactions. I was reading How to Get a Grip by Matthew Kimberly (@mjkimberly) recently, and he wrote about the need to be less sensitive. I’m paraphrasing here, but the basic concept he endorses is that before you get offended, ask yourself whether or not the person meant to offend you. Most of the time, they didn’t. Those who did are jerks who aren’t worth your time. Simple as that.
Yet online, taking things personally gets out of control and your blog content suffers for it. Here are a few facts:
1. The definition of personal is something directed to or related to a single person. People often use the word to mean “an attack on a specific person,” but that’s just part of the definition. You don’t have to be hurting someone for a comment to be personal. If you’re talking about a single person (or company, group, etc.), it’s personal.
2. If you direct a mean-spirited blog post, angry rant, or even negative comment toward someone, your readers are likely going to be smart enough to figure out who you’re talking about. So you might as well just name the person.
3. It is okay to be critical! If you don’t like something, you can say you don’t like it.
4. As pertaining to point #3 – you don’t have to be an ass about it.
5. As pertaining to point #4 – even if the other person is an ass first.
Zombie bloggers are the quickest to offend and the quickest to write mean posts or comments. Usually, at least in my experiences, this is a result of one of three situations:
1. They have low self esteem and use bitchiness as a defense mechanism. I guess you can’t blame them too much. If I had an ax in my face, bloodied clothing, and a missing limb or two, I’d be bitchy too. Well, okay, you can blame them, but you can also feel sorry for them a bit. Poor monsters.
2. They have a misguided sense that if they say something isn’t personal or don’t name names when attacking a single person, they aren’t really being mean. I’ve never met a zombie who knows he’s a zombie, though. Zombies typically don’t have much of a moral compass. Most zombies aren’t evil as much as they are…zombies.
3. They see drama as the quickest way to high traffic numbers and don’t give a shit about who they hurt in the process. Dude. Zombies suck.
So what can you so? Easy. Don’t let drama happen in your space.
Online drama is going to happen if you’re successful as a blogger. Someone online won’t like you or the people you work for, and they’ll feel the need to verbally vomit hatred to anyone who will listen. Pat yourself on the back – you have arrived and you’re probably writing really great content. If you’re so PC that you’re making everyone happy, your content is probably pretty watered down and boring, and that’s not a good thing. You want to write posts that make people think and react.
And when you do, thank people who offer constructive comments (positive or negative) and ignore the rest. I bold-faced that part because it is important. Don’t resort to virtually arm wrestling to determine whose virtual manhood is virtually bigger.
After all, what do you think happens to people who arm wrestle with zombies? They get bitten.
One of the reasons I like blogging so much is that it gives me a stage, a way to voice my opinions. Those opinions are going to be in direct opposition to what other people have to say, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be friends. Just call a spade a spade. Opinions are personal. Let’s not try to pretend they aren’t. That way, instead of passive aggressive snipe and hurt feelings we can actually have intelligent, interesting, life-changing debates about important topics.
- Five Things You Can Do RIGHT NOW To Make Blogging Better (blogzombies.com)
- Blogging, Business, and Life Tips from Peter Shankman (blogworld.com)
- How to Deal with Negative Blog Comments (aiminglow.com)