Learning To Take The High Road

Lorelle Van Fossen at the BlogHerald has published a post discussing how to prepare yourself for the blog bullies. Her article strikes close to home with me because at one point, I had to deal with a blog bully myself. Here’s what happened.

My Experience

Back when I was producing my weekly podcast called WordPress Weekly, I performed a live one hour interview with an individual known as Small Potato. Small Potato was an individual who had made quite an impact within the WordPress community, specifically to those who were involved with creating themes. The interview didn’t go as well as I thought it would. I had prepared 10 or so questions that I thought would get me through the interview and as we discussed those questions, more questions would be brought up and the interview would be more like a conversation. Unfortunately, the conversation part was missing as I received very short answers to my questions, sometimes with a simple Yes or No answer. By the time I reached the thirty minute mark of the show, I was out of questions and didn’t know what to do. Thankfully, a few listeners called in and spoke with SP which ended up saving the show.

I knew the interview didn’t go as well as I had liked but one blogger decided to publish a post discussing the interview. The title of the post was “Jeffro 2.0 Gives Worst Interview Ever“. As I read the title of the post, anger and emotions took over. I read through his article along with his opinions. By the time I reached the end of the post, I wanted to reach through my monitor and punch this guy in the face and tell him to conduct the interview himself.

Instead of telling this guy off on his own blog, I took a couple of deep breaths and then left a detailed, heart felt comment, thanking him for his review along with his opinions. I let him know how I felt about the interview as well as agreeing with some of the things he had said. After I took a few more deep breaths, I decided to publish a post on my blog asking my audience if they felt the same way as this guy did about the interview. I was blown away by the reaction of my audience.

I received a large number of compliments on my blog for the interview along with a number of comments which gave me suggestions on how to make future interviews better. Most didn’t agree that the interview was the worst one ever and that in fact, his review almost contradicted his headline. I didn’t ask for any support from my listeners, but a number of them browsed to where the review was published and gave the guy an ear full.

What I Learned

After the ordeal was over with, it became an event I could look back on and laugh at. I learned an important lesson that at times, is harder to accomplish than to preach. This lesson was to take the high road whenever possible, no matter what the circumstances are. Taking the high road and putting yourself above those who enjoy the bottom of the barrel will not only help to provide you with more leverage, but it will also gain you admiration, respect, and authority. Anything less is just adding fuel to the fire.

It’s 2008 And The Web Is Different

Although I believe blog bullies or internet bullies in general are still plentiful, with the advent of social networking, personal brands, blogging, reputation etc, all on the line, I don’t see this large rampage of internet trolls taking over the internet. With sites and services built specifically to monitor and track a user’s reputation across the web, there is more at stake now than ever before. When you consider many employers are using Google searches, MySpace lookups etc, as part of their background checks for employees, it’s best to make sure that before you hit that publish button, whether it be for a blog post, comment, image, or a video, that your paper trail on the web does not prevent you from future opportunities.

Tell Us Your Story

Have you gone through a blog bullying experience yet? What about comment trolls? Let us know about your experience and tell us how you dealt with your situation in the comments. Stories along with your resolutions will have a chance at being featured in a future post here at Performancing.

Image taken by Eddie~s Under Creative Commons 2.0

6 thoughts on “Learning To Take The High Road

  1. Thanks Judith. If I can set myself up to just take the high road with no questions asked, I’ll always be in a better position. Sometimes though, emotions get the best of me and ends up causing me to make the wrong decision. Thanks for the advice and for sharing your experience.

  2. Way to go, Jeff! Traveling the high road is easy and something you don’t have to learn or think about — you just do it!

    Folks are very bold when hiding behind these screens and type things they wouldn’t dare to your face. And that says something about character…

    Like you, I always take the high road — every time that I have ever run into a troll, there really is no basis for that type of reaction. Talk to me about ideas and different points of view — get nasty, name call or spew untruths and that tells me your viewpoint is one that can not stand on its own merit (and you are most likely not a happy camper in general which is beyond my sphere of influence).

    You’ll never be lonely on the high road — there’s always lots of good folks traveling with you! 😉

  3. You actually gave me an idea for a funny and informative article. I got to get working on it 😀

  4. Yeah, starting to wonder if he read an article on Performancing.com and learned how to create controversy. But it was a lesson and an experience worth going through which I am sure will help me to respond to more events like these in the future.

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