My friend Paula and I were chatting recently about blog trolls. I like her style and she’s a whole lot braver and much more patient than I am when it comes to blog trolls.
It sounds so ominous I thought it should have capital letters.
A Blog Troll is someone that visits your blog, reads your posts and then makes mean comments.
I moderate the comments made on my blog, so if there’s something I find offensive I will edit it out, or just put the comment in the bin. I figure it’s not worth my time to give someone the space on my blog if they are trolling for a fight or just want to be nasty. There’s plenty of other spots out there in cyberspace where they can find a home for their hostility and pent up rage.
I’m okay with my method because it works for me.
What I have trouble understanding is why someone would take the time and waste the effort to do something like this. What exactly are they getting out of it? Why would you bother to surf over to a blog and read it if you know you don’t agree with the person, or if you might not even like them?
I know I have at least one reader that visits my blog 2 or 3 times a week. I know this person doesn’t like me one bit, but that IP address pops up in my stats on a regular basis. Every time I see it (and I have it labeled now because it shows up so often) I always wonder what in the world could this person possibly be getting out of this. Why do they waste their time? Are they interested in what I’m doing? Perhaps they like my writing? They never say anything. They never comment. So they aren’t a troll, they’re more like a lurker. But they show up like clockwork.
Here’s the moment in the blog post where I try to put myself in their shoes…
Hmmm, there’s a lot of room in here!
Lots of places to hide stuff! LOL!
So here I am on a Saturday night and I’m surfing the Internet. I bet they have my blog URL saved as a favorite. That makes me kind of happy. After all, being a favorite is a good thing. I click on the link and surf over to a blog, written by someone I dislike.
What am I feeling?
I dunno…maybe I feel a little like a spy? Maybe I think that here in this small slice of Interwebs I can read the deepest thoughts of my adversary? Per-snaps it feels like reading a diary entry?
OH!! THE INTRIGUE!!!
I used to hide my diary in a different place every night so my grandmother couldn’t find it. I don’t know why I bothered because she found it every single time and always knew what I was up to. For years I thought she was psychic. Turns out she was just really nosy.
I’m having a difficult time in these shoes.
Can you tell?
It’s probably because this is not something I would ever do. I’m sure there are folks out there writing that I don’t like much, but I can not find a single reason to navigate the treacherous waters of the Internet just so I could check up on them. Sure, it’s all out there for the reading, especially if it’s on a blog that’s public like mine is, but it just doesn’t make much sense to me. Why would I care what they’re up to if they aren’t a part of my life? Or if I am just not interested?
If I already know that I would disagree with their point of view and that there is absolutely no way I could ever change their mind, why would I want to read what they’re writing about?
I took my question to my handy dandy Magic 8 Ball, Google.com and asked: “Why do people troll blogs?” and the links posted didn’t interest me enough to click on one. So I rephrased my question: “Why do people lurk on blogs?” and that didn’t bring forth any epiphanies either. I was thinking that lengthening the question to: “Why do people that don’t like you, lurk on your blog?” might just overload my Oracle, but I tried it anyway. It came back with a lot of links about how to get people to participate and contribute rather than lurk. Not what I was looking for either.
I guess I will remain blissfully ignorant about this phenomenon.
Here’s the thing about writing a public blog. It’s public. There are no No Trespassing signs posted. It’s out here, for better or worse. Besides who cares if they’re reading it. Let them read it! Soak it all in and hopefully something you write might change their lives in a positive way.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to figure out how I’m going to stuff this blog under my mattress for safe keeping tonight…
- How to Avoid Rude and Crude Blog Commenters (bloggingtips.com)
- How to Write a Rant Blog Post Without Looking Like a Jerk (internetsuccess4you.wordpress.com)
- My First Troll – How Sweet! (smtfhw.wordpress.com)
- Popular Science switches off trolls (news.techeye.net)
- Inflammatory Internet Trolls, and how to deal with them (janecurtain.wordpress.com)
- The Internet Troll (grovetogrub.wordpress.com)
- Screw You! (shesjustpleasantlyplump.com)