A long, long time ago in an internet village far, far away, I was a top blogger on MySpace. I shared the top spaces with big names like Matthew McConaughey:
And a whole bunch of people who were famous in the MySpace days:
It all started around 2006, when I discovered the site had a "blog" feature. I posted my first blog, began slowly getting readers, and soon had a fairly large readership. In 2007, when the site was at its peak, I was averaging around 5,000-10,000 views a day.
All of that meant absolutely nothing in the real world, but within that blogging community, it was huge. So huge, in fact, that once you reached that many views you began to be the subject of an astounding amount of hate.
The hatred did a little permanent damage (as I post this, I still have the fear it will unleash one of those crazy-bags on my blog), but I'd like to think it made me stronger. At one point, there was a guy who posted a blog parodying the blog I wrote every single day. If you can write while that's going on, you can write through anything!
Early on in all of that, I learned one very important lesson the hard way:
A woman had written a very hostile tirade because I'd angered her by posting a lighthearted blog about Barbie. I emailed her personally, apologizing for having offended her. Being a nice Southern girl, that's what you do to diffuse a situation...right?
She initiated a fight with me, then posted the entire private message string on her blog for attention. She got it. It was the first incident on the site but it was far from the last. I soon learned to ignore and keep going. The more you ignored them, the dumber they looked.
Recently an author learned this lesson the hard way. She chased a reviewer down and confronted her. That was an extreme example, especially since a negative review is far from "hate," but arguing with people who post negative things online is never, ever a good idea. In fact, if you have the self-control to do it, you should refuse to read the negative comments/reviews about you and continue to move forward as if they don't even exist.
I know, easier said than done. This might help...
Have you ever been the victim of a cybertroll?