Mistakes I’ve Made Too!

Darren Rowse - Photography Blogger Extrodinaire
Image by kk+ via Flickr

Darren Rowse of Problogger fame recently wrote about mistakes he’s made as a professional blogger.  His article gives great tips about avoiding pitfalls by using his own mistakes as examples.  Nothing wrong with a little self-deprecation, I always say.  One mistake Darren notes; getting into public fights with other bloggers or people who comment negatively about your posting(s).  This struck a nerve.  I’ve been fortunate in that, most of the comments I receive are very positive.  I have great followers and most have blogs of their own.  I also insist that my closest friends read my blog religiously and they must never disagree with anything I write about (just kidding). However, periodically someone will make a comment of the negative type.  As Darren admits this can be annoying; particularly if you’re only sharing information or opinion about a topic you love or enjoy.  Darren states we should avoid commenting on negative nay-sayers.  Because Darren is on my list of writers I highly respect and whose advise I follow religiously,  was reluctant to disagree.  However, while trying to finish a guest-posting for another blog, my mind kept drifting back to Darren.  I decided I must make my feelings known even if Darren never reads them.

 In my opinion, the best way to deal with negative comments is to turn them into positive postings.  Usually I accomplish this by taking the writer‘s negative comment and reposting it as a question posed from the internet.  This deflates the negativity and allows me the opportunity to address the issue without being offensive or aggressive.  For instance: in response to a posting about what today’s social-media addicted society can learn from Jane Austen‘s Persuasion and Pride and prejudice, a young woman wrote that I was suggesting that she was socially dysfunctional and that bloggers shouldn’t express themselves freely.  I’d actually never heard of the young lady so I initially didn’t respond to the comment but I did post it out of fairness to her.  A few days later she wrote again, claiming that I must have seen that she was right and was afraid to respond, claiming that even my lack of response was disrespectful.  I thought about not responding again and then thought better of it.  In an attempt not to offend, I took her comments and posed them as questions on my blog.   In the posting, I gave my opinion regarding the question and invited other readers to post comments as well.  Not really realizing what a hot topic I was posing, I sent the post into the blogosphere.  What I received back were positive comments and opinions of those who like me, wanted to share and enjoy other opinions. I received no negative comment and my traffic for the post was pretty good.  I feel that I should have done this after receivng the inital negative comment.  The mistake I made was in not commenting.  It further alienated the reader and I really felt bad that she felt disrespected.  I never heard from that young lady again, even after posting about her comments.  I can only assume I’ve lost a reader. However, I did learn from the experience and from that day forward I always address comments in a positive manner. Sorry to disagree, oh great one. Perhaps you might take my advice this time.

If you’d like to read Darren’s post, ree’s the link: http://tinyurl.com/329lsgr

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4 thoughts on “Mistakes I’ve Made Too!”

    1. Amy, thank you for your correction. Originally, I was attempting to link the two via a post from Darren’s site. In my haste I made the horific mistake of naming Darren as the author of this particular post. Thank you for correcting me and I will print a correction on my blog.

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