Greedy Goblin

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Dealing with trolls

"Don't feed the trolls!" is probably the most common statement in the internet. However I don't think it was properly described why or how. Most people mean it as "don't answer to trolls, you just make them happier" or "if you ignore him, he goes away". Well, trolls don't look happy. They are rather looking mad. Also, I seriously doubt that they are really trolls, most of them just so horribly wrong that you can't even imagine that he is serious. He is. Also, it's a clear experience that they don't go away.

To find the solution, one has to ask why are you communicating? To spread some idea. You think something and want to share it. With whom? People who read it.

I can't stress people who read it enough. You are communicating with your readers and not with your commenters or the other posters of a forum. Every post shall be written with the target audience in mind: "I want to tell this to my readers". Do you want to tell them that "XxXtrollXxX is wrong"? No, because it's totally irrelevant. Every time you write a post that communicates with the troll is wrong not because you feed a troll, but because the reader thinks "damn, uninteresting post". If he connects your tag or your blog with "uninteresting content", you are done.

There are situations when telling "X is wrong" is important. But only if "X" is an idea. Bad ideas need to be fought back. But badposting people are irrelevant and no one cares of them.

It is easy to lose this focus. It is easy to give a "witty" answer. You can even win the argument, make 10 others post "X is owned". You won a battle and lost the war. People who are just reading, looking for info are no longer listening. You are just another forum warrior.

  1. Write your post.
  2. Proofread it.
  3. Wait. 10 mins minimum, but for a blogpost or forum opening post, a day
  4. Read it again with they eyes of someone who reads just your post. Does it make sense or do the reader need to read other posts to understand (other than OP)? Is it informative to him? If not, if it's just for a few people, send it as a private message.
  5. Did you change your post? If yes, goto 3.
  6. Press submit.
The same applies if you are labeled "troll". People find it simpler to dismiss ideas based on "written by troll" than argue. In these case don't try to prove you are not a troll. Just keep posting your ideas to the readers

Wednesday morning report: 170.6B (8.6 spent on main accounts, 7.1 spent on Logi/Carrier, 3.8 on Ragnarok, 5.3+0.1 on Rorqual, 3.4 on Nyx, 3.4 on Dread, 37.4+20 sent as gift)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Trolls (people who post inflammatory material to online forums to entertain themselves rather than out of any variety of actual belief) not only exist, but predate the World Wide Web. There's one currently haunting the Paradox Interactive forums.

That said, there are also plenty of crazy and/or stupid people on the Internet, and there are plenty of people who use "troll" to mean "person who says something I don't like".