The Internet is a wacky place where anything can happen at any time. No one would have guessed that Ashton Kutcher would get a large Twitter following. It never even crossed people’s minds that Perez Hilton could make millions drawing penises on celebrities. And never in a million years did people think Craigslist would serve as a place to buy used furniture as well as murder a prostitute. Thankfully for all of us, there are a group of dedicated online commenters who troll the Internet (pro bono!) for bad content and punish it with honest comments, vulgar language, and the occasional usage of the c-word.
Here are some simple guidelines for bloggers if they desire to keep their self-esteem.
Photo credit: Cali4beach, Flickr
Generalizations, no matter how true, will get you in trouble. Sure it might be true in 99% of cases that all men pee standing up. But type that on your Web site and you’ll have the Men-who-do-it-sitting-down group ripping your throat out for your lack of compassion and understanding.
Sarcasm gets wildly misunderstood online. You’ll have better luck having people translate your blog from Polish to English, than having them translate from sarcastic to what you’re actually saying. Don’t even attempt it unless you want Internet commenters knocking down your front door with a log yelling “kill the beast.”
5 Speaking without Credentials
Don’t make medical statements if you’re not a doctor, don’t make scientific statements if you’re not a scientist, and under no circumstance make celebrity comments if you’re not TMZ. You are unqualified to have an opinion and frankly it’s a little disturbing that you thought you did. Start every single sentence with “in my personal opinion.”
4 Relationship Advice
Never ever try to give insight from your personal experiences… because you’re wrong. The second you even type “Try to resist calling your girlfriend fat,” you’ll get commenters telling you that you’re obviously fat (“ur clearly obese”), ugly (“u must b that gurl that wears a bag over her head”), and undesirable (“I wouldn’t touch you with a ten foot pole”). And while you may not want to be touched with any kind of pole, let alone a ten foot one, it’s best if you just write about neutral topics like potato growing season or abortion.
Exaggeration often gets misunderstood in blogs and people are quick to correct you when you say something like “The war in Iraq has been raging for a gajillion years.” You would be surprised how many historians not only read blogs, but also feel the need to gently point out it has not actually been a gajillion years. And by gently I’m referring to comments that start off with “u F*cking idiot c*ntbag, America hasn’t been around 4 gajillion years, how could the war have started then. you’re a loser douche.”
2 Social Media Criticism
Discussing Social Media is an extremely touchy subject because people really disagree on whether or not it’s okay to use a childhood bath-time photo as a profile picture. No one likes to be told that they shouldn’t use Twitter as their personal diary. And god help the blogger who insults Myspace members because they’ll come crawling out of the woodwork (and their prison cells) to defend themselves.
Lists are considered an amateur way of distributing information online as well as in person. You would never be friends with someone who started every conversation with “6 things I accomplished today.” Some go as far as to claim they’re created purely to get more clicks on a blog. After all, no one can resist reading “10 easy ways to make your Girlfriend’s boobs bigger.” Hope springs eternal.