Sunday, June 24, 2012

Weekly Whine: I'll never read your blog again!

Sometimes I'll write something on this blog or another that some reader finds offensive. I don't think the things I write are that terribly offensive, so it's probably a matter of the reader having a bit of a chip on their shoulder.

I certainly don't expect everyone to agree with everything I say. I always appreciate a respectful argument without any namecalling.

Here's what bugs me though: when the person writes something like, "I find your post incredibly offensive and I'm never going to read your blog again."

If I were running a restaurant and trying to make ends meet, threatening to never buy my food again would totally suck. But I don't make money per reader. I don't need more readers to attract advertisers. So why exactly would I want someone who hates my writing to be reading my blog? I'd prefer they didn't. I feel like my response to that threat should be, "Thank you."

Of course, the implication of writing such a thing is that I will now lose all my readers. Because people who constantly say offensive things never attract an audience or their own radio talk show.

Actually, the truth is, when I write something "offensive," it's basically a guarantee of a big jump in my hits and lots of new followers. But I don't do it that much because I don't feel like that's the purpose of this blog.

Anyway, here's an idea: if you ever decide not to read this blog anymore just stop reading. No need to inform me of your decision in a dramatic fashion.

13 comments:

  1. I'm going to read your blog FOREVER. So, there!

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  2. What you're describing is often called "Flouncing". Imagine, if you will, something out of an older movie: some young woman in a dress with a zillion petticoats underneath, yelling, "I am never coming back here again!" As she turns her petticoats flounce and, nose in the air, she stalks off, never to return. Unless, of course, she does.

    Of course, online flouncing comes in any gender, but the effect is the same.

    All it is is a whiny demand for attention. It's half "See what you made me do!" and half a desire for someone to side with them or for someone to beg them to come back. If the flounce is made publicly the flouncer will often come back to look at followup comments to see if their flouce has gained attention. Sometimes in the worst cases the flouncer will start posting support for themselves with sock puppet accounts.

    You're not going to stop flouncers, because it's not about you, it's not about what you wrote, and it's not about your blog. It's all about the flouncer.

    (There's a paper in here somewhere about histrionic personality and the intertubes.)

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  3. Moose nailed it. It's basically your child screaming "you're the worst parents ever! I'm running away!" and then locking themselves in their room.

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  4. Happens every day in retail businesses all over the world. The best answer is, "See you next time!"

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  5. Several months ago, a blogger I used to read replied rather harshly to a helpful comment I had left. Since this was not the first occurence, I simply removed the link from my favourites, so I wouldn't read her blog and be tempted to post any more comments.

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  6. Patients will sometimes do this, and I have never had any reaction except, "Hallelujah!" This is often accompanied by a little dance. (I do try to wait until they have left the clinic to do this.) 99% of the time, the reason they are stomping off is that I am not giving them as much Percocet as they feel they need.

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  7. Anon: My nurse Annie calls that "the happy dance" and she does it whenever a patient fires me.

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  8. Of course on the other side you have the attention whore bloggers (not u of course) who announce they quit or threaten to quite (like people saying they are leaving facebook) just to see people get all up in arms. Then they are back in a week or day.

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  9. I feel these word verifications are going to start making me do long division or square roots.

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  10. If you aren't writing something in your blog that is offensive to someone somewhere, then you aren't doing it right.

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  11. Flouncers. Now I know what to call them. Thanks, Moose!

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  12. Welcome to the blogosphere, where the entire world can sit in judgement on your writings. My usual response is to publish the offending flouncer's (I like that!) comment and subject them to public ridicule. Works like a charm.

    As an aside, a fellow who worked for a medical software company started a pi$$ing contest with me on my blog and ended up fired from his job. I felt really bad about it, but, hey, it wasn't my idea!

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  13. Ha... although I agree with the idea, it's hard not to take it personally when somebody says something like that. I used to get a lot of it when I had a pseudo-political scientific blog, but I guess you can expect that when you're writing something political...

    I just resurrected one of my blogs, so we'll see how long I can go without getting upset with somebody because they decided to get upset with me...

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