A 13-year blogger who is retiring his blog explains a few things to the trolls and critics. I think everyone who has run a blog for even a few months understands exactly where he is coming from:
Contribute or Shut the Heck Up
If you nitpick the mistakes of others but are unwilling to show your own work, even crappy phone photos, you are nothing. You can say you’re a professional woodworker who builds high-end pieces for clients with 40+ years of experience. But if you don’t have a website, blog or even an Instagram account, you’re just a pimply 30-year-old man-child living in your momma’s basement – until proven otherwise. Show your work – a lot – or shut up.
No One Asked for Your Advice
If you begin any comment with “You should…” you’re a blowhard. If your comment is longer than my blog entry, get your own blog. If you haven’t tried the operation/joint shown in the blog entry, your opinion is just noise.
And Stop Mansplaining
I have to add a special section on this bad habit. When a woman posts something, don’t tell her how to do it better. Don’t tell her she’s doing it wrong. Don’t offer advice or tips from your special Y-chromosome perspective. There’s a reason you don’t have many close friends who are women, and this is it.
Reading is Not Knowledge
About 23 percent of the stuff written about woodworking is untested, untrue or just misleading. So there’s a 1-in-4 chance that if you repeat something you have read but have not tried, then you are the problem. Even if you begin your sentence with “I read that….” you are not helping anything except your ego.
Look it Up
Don’t ask for information that you can find via Google. Want to know where to buy a Tite-Mark? Try typing “buy Tite-Mark” into your browser. I recommend trying at least 20 searches before leaving a question on a blog.
I Know You’re in Pain
Woodworking commenters aren’t good at masking their IP addresses. It’s easy to learn the identities of anonymous wanks with a little sleuthing. I tracked down a few of the most vile commenters on my blog and (with some additional reporting using public records) learned something interesting. Most of these people were suffering from some serious physical ailment. Many were taking painkillers and dealing with a level of pain that will make any human angry and bitter.
One thing he doesn’t mention is the idiot platform-hijackers whose comments are not welcome, but simply will not stay away because they are so desperate to try to make use of someone else’s platform rather than build their own. I’m now utilizing a new tactic of deleting their comment but leaving it up for future reference, so that I will preserve a public record of their repeated cyberstalking for use in criminal complaints. It also has the useful feature of showing other commenters just how persistent the platform-hijackers are.
But despite the various irritants, I’ve never seriously thought about shutting down this blog, to be honest. The comments, yes, many times, but not the blog itself. That being said, it’s astonishing to me that after 15 years, the people at Blogger still have not provided a simple system for blocking specified names and text strings, and that none of the other comment systems really have either.