While walking through magical Copenhagen yesterday, I came across some free WiFi and unsurprisingly did a quick check of the trusted email. After scrolling through the usual lot, I encountered three messages (from the same IP address) that had been posted on my blog. I was a little taken aback to say the least. The first was left on my recent post about what I’ve been doing this past half year. The comment read: “This narcissism is suffocating!”. It then appeared the person clicked on a few links, headed over to The Fetch website and finally to its poorly-attended external blog to leave a couple of comments there. Both are included below:
I guess I’ve been lucky as these comments make up less than a handful of negative incidents I’ve experienced online. And compared to all things positive, they’re brilliantly insignificant. So I usually tend to not let things go to heart, especially since I know 99% of the time the commentator has no idea who I actually am and therefore is incapable of a true personal attack. It’s also easy for them to form a judgment of a 2D online profile, charge their emotions and get key happy. It’s harder to criticise someone you may or may not know in person. Therefore, I’m happy to share the comments and my thoughts here as I feel I have nothing to hide and considering the person’s anonymity, communication choices for retort aren’t in abundance!
In light of the “Grow some balls” sign off (and “blows goats” inclusion), I’m taking the person who wrote the comments is male. Unfortunately, I don’t hear many of my female friends and acquaintances say such turn of phrases – but they so should – in a post-feminist fashion! I also take the person isn’t necessary savvy when it comes to home- or business-based connectivity solutions. (Sorry Telstra, but the last time I checked Bigpond wasn’t a competitive ISP!) And finally, I take it they’re Australian and/or based in Australia because of this.
In regards to The Fetch, strategically yes I’ve leveraged my own name cum “personal brand” for launch and growth. Any level-headed business person would do the same. Especially at seeding stage. When people first went to the landing page to check it out, I wanted transparency to be key, a quick sense of trust established and for people to care. It’s not breakthrough consumer psychology, but interested parties care more about something when they have a higher level of involvement in it. No one has involvement with a brand they’ve never heard of! In terms of the comment moderation follow up – I’ll ignore it as I wasn’t even aware I had it active on The Fetch blog and have never bothered with such things on my personal blog.
But I shall not talk shop anymore so as not to give the misconception what I’m writing is in defence. The commentator was obviously more awry with the fact I wrote the post about what I’ve done of late. I find it alarming and admittedly flattering that someone unbeknown to me, can feel so impassioned and critical upon viewing my words. It seems they were almost threatened by someone daring to write about the results of the projects they’ve worked on in a semi-public forum. Plus, mind you, this blog is appropriately titled “Kate Kendall” so if you do stumble here you are likely to be reading something about or by “Kate Kendall”.
As a brief aside, someone once asked me if I did search optimisation on my own name (after seeing it pop up here and there) so naturally, I then laughed about it and myself in a blog post. You see, things don’t have to be taken so seriously. I actually love being ‘taken the mickey out of‘ – especially when done from a place of love. And contrary to the poster’s opinion, I don’t “have tickets on myself”, I just know what it’s like to stand back quietly without dues for an extended period and have chosen to speak up. I’ve also learnt you can play the popularity game and go on pleasing everyone, only to end up displeasing yourself. If you’re entrepreneurial, it’s natural you’ll put yourself and “name” on the line.
Anyway, I’m always about the learnings…
So without further ado, I would like to propose in neat bullet points of course, actions to do after being negged on the internet!
- Feel hurt for 10 seconds before whinging to a friend (it’s the Pom way!)
- Try to look up the IP address to see if you can find some contact details to discuss the commenter’s remark in depth directly (they’ll love this one!). If you can be bothered – do some more digging so you can give them a call!
- Feel free to delete trolling or spiteful comments from your personal or professional blog. I’m all for free speech but if somewhere is your space – you can choose the vibe you want in it. Ideally, I don’t want this place to drop to the level of YouTube
- Be comfortable with the real life/digital divide. As much as we’d like to believe, we will never be our online profiles and this is a fantastic thing
- Don’t dwell on it and let it stop you working towards the bigger picture
- Use creative aikido. As my half-Japanese friend Eddie Harran highlights: “In aikido, there are no attacks, only defensive moves. One of its mantra is that if someone is coming at you with an attack, you use the momentum of that attack and your budo techniques and transform it into an positive one.”
- Toughen up – after all it’s a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll! (Not too lame?)
Yours truly (with only constructive criticism),