I fired up my note taking tool today to look for an article to publish as part of Ideas of March. I found 13 unfinished posts. Thirteen. Why hadn’t I published them? Had I got board of the ideas? Did I not enjoy writing? Was it a huge case of procrastination? No, no and no.
This got me thinking why then am I unable to actual publish anything?. I blog a fair amount over at cxpartners as do some of the other guys there. I enjoy blogging. I really do. As do a lot of those guys. In talking to those who don’t blog as much I realised they share the same worry I do.
It turns out what I’m worried about are the trolls. The urban dictionary defines a troll as:
One who posts a deliberately provocative message with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument
I’m afraid of someone wading in and criticising what I’ve written. This is of course their right. If I publish and put it out there I should have the courage to deal with the internet critic.
I’ve had my fair share of critics online. Over the last couple of years I’ve been likened to Shane McGowen, bought down a peg or two by an old time usability guy and generally been told I really don’t know what I’m talking about. All this criticism really doesn’t make me want to blog, it makes me want to hide under a rock somewhere.
Blogging is hard, criticising is easy.
It’s easy to criticise online, it really is. It takes no time, less than 30 seconds to post a comment. It takes me hours to write a blog post. Hours where I’m trying to second guess every single criticism. My academic training doesn’t help. I can’t just make a statement without backing it up with any evidence. I’ve been beaten with the academic stick too many times online. In short, I get so worried about the structure of my argument; I freeze. I can’t publish.
Just be nice
As part of Ideas of March I’d like to suggest we be nice to everyone who has the courage to blog. I don’t mean we should do the YouTube style comments where there are 20 people just saying the word “awesome.” What I’m saying is let’s be encouraging and say what we like about the post. Which of the points made us think. And if that troll is lurking under a nearby bridge maybe he’ll think twice before taking us all on.
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