by Skip Cohen
It's Marketing Monday and a topic that's on my mind every time somebody forgets how to behave in a public forum. While I hate to use a word like "behave," which we usually use as a reference for how our kids and puppies act, it seems to fit a lot of adults lately.
The topic is all about trolls, but the challenge isn't always their behavior, but how we interpret it. As an administrator on Facebook Wedding Photographers, we regularly get reports from members who report a particular comment. However, when I've gone to read some of them, outside of being obnoxious, there's nothing troll-like in what's been posted. Disagreeing with someone doesn't make the author a troll or deserve they be thrown out of the "family."
The written word is the toughest to interpret, especially when English isn't everybody's primary language in a forum of over 36,000 people. Plus, you don't have the benefit of hearing the tone in somebody's voice, seeing their facial expression, and making eye-contact. That leaves whatever's been written to interpretation. Often the author is labeled a troll when the issue is about poor communication.
But then there are the real trolls, people who hide behind the anonymity of their computer screens and take shots at everything they can find. If you take them on in a public forum, not only will you lose, but getting a rise out of you is precisely what they're after. You let them win simply by reacting.
Here a few things to remember the next time you decide to take on an actual troll:
Some of you might be asking how in the world did I segue to trolls when it's Marketing Monday. Well, time is your most valuable commodity, and there's never enough of it. In the same way, you've learned the benefits of getting good images right out of the can, and to avoid wasting valuable time in post-processing, fighting battles with trolls is the same.
Don't waste time you should be using to build your brand. For most of you, YOU are your brand. Don't let a troll occupy your time fighting issues that don't matter. And when a troll criticizes your photographs in a public forum, remember that line from my old buddy Dean Collins. I've used it dozens of times here in the blog...
Beauty is in the eyes of the checkbook holder!
2/25/2020 05:39:48 am
Well said, Chip. I think (naively perhaps?) that as creatives, we should be leading the conversation when it comes to politeness and embracing styles and imagery different to our own (unless it's spot colour, of course!) It saddens me to see how quickly an online discussion descends into name calling and flaming. I always remember this line: "Don't feed the trolls!" before responding to nonsense.
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