The Guide to Crazy Comment Personality Types – Part 1
Nothing can bring so much joy and pain to the hearts of writers and bloggers like the Internet commenter. With our breath held we hover over the comment link and wage the internal battle of whether to click or not.
While good writers do not live and die by comment feedback, there are certainly times when we have wished that we never clicked that link.
The Psychology of Internet Feedback
Every writer throughout history has received bad feedback. Shakespeare had his critics, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle had his hate mail, and Dave Barry has a sewage treatment plant named after him. People have their opinions, good or bad, and they love letting you hear about them.
With the advent of the Internet, however, we’ve started to develop some strange and troubling commenting personality types. While not all are necessarily bad, the combination of the Internet’s accessibility and anonymity can make for some serious comment whack-a-doodles.
So in this series we will be looking at some of the strongest commenter personality types and how we can deal with them.
It seems only natural that we talk about this personality type first.
The First! Freddy loves to let the world know that for once in his miserable existence he was first at something.
Perhaps his life up to this point has been marred by a Rodney Dangerfield-esque lack of respect or by second place finishes in the standing long jump. Regardless, he’s not going to be pushed around anymore!
When the Internet was in its infancy, these types of First! posts were fairly regular. But you would think that over time they would start to lose their popularity. Sadly, with the continued frequency of these types of posts one would think that babies will soon start arriving from the birth canal pumping their fist and raising their index finger to the sky. A new generation of First! Freddie’s has begun.
What is so delightful about these comments is that they have absolutely nothing to do with the article. As far as I can tell, the purpose of these types of posts are simply to showcase the commenter’s awesome ability to refresh a page and their lightning fast submit button finger. A worthy claim to fame if there ever was one.
How to deal with it:
The good news about dealing with First! Freddy is that the rest of your commenting audience hates these guys almost as much as you do. Watch as your regular commenters attack a First! post like a Zombie on a slow runner.
Even more enjoyable is to watch what happens when First! Freddie is too slow with his submit skills. Nothing deflates a First! post like when it’s posted second.
So while you have the choice to delete every First! post, I say it’s much more fun to leave them up as a little bit of sport for your other commenters. After all, even low hanging fruit can be fun to pluck and then pulverize into the ground.
The Angry Andrew personality type is what keeps writers awake at night. These commenters never have anything good to say and reading them is like writer’s poison. I know several writers who no longer read their comments because they’ve gotten so sick of Angry Andrew.
Why Angry Andrew does the things he does is somewhat of a mystery. You would get the impression that he must live a dark and bitter existence where sunlight never shines and where sweet and soft bunny rabbits are turned into the killer rabbit of Caerbannog. The reality is he is probably an OK guy who just likes being a big fat jerk.
How to deal with it:
Constructive criticism is hard to take at the best of times. However, the Angry Andrew personality type likes to go beyond criticism into the realm of pure bile. This can be very difficult to understand and can leave you feeling like hanging up the keyboard and never writing again.
You have a few different options when faced with these types of Worst. Post. Ever. comments. You can either grow a thick skin or face the criticism head on.
While Angry Andrew certainly lacks any semblance of tact, there are times when he actually may have a point.
As a writer I like to think I always serve up the best fillet mignon, but the truth is, there are days when I put out the writers version of the cheesy-puff. It’s times like this that Angry Andrew is there to call you out.
If I take an honest hard look at the piece I often have to agree, at least partially, with the angry commenter. While the article has probably not done more damage to the world than Hitler’s Mein Kampf (like Angry Andrew would like you to think), maybe it’s not your best work.
In the real world, comedians tell jokes that bomb and writers write poor pieces. People are allowed to have their opinions. Just remember, you’re getting paid for yours.