Social Media Matters: Don’t feed ravenous trolls on the Internet

Social Media MattersSocial Media Matters
By Brian Cormier
Moncton Times & Transcript
Friday, Oct. 26, 2012
Metro section

Don’t feed ravenous trolls on the Internet

One of my favourite new finds online is JeffBullas.com — obviously not a secret to many, since Jeff’s website is very popular, but I’d never heard of it before I discovered a good article this week on handling negative online comments and trolls.

Written by Tara Hornor, a website contributor, Tips for Handling Negative Comments and Trolls on Social Media was published on Oct. 19. (Just search the title in Google and it should show up at the top of the results.)

The article touches on social media monitoring and management tips, valid complaints and trolls, responding, and “what about you?” A link is also provided to Jeff’s e-book entitled Blogging the Smart Way — How to Create and Market a Killer Blog with Social Media, available for US$9.99 via Amazon.com Looks like an excellent read. The four reviews posted so far give it full marks.

If you’ve spent any time online, you’ve likely had run-ins with trolls. Some of them can be quite vicious and many escalate their comments into illegal territory. The description of a troll provided by Hornor in the article really hit home. I share it with you here in its entirety, but I urge you to read the rest of the article, as well.

“Trolls are a type of public spam that is usually illicit and unrelated to your business. Their language is strong and emotive and it is designed to get you to react. If you respond they win.

“They are hunting for attention and gain their energy by eliciting a response on a public forum that they don’t deserve. Usually they don’t have a large social network audience of their own but are relying on your social networks to leverage and amplify the message.

“So, don’t give them oxygen, don’t let them use your social media channels to use as a pulpit to scream from and delete them immediately.”

This is excellent advice. Taking on a troll publicly is a neverending battle. Remember, trolls feed on attention — good or bad. And when you bite back, they play the victim game and cry about being bullied themselves. Playing the victim is a very common tactic among trolls and bullies and is a desperate plea for sympathy. Don’t believe them. Don’t buy into their garbage and, most importantly, never feed the trolls. They are insatiable and you’ll never — and I mean never! — win the argument.

As one particularly vicious troll told an Australian news website back in February, “It just makes me happy when I can make someone angry. It sounds weird but I kind of feed off their anger. The angrier I can get them, the better I feel.” Remember, people with that mentality live right here in New Brunswick, too.

Facebook reality check

Sheryl Sandberg
Sheryl Sandberg

A lot of attention has been paid to the fact that Facebook’s stock prices haven’t lived up to expectations — at least in the short term. According to an article published on BusinessInsider.com, however, Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg says advertising revenue is up.

In fact, according to the article, advertisers should remember that Facebook is “bigger than the Super Bowl, for which advertisers spend upwards of $3.8 million per 30-second spot.” Sandberg said Facebook’s traffic is three times that of the Super Bowl, “and it happens every day.” Have you tried Facebook ads? Did they work for you?

This week’s featured YouTube channels

Every week, I feature YouTube channels for you to check out. Statistics are current to Oct. 23. Have a favourite YouTube channel? Please let me know and I may feature it here.

1) Primal Chef (146 subscribers): If you’ve been following recent dietary trends, it’s all about moving away from grains, sugar and processed foods — and dumping the low-fat diet disaster that some say is killing an entire generation. Primal Chef is a series of videos that mirrors popular chef competition shows such as Iron Chef. The recipes used do not use the following ingredients that are no-nos in the primal way of eating: grains, legumes, dairy, sugar, white potatoes, processed foods or refined vegetable oils.

The channel’s eight videos have combined total views of 8,196. A companion website can be found at www.theprimalchef.com Featured chefs include paleo diet expert Robb Wolf, author of The Paleo Solution. (Most popular video: Primal Chef Episode 1 Trailer – 891 views.)

Jolene Sugarbaker
Jolene Sugarbaker

2) The Adventures of Jolene Sugarbaker — The Trailer Park Cooking Show — 9,411 subscribers): This is a fun channel hosted by Jolene Sugarbaker, the alter ego of female impersonator Jason Saffer. On her channel, Jolene mostly demonstrates down-home affordable recipes suited to a “trailer park budget.” I wouldn’t consider many of them terribly healthy, but they look really good and she takes her recipes seriously.

This is one of the more consistent YouTube channels I’ve seen and has been active for more than six years — ancient history as far as YouTube is concerned! Good to see! Jolene’s 425 videos have a total of 3,682,444 combined views. (Who’s laughing now, eh?) Check out Jolene’s website at www.jolenestrailerpark.com (Most popular video: Cola BBQ Pork Chops: Trailer Park Cooking Show – 353,628 views.)

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