First of all, I am writing this mostly as a reminder to myself. Unfortunately, if you are a writer or other person trying to keep on the good side of people for marketing purposes you have to overlook a heck of a lot of things that are on the Internet.
With that said, here’s my personal comprised list of things I/we need to remember.
Always be nice.
There’s an old saying where I come from, “If you can’t say something nice… Don’t say anything at all.”
This is the best mantra to follow. Put it up on your bulletin board, a post it note on your monitor or tattoo it to your forearm, whatever it takes. This is the number one golden rule.
People have long memories when it comes to rude remarks. They may forget what you blogged about yesterday or that article you put hours of research into but by golly they’ll remember a comment you made about someone.
If you don’t like a comment, move on.
There are a lot of radical folks out there and with the anonymity of the World Wide Web people can say all kinds of things about subjects you feel strongly about. Some people love to get others riled up; it just tickles them to death to piss people off. Maybe their mama didn’t love them enough or they didn’t get enough hugs. Who knows?
Don’t get involved in debates.
I have had to bite my tongue or in this case tie my hands behind my back to stay out of discussions I felt strongly about. I’m not always successful. What we type in forums, unless you are on Google+, is there for infinity and beyond. You don’t want someone to put in a search for your name only to find you in the middle of a heated argument over the importance of putting toilet paper on the holder properly.
We all have opinions and things we feel strongly about whether it’s religion, politics or what color to paint our toenails. It’s human nature but it’s better to not leave a comment we’ll regret later on.
What we type defines us as a writer. It’s not fair, we can’t give our honest to goodness views on anything but it’s how it is.
Sometimes it’s best to just stay out of forums if you are the type person who gets uptight and can’t keep from clicking away on those keys giving advice to unwed mothers or graffiti artists. More than likely you won’t change their mind anyway.
Using a fake name.
If you are careful and a great actor you can use an alias so you can be yourself in forums. I’m not good at faking it so I haven’t tried to do this, but some are good at creating many aliases around Cyber Land. People do it all the time, but be careful, you don’t want to be labeled as a Troll.