As I'm sure most bloggers can relate, I am always so excited to get comments on my posts. It doesn't matter if it's only one person that comments, or if it's 20...I feel like a child opening a gift a Christmas! In the years that I have been blogging, I don't recall ever receiving a negative comment....until recently when I got a rather ugly comment on my post A Crochet Hat & Free Pattern Link.
The commenter criticized me for talking about my migraine, told me I should consult a doctor and not a bunch of crochet gals, then fussed because she couldn't find the link that I said was in the post...and that doing a search (I'm assuming on a search engine such as google) all she came up with was a bunch of places wanting her to sign up so that they can send you solicitations.
I admit that I immediately got offended and defensive and responded accordingly, telling her that she didn't have to visit my blog if she didn't like. That what I had to share on MY blog, was my business and that I considered many of my readers to be friends and that is the kind of thing that you share with friends. I told her that the link is hyperlinked* in the words "this post" just above the pic of my finished hat, but that I also gave the full link in the comments that goes straight to the blog post by Michell - no searching, no other links, no need to sign up for anything. And that if she could not leave comments in a respectful manner, and/or didn't like the way that I conduct my blog, by all means, it wouldn't hurt my feelings if she didn't come back.
I no sooner hit the submit button on that comment that I felt remorse and shame for allowing myself to respond with such offense and deleted both, the offensive comment and my own. I talked to my husband about it, who agreed that I never should have responded. He said, "That's just a troll." Apparently, they are very common in forums and, as he puts it, they get their jolly's by posting hateful and ugly comments to others, trying to get a rise out of them and/or bring them down. I've never heard of such a thing!
Wayne said that he was surprised that I hadn't experienced it sooner, but I'd like to think that it's because most of us in the knitting/crochet/creative community have good ol' fashioned values, morals, common decency, courtesy and respect for others. That most of us in this wonderful community have learned and live by "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all," and the golden rule to "do unto others as you would have done unto you."
Alas, what's done is done and the best thing that I can do is learn from it. This is where I need your help.
In the prior comments on that same post, there were others who asked what the link to the pattern was as well. If there are others, who thankfully were much nicer about the way that they asked about the link, then I have to wonder if I should be doing something different. So...
I am going to reward you for your help! I will give one commenter a $15 Gift Card to Hobby Lobby. The winner will be chosen at random on Monday, May 5, 2014 (though answers to these questions will always be welcome!)
To qualify, please answer the following questions:
- Are you using a computer? If so, what operating system? (example: Windows or Mac)
- Are you using a tablet? If so, what operating system? (example: iOS or Android)
- Which browser are you using? (example: Safari, Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox)
- Are you able to click on the hyperlinks* within my blog posts?
- Are the hyperlinks* clear? (I do have the settings set so that words with hyperlinks* are a different color, and on my end they indeed are a different color and the hyperlinks* are clickable and work as they should, but what about on YOUR end?)
- Do you know if it works different depending on what browser or computer you are using?
- Do you think it would be a distraction to post the full link in the post vs. a hyperlink*?
- Do you think it would be more helpful to post the full link in the post vs. a hyperlink*?
- Do you have any other helpful suggestions regarding linking and hyperlinking*?
*Edited to add: A hyperlink is where the link to a website, page or document is linked to a word or image, so that when you click on that word or image you will be taken directly to that website, page or document. This is used instead of (or sometimes in addition to) actually having a typed out URL (which can sometimes be quite long) in your post. For example: In the first paragraph of this blog post are the words "A Crochet Hat & Free Pattern Link" and those words are hyperlinked to my original post with that title. (Also, as per my settings, those words should be an aqua color).
So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:12 NIV