August 27, 2014

You May Need To Develop A Thick Skin When Writing Online (and Why I am an Anal Cow!)

I am sorry if the headline offends – one of my US contacts has advised me that this is a very offensive term in his part of the world, but here in the UK it is not so bad. However, I use the term deliberately. Apparently a thread I started in the official forum at Squidoo is now on the first page of Google for that “keyword”….

Which goes to show the power of keywords that have high search volume and low competition!!

However, don’t let this apparently blase approach fool you. There is a more serious purpose to this article and that is, if you want to write online AND engage in debate, then you need to develop a thick skin, because if you voice your opinions and views regularly, eventually someone is going to take a pot shot at you.

Recently I have been engaging in debate. I don’t do it very often these days because debating actually takes time and I am trying to stay focussed on my goals for this year. And as my goals involve increasing my 2012 income by 25% over my 2011 income, then debating rather than publishing is not going to get me within sight of my goals.

It is very easy to get sucked into controversy, especially if you have strong feelings about things, but I choose my battles with care. A lot of the time I just shrug my shoulders and move on if I see things I don’t agree with. However, the Pinterest issue is one that I feel so strongly about that in the past month, I have discussed it on Blog Talk Radio, published two Squidoo pages about it and been involved in a lot of discussion on Facebook.

However, it was my Squidoo article Please Do Not Pin my Images on Pinterest which really got someone’s goat. Someone who “claims” their online ID is “pinterest@hotmail.com” (yeah, right) left me this lovely message:

“I think your an anal cow and your Lenses should be boycotted!” – pages are called lenses on Squidoo, which makes me wonder….

Did I delete the comment? No I did not. My response:

“You need to correct your grammar. What you should have posted is “You’re an anal cow” rather than “Your an anal cow”!

And if you want to boycott my lenses that is fine by me. But I do think you are missing the point I am making on this and my other lens. All myself and others who are posting our links on here are doing is excercising our right to make it clear that we do not want OUR images posted on another site. What is “anal” about that?”

Sadly, because I want my page to stay G-Rated I did delete the comment in the end.

It never ceases to amaze me how many people seem to take it so personally when you don’t agree with them. Another example of how some people take things so much to heart is a very nice lady being called a b**ch, because she said in a Poll she preferred Gale Hawthorn to Peeta Mellark – in case you did not know, it’s a Hunger Games thing!

Fortunately, most of the people in my networks are able to agree to disagree in a civilised manner. I still do not understand how anyone can justify pinning a copyright image on Pinterest without permission, but I certainly won’t be calling them names in order to make my point.

And if it happens to you, try not to take it to heart. And don’t let it silence you!!

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AJ Ashley can be found on various writing platforms, including Squidoo and Wizzley.

Comments

  1. I think that any job you have in the public eye, in person or on the internet, requires a thick skin. Or not so much a thick skin, as the realization that you cannot take every comment that each person makes to you or about you personally.

    Being a retailer, I know that when a customer comes in and complains, most of the time, I can alleviate the issue that is causing the problem, and they walk out of here happy, but sometimes, the person is just having a bad day or something else is going on.

    Several weeks ago, I had an elderly woman come in my shop and dress me down, and tell me how she would never come in here again. The issue was that she actually could not remember what I had told her before, and there was no way that I could please her.

    I think that the internet gives people the opportunity to be their worst selves because they may never actually meet the person that they are berating. Luckily for us, there are just as many people who show their best selves.

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