“Don’t feed the trolls” is an old saying that goes back to the days when people communicated online via forums or chat rooms like IRC (maybe even before that?)
It’s an expression you use when someone is trying to conjure up a (usually negative) response from others. In a forum or chat setting, it’s usually just for attention.
However often bloggers will post absurd opinions on controversial issues to stir up response. The point of doing this is for linkbait–to get other bloggers to link to them.
Well apparently this is the new trend for mainstream media as well. I’m referring to a column by Margaret Wente in the Globe and Mail. Notice how I’m not linking to it. You don’t need to read it here’s the gist: Margaret thinks women don’t blog. The reason they don’t blog is they don’t have opinions or the need to put themselves out there, yada yada yada.
Well anyone who’s ever visited more than 5 blogs in their lives knows women do in fact blog. LOTS of them. Hell there’s even a conference/movement around women bloggers!
Wente likely knew that, she likely knew that people get riled up when newspapers write generalized, ignorant statements about women, as the National Post did a couple months ago (also not linking to). And what happens when people get riled up? They spread the news. More hits means more advertising dollars which means her boss is happy.
So I’m not upset at Wente about her ridiculous article about women not blogging, just the fact that she’s given up her personal reputation and journalistic integrity for ad dollars. Exactly what the mainstream editorial media is *not* supposed to do.
To all you who blogged about it today: I admire your passion and agree with your view points, but please remove the link to said article! And if you do, I’ll gladly link to your articles and we can discuss the issue of women blogging, but without G&M getting ad dollars out of it.
Oh yea, finally on a lighter note, my personal favourite response to the article via @kittenthebad
you know what else women don’t do? Lock crazy women in cages and throw them in the river. Shame.
- Thanks Mel! Who also happens to be a fabulous female blogger!
- Don of FoodiePrints (one of my fave foodie blogs!) posted a rebuttal with no link. Thanks Don!
Oh-so now there’s a debate tomorrow with Wente and Annie Urban (@phdinparenting) and Tamara Plant. This I’ll support as they are both passionate women who know what they’re talking about. They deserve the press.
One final note about linkbaiting
I just want to clarify, there’s nothing inherently wrong with linkbaiting. It’s a great tactic to get traffic to a blog or web site and invoke a response. HOWEVER, good linkbaiting is fueled by passion and conviction and based on fact. Spreading bad, insulting information to get a response is not. THAT is what is wrong here.