I came across a really interesting and useful piece of advice today. Unfortunately for me it came about 18 hours too late! The advice came in the form of a post from Opinionated Man. The advice “Your audience is not your friend”.
I have been writing this blog for a few months now and for the most part it has been a really positive experience. I am getting a reasonable number of hits on my site and the numbers of people commenting and following my blog is slowly growing. I have just followed the Writing 101 and Blogging 101 courses as I firmly believe that you can always learn something new and there was always the chance that I would gain a bit of inspiration. As these courses drew to a close we were encouraged to reach out to other bloggers to help build our networks.
In my reader I searched for topics that interested me and hit upon a post criticising Western Governments for committing funds to rebuild Gaza after what was described as Israel’s ‘Defensive War against Hamas’. Now most commentators worldwide have roundly condemned Israel’s recent actions and I made what I thought was a balanced and measured comment on the blog. I should have looked a little more deeply before commenting and admittedly I should have known better. The writer you see identifies themselves as an Israeli activist and the tone of the posts made it unlikely in the extreme that the writer would engage in a conversation that disagreed in any way with the posters views. As a result I was subjected to a torrent of thinly veiled abuse, accused of being anti-semitic and ill educated.
This was my first negative experience with a member of the WordPress community. It’s not something I want to repeat I most certainly echo Opinionated Man’s advice. You should of course reach out to other bloggers, but do check the tone of a blog before commenting on subjects that are controversial and likely to provoke strong reactions. If in doubt either do not comment or be prepared for a bad reaction.
On WordPress as in life you live and learn 🙂