|My superpower is pissing people off. Seriously.|
This opinion made me reconsider the recent policy by some to shut up anyone whose opinion upsets someone else. What if avoiding the flames is actually harmful to business?
(By "business," I mean getting eyeballs to your blog.)
Looking around at the various Golden Dawn blogs that I am aware of, I was stuck by the pageviews of the blogs that shouted flame war the most, allowing the most trollish comments through---the more irate the comments, the more views they exhibited.
Now, I will admit I was not scientific in my approach; I was using the numbers from the widgets that bloggers willingly displayed. I am not sure if the numbers can be gamed or not. What I do know is that if the numbers are even half-right, these people who are fanning the flames and allowing trolls to post are getting a lot more pageviews than I am.
And over the last few years, I have watched two Orders basically run campaigns where they claimed that others were attacking them. It reminded me of the tactics that various bad governments used to control the minds of their population. I don't foresee either group changing their tactic any time in the near future. Obviously, instilling the fear of others into their membership is good for their business.
Now, I am still not completely sure that flame wars are good for business, nor am I sure if they are bad for business. But I do know one thing for sure. Trying to avoid a flame war is bad for my business. Let me explain.
Over the last year, there have been several times that I had a really good blog idea...then I would realize that it would upset someone, and I would not write the post. That is right: the fear of causing flame war prevented good blog posts from being written. It is the French method of losing wars---surrender before the fighting begins. (Leave your rage about my bad attempts at humor in the comment section.) Basically by allowing the internet fire department to control my writing, I went silent which just gives the victory away to anyone who is willing to buck the trend.
Look around the Golden Dawn blogosphere. What do you see? A lot of silent blogs. I suspect that it is because no one wants to post for fear of causing a flame war. I am not sure that it is good for business. I know that it is hurting my own business. Is it hurting yours?