The Emergence of the Super Troll…or just a bad hair day?

It’s been a funny old day.  The blog has reached unheard of viewing figures in part due to that wee quotation I used to discuss how solitary (or not) us bloggers felt.  Well that escalated a wee bit when I posted on Walkhighlands.

Someone, who has probably had problems with signing in and thus must remain Anonymous, has suggested my comment (very long winded comment I have to agree) could be construed as troll-like behaviour.  I disagree…but…in fairness I have put a link below to the now (ahem 😳 ) Admin locked thread – see what you think.

 

http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=16109&st=0&sk=t&sd=a

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31 thoughts on “The Emergence of the Super Troll…or just a bad hair day?”

  1. Oh my goodness, that was hilarious!!!!
    It appears to me that other people take you much more seriously that I have ever noticed you to take yourself!!!
    One thing I personally (in my own solitary little mind) think is that bloggers have a more inate ability to poke fun at themselves – and whatever it is that they do for amusement – than forum readers/writers. Or perhaps the reason I hold this opinion is that I never stick around much at blogs that don’t have a decent sense of fun about them.

    Yours cheerfully
    Annie

    1. I think the truth lies in the fact that bloggers are “writers” . We’re generally long winded if compared to forum dwellers who tend to rely on short phrases and emoticons to make a point. I believe this is where the problem lies as the reader has less information to assess what the writer means and so misunderstandings arise. Conversely there is problem when a forum post is too long. Some can’t be bothered reading the whole thing to get the meaning. A similar outcome occurs.

      Sometimes the opposite occurs and the forum can be saccharin sweet as people try too hard to be nice. But that is much better than the alternative by a long way.

      All in all I think the bloggers have it just about right although we can be a little cautious in our efforts not to offend.

  2. Hi Ken

    I think the problems you are trying to illustrate with folk taking offence apply to all online communication really. I like both blogs and forums – the vast majority of people on both (often the same people, of course) are not really into flame-wars and rows. Occasionally they can start when neither poster really intended it through a misunderstanding, but the worst rows are often stoked by a few individuals who enjoy creating trouble. I’ve certainly seen some nasty comments made on blogs too (not on yours). We try hard to keep Walkhighlands free of abusive comments, and there are very few.

    Rows probably happen less often or doesn’t escalate so much on outdoor blogs for several reasons. I think a main one is that readers of a blog probably choose to read blogs where they broadly agree with the bloggers point of view – and they often feel some empathy or connection with the blogger; if there is a case where a point of view is being strongly criticised in blog comments then it is often not a view shared by readers of that blog. The blogger is in control of the topics, and this is an important factor too – I don’t see rows on walk reports on forums, for instance, which is what alot of outdoor blogs contain. On the other hand when hot issues are discussed (windfarms, anyone?!), rows can break out without careful moderation no matter what sort of website they are written on. A third factor is simply the numbers of people.

    I don’t know if you read the comments on some political blogs, or the blogs of newspaper commentators, but these give an idea of what more controversial blogs can be like.

    1. Hi Paul,

      Thanks for taking up my offer to comment. It’s always handy to hear from someone at the sharp end of the problem and who, as admin and moderator of a forum (walkhighlands.co.uk) has to sort out the ensuing mess of threads gone wrong.

      I don’t think you’ll find many here who disagree with your comments though I would be interested to here from anyone who has a different take.

      As for windfarms (lol) I couldn’t resist poking a bit of fun with a post. There was a noticeably diplomatic silence from the guys who have a strong anti-windfarm view but it didn’t discourage them commenting on other (less contentious) issues or stop them returning to the blog. So I’ll maybe put that one down to empathy than a broad agreement on views 😆 . I think between bloggers who drop in here there is a healthy respect for the effort that goes into keeping up a blog and so we’re maybe more diplomatic with, and tolerant of, each other.

      I’ve not, up until now, had much experience of blogs in other areas but now that the hill walking is over I’ll be more into the blogosphere looking for material and contacts. That could be very interesting indeed!

      Thanks again for taking the time to comment Paul, greatly appreciated.

  3. “The blog has reached unheard of viewing figures in part due to that wee quotation I used to discuss how solitary (or not) us bloggers felt.”

    It’s very gratifying that your misinterpretation of my use of the word solitary (3 – single or sole) has led to your blog becoming less solitary (2 (of a place) secluded or unfrequented).

    Any time you need another quote – give me a call! 😉

    1. I did say you’d be back! 😆 Your fate is sealed KInley. Even now forum admins are deleting your accounts. Soon you’ll have no option but to blog 😦 😉

  4. This place is currently busy enough discussing multiple views to count as a forum Ken. 😉

    I haven’t moved to your blog – it has moved to me. 🙂

  5. I had to chuck them all out to get to bed last night Kinley. I didn’t mind the multiple views and comments one little bit…it was when they started singing… 😯

    As long as you think about the blog that way Kinley…its fine by me – just remember to let us keep visiting 😉 . It’s been good!

    1. I think things will be returning to “sleepy hollow” mode very soon…that was about all the excitement we could cope with for at least a few years anyway. 😆

    1. Hi Martin…long time! 😀

      It’s a peculiar thing isn’t it. There’s no doubt there’s a “big head, thinks he’s better than us!” with a vocal minority who don’t quite understand what we actually do. They reckon it’s all about being self centred and spouting opinions all the time whereas it doesn’t work that way. When it’s at its best blogging can be more like a mobile forum – where the natives are better behaved. 😆

      I have to admit to being the same. I’m not keeping up with the backpackers blogs 😳 . Being a single day specialist 😆 it was never really my scene. Now with our hillwalking retirement I think the blog will drift onto much more diverse territory as will myself and The Fatdog. Goodness knows where we’ll end up!

      Great to hear from you again 😀

    2. Interesting to hear opinions. I (generally!) don’t like generalisations as I’m a definite fan of both types of site, which I think is a majority view on both types of site. This view doesn’t make for a very exciting discussion though!

      However I don’t think it would be hard for someone else to come up with the opposite impression to yours. I’ve read lots of posts by forum posters recommending their favourite blogs, and I’ve also read a good number of comment threads on blogs criticising forum users. I suppose it depends what you are reading.

      1. I probably much prefer the blog as I’m not much of a discussion person, I suppose. It’s not because I feel I’m always right – it’s more down to the fact that I generally can’t be bothered debating a point and a lot of the time I haven’t a clue what to say anyway – other than when I’m on familiar territory.

        My very limited experience of both venues swings me in favour of the blog. I only remember one occasion where a blogger was complaining about his treatment on a forum. I’ve no idea whether he was right or wrong. As you mentioned to me before it’s the nature of the beast that the forum is liable to become more fractious due to the shear numbers visiting. I see even a discussion on poor Jimmy Savile has managed to incur some someones ire on one forum. 😉

        As I said to Martin, it tends to be a vocal minority (similar to those whom you pointed out in your earlier comment) who wreak havoc and make some forums less friendly places. I recall the forum that used to cause the most aggravation was…yep…the Outdoor Bloggers Forum! 😆 Wasn’t it gentlemen! (sounds of muttering and shuffling of feet in the background) I couldn’t be arsed with the bickering and disappeared fairly early on. Not quite sure what that says about bloggers as a group…other than the forums are well shot of them 😆 .

  6. http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=16187&st=0&sk=t&sd=a

    Hi Kenny. I have just discovered one advantage of blogs over forums. You are less likely to get outpourings of grief about the death of Jimmy Savile on a blog. – And less likely to be taken to task for commenting on the mass outpourings. [At least I hope I’m correct.]
    If the above link doesn’t work look at “Sad news” which is under the heading “general issues” or something like that.

    1. Ooops…you were spammed earlier Russell – now fixed- the spam filter must have assumed you were going to say something bad about the recently deceased. 😉 You see…blogs can take you to task in different ways.

      Thanks for the link. Like all these things it’s a matter of opinion and sometimes taste. Shills does tend to do mass outpourings as well. I think my favourite was when people started being congratulated for the number of posts they’d produced – most of wich were… 😀 . Probably Kinley now that I think about it (just checking to see if he’s still around 😆 ).

  7. Hi Kenny. I’ve just discovered one advantage of blogs over forums. I think you are less likely to be taken to task on a blog for commenting on mass outpourings of grief about the death of Jimmy Savile. Have a look at “Sad news” under “General Discussion” in Walkhighlands.
    After complaining about spelling and grammar of posters I spelt “Savile” incorrectly in the above. See God and his custard pie!
    All the best, Russell

    1. No you didn’t…see! 😉

      We couldn’t have you pilloried and facing a forum’s worth of custard pies, could we. 😀

      Sorry about the spam filter necessitating a second comment (which was again spammed! 😦 ).

  8. Blimey – talk about Pandora’s box!

    Fascinating discussion, kind of see more of the point of the forums now and understand that mode of expression better.

    Stay of that wall!

    1. Interesting ain’t it. It was good of Paul to drop in to give us the benefit of his experience as admin for Walkhighlands. And I didn’t have to slap anyone around the head for misbehaving. 😀 Great stuff!

  9. I think that the Site Admin at Walkhighlands illustrate extremely well the bon mot of mine which you quoted. Oh, and have I thanked you for dragging my good name into this debacle? No? Funny that.

    When posting on fora I attempt to minimise the room for misunderstanding by rarely using smilies 😉 .

    1. No need to thank me at all Mr.P, it was my pleasure…and method of shifting blame. 😀

      I only use smilies to give a false impression of happiness and bonhomie.

  10. Russell, most fora have what I would consider an odd relationship with death. An example of cognitive dissonance I think.

    You’re lucky. On UK Climbing I have seen a report of some, ah, person soloing something ridiculous in atrocious weather after being warned not to and coming off. Even quite mild and constructive comments about what can we as a group of climbers learn from this sad incident got jumped on quite hard. Certainly helped me resist my initial temptation to post: “Never mind, think of it as evolution in action”.

  11. “I probably much prefer the blog as I’m not much of a discussion person, I suppose.”

    Wow – the delicious irony that you’ve managed to synopsise the point I was making in the quote you lifted!

    The Bloggers’ Union will be dusting off the pitchforks for you Kenny my lad! 😉

    1. This is why I find debating points on a forum a complete waste of time…I’m useless at it! 😉

      The Bloggers Union! 😆 We couldn’t even organise a forum without going to Defcon 1 as soon as fingers hit keyboards. United action is not really our strong point. Mind you if I really wanted to wind the rest up I’d merely suggest we celebrate “Happy Windfarm Day” 😀 Then you’d see this place go up in the mother-of-all-flame-wars. 😯

  12. Still – thanks for inviting me over your threshold.

    These are comfortable armchairs you have. I may hang around and pass wind.

    1. My goodness Kinley…I’m so pleased to see you hanging on my every word…or in your case… 😀 .

      You can join Mr.P in the Gentleman’s Lounge – he’s about somewhere – don’t know if he’ll be prepared to pass wind with you though.

  13. “My goodness Kinley…I’m so pleased to see you hanging on my every word…or in your case…”

    Every word? Not likely Ken – I could swing from here to Moscow on every 5th word. 😉

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