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Allena Tapia

Check Out My Troll Comment- THEN Check Out My Article On Trolls, Comments and Blogs

By February 11, 2013

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Happy Monday reader-writers.

The following troll comment was actually only a small part of the impetus for me to write today's article: Freelance Writers and Negative Comments.

In fact, I recently achieved a long-term goal. I was able- finally- to build a blog that I've been daydreaming about for a long time: Eve's Tree of Knowledge. This is my personal blog- i.e. it's not connected to any client (like About.com) or my business, like my company' blog over at GardenWall Publications. Nope, Eve's Tree is all mine.

But, in establishing Eve's Tree, which does deal with some controversial cultural and political subjects, I knew that I'd want to have a really solid comment policy in place in order to best answer contrary opinions, and/or even- gasp!- trolls.

It's a good thing I put some thought into this, too. Because just a few days later, I got this juicy troll comment on a post here at About.com. (PS, the post was about a poet!  Of all things! A poet!):

So glad you find Latino culture so interesting. Odd, considering you're not actually a Latino. You're simply married to one and play one online. Not to mention you stink as a writer.

But oh well, blondes have more fun and make more (undeserved) cash, I suppose.

To see my response, click over to: Richard Blanco, Inaugural Poet.

And, to see how to deal with both contrary opinions, and trolls, check out: Freelance Writers, Arguments, and Comment Trolls.

Have a great Monday and Happy National Freelance Writers Appreciation Week!

 

Comments
February 11, 2013 at 2:39 pm
(1) freelancewrite says:

Ah, I just realized I should have some context for the troll comment above, in case you’re not a regular visitor here at About.com.

I write in several niche topic areas, and one of them is Latino topics/audience, including immigration reform.

My work in the area is all over the net, although I never ascribe myself any ethnicity unless it’s absolutely necessary to the text. Other than that, I assume my photos- with just about every byline- provide any info needed for the curious. ;} ~allena

February 12, 2013 at 6:03 am
(2) Jen says:

Allena,

I am not Latino, and I love Latino poetry and literature. I read a poem by Pablo Neruda at my wedding, and covered Isabel Allende’s “House of the Spirits” and Laura Esquivel’s “Like Water for Chocolate” in a night school class I taught.

I could talk to you about a ton of things having to do with an intercultural marriage since we are a Jewish/Catholic couple and my kids don’t seem to be embracing their Jewish identity.

I could also say a ton of things about the person who “trolled” you (a new word for me). But it’s not worth it.

Thanks so much for introducing me to Richard Blanco – I’m embarrassed to say I was clueless about him. I’ll check out his inaugural poem later today (I should be working now, right?)

Thanks for your freelance writing help!
- Jen

February 12, 2013 at 12:25 pm
(3) freelancewrite says:

Thank you, Jen. Right, it’s not necessary to belong to a group in order to have an appreciation for the unique sounds of works. At the same time, I am very careful to not speak for groups or histories that are not my own. I do tell stories when I can, when I hear them, but I am careful not to use stories that are not my own for my own benefit.

The two books you mentioned are two of my favorites, and Neruda is easily one of my favorite poets! You have great taste.

February 12, 2013 at 7:31 pm
(4) Valerie says:

It’s always difficult to receive criticism, especially when directed toward something as personal as what we create. I can’t help but feel this holds true for you – with Mari’s comment in particular – given your very personal connection to Latino culture.

I have another perspective I hope might be useful to your readers: Sometimes an empathetic comment in response to a negative one works miracles. In this case, something that might demonstrate an understanding of why the “troller” felt compelled to point out your blonde-and-whiteness and ensure her that all blonde white women aren’t “the same”, just as all Latinas aren’t the same.

True, there are people who can’t be reasoned with or softened by sincere words. I’ve found that when I take that one extra step and include an empathetic word – once my anger and disappointment subsides – many times it changes a mind and attitude in a positive direction.

Thanks for sharing your experience and helping us “creatives” understand that we don’t have to take everything personally, and can make a difference even when someone doesn’t like our work or what we say.

February 13, 2013 at 12:40 am
(5) Katherine says:

That troll comment almost looked Spammy! You definitely handled it well. Sometimes I wonder – what are people’s problems? The commenter should be happy you love and respect the culture so much.

February 13, 2013 at 11:47 am
(6) freelancewrite says:

Valerie- I said the exact same thing in the article that goes with this blog post- linked near the top of the post. I’ve been trying out this new philosophy in approaching political topics and it’s forced me to have to consider people’s motivations. Doing that tends to re-situate me, and trying on their potential POV works very well to soften you to some people. So, when I responded to that comment, it was with that ^ process. You’d have to go back to that blog post to see my response, but I hope it reflects that process.

Obviously there is a racial (ethnic) issue here that goes far beyond the scope of THIS page, but I certainly do acknowledge and somewhat understand the context of white majority privilege that I have in ALL my career, that I had in my education, and so on. I’m a majority ethnicity situated in the majority systems, and that certainly is a bonus to my endeavors. The fact that I write about Latino topics adds a whole real fun layer on top of all that, too. I have been dying to find time to address this at my own, personal blog (evestreeofknowledge.com, if you’re interested). Soon I hope!

Oh, and Katherine, thanks for your comment. Maybe my paragraph above might shed some light on that, too. Why should she be happy? She doesn’t know if I’m doing any good, making any progress for her peers, or simply mining my husband’s connections in order to fill up my bank account. I did respond and attempt to tell her that I approach my work in the field with the utmost respect and effort, but still… I write from a place of privilege based on many factors (not just my majority ethnicity), and perhaps that gives us a peek into some of her motivations.

It’s a much bigger subject, obviously, and doesn’t fit this page here once we delve into it! Who knew handling blog comments was going to be so exhausting?:}

February 27, 2013 at 5:31 pm
(7) Frodo says:

Freelance Writer. It’s just a fancy way of saying unemployed writer.

February 28, 2013 at 10:49 am
(8) freelancewrite says:

Um, no Frodo. I am quite employed. I am actually employed to the point of inundation at times.

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