I've Been Shot! -- The Deadly Battlefield of Internet
© 2000, by Harmony Major
The online marketplace has become a super-charged minefield of
opinionated "professionals" and heartless know-it-alls. Playing
their game is deadly, and if you don't watch yourself, you could
lose a leg.
Although all of online business is
suffering, from customer service to how customers treat YOU, I
think the worst of it all are discussion forums. Since when is it
a commonly-accepted practice to toss around insults and criticism
like rice at an American wedding?
It's agonizingly difficult to get
your problems solved on discussion forums when these
insult-slinging predators are poised and ready to pounce,
seemingly at every turn. It amazes me. It upsets me. It
down-right ticks me off.
But I'm not whining about the way
people are treating me. I'm protesting against the way people are
treating YOU and the rest of the public at large.
Here ... let me give you a "for
On one popular discussion forum, a
seemingly respectable marketer sent a polite query to the regular
contributors of this board, asking what he should do about an
offer to sell his current domain name. Simple enough to answer.
Surely not too much to ask.
Even so, the very first response to
that post was, I thought, more than a little bit unreasonable.
Part of that response read:
"Your site right now is BS. A useless
site redirected to another junk site."
UCH! If that was *your* site, you might be feeling hurt. In
disbelief. Smaller than small. You'd likely be asking yourself,
"Is my site really this bad? IS it truly useless?"
But, beating yourself up about the
poor quality of your site ISN'T helping you to IMPROVE the site.
It isn't teaching you what you SHOULD be doing to master the
creation of top-notch websites. The only thing it's doing is
making you feel like a schmuck, and telling you that, despite all
of your hard work and long hours, you're just not good
Now, you tell me ... what good is
And let's not forget what this says
about the POSTERS of responses like these. What can be their main
goal? To generate a silent "laugh" from onlookers? To publicly
ridicule a colleague? To let people know that they know their
stuff -- indisputably? Maybe so.
But, I ask you ... what good is
Come on, folks. THINK before you
speak. Take people's feelings into account when gracing them with
your oh-so-valuable advice. Realize that they've probably worked
hard to get where they are, no matter how unlikely that may seem
to you. But if nothing else, have a bit of common sense and
realize that THE MASSES ARE WATCHING. An enormous LOT of them.
And, they're watching you.
Let's also not forget how to conduct
ourselves when we're unfortunate enough to get ensnared by these
online predators -- because it doesn't take much. Request a
website review, and you could be asking for public ridicule. Post
a tip to the board, and you could be openly bashed. And why ...
In any case, don't let yourself get
riled up. Realize that there are going to be some people lying in
wait for an innocent victim like you or I, to bare our virtual
throats to their sharp claws of relentless ridicule. Don't allow
yourself to get caught up. Be polite, or simply don't respond to
the verbal assault. Remember, the masses ARE watching, and
they'll be watching YOU make as big a fool of yourself as the
person who initially started the mess.
Now, let me leave you with
What about us, the onlookers? Should
we intervene when we see a fellow marketer getting slayed on a
forum? Or, should we bite our tongues and lay low so as not to
get sucker-punched ourselves? That's a tough call to make. What
would YOU do?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Harmony Major is the author of Yahoo!
Secrets, where she reveals how YOU can drive HUNDREDS more
visitors to your site each day, by getting a #1 listing on Yahoo.
Don't just settle for "getting listed." Use her
instantly-effective tactics to boost your site traffic with a TOP
Yahoo listing! Visit: http://YahooSecrets.com