16 August, 2012  |   11 Comments

Internet criticism and Dooce and SXSW

I am lucky enough to have convinced Heather Armstrong from Dooce.com to talk with me about internet criticism on a panel at SXSW if we are selected.

Are you an internet critic?
Do you fear being criticized online?
What’s all this about bullying anyway?
Can’t anyone handle disagreement anymore?

Pick up some practical tips from the lady who has been in the belly of the beast and hear us talk about the nasty side of the internet.

It’d be cool if you helped select through the SXSW panelpicker here: http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/5842

Thanks tons.

11 thoughts on “Internet criticism and Dooce and SXSW

  1. 1
    Erin G says:

    I’ve been looking for something to get me out of my house. Your panel might just be the thing.

  2. 2
    Mrs. Wilson says:

    That is rad! I want to go to there one day.

  3. 3
    Jorts McGee says:

    Ha! Dooce can’t handle internet criticism. Watch! This comment will go away in 3…2…1…

  4. 4
    malia says:

    Dooce is disgusting. She can’t live on both sides of microfame. If she doesn’t want critics, may she shouldn’t monetize her life. Oh wait, then she wouldn’t have a McMansion or millions of Apple products or the stuff sponsors give her. She chose to sell herself.

    • 4.1
      Helen Jane says:

      Slight correction – Heather is not complaining about her critics — not sure where you picked that part up.

      We’ll be talking about practical tips for processing criticism.

      Also, she’s not disgusting. She’s a friend of mine.

  5. 5

    Helen, I sincerely want to know, what do you feel makes the difference between criticism and bullying? Because a lot of what bloggers want to call ‘bullying’ is actually just a critical outlook or question from their readers and a lot of the time these types of responses are shut down or heralded as ‘bullying’. I’ve seen this happen numerous times on many blogs and while there are obvious trolls, most of the ‘bullying’ is a legitimate critical analysis of a blogger’s viewpoint, which sometimes readers feel is contradicting something the blogger had previously said, etc. Obviously, this isn’t bullying. My problem with the whole blogging community really is that it isn’t a community as much as a gaggle of people complimenting each other. I do not find this to be a successful community. A community is built of many different viewpoints and opinions coming together and harboring an actual discussion of these viewpoints, not just shutting them down. As stated above, if commenter is an obvious troll and just says straight up hurtful or threatening things, then best course is to ignore them, but if a person is asking a question, even though it may *seem* as if they’re trying to be hurtful, I think it’d be best for most bloggers to look at the comment and realize, ‘Oh, this person is actually asking me a question, ‘Why are you doing so and so, etc. etc.?’, perhaps I should think critically about this question and my original opinion and approach this person in a manner that is actually thoughtful.’ Not just, shutting down a comment or worse yet the old ‘What I really meant was…’ schtick. My biggest peeve with bloggers who like to voice opinions is how when they gain criticism, they come back with ‘Well, what I really mean was…’. If a person is going to share something that is public, they should put some actual thought into it, which requires looking at it critically and seeing if it could in any way be confused from what they are actually wanting to say. One more point I wanted to touch on, if one is sharing an opinion, especially if it’s a heated one, they can’t really get too surprised if they receive opinons on their original one. Most ‘real world’ scenarios consist of these facts, I think that most bloggers just want a fantasy land at time where everyone loves everything they say, which is just unrealistic and actually unproductive.

  6. 6
    Helen Jane says:

    Ha! You may be right.

    But I’m not sure how much more clear I could be when I said,

    “What’s all this about bullying anyway?
    Can’t anyone handle disagreement anymore?

    I mean it.

    Can’t anyone handle disagreement anymore?
    What’s all this about bullying?
    (I HATE the bully term.)
    We are in total agreement here.

    I want to talk about why bloggers can’t seem to handle criticism. I want to talk about how bloggers continue to write, just knowing, that someone is out there to tell them how wrong/lame/stupid they are. I want to talk about the gastrointestinal distress I’ve enjoyed over the past four days.

    (On second thought, maybe I don’t want to talk about that. Grin.)

    Let’s define criticism. Is it saying, “I don’t like your choice?” or is it saying, “You are a toothless, idiot hag?”

    What if your creative topic is your life?

    Then if I’m discussing your creative work, I’m discussing your very life choices, and that can feel threatening. No wonder bloggers are so passively supportive, we’re talking about their lives, not just their creative work.

    If bloggers were musicians or moviemakers, we could talk about their creative work in a way separate from the bloggers themselves. But with it all wrapped up together, I can imagine criticisms of the bloggers’ life choices feels more threatening than a criticism of their latest pop song.

    It seems to me, with all the exciting, hilarious and even offensive feedback, this discussion is an important one to have. That’s why I’m proposing the panel.

    In other words, I think we agree.

  7. 7

    Whew! I’ll go right over and vote for that panel. I had an interview with Heather on the same topic for a piece on ShePosts. She cancelled at the last minute, and really, looking at a comment or two you’ve gotten already, I can’t blame her. Perhaps SXSW and you will be a better venue…safer?

    • 7.1
      Helen Jane says:

      Fingers crossed — I really do want to talk about how, when faced with the criticism of the masses, people can continue to put their work out in the world.

      Thanks so much for your support Jane, it means a ton to me.

  8. 8
    Katie says:

    Heather is brilliant. So is Helen Jane (don’t know you but I’m sure you are). Look forward to the discussion.

Hooray for replies!