Tuesday, January 10, 2012

When Posting in a Forum, Stay on Topic (alternative title) I Was Just Cyber Bullied

Today I decided to get involved in the Amazon.com community. You know, get out in the virtual world. Participate. Might lead to more blog followers, or just name recognition, or nothing at all and just be fun. Whatever.

I found and joined in on a forum. It started out great. People made witty comments about some of the cliches and/or just bad writing that can occur in romance. What I loved most about the thread is that all contributers were romance readers. Romance was not being mocked maliciously, but playfully, by the people who loved it.

Anyhoo, I posted and selected the box to follow the thread. Every post that came after mine was about completely unrelated topics. I went back to Amazon to look at the thread. For pages before my post, the discussion was about cancer. I had made the mistake of not reading all 190+ pages and not noticed when the thread was dropped. Then someone posted asking what had happened to the original thread. I responded that I was thinking the same thing, and just found myself clicking "No" for the question of  "Do you think this post adds to the discussion?" Well, no, it did not. Completely valid on my part.

This bothered some people, apparently. They joined up to mock me -- the person with comments that were on point. I am now ignoring several people. I also stopped following the thread. I'm sure my comments have had "No" clicked on them. It's just one more of those things that really is not important enough to waste energy thinking about, but is really annoying. What's worse is that they got what they wanted - they drove me out. What should have happened is the people who were using the forum as a chat room should have stopped posting and moved to a more appropriate venue to talk about movies, McDonalds, and hospice care.

This was a mild case of cyber bullying simply because I backed out so quickly. It still leaves me feeling icky and not interested in going back to Amazon (which sucks because I just got a Kindle).
Honestly, now I do not feel inclined to participate in forums on Amazon. I deal with disrespectful and rude people all day -- I don't need to do that in my leisure time as well.

2 comments:

Roland D. Yeomans said...

I have found Amazon forums often vicious. Put a mask on folks, turn off the lights -- some unhealthy personalities start to howl.

The Amazon Breakout Novel Award forum is often filled with spiteful bullies. Sad.

For truly helpful, friendly forum activity try ABSOLUTE WRITE WATER COOLER -- filled with struggling, mostly kind, fellow authors.

Read the reviews on the Kindle book pages. Usually you can spot the ones with an ax to grind.

Bullies always bug me. Have a great new week, Roland

Francine Howarth: UK said...

Hi,

The Amazon forums are crap!

Authors have been sent to the cooler: their own forums away from readers! Ain't that a joke...

Thing is though, most of the so-called readers were once big fish in little self-blogs (spouting about and reviewing books), now they've gone global on Amazon as self=professed book reviewers and any one who interrupts their pond life gets stick!

Readers it seems basically don't want authors referring to books nor having links to their books as signatures. A petition was set up by a group of reader bullies so Amazon created a writer forum. End of story = authors segregated from readers. Half the book reviews let alone posts are partial illiterate at times, and there is a group of malicious posters who if you speak out will track your books and trash them with a spiteful review. It happened to me. A reviewer posted a review before the book went live/downloadable, meaning she hadn't read it. The review is still there on Amazon.com "Scandalous Whispers". Do I care. Not a jot. The review says more about the reviewer than the book, because any one who knows me, knows I don't do Insipid! Besides, had she read it she would know the true reason for the heroine's silence, which quashes the reviewer's assumption. ;)

best
F

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