Being agnostic to trolls, I took a day off work for growth and adventure. As I stepped off the train in Manhattan, my phoned beeped of a “tweetup” at the “Black Door.”
A Tweet Walks into a Bar
I got to the hotel and asked the concierge for directions. He looked at me “change your clothes.”
As I washed my face, I thought, “am I the kind of leader that follows tweets into NYC bars?” Apparently yes.
I was in New York for Chris Brogan’s Impact Next workshop. @chrisbrogan and @otherpeopleIdontknowwhoturnedoutobewonderful were “tweeting up” the night before.
Just as I was feeling cool for having (1) been invited to a tweetup (2) changing my clothes (3) loving the conversation the topic turned to “trolls.”
Oh, crud just what is a “troll?” How fast could I google “blogging trolls” while nonchalantly holding my chardonnay?
From Wikipedia, This article is about internet slang.
/ˈtroʊl/, /ˈtrɒl/) is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as a forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion. The noun troll may also refer to the provocative message itself, as in: “That was an excellent troll you posted.”
Oh, trolls Been dealing with them for years. Although mine have always been the flesh and blood type with fierce eyeballs that stared straight into my soul. Their witty and frightening tongues– equally alarming. At times they’ve worked for me, that’s the trickiest. Trolls are teachers, you can learn a lot from a clever troll. I have both converted and promoted many a troll (see, How to Melt a Grinch’s Heart.)
And sometimes you just need to walk away.
I asked Chris how he deals with trolls.
“I used to have the worst time with trolls. Then, I realized that I’m not there to serve them. I’m there for you. That’s when life got better.” -Chris Brogan
Consider that in your leadership. Listen, love, lead, consider, and if necessary, cut bait.
Here’s how succesful bloggers deal with trolls. Similar rules apply in our day jobs.
- Engage first
- Identify the issues
- Don’t take it personally
- Envision greater good
- Don’t react
- Starve them