Dealing With Controversy
Anyone who knows me in real life will tell you that I’m a likeable and agreeable chap, usually very mild mannered and polite. However, I seem to have a knack for occasionally writing blog posts that create a bit of a controversy. It’s been a while since it happened last but yesterday Matt over at World of Matticus kindly posted a guest article of mine entitled “Tanks And Healers Should Get The Biggest Rewards” (note to self: remember to phrase articles as questions instead of statements in order to lessen the backlash) and it seemed to cause a bit of a ruckus.
Although the majority of the comments were very interesting, insightful and rational, a few were less so and openly expressed their outrage at the article. The result was a bit of a shit storm that would’ve led anyone to believe that I had written an article about denying the Holocaust or how to drop kick a baby.
Of course my intention (and certainly Matt’s or he wouldn’t have published it) was not to cause controversy but rather to open the floor for an interesting conversation and debate. I was rather surprised at the backslash although given all of my years on the Internet I suppose I really shouldn’t have been. As Matt very wisely pointed out in one of his comments, some people read articles and have a neutral attitude towards it whilst others become extremely energised… and due to the wide audience of Matt’s, there were a fair few of the latter.
I can honestly say that I never purposefully write for controversy as it’s just not in my nature. Althought some bloggers, such as Gevlon, thrive on it and the old adage “any publicity is good publicity”, I don’t. I worry too much about offending people and being seen as a dick to volunteer myself for the usual feedback that such articles generate. I write because I love writing and sometimes my thoughts or style are more edgy than others. However, if you are wondering about the publicity side of this post, I’m happy to share with you that Matt’s link through to my site generated a grand total of 67 visits over the course of two days. I guess I can cancel that server upgrade
Even though Matt has probably banned me from ever guesting on World of Matticus again , I at least feel good that I wrote an article that I think is well-written, well-constructed and elicited some excellent responses. My opinions are not carved in stone and I believe in growing, learning and changing and I enjoy nothing more than getting great feedback from a host of different perspectives. In an essence, it’s why I blog. The responses to my post at WoM may have been strong but they certainly gave me something to think about and reflect on which was the entire point.
I’ve gambled on articles in the past and some have generated very positive feedback and some very negative. A few months ago I wrote a post comparing MMORPGs to women and I was sure I would be crucified for it. But I wasn’t. In fact, folk loved it. You just can never tell how people will react.
At the end of the day, blogging is a media for expressing opinion and discussing topics. Sometimes you have to push boundaries to explore topics, just like any good art form. As I said over on Angry Healers (apt name), if every article on every blog was just a positive reinforcement of what we already know and think then they really wouldn’t be worth reading would they
So do you think this article was too controversial and was it a mistake to publish? Should we take risks and write about topics or in styles that may provoke emotions to run high? I would love to hear your feedback and thoughts on controversial articles in general.