Saturday, September 18, 2010

Bad Forum Behavior

I really like connecting with people on forums. I like the anonymity and the control over who you talk to and when. I visit several of them on a weekly basis, or perhaps more. Sometime I lurke and sometimes I participate.

Well, today I started a thread thanking the admin for the great job they've done with recent improvements to the site. Others jumped on board, sharing their similar sentiments with gracious comments of thanks. Then one user jumped on criticizing the administrative team and site developers. When the post following her returned to the subject of thanks, the critical user came back on and started listing his complaints and criticizing other forum members for being appreciative. The crazy thing is, that the user is on the forum advertising his products and he uses the site itself for selling his wares.

Why would you represent your business by being snarky with the very people who are shopping your store? Now, face-to-face in a brick-n-mortar storefront, I can see coming back with a cutting remark, but in a venue like the internet there is plenty of opportunity to think before you type. It just reinforces something that I heard some years ago: a lot of business owners have mental or emotional illnesses. They're drawn to jobs where they have control and cannot be fired for their bad behavior that often goes unchecked.

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