Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Dark and Seamy Side of Blogging

I was surprised to receive an intimidating email from a fellow blogger this past Monday. A blogger with whom I've had an amiable online connection with since about 2010. Apparently, my fellow blogger felt slighted by the fact that the link to his blog on Trackside Treasure's sidebar was in the bottom of three such gadgets featuring blogs I keep up with. This revision was made some weeks ago and was no different than any layout change I make - based on readability, functionality and the overall look of Trackside Treasure.

The simple fact of the matter is: there are so many blogs that I find interesting that I keep the most prolific bloggers near the top of the sidebar. Just so I can keep up. This blogger has posted once a month in 2016. I have other bloggers in the same gadget as his who have not blogged for two or even five years. They might start up again, so this is my way of keeping their blogs 'alive' to me. 

I'm a firm believer in not only dealing with criticism, but also shining a light on dark behaviour, for which the online environment has become known. Like aggressive drivers emboldened by their powerful cars, social media can be an equalizer for letting out our emotions, fears and suspicions. With that in mind, I'm sharing a family-friendly version of the email I received, without the blogger's name shown. Prepare yourself:

"What an arrogant s.*.*.

What is YOUR criteria to judge Blog writers?

I have been in ******** since ***** 2015. I have labored hundreds of hours to provide the Blogosphere with thoroughly researched articles. 

I strive for accuracy.  Not to compete for numbers with you and ********

While you pissed me off with your snide ****-off, you have inspired me to write an evaluation of so-called "rail" blogs. As they say, "watch this space." And don't forget to remove my hyperlink from your DISMISSIVE and OFFENSIVE "Things in the Bottom Sidebar."


5879East said...

I'm very sorry to hear that someone has gone after you with such petty and egotistical criticisms. To me your blog has always been entertaining, informative and fun to read for all of the past few years. At the end of the day though, it is YOUR domain and YOUR creation to make and change as you see fit. While I appreciate that criticism is necessary and even beneficial to an endeavour this behaviour just creates a more cynical and poisoned online environment for everyone. I hope this one unhinged individual doesn't put you off too much. There are many who take great pleasure in reading your wide ranging content. Keep up the good work Eric!

Andrew Gladden

DaveM said...


Sorry to hear about the poor feedback.

I occasionally take the alternate philosophy of "Don't engage the crazy". I've found that many hours can be spent engaging with crazy, but in the end, the crazy usually doesn't realize the crazy, and the only result is lost your time (when your time could be spent railfanning instead :) ).


Eric said...

Thanks, Andrew and Dave for your supportive comments. I know the vast majority of Trackside Treasure readers are reasonable folks. I agree it's best to not engage in a flame war, and publishing this post was not an attempt to do so.

My former fellow blogger has been uncoupled from my train, as I have been from his train. We have been concurrently sidetracked! I agree it's best to not get into a flame war and that is certainly not my intent. I may not leave this post up forever. We have more pressing things to get to - like decades' worth of Kingston Sub wayfreights!

I will, however, be checking occasionally to read his appraisal of the various 'rail' blogs he mentions in his email! Infinitely intriguing and interesting...

Steve Boyko said...

Well, that's shocking.. and good for you for shining the light on their shenanigans. This kind of horse-puckey has no place online or anywhere. Funny how he claims to strive for accuracy and not to compete for numbers, yet he is so concerned about placement on a page.

I too look forward to his appraisal. It should be amusing... and probably insulting. Growing a thicker skin in 3... 2... 1...

Eric said...

Indeed, Steve. A former manager told me we should all have a skin as thick as seven elephants'!

I am definitely not competing. I blog to preserve information for myself and if anybody else gets something out of it, that's gravy. Good gravy!

Thanks for your comment,

Michael said...

I think you handled it correctly, Eric. This was an unfortunate exchange and inappropriate, to say the least. While we can never know what goes on in other people's lives that provokes such outbursts, we can point out when their behaviour is offside. I would just like to say on behalf of my blog and my readers (most of whom are yours!), I do appreciate the link, no matter where it is! Your blog is what motivated me to start mine.

Eric said...

Thanks for your kind words, Michael. It's great to have The Beachburg Sub on my sidebar and if I had some small, positive role in its genesis, that's humbling and most encouraging.

It's too easy to underestimate the effect one person can have on others. And how much farther positive actions can take others than negative actions ever will.