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Trolls and Jackals

Yesterday was the single biggest traffic day for the blog. I had as much traffic in one day as I’ve done in an entire (best) month. It was a high point on this million mile march of blogging for sure. A nice vista of hope.

It started with Barry Ritholtz, one of my idols, simply listing me in his AM reads. Talk about powerful — I was one of like 17 articles he cited & he had given me 75% of my AM traffic. Incredible. Forget the traffic though, I was just stoked Barry read my piece & liked it. It was my first time (and hopefully not my last).

Then my friend Joe Calhoun, put up my post on his site, RealClearMarkets, for another really nice bump. Even Tadas at Abnormal Returns linked to the story. I was floored by the support. The people I worship at the blogger alter were validating the post. My heart swelled.

And then I tried something different, I submitted my “8 Things I Think Apple Should Do With Their Cash” to Jay Yarrow at Silicon Alley Insider, one of my favorite tech sites. See, I’m trying to grow my tech credentials. He said “it’s fun, we’ll run it.”

Then– BAM. Blown up. Huge Traffic (for me), 9000 10,000 people saw the post. Between SAI & the links to the site, it was retweeted like 60 times & the Facebook faithful actually liked it– like 20 times. I was ecstatic. I even shared a screenshot with my mom, highlighting where my article had risen to the top of the page for an hour or so.

And just two weeks ago, I’d made Reuters Counterparties, which I’d also shared. She was pretty proud, even though she didn’t know what any of it really meant. It was a really nice, magical day.

And then I went home & read the comments at SAI…

As a blogger in training, I know this is to be expected. It’s actually a bag of honor really. 8990 9990 people didn’t agree or at least give it a thumbs up. I should focus on that. And I do, I will — but it is disappointing just the same, mostly because I’m a perfectionist. I’d spent a lot of time and apparently “windbag” words to convey a simple thought… that almost anything would be better than Apple handing back their cash to shareholders.

These two readers (and their thumbs up buddies) missed it. They missed that message. They missed the tidbits I sprinkled in the post, like the washer dryer combo the Jobs family used to wash his 501s & St. Croix mock turtlenecks. They missed the word play I tried to use to keep your mind amused, “banter being bandied about…” That’s just fun to say.

And so, the obsessive compulsive persona I have, I decided to check out Joshua Butcher’s SAI comment history.

He visits their site regularly & offers these fine gems, “Uninspiring…” ‘Typo.’ He calls Scott Forstall the architect of IOS for Apple a “douchebag”. And I love this one… “SAI is sadly going down hill fast. They no longer report news. They report what they feel. They report what they think. I am beginning to think that SAI is a spinoff of Faux News…”

So, Josh is a troll. Someone who basically sucks the life out of the room, waits under the bridge of life waiting to spray you with their hellaciously poisonous breath. He’s the kid who thinks Disneyland is underwhelming. It’s not my first time seeing it or experiencing it. My first big break on the blogging scene was a silly music video trying to encapsulate the crisis, which Joe Weisenthal at Business Insider picked up & Huffington Post ran with. Most of the comments were nice or fair in their critique. And then there were the trolls. People who frequent the site (and for some reason keep coming back to the site they hate) to tear people down.

And here’s the thing. It’s easy to do. It’s easy for analysts to point to innovators & entrepreneurs and say why their idea is shit. It’s easy for critics to critique the nuances of the creator. And to them I say this… I’m a dreamer. I hope you are too. I don’t mind if you don’t like my idea, maybe it is ‘completely idiotic’. But if someone takes the time, obvious time, to produce it & it’s shit– Tell them, but also at least give them an equally thoughtful & considerate stream of consciousness about why you think that. If you have something original to add, I’ll listen– that’s what makes a good idea great.

But if all you want to do is troll. I’ve got an idea for you, that is, if you’re not too lazy to do produce something more than the toxic sludge you’re dumping now.

Why not start a troll site? Why not hang out with all of your trolling buddies & troll each other? It would be the superbowl of troll. Goto godaddy and buy “Supertrolls.com” (It’s available). Get yourself a nice Shrek wordpress theme & hammer out some deep trolling thoughts. I could actually respect the effort.

Until then, I can’t listen to you. I won’t. You’re the flea on the ass of a gnat to me. Because you don’t produce anything that I don’t already create inside my head. See, most people who do this, blogging and/or trying to start a new business or produce anything creative at all — they do it to quell the Jackals in their head, like me. The Jackal in our head who says, “change it, fix it, make it better — Nope still not good enough, they’ll laugh at you. You don’t know what you are doing. You don’t know what you are talking about. You Are Going To Fail.” And you, my trollish fiend, are no match for the Jackal in my head. The Jackal in my head would tear you to shreds (and did — something about being a “Fucking Dickless Asshole”). But I’m not the Jackal, I choose not to act on it, even though it tries to shred me (and others) daily.

So, it’s not personal, I know– you’re just playing your role in the comment ecosystem in the web of life. I’m cool with it and I won’t speak on this again. But at least now you know where I stand, while you sit & point your trollish finger (or non-opposable thumb as the case may warrant) in my direction.

And I’ll Admit It…(roll tape, please)