Monday, March 4, 2013

Embrace Your Trolls!

Trolls are awesome!
If you look hard enough, you can find silver linings in just about any situation. The same is true about our friendly neighborhood trolls that casually peruse our blogdom and sprinkle their caustic spittle in comment sections and ignite veracious banter.

Caustic spittle <snicker>, sounds like a great name for a rock band. But I digress.

One of my favorite blogs to frequent is Patrice Lewis' Rural-Revolution. One of her recent posts happens to be a showcase of one of her latest trolls. Oh, I suppose I should define "troll" for anyone not quite up on the 'net lingo.

"Troll: One who posts a deliberately provocative message to a newsgroup or message board with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument." - Urban Dictionary

"Dude, check out that hottie's flux capacitor!"-Urban Dictionary
I love the Urban Dictionary, btw.  If you ever need snarky or clever synonyms/antonyms, I have a rip roaring good time reading up on the latest slang there. For example, my daughters were commenting about the ridiculousness of the oh-so-attractive sight of thong underwear that conveniently rides up the back of a woman's waistline on her jeans. Urban Dictionary taught me that this is known as a woman's Flux Capacitor and my daughters (huge Back to the Future movie fans) thought this was HILARIOUS. (See entry #5 here)

So, digressing yet again, Patrice was lucky enough to receive a visit from a new reader who left provocative comments on not ONE but ELEVEN different blog posts. Patrice, being the clever author that she is, seized this opportunity to turn this series of comments into a VERY interesting blog post. As a blogger, we are ALWAYS looking for material, right? This blog topic came on a silver platter!

The brilliance of posting these contrarian views of a seemingly liberal commenter on a highly conservative blog with a (mostly) conservative readership is phenomenal. In a short period of time, this post has generated (at my best guess) triple the normal comment load and it is still going strong.  Why is this so brilliant you ask?

Several reasons.

First, getting your audience active in discussions on your blog is a terrific way to engage your audience. Loyal readers become FIERCELY loyal commenters and rally to defend their favorite blogger. Casual readers put their two cents in and even readers whom might agree with the contrarian views chime in to express their views. This leads to tons of exposure of the blog material and lots of page loads (read: ad impressions).

Second, now that readers are engaged and have commented their thoughts, they'll be returning (usually multiple times) to the post to see if anyone has replied to their comments. This leads to MORE comments AND page loads. Brilliant!

Third, there is a collateral gain to everyone involved in the exchange in that we can now become acquainted with other fellow bloggers/commenters who share our same values. Unless the comments are posted anonymously, the commenters name is hyperlinked to a user profile (like Enola Gay, for example).  We can visit that user profile and see if they, too, have a blog we can read and possibly endorse by becoming a follower. This can lead to a larger network of like-minded people, sharing common values and learning from each others' blog posts and comments. Hurray!

Lastly, anything that increases exposure to your articles/posts also increases your income from your advertisements (IF you have ads on your pages). Advertisements, such as Google Adsense, pay a blogger in several ways. To name a few, you can be paid
  • if a reader CLICKS on your advertisement and buys something from the advertiser. It can be in the form of a percentage of the sale or a flat fee for bringing the sale to the advertiser.
  • if a reader CLICKS on your advertisement and doesn't buy anything. The advertiser may still pay a flat fee just for bringing a potential customer to the advertiser's website.
  • for pure impression rate alone. An impression simply indicates that the advertisement was loaded onto your page and potentially seen by a consumer. No clicks, no purchases. You actually get paid just for showing the advertisement. Granted, the pay is much less for impressions than purchases but you still can make a good income simply from impressions on a high traffic page.
It is for these reasons that I welcome ALL trolls and provocateurs. Bring me all the traffic you want and I will be grateful! Thank you "Heidi M" for not only supplying Patrice's blog with material for an excellent post but you've also inspired a topic for me today ;-)

Long live the Trolls!


  1. Great point about Trolls. Never thought of them being good for anything before.

    Great blog, BTW!

  2. I don't have adds and thus, don't get any monetary reward for comments, but my reward is the comments their selves and of course the commenters, too.

    1. @DD I agree that the comments and ensuing discussion are the best part of blogging. I learn the most when folks give their two cents. As far as ads go, with six daughters to raise... I'll welcome any income stream I can get ;-)

  3. I found the entire episode shameful and reprehensible, so much so that I removed my link to RR.
    That's all I can say with out being unkind to all involved.

    1. @GM Wow. I didn't expect that response. I've been reading your blog for years and wouldn't have guessed you would respond that way (not that reading your blog indicates I know you personally or anything).

      There were a few commenters that took your stance that it was unnecessary to post the event in a negative non-Christian tone.

      I wish you had time to express why you feel the way you do. I found it to be a big learning experience. So many people are pro this and con that but never really get to the meat and potatoes of why. Through that post, many people explained their "why" and on numerous topics topics. I'll go look and see if you left a comment over there as soon as I get home

  4. OJ -
    Save yourself the trouble :-)
    I didn't post a comment.
    Best wishes,

  5. If you're looking for a solid contextual advertising network, I suggest that you try Chitika.


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