Are blogs addicted to negativity?

The past few weeks have been filled with a flurry of posts about many topics. There are the usual wanks that go around about this or that, the same topics brought relevant again since the topics and behaviors never really change. While that’s not a bad thing per se, what I noticed is the majority of posts are pretty negative. They focus on bad behavior, rants, and general disgust with the current state of things in the romance genre.

While I agree with many of the posts it occurred to me that these negative posts got a lot of attention. Recently on twitter a blogger commented that they try to focus on controversial topics to get a lot of attention and comments. 

On the one hand I get that but on the other comments are not what I personally strive for so I don’t judge the success or failure by comments. [Though I already talked about that]. But regardless I know there is a ton of pressure in the competitive blogsphere to write witty, amusing, and entertaining posts.

What I’ve found is that the easiest way to garner a lot of attention is to be negative. Point out all the crappy things about something/somewhere/someplace and a lot of people seem to agree and comment. Some recent posts have been critical and negative about the m/m genre and why it’s terrible. I don’t think the blog authors intend it that way but these posts come across very negative and critical. Typically these posts got a lot of comments.

So it is true? As blog readers are we addicted to negative posts? Do we love to talk about negative things more than the positive?

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16 thoughts on “Are blogs addicted to negativity?

  1. Tam says:

    I think sometimes it can be a case of being polite and nice all the time in real life it’s nice to say how you really feel. On the otherhand negativity just seems to breed more of the same and you get a snowball effect. From I hate heros with red hair to I hate the whole freaking genre and everyone in it.

    I try to avoid getting caught in wankfests but sometimes something will hit a pet peeve button and I czn’t help buy chome in. I do think focussing on it though achieves nothing and can be a waste of time and energy.

    • Good point. It does seem to be one of those rolling down the hill things where it just picks up steam as it goes on. I don’t think the posts intend to be negative but they get more and more focused on the controversial bad aspects and it becomes a cycle.

    • Tam says:

      And I apologise for spelling from hell but I was locked out of my office and doing it on my tiny little phone. Honest. I’m not illiterate. LOL

  2. Those posts tend to amuse or confuse me, depending. I do like posts (such as some that you and Kris have been writing recently) that encourage us to think a bit more deeply about our genre and what’s going on in it.

    • I agree, I prefer those posts that are introspective about the genre and create good conversation and discussion. Some of those posts amuse me and make me laugh but lately I feel like negativity has been more prevalent. But that could be just me and my reading list.

  3. Marie Sexton says:

    As a writer, I find too many negative posts discouraging. If authors avoided everything that’s ever been bitched about, there’d be absolutely nothing left to write. Sometimes I want to ask people, “Why are you reading this genre when you obviously detest it so much?”

    However, I haven’t felt like that’s the norm throughout the blogosphere. There are definitely certain blogs which seem to focus on the negative, but I tend to think of them as the exception, and I’ve simply learned to avoid them (for the sake of my own sanity).

    • Perhaps I’ve just been feeling that way of late but it’s not indicative of the blogsphere as a whole. Good to know that others dont feel that way – gives me hope that its just one of those things that feels bigger than it is. You know sometimes you think you’ve seen a word 100 times and it’s really just two, just strikes a cord for some reason.

  4. I suppose negative blog posts provoke a response, and maybe those with an axe to grind are most in need of an outlet… I mostly respond to quirky posts – I’d rather not read too much of the negative, though. I find it not only kills time, it kills the creative drive.

    My muse likes to be amused, so I feed him happy things.

    • Is your muse hot and half naked? *bribes to meet him*

      I do agree on quirky posts. I find those the absolute best. Quirky people are the cat’s meow.

      • Hehe, sometimes he wears a suit and sits around being witty; other times he’s like a randy Puck – wild and feral (complete with tattoos and piercings). I love his contradictions and think they make him extra-specially hot. I’m not sure if he’s available to visit you right now, as I’ve got him working on something… ;D

        The internet needs more quirk!

  5. I always laugh at myself whenever I read a post/tweet by you or someone else in my friends-sphere hinting at the latest wankfest but not really going into the W5 of details about it because nine times out of ten I usually have no idea about what IS actually going on and who all is involved. And unless someone hands me all the juicy details about said wank on a silver platter I haven’t a freakin’ clue! LOL So, becoming addicted to negativity is not an issue for me because, at the risk of repeating myself, I am usually clueless as to the details of the wank du jour – and yes sometimes ignorance is bliss. But, if a blog or post I’m reading/following deteriorates into a negative free for all I usually run the other way – not my scene at all.

    Don’t get me wrong, I am highly opinionated and love a good debate about books and genres and the issues that arise. Do I think that folks can have a healthy, intelligent debate about these things, or anything really, on the net and within the blogsphere without it becoming negative? Usually no, especially if it’s a controversial issue (which m/m seems to be) and there’s a multitude of folks posting.

    It’s been my experience that even when a blog post on a controversial topic starts off on a good note, with lots of intelligent and healthy discussion/debate, different points of view being expressed, etc., it usually deteriorates into the negative. I believe it is mostly inevitable and part human nature because of the anonymity of the internet. If I can’t look into someones eyes and they can’t look into mine, or read each others body language, or hear a tone of voice while we’re debating different points of view, then relying on words on a screen alone is very limiting because in the absence of the aforementioned words can be misconstrued. Also, I do think that some folks view the anonymity that the internet offers as license for rudeness. Which I must be honest is a complete turn-off for me.

    I don’t follow that many blogs because of time constraints and as such tend to be selective about the blogs that I do follow. Some bloggers, as you put it, purposely invite the wank because they measure the success of their blogs by the number of posts/hits etc. I tend to not follow this type of blogger because like you, I don’t judge the success/failure of a blog by the number of comments, but rather by the substance of the discussion that’s taking place.

    • Great insight Indigene!

      I agree that most topics turn negative, or at least that’s how it feels lately. It could just be a case of that catching my attention so I’m more sensitive to it than say the thousands of positive, intelligent posts. I think you hit it on the head about the freedom of the internet. I think people have opinions, sometimes strong opinions, and it’s easier to be bald in their language without coaching it in “polite” terms.

      This can easily turn negative because the first person that disagrees with you often is called an idiot and so forth. That freedom is a double edged sword. I think it allows communities to come together (such as ours) but it also allows subjects and topics to turn into wanks way more often than necessary.

      I don’t have time to read all the blogs I follow – especially right now – so I tend to lurk a lot and skim even more. If it’s negative, ugh, I’m just not interested in reading about the latest problem and topic du jour. Lately I’ve been avoiding major blogs because they feel so negative and almost like a super power. There are no authorities in this genre and I wish more readers and authors would adopt that philosophy. But eh, running away from the negativity works too!

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