The Dos and Don'ts of Comments Section Trolling (Part II)

Way back in August, I wrote a post called The Dos and Don'ts  of Comments Section Trolling. It wasn't one of my best-performing blog  posts, but it was a fun one to write, and I've had commenters come up with creative new ways to be stupid again, so I thought I'd give them some more pointers on how they might more effectively waste their sad and empty lives. Let's jump right in, shall we?

1. DO try to say something substantial.

Here's a comment I received on a post I wrote a couple of weeks ago about using "bad" language in writing.

Thanks, Don! Let me reach into my bag of fucks-to-give and see if I can find something for that opinion of yours.

Well shit. Looks like I'm fresh out.

Well shit. Looks like I'm fresh out.

Come on, Don. You literally just read a 1,200+ word article on how little I care about your objections to my use of profanity. What could you possibly have hoped to achieve by taking the time to write this comment?

That's like going to a boxing match and later reflecting that you thought two of the punches in particular were needlessly violent.

2. DON'T shit on Jesus.

This comment comes in response to my surprisingly popular post titled Why Am I Not Selling Any Books? (Because You Suck At Everything.).

I'm going to give Agatha here the benefit of the doubt and assume that she hasn't read the post mentioned in the first entry. I'm going to crawl just a little bit further out on that limb and assume that, based on her objection to my "blasphemy", that she is a religious woman. Consider this, Agatha...

You hypocrite! First remove the beam out of your own eye,

and then you can see clearly to remove the speck out of your brother’s eye.

Do you know who said that?



After reading her advice, I had a look at Agatha Styles's Amazon page. The rankings for her books aren't exactly stellar. I'm not one to kick a fellow self-published author while she's down, but it seems to me that seeking to give me condescending writing advice while she's selling maybe a book a year is sort of like taking a big steamy shit in Jesus's mouth. And that's not cool.

I'm going to turn the other cheek, Agatha, and give you some career advice. Get yourself a pair of sunglasses and a pink convertible, and insist that people start calling you Aggie Styles. I'd buy a book by Aggie Styles.

3. DO have some idea of what the fuck you're talking about.

This comment is hot off the presses. Dave Loeff wrote this while I was writing the first two entries. Thanks, Dave!

This is another one from the Why Am I Not Selling Any Books (Because You Suck At Everything.) post. (I've seriously been getting a lot of mileage out of that post.)

But here's the thing. None of the shit mentioned in this comment is actually discussed in the post.

So I did some digging to see where I might have mentioned any of what he was talking about in the past, and I found this in a blog post from a year and a half ago.

The biggest lesson I'm taking away from this is that I don't plan on ever doing a free promotion again. A free promotion is great for an author just starting out who wants to get a bunch of reviews, and I recommend it for that purpose alone. Back in September, when I ran a free promo for Critical Failures, it got over 17,000 downloads, and those probably make up almost half of my reviews. It was great. I was in the number one spot on Amazon's free comedy list for the length of the promotion, but once it ended, I got my ass dumped down to the depths of the paid list. Now that I've got enough reviews such that people aren't likely to suspect they were written by friends and family members, I'll be sticking to Countdown promotions from now on. A quasi-permanent spot on an Amazon list is worth it.

Dave Loeff is arguing my own point back at me, only on the wrong post. And what is that shit about "that will only show up in the listing for the book, not in Amazon's listing for the category itself"? I don't even know what that fucking means. How can something be number one in a category without being listed in that category? Is this some kind of Schrodinger's Cat thing?

"Don't drag me or Mitens into this shit."

"Don't drag me or Mitens into this shit."

As far as paid advertising on Facebook (which is something I also didn't mention in the post this comment was responding to), it's something I'm still experimenting with, and I've had mixed results. I also didn't mention advertising on Amazon, on this post or anywhere else, because I've never done it.

Contrary to what Dave Loeff would have you believe, you are able to set the price-per-click to whatever you want. Dave Loeff's presumably shitty results are not, in fact, representative of everyone who has ever advertised on Facebook.

"I flapped my arms for, like, forty-five goddamn minutes and never left the ground. Therefore, birds can't fly. I don't see what's so hard about this to understand."

"I flapped my arms for, like, forty-five goddamn minutes and never left the ground. Therefore, birds can't fly. I don't see what's so hard about this to understand."

Dave's remarks about permafree books are also total horseshit, both in the implication that I recommend doing that, and with regard to Amazon's policy for allowing it.

Here's a good example: Flying Toasters. Notice...

  1. It's permafree without being particularly successful or the beginning of a series.
  2. My short story, Nymph-O-Maniacs, was originally part of it, but I asked to have it removed when the other folks at DeadPixel Publications decided to make it permafree, because that didn't jive my marketing strategy.

My favorite part of this comment, however, is the little nugget right there at the end.

I've come to the conclusion that the only way to sell books in today's cluttered market is to do something really clever. Still trying to figure out what that clever thing is.

I've got some bad news for you, Dave Loeff. If this comment is indicative of your capacity for cleverness, you've got a long road ahead of you.

4. DON'T demonstrate the point of the post you're trying to troll.

Last week, I wrote a blog post with the misleading title, I'm Tired of Hearing Trump Compared to Hitler. In the post, I hypothesized that Trump is purposely inviting comparisons to Hitler so that he can dismiss his critics as lazily resorting to Godwin's Law.

Here's a comment someone left on my Facebook page in response to the post...

They can even raise their arms and open their mouths at the same time!

They can even raise their arms and open their mouths at the same time!

This picture demonstrates my point about Godwin's Law better than I could have ever articulated it. I thought for a moment that this comment may have been trying to do that on purpose, but a quick glance at Alvon's Facebook feed revealed that he's just another racist fucktard.

'Religious intolerance' and 'attacking foreign lands' are the biggies here, and each are laughably dismissable when attempting to compare President Obama to Hitler.

Even if you buy into the preposterous notion that Obama is a "secret Muslim", hellbent on destroying Christianity or whatever, he's been plenty more subtle about it than Hitler ever was, or than Trump is being about his feelings toward Muslims.

The "attacking foreign lands" thing is equally nonsensical when you compare President Obama to either his predecessor or Hitler.

The rest of the comparisons listed are either (also) unsubstantiated nonsense or completely missing the point of what comparisons to Hitler are supposed to be about.

My two favorites are "bailing out the auto industry" and "nationalizing the energy programs". I'll admit to not knowing much about Obama's or Hitler's involvement in either of these undertakings, but I'm pretty damn sure these aren't things Hitler is ubiquitously hated for.

"He has an endoskeleeton and a central nervous system, just like Hitler! WHAT WAS I THINKING???

"He has an endoskeleeton and a central nervous system, just like Hitler! WHAT WAS I THINKING???

Honestly, Alvon. How do you expect more people were swayed with your Obama/Hitler picture? Certainly, 99% and change recognized it as bullshit and hold on to their preconceptions. But I would imagine that, of the fraction of 1% who gave it any thought, less would have taken an Obama/Hitler comparison seriously, and more would have thought 'Holy shit... Is this the best we've got on the guy?'.

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Go read my books!