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Yes, That’s How Blogs Work

December 5, 2017

I published a controversial post a couple weeks ago. (How To Lose A Third Generation Customer.) I did something I haven’t done in the past, I named a business, and a local business at that. A beloved local business.

I then posted a link to the story in a Facebook group that is for citizens of my local community of Pleasant Grove. The reaction was surprising.

First the issue. “How To Lose A Third Generation Customer describes my attempt to exchange a Craftsman socket at a local store. As a result of not being able to make the exchange, I opted to no longer buy Craftsman (I’m the 3rd generation of my family that has purchased Craftsman) and to stop frequenting the local store that carries Craftsman.

Is it an overreaction to let that one event determine my shopping preferences? Probably. But, if I’m going to go out to buy something, and I know the big box store will have it and I’m not sure if the local hardware store will have it, it’s just easier to go where I know it will be. I was pretty clear in my post that I didn’t think the store had done anything “wrong” and I certainly was not suggesting anyone else should stop shopping there.

Guess, what I got accused of by the community defenders in my little town? Yep, they wanted to know why I assumed the store employees were wrong and how dare I suggest that others stop shopping there. We had quite an interesting discussion before the moderator decided that the thread had become too negative.

The Double Standard

One group of attacks centered around people’s experience at the local business. The business really is a wonderful store. It’s been part of Pleasant Grove for generations. In a city of 46,000, this business and it’s owners have touched just about everyone in the community in some way or other. People recounted to me the wonderful experiences they had there. The helpful sales staff. The wonderful charity work that was done by the owners. And it was all true. In fact, I agreed with everything these people said.

But, without a trace of irony, they accused me of trying to influence other people’s shopping choices based on my own experience. Completely ignoring the fact that they were trying to influence other people’s shopping choices based on their own experience. A couple of people noticed it, but most found it completely unacceptable for me to attempt to influence them, but completely acceptable for them to try to influence me.

But, of course, I wasn’t. I didn’t suggest anyone stop shopping there. In fact, I encouraged people to continue to frequent the business. Several people suggested that because of my “hit job” on the business, it would generate a groundswell of support for them headed into the holiday season. I assured them that no one would be happier than me, if that turned out to be the case.

Ad hominem ad nausium

And ad hominem attack is one that is based on emotions, or “attacking the messenger.” And there were plenty of people more than willing to attempt to refute my article by attacking me and my skill as a writer. One person went to the trouble of researching my Twitter account.

You haven’t had a single tweet LIKED or RETWEETED in the past six months!

Yes, that’s correct. I am always surprised when someone RETWEETS one of my posts. Generally, it’s some geeky IT post that might get the odd RETWEET. But, Twitter is definitely the quietest of my social media accounts.

Another attempted to demean my reach or influence. They were sure that no one reads my blog and I’m simply “a legend in my own mind.”

Actually, in the 12 hours that this post has been up, it’s been read by people in the USA, UK, India, China, Brazil, Sourth Korea and Yeman. Considering the local nature of the topic, I’m kind of surprised it’s had the interenational reach it has. I’m pretty sure I know my readership better than you do.

By, by far, my favorite critcism was the person who accused me of specifically writing to generate a response.

You are just trying to get more people to follow you and read your blog!

Yes, I am. That’s actually how blogs work.

Most of the local people completely missed the message of the post, which was “It’s really easy to lose a long time customer.” Fortunately, people from outside my little town understood that message.

(Oh yeah, one more thing, apparently my signature block is clear evidence that I’m just trying to sell . . .something.)

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. 

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(c) 2017 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved 

  1. Of course your signature is clearly trying to sell something, which is obviously is that you are a nifty hoopy frood and fun and thought provoking to read. That some people think this is a problem is just boggling, pin headed thinking stuck in one little bitty POV,

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