The dark saying of no good deed goes unpunished is reigning over at APE. He posted his loathing of being virtually stalked and the crowd went wild. People took his head off for his helpful opinion (and one I mostly agree with–I say track who goes to your site, but don’t freak out your targets by telling them you know they’ve been on your site, etc.). He offered what he thought was helpful info, and some people bit his head off for it.
Heather Morton gets some sometimes too. In fact, everyone I know who offers help gets kicked in the teeth fairly regularly for it, and it sucks.
Now, I could understand going after me–this is how I make my living and challenging what I have to offer could be seen as acceptable under the concept of “prove you know what you’re talking about, Lady, or I’m not buying what you’re offering!” but even then it should be done respectfully.
Unfortunately, too many photographers out there are getting downright nasty about disagreeing. I’ll tell you flat out, it hurts to offer opinions and help, with all the best of intentions, only to get bitch-slapped for it.
But let’s say you just don’t give a shit about hurting the other person–you’ve got an opinion and damn it, you’ve got every right to express it! Okay, fine, yes, you certainly do have that right. Using that right, well, that’s your choice and I’m telling you that sometimes it’s a bad one. Forget about hurting other people, you are hurting yourselves with some of these posts.
You think only photographers read these blogs? Hell no. Your clients/targets do. And every time you sound like an aggressive jerk, you are hurting your reputation with your clients/targets. It’s hard enough to build a decent reputation–to get people to recognize your name enough to want to look at your work and call you for the next great project–why screw that up just to vent a bit on some blog?
And this stuff lives forever on the ‘net. People aren’t getting jobs or getting into grad school, etc., because employers/administrators are googling applicants and when they find negative stuff–boom, no gig (fwiw, pictures from Spring Break are particularly damaging for regularly employed folks).
So please, learn to write more gracefully, compassionately, and diplomatically or just shut up when you disagree with someone on their blog. Better yet, take a step back and think “Why is s/he writing this? Maybe there is some truth in there I need to learn.”