Living online makes it very easy to interact with readers. Social networking tools, from Amazon reviews to friend-based webs like Facebook, put a writer in touch with fans–and not so much fans. Once again, it’s very important to differentiate between what the internet makes easy and what is smart behavior from a writer.
I have gotten into some pretty heated discussions with friends on Facebook. None have resulted in cut ties. The only incident of “defriending” on my part involved someone I could only call a spammer who, IMO, misrepresented themselves. I did nothing of the sort with Mooney. I have been nothing but supportive until now. So, either he does not like criticism, or he does not want it to influence his book sales which might ensue from his personal relationships on Facebook.
When selling books becomes more important to me than defending what is in them, I hope that someone will dig up this blog post and show it to me.
Criticism is not fun to hear. When it is accurate, it hurts. But I think it is important to hear it.
When criticism is unfair, I refute it or ignore it, but I do not censor it unless it is excessive, offensive (in a social, not intellectual sense), or incomprehensible. Most of the bloggers I read follow a similar philosophy.
Read (for the rest of the content as well). Learn. If you are a writer, don’t let this be you. We’ll cringe in sympathy over the temptation, but we will not love you for the bad behavior when we find out. And in case you haven’t noticed, in this age when everyone blogs, we will find out.
Thanks to Abbie for the link.