Tuesday, April 02, 2013

I can't take criticism

When I ran aNIme1, it was small enough that I never really had much interaction with readers. Honestly, I'm not all that sure I had any regular readers outside the people I knew in real life. It was a small site that I spent next to no time promoting, aimed at a small demographic, and it undoubtedly had a small readership.

Part of the reason I started this blog-a-day effort is because I had an idea for a website that I'd like to set up and run, but I wasn't sure I'd be able to write regularly enough to justify the server and domain costs. I wanted to see if I could keep up a writing schedule, and maybe get better at it, before jumping into that effort again. Back in the aNIme days I had a couple of people who helped with the occasional review, but I wrote and reviewed 95% of the content. I just don't have the time for that anymore, so I was expecting to have to get proper contributors; I couldn't very well expect a lot of them if I didn't have experience and a track record of writing to schedule.

Some online interactions I've had this year, though, have caused me to rethink the whole thing. It's really my own fault; I take stuff too seriously on the internet. It makes me ridiculously easy to troll, especially when combined with my inability to avoid an argument. But that's a dangerous mentality to have if you want to publish online (I make a distinction between personal blogging, like this, and writing for a site); whatever you write, some segment of the audience will disagree and a percentage of them will be vocal and aggressive in their dissent.

I don't think I have the constitution to put up with that. Last night I deleted comments I'd made on a site because I saw the site owner complain - on Twitter, mentioning no names or specific articles - about a discussion I was involved in. Part of me thought, if you've got a comments section on your website you need to expect to see stuff you don't like. But it's also one of my favourite sites (and the guy in question is one of my favourite writers), and it crushed me a little to see that dismissal of my contribution to the community.

So I'm not really committed enough to run a site. I don't have the conviction of my opinions to argue for them when challenged, and I don't have the ability to step back and see when I'm being deliberately provoked or trolled. And then I remove my posts to appease someone who won't even notice?

It's a pity - I thought I'd had a really interesting site concept (even if the broad idea was… borrowed from somewhere else).

1 An anime news/reviews website with a focus on the (at the time) emerging anime community in Northern Ireland. Like everything in Northern Ireland, the anime scene was eventually ruined by stupid bickering.