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Dec 21 / Bailey Brautigan

Bleacher Report community: Support, don’t troll, fellow writers

If you are a Bleacher Report contributor (FC, Correspondent, whatever), you have no reason to be anything but encouraging and constructive while interacting with your fellow writers.

You’re not going to impress the girl of your dreams by trashing her boyfriend, and you’re not going to gain respect (or reads) in the B/R community by trolling other writers’ articles.

I’m not sure where the whole “If I put this writer down, people will read my stuff” strategy developed, but I can assure you that it doesn’t work. I started as a full-time writer, and I worked my you-know-what off to make sure that my name was attached to the best slideshows and articles. I spent hours writing my Monday Night Football predictions each week, and I spent days building 50-slide slideshows, and …

“This is a terrible article.”

Or …

“You obviously have no idea what you’re talking about.”

Or my personal favorite …

“Go make me a sandwich.”

We’re all going to encounter Internet trolls. You know the type: no profile picture, created his account that day, huge fan of CAPS LOCK. But writer-on-writer attacks reflect poorly on us as individuals.

And they hurt the B/R brand we’ve worked so hard to build. Don’t be one of them.

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting all kinds of different people since I started at Bleacher Report, and I’m proud to say that many of those who have supported their fellow writers are now my colleagues.

As for the trolls … well, we can’t seem to remember their names.

I thought long and hard for a less cheesy way to say “we’re all in this together,” but I’m stuck. So: We’re all in this together!

* * *

Bailey Brautigan is Bleacher Report’s Video Content Manager.

  • Erik Frenz

    Trolls will be trolls. There are trolls literally on every website on the internet. I get the message of this post, but to be honest, I don’t think it “hurts the B/R brand” because if that were the case, I think almost every national media outlet’s brand would be hurt.

    I can see where you’re coming from, but I think trolls are the last thing we should be worrying about when trying to build a long term image and brand for B/R. Quality of content and acceptance among other media outlets should be first and foremost.

    Thanks for the post.

    • New Era Scouting

      I agree with your point, but I also think Bailey’s intention was to point out and limit “writer-on-writer” crime. And that’s something that does and will hurt the B/R brand. Major media outlets B/R is in competition with doesn’t have the issue of one NFL writer bashing the work of another publicly.

      You are spot on: quality and acceptance are keys. But to build up quality and gain acceptance all B/R writers need to support each other and not look to knock down each other in an effort to succeed.

    • Scott Harris

      Yeah, after reading the post, it seems clear to me she’s talking about B/R writers trolling the articles of other B/R writers, not trolls in general. I agree entirely with this message and hear, hear to Bailey.

      • Bailey Brautigan

        Exactly right, Matt and Scott!

        Trolls are everywhere, but you won’t see writers bashing each other on any well-respected media outlet. We can’t stop the reader-on-writer crime, but as writers, we can (and should) support each other through friendly debate and constructive feedback!

        Shortly after I wrote my first few articles for B/r, a certain Cavs FC sort of took me under his wing, defended me in comments and took a special interest in my development as a writer. Words cannot express how much this one writer helped me, and if all of us would do the same when we see a new writer with great potential, think how great our community could be!

        Thanks for reading!

  • Phil Watson

    You’d love to think that in the 21st century, the gender thing would be passe. Unfortunately, my gender keeps turning out generation after generation of club-bearing mouth-breathers who somehow manage to peck a keyboard.

    I agree that as writers at B/R, we should feel an obligation to provide constructive criticism or a logical counter-argument. Not every piece is going to be Pulitzer quality, but “this sucks” is not a way to help a fellow writer improve their craft.

  • Kay Jennings

    I am a new contributor to Bleacher Report (3 articles), and it would never occur to me to trash my colleagues. It would seem to me to be counterproductive to disparage the quality of our writing as we try to build the site’s reputation. I hope to personally thrive in this environment and for that to happen, I need the site to succeed. Seems like a big “duh” to me.

  • Chris Mueller

    I wish this was on the main site so everyone could read it, what you say hear is exactly how I feel about this kind of stuff. Disagreeing is fine as long as we don’t attack each other for no reason.

    The ability to intelligently express an opinion is something we rarely see on the internet these days, but BR seems to have a high number of supportive people.

  • Jo-Ryan Salazar

    I believe in smart, clean discussions about the topics relevant to my articles, so I always moderate the comments on my pieces to assure that is done, and nothing else.