The Best and the Worst of Travel Forums. And dealing with Trolls, Haters, Expats, and other “Uglies”

 

what you need to know about Travel Forums

The Best and the Worst of Travel Forums

Updated August 18, 2019 (originally written October of 2013).

Travel Forums can be great places. You need a tip on where to go in a particular country, where to stay, or just want general information then it is the place to go for the most up-to-date information. My favorite is Lonely Planet’s Thorntree forum; it gets the most traffic and you can be assured of an answer to even the weirdest or most specific question within a short period of time.

On the flip side, forums bring out all the uglies that permeate much of news and social media these days; the ones who want to spout hatred, create conflict, or just have it in mind that they want to ruin everything for everyone else. Others are just know-it-alls, people who use news/social media as their pulpit and who shoot down anyone they don’t agree with.

This post is meant primarily for people who enter travel forums, some for the first time, in the hopes of getting or sharing information in a positive way. I’ll highlight some of the uglies that they’ll encounter and how I personally deal with it. This post is also directed at the uglies. If you read this you may come to the realization that you fit in one of the categories listed below. If so maybe the following will open your eyes to how you may be perceived and you may want to re-think how you interact with others. My point in all this is that there is no reason why travel forums can’t be a positive experience for everyone. Ok, maybe that’s being overly optimistic.

I’ll start off by saying that about 80% of interaction on travel forums is positive. There are a lot of helpful people out there who have good intentions and generously take the time to dispense great travel information.  The remaining 20% of interaction is either negative or unhelpful, ranging from snarky comments to misleading information to outright abuse. It might be the minority, but it is the people behind these interactions that give forums (and not just travel forums) a bad name.

 

The “Uglies” you’ll encounter on travel forums

Note that uglies are not black and white and that their lines blur and intersect. But, generally speaking, they fall into these 6 categories.

1) Trolls. The troll just looks for trouble, they can’t say anything good about anything/anyone, will point out anything you have to say as “stupid” and make comments designed to get under your skin. The origin of “troll” dates back to 1610 from the Norse word meaning giant or demon and evokes the trolls of Scandinavian folklore where they are characterized as beings bent on mischief and wickedness. Today’s internet trolls however are quite simple minded, easy to spot, and are even more easily remedied (more on that later). Sometimes though they morph into other categories and are not so identifiable.

2) The Village Idiot. A different kind of Troll, they’ll post questions such as “What should I see in Canada?” or “Where is the cheapest place to pick up prostitutes in Thailand?”. These posts end up soliciting a lot of angry or stupid responses; people telling him to buy a guide, do research, or generally go to hell. The Village Idiot has succeeded, he’s gotten under everyone’s skin and has brought everyone down to his level.

3) Haters. They hate other travelers, the principle reason being that you are ruining it for them. Some may be backpackers, others might be expats, but what they have in common is a belief that you’re spending too much money and/or ruining the people or places by just being there (ignoring that they themselves are not natives). They also think that you don’t know a country unless you’re not living at subsistence level “like the locals”. I had one tell me that I was a “luxury traveler” (yes, my $50 hotel room) and therefore it was “silly” to make social commentary on the country in which he had retired. Would spending my vacation in a mud hut better qualify me to make social commentary?

4) The Expat Expert. These expats know it all, have an opinion on everything and will rip the casual commenter apart with their detailed stories of everyday life in their little slice of heaven/hell. They can’t see the forest for the trees and will have a story to offset any opinion to the contrary. They often have too much time on their hands and grow, morphing into the next category.

5) The Travel Forum Guardian. They’re the Expats (or locals) with thousands upon thousands of comments on forums. They treat forums as their personal facebook page to chat and compare notes with other expats. They like trying to impose rules on others and work in packs, backing each other against anyone who they consider “doesn’t know as much as they do”. You can often see them answering every single thread on a country, smugly dispensing their opinions and advice. They are in my opinion the worst of the uglies because of their determination and time in monopolizing all discussion. They ruin it for everyone else who can’t get a word in edgewise. In many ways these Expats remind me of the first days of high school where you walk in and feel like a stranger amongst the cool kids. And then at a certain point you just realize that they’re all actually just a bunch of insecure losers.

Expats can – and sometimes do -provide the best information to travelers looking for information on forums. And any expat I’ve ever met is nice and generous in person. But there’s a minority of them who ruin forums for everyone else. Go to any forum and you’ll find grouchy expats who monopolize conversation, pick fights, or impose self-made rules. For some reason, I’ve noticed that the Central American threads on Lonely Planet have the most crotchety, miserable bunch of these. It’s too bad, with an attitude adjustment these people would be appreciated for their wealth of information.

6) The Blogger-Haters.  The people who hate bloggers and who want them off the forum. A few people recently commented on my posts in Lonely Planet’s Thorntree forum, telling me that bloggers are “self promoting”, “self-serving blog floggers” (that one got a chuckle out of me. Anyone using the word “flogger” must have a PhD in masturbation).

The Blogger-Haters no doubt think that it is us bloggers that give forums a bad name. More on that below.

 

Forum rules as it applies to Bloggers

In the early days of this blog I would comment regularly on forums. Posting on forums – where you answer a question and include a link to your site – was an easy way to bring “real” people to your site (“real” people meaning those outside the blogging community). You want real people; they take their time on your site and give you the best feedback. Nothing is more rewarding to a blogger.

But there’s been a backlash against Bloggers on travel forums.

It used to be that you could link your blog to a post on Lonely Planet’s Thorntree forum providing that the answer was relevant, helpful, and gave value to the conversation. On Trip Advisor, you could include your link at the bottom of your Review.

But bloggers and their links are no longer invited on LP or Trip Advisor. In updating this post I logged into my  Lonely Planet Thorntree account and found out that it has been suspended (I haven’t used it since 2013 so…).

 

In a way I understand it because you don’t want bloggers spamming your forum. Unfortunately blogging has changed in the last few years and now everyone has a blog and all are trying to find new ways of getting attention.

So I get why forums no longer allow links. But on the other hand…

 

For the people who hate/don’t trust bloggers

I frequented forums long before I became a blogger and I find the negative attitude on forums towards bloggers confounding. Who do you trust more, a blogger who stands by his blog and his reputation – or an anonymous poster? The anonymous poster could be the owner of a hotel overseas just trying to steer business his way, a guy looking to befriend you and scam you, or a guy who might just be a bullshit artist giving you wrong information because he either doesn’t like you or doesn’t want you coming to “his” country and ruining his experience. The anonymous poster might be  a great guy, on the other hand he might be a scammer. You’ll never know. A blogger on the other hand doesn’t hide behind a pseudonym and will only ruin his/her reputation if he/she starts giving people completely erroneous information.

The blogger wants to bring traffic to his site in the hopes of increasing his fan base. Some may have ads on their site or may have something to sell. But the main goal is always to bring traffic to his/her site and to get people to click on that subscribe button by providing interesting, entertaining and informative material (for free). There’s nothing insidious about that. So I find it funny when I hear people on forums complaining about bloggers trying to sell stuff. To those I say look around your forum page; how many American Express ads do you see? How many ads telling you to visit New Zealand? How many Lonely Planet guides for sale on your right hand side?*

* On a related note, when writing an article for a newspaper, you (as the writer) are no longer credited with a link in the newspaper. I know this having written for several publications. I once asked the editor of the paper about the rule change and was told that it was because “subscribers are clicking on blog websites and that makes us lose traffic”. That also applies to forums: Lonely Planet doesn’t want you, the reader, clicking on other links…

 

The positives of Bloggers is that most of us have done a lot of travelling and have a wider scope than most other contributors. Bloggers blog because they love to travel. If you’re a poster asking all about La Fortuna (Costa Rica) an Expat will tell you where you should stay, eat, and see. They’re great at giving you every detail you ever need. A Blogger will have his own recommendations, but he might also tell you that La Fortuna is commercialized beyond believe and that crossing the border into Nicaragua might make for a more interesting, adventurous, and affordable holiday. That’s what a blogger can offer.

 

Anyway, that’s my opinion about the negative perception of bloggers.

 

 

My Travel Forums Tips for newbies

As I said up top, forums can be great places to get information and some people are very helpful. But others look for trouble and will pick you apart. My general rule (and I’ve learned this from experience) is that it is not worth getting into exchanges on a forum. It’s a waste of time and energy and in the end it doesn’t help you at all, in fact it just makes you look bad.

Some pretty simple rules:

– Ignore. People often say that you shouldn’t feed the Trolls but that goes for all the uglies on the list above. They look to provoke and the best thing is to give them nothing.

–  As a poster: do basic research before asking a question, leave opinion or commentary out of the question, keep your question short and precise. These kind of questions solicit the best answers.

 

Conclusion

It would be great if everyone could get along and that there was a level of respect and decorum that could be maintained between people. In theory, everyone can contribute and bring different viewpoints to a conversation. In practice that doesn’t happen.

 

Related

Ouch, this guy’s had it with Trolls
Different types of Trolls (funny)


Always appreciate any feedback or stories that might further help readers of this blog!

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The Best and the Worst of Travel Forums

 

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54 Comments

  1. I didn’t even know there were travel forums! Eeegads. Usually I just look at a map, locate where train/bus stations/airports are and then once there get totally lost and after a few days am okay. If the trip is between major destinations a screen snap of where I’m going to stay the night helps, but those are normally arrive, sleep and leave to the station.

    Some “tourist maps” are okay, others not, but they do give a general layout of the town, so occasionally use them. Often if I stay in a hostel, I don’t say I’m a travel blogger. Just mention I’m a writer (which I am) and photographer (that too) and only here to capture a few photo’s etc. That, more often than not, shuts up the “uglies”, most of the time I just ignore them and get on with what I’m doing (which is usually finding a place to live for the next month or three).

    Hmmmm, maybe I’ll try joining a forum just to wind them up – hee-hee 😉

  2. I’m not a joiner, per se but there are a few travel/writer groups I belong to, mostly on FB. I have found though that over the last year or two I’ve stopped responding to questions and I’ve stopped joining conversations. I have found way too many times when I offer a suggestion/solution based on personal experience and the next comment comes along and negates what I say as not being the best option, or xyz is so much easier or whatever, and its painfully clear he/she has no idea what she/he is talking about.

    I never claimed to have all the options but if I personally experienced something, i.e. a train route, or destination tips, etc., and I know for a fact what I’m offering is authentic, then why trash my comment?
    Answer: Because the haters gotta hate. It’s just gotten so ridiculous that now when I instinctively answer a comment because I have the answer or option, 9 out of 10 times I’ll delete my response because I just don’t want to deal with what I know is coming next.

    While some of it may well be deserved, for the most part bloggers get a bad rap and boomers are trashed on a daily basis as being the root of all that’s wrong in the world. It’s mind blowing. Some of us boomers who are travel bloggers actually have their heads on straight. 🙂

    1. I’m sorry to hear about your negative experiences Patti. I’ve avoided all groups, I find they’re generally a community of like-minded individuals who just want to regurgitate the same stuff, good or bad, and who don’t take kindly to differing opinions. I found that our on an Expat FB group in Croatia – same concept as with travel forums.
      I know you – you don’t look for confrontation so it’s a shame you’ve been faced with those kind of responses. Oh well.

      Sorry, but your mention of boomers. What do you mean boomers are being trashed?

      On that note, LP has welcomed me back to Thorntree today after I asked them why I was banned. I told them I have no interest.

      1. Oh, Frank, I don’t even know where to begin. It’s trickle down blaming. It’s never a good idea to blame one generation for what ails the country, and/or pit one generation against another. Nor is it a good idea to typecast every single person over (or under) a certain age as having the same set of values, beliefs, morals, etc. because it sure as sh*t isn’t true.

        When the 4 of us finally cross paths, let’s raise a glass and talk about it. 🙂 In the meantime, here’s a few (out of many) examples:

        https://nypost.com/2019/08/20/its-time-to-stop-celebrating-the-baby-boomers/

        https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/06/boomers-are-blame-aging-america/592336/

        https://www.huffpost.com/entry/what-to-say-when-young-people-blame-everything-on-the-boomers_n_582b5468e4b01d8a014ac7e4

  3. A great overview. And I love the breakdown of the troll categories. I use both forum for off the beaten path locations like Mali or DRC

  4. Frank, I don’t frequent travel forums at all. You article is very interesting, it has opened my eyes to the dark side of this type of travel resource. In many ways all the above characters are also found all over the internet. You do find the trolls and haters all over social media. Your tip of ignoring all this negativity and just don’t get involved is spot on…why waste precious time? When I want to research a travel destination I usually get a travel guide (often a Lonely Planet) and then I tend to look at travel blogs I can trust. You can usually spot the bloggers who are just interested in selling and are not very genuine. The blogging community has changed a lot since I started back in 2013 and not necessarily for the better. But there are still lots of great blogs out there that are worth following/reading.

    1. Thank you Gilda. I used to have ALL the Guide Books (most of them LP) but when we started travelling full-time I stopped because it’s just too much to carry around. I now use a lot of resources online when researching a place, including other blogs. But I think your point on the blogging “community” changing is spot on. I think there’s a post there.

  5. the only travel forum I have ever used is the Lonely Planet Thorn Tree, which I discovered I THINK around the year 2000. And what I’ve read there to me has seemed civil and supportive. However, I think you are talking about something a little different Frank… and it’s really sad that it sounds like it echoes the typical evils of social media. great, thoughtful (as always) post

    1. Thanks Andy. That’s a long time ago… when LP was actually pretty helpful and the site not just a platform to sell guides.

      1. yeah its not as it used to be. so much info, not just the forum. I go back from time to time to see if a specific question might have been asked and answered by someone. Occasionally it has. but a lot of the content is gone probably as it was making the guide books superfluous.

  6. I used to ask questions on Thorntree, but the rudeness that went down on that forum made me hesitant to do so in the end. It was handy to get local information though. Things that I may have not understood myself when in the country. I probably haven’t been on Thorntree for as long as you. I must try and log in and see if I’m able.

    1. I actually wrote LP yesterday after seeing that my account was suspended. The person who wrote me back told me that I had “spammed” LP with my blog. I thought that was pretty aggressive language and reminded her that the rules at the time were different and that I kept within the rules at the time. Not that I want to be involved with Thorntree again for the reasons I stated (I can still follow threads though even if I can’t comment).

  7. I’ve used the Lonely Planet forum and Tripadvisor forum a bit in the past so can relate to what you’ve said. The Youtube comments section is the worst thing I’ve seen, sometimes these guys just start fights with each other over stuff that’s not even related to the topic. My favourite part of the film Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back is when they got famous and used all the money to fly around the country to beat the shit out of the internet trolls.

    1. You are right – Youtube and also all those idiots that comment on yahoo news. Those social media sites actually even worse than travel forums. Who are these people with no lives and stupid comments? What a waste of space.
      Just found that movie on Netflix and will give it a chance sometime 😉

  8. Inspired! And spot on, love your categories! There are some truly ridiculous people out there, feel sorry for them really if they’ve nothing better to do than lurk and stir. I used to be a frequent Thorntree poster, coming at it from both angles (asking for and giving advice) but I got so fed up of the arrogance of some of the ‘Expat Experts’ thinking only they could really know about a country and arguing with me for the sake of it, that I found better things to do with my life. Like travel. Some good did come out of it though…one poor guy who had just come on to ask advice (and got caught in the middle of the battle) afterwards contacted me privately to say he totally agreed with me. He became a regular blog reader and eventually relocated his entire company (from Canada!) to Morocco and used my blog as the ‘required reading’ for all his employees who would be moving with the company.

    Can’t stand the spelling trolls either, seriously, leave that job to my mum please!!!!

    1. That’s a really nice story Heather. You can have a 100 readers but 1 that is that dedicated is worth more than that. But that’s because you’re a great blogger with lots of honest advice/opinions 🙂

  9. I fully understand your feelings about the haters and such. My family write about what we see, and hear all over the world. So we do understand, and we have even had complaints about names of countries. But I enjoy your blog and the hundred others I read all over the world. Bloggers bring a more truthful expression, and yes there is some promotion along the way. They don’t have CNN giving them free publicity, and anyway its not like we pay for any of the information bloggers give us for free. So post and blog away, and we will do the same.

  10. The forum guardians are in force on Lonely Planet, tripadvisor and Teakdoor. Some of these guys have made 30,000 posts and know it all or so they claim. It is like forums have given all the men and women with small man syndrome a place to live.

  11. The trolls are everywhere, even on garden pages! I’ve dealt with many of the ugly personalities you mentioned. Now I don’t feel so bad about dealing with these trolls, at least I’m not alone! As far as certain sites not allowing you to leave a link back to your blog, being a novice traveler wanna be, a link to your blog would be very helpful. A link back to a blog will let me see for myself who this person is and how knowledgeable they are about the place they’re commenting on. This tells the inquiring person that the blogger is a legitimate person who has been to the area. An anonymous post is basically meaningless. It can be from a person who is seeking attention for themselves and doesn’t have any knowledge of the area. The best interests of the traveler is not on their agenda.

    1. Trolls on garden pages? Are they like the squealing trolls from Harry Potter? 🙂 Lissette says they even have trolls sometimes on yoga sites…
      I guess it’s just the ugly side of human nature.

  12. I have had my first experience on a travel forum,where I posted in a thread about having a bad customer service experience about a travel agency I emailed etc. The agency didnt bother to get back to me when they said they would. Then a few of these muppets I think were from other travel agencies came on telling me I was just a “time waster” so why should anyone help me find flights anyway. They said this because I said I didnt want to give my flight details to the agent who wanted to book tickets in my name. I said I just wanted a couple of general price quotes to get an idea of what they were offering?, as they were not advertised on their site?. I was then told by a few other morons that I fabricated my story, that I would be lucky if I could book my own flights myself etc.They also repeatedly asked my if I had managed to do it myself in a condescending way,as If I couldnt. I just told them that yes I did book them myself, no I did not even name the exact store or person I dealt with…only the company,which is why you blog in forums dont you?, I said I wasnt interested in arguing about it either,and that it was my experience I was reporting.to give your experience……God some people are either stupid or just like to initiate arguments on there,first time I have come across it……its funny when people argue irrelevant stuff, nothing to do with what you posted in the first place lol.

    1. Sorry you had to go through that Tracey. Honestly, people are idiots, no wonder many of the online newspapers are starting to get away from having a comment section. Just dumbs down their content. And, incidentally, came across another forum (Thaivisa) since writing the above – swear they have the most low class bunch of expats that I’ve seen on any forum. Lots of miserable people Tracey, don’t take it to heart 😉

  13. I really enjoyed reading this, found it on a google search after just being verbally harassed by someone on a Tripadvisor forum who has something like 5,000 forum “contributions”. My post was intended to be helpful and instead got snidey comments back. I’m trying hard to bite my tongue

    1. Hey Grant. A lot of A-holes out there, I had my share with Tripadvisor – I’m not bothering with them anymore, they have the same people dominating all conversation on that forum plus a lot less sampling of comments. Just a bunch of miserable expats dominating it like their personal space. Yeah, better to bite your tongue but someone should advise the forum mediators because at the end it just diminishes the purpose of what they are trying to do.
      Thanks for the comment!

  14. Great article and in many ways a fair assessment of forum users across the board. I frequent a sport related forum for a team I follow and you soon figure out the characters on there. You know the good ones from the bad ones and the trolls. Village idiot is a term frequently applied 🙂

    It is a sad thing to hear some forum users dislike bloggers. At the end of the day forum users are people sharing their knowledge, experience and opinions. That is exactly the same thing we do with blogs. Spot the difference? There is none.

    This is a great review and thanks for the tips of some livelier travel blogs.

    1. Thanks very much for your comment. Yes, extends across all social media – one thing I notice also is the nastiness of comments on online newspapers, commenters calling victims idiots or ripping apart the writers/editors of the paper. A lot of unhappy people out there who use social media to vent.

  15. When I was a fledgling manager I had a hard time with the different personalities that were trying to “take me down”. My boss gave me a book – 7 Crazies and How to Deal with Them – or some other similar title. It was helpful. Now that I am retired, living in Costa Rica, and blogging, I appreciate you giving me the resources to deal with the crazies (the first of which is how to identify them). While my blog is relatively new, I have already encountered several of their species.

    1. Thanks Greg for the comment – yup, all kinds of people. Better on the internet than at work where you have to see their faces every day!

  16. Thanks for this interesting post. I’ve been trying to promote my blog for the last month or so without much success. Now I have a new strategy.

    I do think social media can bring out the worst in people, something to do with anonymity. Occasionally, I have to deactivate my Facebook account, I get into such frequent fights with strangers. I also wonder how helpful it is to the creative process to have to self-promote so aggressively. It’s such a distraction from the fun stuff… and also quite depressing when no one can be arsed to look at the work you’ve spent hours and hours slaving over…

    Having lived in Panama for three years, I can confirm the expat community has more than its fair share of miserable wankers. The online community is very bitterly divided too. Insanely so, one blogger famously went after another one with a stun gun once.

    Anyway, cheers for this post, will RT.

    1. Thanks for the interesting comment Richard! Yes, please tell the trolls that I’m responsible for sending you to ‘their’ forum 🙂 Agree with all you say – but at the same time I think that in the end, for a blogger to be successful, you have to get real people on your site (which includes the occasional ugly). Real people give the best feedback, and that includes criticism/negativity – not fun but at the same time we all need it in order to improve our content. I can take criticism if it’s presented in a constructive manner. The great thing about having your own blog is that you can delete their comment or edit it to make them look like a complete idiot!

  17. Interesting post. I’ve never really thought about using forums as a way to generate traffic; I do occasionally use them for travel research though and have noticed a few of the annoyances you mention above, the worst are those who critise the way other people travel – there’s no right or wrong way for god’s sake! Good tips on how to deal with all that though.

  18. Great post, especially the forum rules about blog posts! Being new to blogging, I had always wondered about those. My favorites are Lonely Planet and Trip Advisor as well – I’ve gotten such great tips from there! I do a ton of research before I book to make sure I’m getting the best value. I don’t know how I plan some of my travels without them!

  19. Gosh, I’ve never really used travel forums before apart from when they appear in the odd search on Google but this somewhat puts me off! Entertaining post though! 🙂

  20. Great article! My own blog is brand new, so I haven’t had to deal with any negative comments yet myself. But I see them all the time, and not just in forums, and I just don’t understand it. I think a great deal of it boils down to poor communication skills, but you are right, some people are just ugly online. I forget where I read it, but another blogger referred to them as seagulls. They fly in, shit all over your site, and then fly away. Fingers crossed I can stay above the fray! 🙂

  21. This post = full of win 🙂

    Most of the hater vibe boils down to pure jealously, plain and simple. When people can’t have what they covet, they inherently feel ill-will towards the person who has what they want.

    The days of aspiring to be like others are gone in the wake of the 99% with their “I’m special because I was born!” mentality, and instead of looking up to and aspiring to be like others who have success (such as with a blog), they instantly dislike anyone with more success than they have.

    Personally, I don’t bother with forums. I have my own community with Marginal Boundaries, and a few good connections with other bloggers, and I work hard at building relationships with my fellow bloggers…but I don’t really care to deal with the forum rats…that’s where many of the bottom feeders hang out, and I don’t have the time or the inclination to deal with them.

    Too busy promoting my blog, getting sponsored travels and writing high-quality content that is read by tens of thousands 🙂

    Great post!

  22. I swear Travel/Expat forums can be the worst, sometimes it’s best not to interact with them. Do not feed the trolls! There’s a particular Buenos Aires (BA) expat forum I used to frequent when I had dreams of moving there (not yet, but I’m an Expat in Mexico so it’s a start hah!) and I swear they made BA seem like the most dangerous place in the planet, every week new stories of muggings/robberies. Sure they happen, but they happen everywhere. Then there are those Expats who just don’t want anyone else to move there, they’re the biggest trolls of all in my opinion.

  23. This is why I don’t spend time on travel forums. I like the idea, but I keep getting scared off by the attitudes some people have – it’s clear I will never be ‘expert’ enough to make everyone happy. It’s funny, I know to expect some of this when people are talking about their favorite tv shows and sports teams – but I can’t see the point when it’s applied to travel forums. You’d think the more opinions, the better!

    1. Actually you’ve brought up a good point. I also browse the hockey forums because I like seeing what people have to say – they’re actually more civil than the travel forums. Can’t understand why. Are Expats that miserable?

  24. I find forums helpful, but I rarely post anything because it’s intimidating for all the reasons you stated above. That’s a problem when I don’t consider myself enough of an expert worthy of giving advice about a city I’ve lived in for 5 years, but it’s worse because I don’t *want* to give advice. Maybe I could help someone on a forum, but is it worth getting obliterated by mean comments? Nope, not for me. Probably everyone’s missing out if people like me have similar feelings. I guess we all just hope that someone (like you) has the balls to tell the truth and get it out there, risking the attack.

    1. Thanks for the comment Heather. I think the trick is not to take it to heart (easier said than done). If you do feel that you have to respond because someone’s been mean, do so in an ingratiatingly sweet way; for example thanking them for their input. It just points out to everyone else who’s reading what an asshole that person really is.

  25. “Unknown” quote I came upon:

    Negativity is an addiction to the bleak shadow that lingers around every human form … you can transfigure negativity by turning it toward the light of your soul. 🙂

  26. A really timely article. I got one from someone the other day saying “people are so saying really hateful things about you”. I was a bit concerned, but then a pop us screen said that this was dangerous and not to open it. So i did as my husband and you said and ‘ignored’ it. The idiot had put his name to it and he had made a spiteful comment on a post I had done for another site. Sour grapes maybe. I should name and shame. But I feel better having read this. Thank you … again. Regards, Paula

  27. Excellent post! I do have to wonder where some of these forum hogs find time to constantly post. You’d think they would be spending their time enjoying their travels or new country that they live in. How can they be such first-hand experts when they are always online?

    I especially appreciated your clarification on why bloggers are/should be more trustworthy than the anonymous poster. A blogger/freelancer puts their reputation on the line while anonymous posters have nothing to lose.

  28. Hi 😀

    Very nice article, I laughed at the Expat Expert, so true haha! Will you be visiting Japan anytime soon? It’s weird for me to write about my own country (much- I did write a bit on it hehe) 😛

    Also glad you found Cas’s trolling article funny, I believe he’s working on part two.

  29. LOL at “blogger flogger”!

    I agree that the Forum Guardians are the worst because they are so intimidating and they limit participation. I usually lurk on forums so I can glean information and avoid negative behavior.

    You’ve provided some great tips. The tip to ignore is particularly important, especially since it wastes time when you respond. Can you imagine trying to win an online, commenting battle? Yikes!

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