Should You Rant on Your Blog?
by: Sherice Jacob
It’s no surprise that a good rant on your blog will make you feel better. Releasing all that pent up anger, frustration and confusion just seems to purge the body of whatever injustice or wrong is plaguing you – and it can seem like such a release to get it out and on paper (or screen) – but is a rant really a good idea in the long run?
Some of the most famous bloggers have the pull to actually rant and get things done. A great one to learn from is 37Signals’ Get Satisfaction…or Else.” It details Get Satisfaction’s attempt at becoming the go-to site for everyone’s customer service instead of letting the business owner control it on their own site. With nearly 300 comments on that post alone, 37Signals is a force to be reckoned with. It’s interesting to note that on this follow-up post, you can see where Get Satisfaction took the issue seriously and wrote an apology. It may very well have spurred them on to make other changes in the way they use other companies’ names to promote themselves – only time will tell.
But What If You Don’t Have the Pull?
“I’m just one blogger – what can I do?” is often where we find ourselves. Wondering “will a company even listen to me?” is one of our many doubts. Your blog is your voice and you should never feel afraid to make yourself known. Sometimes one blogger’s voice is all it takes to get the attention of even the major media and force action to be taken.
A good rant will almost always stir debate too – and with that comes traffic. Let your personality shine through on your blog and people will notice and respond. They’ll tell their friends to add their two cents – and so on. Turning every post into a rant just for the sake of controversy isn’t a good idea unless you want that to be your blogging hallmark (and you can take the heat!)
When Good Rants Go Bad
The downside to a rant on your blog is two-fold. First, unless you choose to delete it (which will stir even MORE controversy), it will always be there in your archives. You’ll need to ask yourself if that’s something you want following you around next year or 5 years from now. If the problem is solved, you can always write a follow-up, but leave the original post for posterity.
Secondly, and this could be even more important, is that you clearly have your facts together before you write. Nothing looks worse than a blogger who “got served” by the company offering the real facts of the matter.
Bottom line — before you rant, make sure you do your homework and that your rant is well-founded before you jump into a firefight that might end up with you getting burned! On the other hand, it could be the spark the company needs to take action and make things happen. So the question ultimately remains – will you be the fire-starter or the firefighter?
The Collective Question: So, where do you stand? Do you rant on your blog? Feel free to dish about a particularly good rant or one that backfired miserably.
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