Then I read the author's bio and there was a trite remark about "triathlete bike handling skills" and I was ready to gag because well, I'm a triathlete, a decent bike handler and I'm thinking, "Oh great, this person is living in Portland.. just jumped on a bike in the last couple of years, is influenced by the hip bike racing crowd who just can't help themselves and sneer at the mention 'Triathlete'. "
And, the anecdotal portion of the authors piece in The Oregonian mentioned not being able to keep up in the snow with the group she was riding with so I seized upon this and zinged the article/author's fitness here on my blog.
A day later all hell broke loose. The author's friends descended on my blog, posting comments which I faithfully published, every last one. I find the author's FB page, which was not locked down and the comments to her wall, and there were alot, were soooo bad, nasty, snarky, what have you.. On top of that, I know a few of those people, who are (or were), gasp, Triathletes.
Alright, so I have a point here, and it is this:
If you claim writing as your profession, not just a part-time gig, then on some level you're obligated to stay above the fray.
For example if someone comments on your work vis a vis the comments page on The Oregonian it's one thing if you respond to a legitimate remark. It's another if you patrol your article and delete every comment that you don't like. Or blog. (Guess what, I've seen this happen and no, they weren't my comments, I haven't bothered commenting)
Or, someone takes a shot at your style, content, point, etc. You're a writer, it's like being an artist actually, not everyone is going to like your work, get your point and you're in the public eye so suck it buttercup. :)
And, if you've positioned your blog as a marketing tool vs. a personal blog then I reckon it's a bit odd that seven to ten of your local followers (uh, friends?) descend on another local blog with caustic remarks.
It's like a fight in the sandbox then isn't it? Someone says something you don't like and your friends rush in to get your back.
Net, it's great to inspire that sort of loyalty among your friends who follow your blog but it's really indicative of having not risen to the level of professional writer.