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Contrarians Are Welcome Here September 5, 2011

Posted by christinapappas in Blogging, Social Media.

M. Chatterly Sculpture - AgainstTheCrowd

The topic of the #SM Tweetchat, this week hosted by Peg Fitzpatrick, discussed dealing with the art of negativity in social media. More specifically about the role that trolls and contrarians play in relation to.

Now I am no fan of trolls and have little time to pay attention to them, fuel their fire or give them any type of satisfaction so I am going to focus on my admiration for contrarians today. Yes, you heard me, admiration!

Now while a troll’s intent is to cause harm to your brand or image, a contrarian merely has a point of view that is often seen as negative. But don’t go calling every one of them you run into a Negative Nancy. Instead use their point of view as another opinion that is not redundant in your sea of positive comments agreeing with you.

Why do I love and welcome contrarians to my blog?

Simple answer: it validates that I have said something right. I have gotten a reaction out of someone that may not necessarily be the one I was looking for but it sparked a conversation all initiated by something I wrote and published.

Isn’t this what we crave as bloggers and marketers?

Margie Clayman wrote a post called ‘OMG, You Disagree with Chris Brogan’ during her Engagement Series on her blog which she states ‘if you think someone is doing something stupid, do something better…Then we all win.’ I believe she is pointing the post at trolls because these people simply have nothing better to do than be rude and try to get a rise out of you and spark a reaction (kind of worked here – huh?) but a contrarian is different.

If a contrarian thinks what you are doing is stupid, they will tell you to your face – online anyways – and back it up with a ‘why’ (whereas trolls just spit blasphemy and don’t know why). Contrarians demand respect because they voice what they believe in and are not afraid to put their own brand on the line to say it. They think of things in a different way and present a new approach.

I think we need more contrarians to introduce new ways of thinking of things.

What do you think?



1. maryhruth - September 5, 2011

Yes yes yes. Totally agree. We need more contrarians and we need ’em soon because we’re drowning in online social correctness. I’m sooo tired of reading the same old same old. You don’t have to be mean, but there really should be more lively discussion than there is.

Thanks for saying this.

christinapappas - September 6, 2011

I cannot agree more (obviously)! One thing I always love and crave is a good discussion. I should’ve been on the debate team because Im the type of person that makes a point snd stands by it but I truly enjoy when someone comes in at a different angle and challenges me and makes me think ‘hmmm could it be that way?’

2. Chris Ballentine (@MrBallentine) - September 7, 2011

I believe we’re all products of our collective environment and it’s hard to break out from prison of politeness and conformity. As children we were always told that, “if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Instead, we should have been instructed to say something constructive. Offer an opinion with an explaination, whlie still being encouraging. That way of thinking promotes individuality, and not a watered-down, PC version of who we really are.

Good topic. Thanks for giving me a new word for my vocabulary.

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