Why Serial Complainers Lose Credibility

never complain
Image by Rain

So why do serial complainers lose credibility on and offline?

We all know these people, the kvetch or worse, the troll, the person that always brings a storm cloud whenever they discuss an issue.

Publicly everyone listens, privately they get dismissed on the back channel as a hater or worse. Eventually, people stop listening all together.

The title alone is the answer, specifically, repeat complaining.

In social communities the consistent malcontent becomes the equivalent of the boy who cried wolf. In fact, if the malcontent goes so far as to hurt others, they breed a form of reciprocity that no one really wants to see, vengeance.

A German study from the Institute for the Study of Labor shows that negative acts create a similar responsive reciprocity, a willingness to harm those who previously acted against the surveyed individual.
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Get and Keep Readers

White Blossoms, Red Kimono

The following speech was given at Saturday’s New York City Tribeup.

We live in an attention economy. The way content gets found today with social validation and search requires that posts, videos and pictures get referred to and talked about by others.

As a blogger, I did well during the RSS era with the Buzz Bin. I sold that blog as part of an acquisition. In the process I lost 5000 RSS subscribers.

For a little while, my personal blog did well in its stead based on my social network communities and good will. This created a second wave of success.

I then did a bunch of stupid things like cut down frequency, blog without editorial direction, engaged in a few immature blog wars, and restricted my frequency. These things effectively eroded my blog’s social support.

After a period of roughly the past half year, a guest blogging campaign, being exposed to Gini Dietrich‘s brilliant mind while launching our book, and a reinvigorated content mission with a committed frequency, my personal blog began to rebound. Then I joined Triberr, effectively capping a comeback, my third wave of personal blogging success.

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