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Charlie Sykes: Sykes Writes


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So what's your brand? Troll, angry man, defender? Interesting look at the new phenomenon of folks like you who comment on blogs like this. My guess is that everyone who regularly read and/or coments on this blog can recognize and identify al of the types below.


The other day, I found myself writing down all of those types -- something I'd never done before -- and I thought I'd share them with you. Please don't take them personally. & Actually, do take them personally; but keep in mind that on those occasions when I comment on other sites, I myself quickly fall into one or more of these categories -- and not always the nice ones.

The Troll -- Everyone knows this guy (and it's usually a guy), who intentionally visits sites in order to stir things up, provoke a furious reaction from other posters and then disappear. Classic examples are the Free Republic types who visit Daily Kos and vice versa.

The Droll -- The mainstay of all fun sites, this poster regularly tosses out clever comments, plays on words, one-liners or amusing pictures. There are a lot of these characters on places like

The Relentless Pol -- Posters who can't join any discussion without immediately using it to make a political point, i.e., "The current lack of sunspots is the direct result of the Bush administration's failed policies."

The Skimmer -- The commenter, usually sour, who reads only a headline or sentence of a piece, draws exactly the wrong conclusion, and then embarks on an embarrassing rant...

The Angry Man -- We all know this guy. His solution for almost any problem in the world is the summary execution, in as grisly a manner as possible, of every possible perpetrator.

The Dismisser -- The ultimate arrogant commenter, this person never actually engages with the topic, but merely declares it beneath anyone's interest, already resolved, or improperly stated -- and thus hardly worth the bother. The dismisser's only real message is: I'm smarter than you and you need to acknowledge that fact...

The Kumbaya -- These folks always show up two-thirds of the way through any heated on-line debate and ask, "Why can't we all just get along?" They are inevitably ignored or trashed.

The Parser -- What would we do without the Internet Grammar Police? These folks assiduously correct the online writings of others -- never quite catching on that the Web is designed to be fast, fresh and sloppy.

The Pretender -- Everybody is a pretender on the Web -- on the Internet, no one knows you're a dog, as the New Yorker cartoon said. Look at all of those made-up names and sexy icons. But some people just take it to pathological extremes. If the real world actually had that many war heroes, beauty contest winners, Mensa members and Olympic lovers, it would be a very different place.

The Defender -- Bloggers love these guys. When you are getting hammered by other posters, this is the guy who watches your back, supports you, and tells your enemies off & and does a better job of it than your real-life friends.



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