When You Need to Recant a Post
We talked before about what to do when you make an error in a post, but what if the entire post is a mistake? There was recently an issue with someone in the author blogosphere that made some waves. No names or links mentioned, but the post was obviously written in a rant of wounded ego. At least, I hope that’s what it was, because anything else is just silly.
So how do you handle when your entire post turns out to be a failure? You’ve got angry comments coming in by the stacks. It’s being Tweeted, shared, and sent via smoke signal to everyone on the planet.
And deep down, you know you were wrong.
Some people will choose to stick to their barreled weapons. But be honest with yourself. Did you really handle the situation at the best of your ability?
First, turn off the comment feature. You are just fueling the heat-emitting combustion if you let people continue to converse about it on the board. Links are shared not just because of content, but because of the comments. People like controversy. Everyone wants their say.
And that’s fine. Up until a point. But when it’s time to clean up the mess, turn off the comments.
Now the next step is a bit debatable. Some people will say to remove the entire post, comments and all. Honestly, I think this continues to leave a bad image. Now we’re back to trying to cover the evidence.
But the evidence has already been slung around the globe. So you’re just coming off as someone who can undo everything with a delete button. And that’s not how it works.
I suggest doing one of two things. Either edit the blog post and write at the top, in bold, your formal apology. Or, if the post is really that destructive, edit the post, remove the previous article and write your formal apology and the reason you removed it.
Give a brief paragraph on what you had hoped to achieve with the post, why it failed, what you learned, and an apology to the specific people injured by the post as well as to everyone in general.
I’d suggest sending a formal one on your social network as well. These are the people who support you.
Of course, the best way to handle the situation is to never let it arise to begin with. We’ll talk next time about bad blogging behavior, but remember that the character of an Overlord isn’t always shown by what happens, but how they handle it.
If you were the object of an unjust negative post, how would you expect the blogger to make amends?