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Wilkes: Why I Quit Posting On FITSNews

OR … “THE TROUBLE WITH BLOGGING” By Mande Wilkes  ||  Let’s get this out of the way, right away: You know those people who complain on Facebook about … Facebook?  Yeah, well, what I’m getting ready to set forth is along pretty much those same lines … using a blog…

OR … “THE TROUBLE WITH BLOGGING”

By Mande Wilkes  ||  Let’s get this out of the way, right away: You know those people who complain on Facebook about … Facebook?  Yeah, well, what I’m getting ready to set forth is along pretty much those same lines … using a blog as a platform to complain about (or at least pontificate on) blogging.

Anyway …

A few years ago, when I wrote regularly for this website, “new media” had just begun to take root as a legitimate, if not always news-breaking, medium.  By and large, the emphasis of blogging continues to be on analysis rather than hard news, and in theory that’s probably a good and useful avenue.

The problem, then, is not the content so much as the readership … which naturally is involved with the content in a feedback loop.  More than maybe any other modern pursuit, blog readers are self-selected and self-sorted, to such a degree that among and between blogs there’s little or zero overlap among readers.  The whole internet can be understood basically as a gigantic Venn diagram, with no fold-over of the circles.

Think about it, look at your own list of bookmarked sites … aren’t many of them basically mirror images of each other, in terms of paradigm?

For a writer, that creates an intensely validating experience.  Except on the most highly-trafficked sites, comment sections are echo chambers within which readers agree point by point with the writer.  Each blog exists as a little fiefdom operating within the broad framework of the anonymous internet, generally setting forth no contrary points of view.

It is validating, yes … but it made me a lazy writer.  And more than that, it made me a lazy reader, accustomed to the easy harmony and comforting chatter of one thousand concurring voices.

Not for nothing, it also felt at times suffocating: Why preach to the choir?  After a while I couldn’t quite make out the purpose of writing on the internet, since the audience already shared my viewpoint.  Without a party to persuade or at least entertain, the whole thing grew stale.

The other problem with blog readers is that they aren’t readers at all.  They read headlines, sure (do you like mine, up there?), but they demand that most information be conveyed via graphic, picture, chart, or video.  Me?  Well, I look at an infographic or cartoon sketch or chart and I get all discombobulated.  I like words, for the most part… and if I am going to look at pictures it better be images of either Maggie Gyllenhaal or Ryan Gosling. Otherwise, just give me something to read.

And don’t even get me started on top-10 lists or those goddamn Buzzfeed quizzes…

(Don’t worry… I’m not so image-averse that I forgot to attach my own picture. See it, right down below? If you want to tell me I’m pretty, I promise I won’t mind a whole echo-chamber’s worth of those comments.)

PicMandeHeadshot

Mande Wilkes is a wife, mother, businesswoman, author, etc. residing on the South Carolina coast with her family.  You can read more of her work in The (Myrtle Beach, S.C.) Sun News.

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76 comments

CorruptionInColumbia August 17, 2014 at 5:54 pm

Well, yes. She IS pretty!

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Bible Thumper August 17, 2014 at 6:13 pm

Diagree. Fitsnews doesn’t appear to care if comments agree or oppose it’s posts. There is a wide range of opinions expressed in the comments.
Besides, what other medium with give as quick feedback on your hotness.
You will posts on fitsnews again. The abuse excites you.

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Squishy123 August 17, 2014 at 6:23 pm

Be honest, it’s because people were wanting you to show us your tits wasn’t it.

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Slurp, slurp August 18, 2014 at 1:36 am

It’s an interesting coincidence that her most recent postings in the Fitsnews commentary section was on the topic of “breast feeding”.

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Smirks August 18, 2014 at 9:03 am

Hell, tits used to be why half of the people came here.

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west_rhino August 18, 2014 at 11:43 am

She has legs too…

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The Colonel August 18, 2014 at 11:45 am

She’s got legs, she knows how to use them
She never begs, she knows how to choose them
She’s holdin’ legs, wonderin’ how to feel them
Would you get behind them if you could only find them?

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shifty henry August 19, 2014 at 10:06 pm

After hearing a couple’s complaints that their intimate life wasn’t what it used to be, the sex counselor suggested they vary their positions. “For example,” he suggested, “you might try the wheelbarrow. Lift her by the legs, penetrate and off you go.”

The eager husband was all for trying this new idea as soon as they got home. “Well, OK,” the hesitant wife agreed, “but on two conditions. First, if it hurts, you have to stop right away. And second,“ she insisted, “you have to promise we won’t go past my mother’s house.”

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willblogformoney August 18, 2014 at 6:58 pm

Amen brother.

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Chris Memminger August 17, 2014 at 6:37 pm

There is no such thing as a venn diagram where no circles overlap. Thats just a bunch of circles. Good to see your mental horsepower remains unchanged.

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J Mande Wilkes August 17, 2014 at 6:52 pm

You’re right! See… Told ya I’m bad with image-y stuff.

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TontoBubbaGoldstein August 17, 2014 at 7:15 pm

That right there is the great thing about blog posts. Quick feedback/corrections and the chance to interact with readers.

….and yes, you are HAWT!

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Buz Martin August 17, 2014 at 9:52 pm

Damn skippy she is.

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E Norma Scok August 18, 2014 at 9:24 am

meh

Sandi Morals August 17, 2014 at 10:32 pm

“It is validating, yes … but it made me a lazy writer. And more than that, it made me a lazy reader, accustomed to the easy harmony and comforting chatter of one thousand concurring voices.”
Damn lady. TSN shut its opinion blog down months ago. TSN and reporter David Wren just lost a $600,000 judgement for defamation.Careful what you write.My experience with TSN is that they are unprofessional and can’t be trusted. Just my opinion.
Best wishes.

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EJB August 18, 2014 at 7:07 am

polka dots?

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Centrist View August 17, 2014 at 7:12 pm

“The whole internet can be understood basically as a gigantic Venn diagram, with no
fold-over of the circles.”

Mandy must have skipped math class that day.

The internet is the ultimate of Venn diagram. The circles overlap because they have common connections, and the internet is about making connections. If you look for Venn diagrams that describe the internet, there are plenty of them.

Google image search terms: internet venn diagram
[A small sampling]

http://www.insyde.nl/upload/images/tinymce/SEO-Venn-Diagram.jpg

http://www.atomicdc.com/images/venndiagram.jpg

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-uyifYBVprH4/Uoxp3q6py5I/AAAAAAAAAE8/qoqz8ZiB1iU/s1600/Apple-Google-Microsoft.png

http://www.jeffbullas.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/64-Facebook-Marketing-Strategies-Infographic1.jpg.

http://27.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_l6n475nmH11qa0uujo1_500.jpg

http://millionbefore30.files.wordpress.com/2010/05/venn_marketing1.png

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E Norma Scok August 18, 2014 at 10:42 am

“The internet is about making connections” Is it? Is that the intention?

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Centrist View August 18, 2014 at 11:26 am

Yes, when you posted your reply to my comment, you made a connection to this blog.

The internet is a network that connects.

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E Norma Scok August 18, 2014 at 1:47 pm

ok, if you say so sparky.

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nitrat August 17, 2014 at 7:20 pm

So, are we to infer that your interest in being a politician is motivated by your interest in being a celebrity?
That appears to be way too common these days.

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Just an Anon Now August 17, 2014 at 7:28 pm

Mande, as the prior winner if the ‘notverybright’ Mande Wilkes writing contest many years back, I just wanted to say – as you’d imagine I would chidingly: I agree with you point by point on everything above. Wait that’s bad right? ;-)

I think you still owe me coffee or something.

— the former Silence Dogood

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J Mande Wilkes August 18, 2014 at 11:03 am

It’s a date

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Is three a crowd? August 18, 2014 at 2:27 pm

Mind if I join you two? I can be the ice cream in your sandwich.

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shifty henry August 17, 2014 at 7:39 pm

Well, I hope you contribute every now and then, anyway, — you fine looking wench..!!

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The Colonel August 17, 2014 at 7:41 pm

Apparently you’ve never read the comments on any of the stories posted here. If this place were a Saturday Night Live skit, every comment section would start out “…Will you ignorant slut…”

Grand Tango, Big T, whatever the girl name was, alone overlaps at least 6-7 of the news, blogs, opinion sites I check out.

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Limbaughsaphatkhunt August 17, 2014 at 7:56 pm

Congrats Mandy, you just pulled back the curtain on the Fox News business model. Well done.

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Bible Thumper August 17, 2014 at 10:27 pm

It explains Limbaughsaphatkhunt also.

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Sandi Morals August 17, 2014 at 10:34 pm

It is Smirks.Lassie told me last night. :-)

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jimlewisowb August 17, 2014 at 8:09 pm

huh

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euwe max August 17, 2014 at 8:47 pm

A few years ago, when I wrote regularly for this website, “new media” had just begun to take root as a legitimate,
——-

you mean while sic was still posting nekkid pics?

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Smirks August 18, 2014 at 9:05 am

Or what FITS historians refer to as the “Golden Age.”

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euwe max August 18, 2014 at 9:58 am

I’ve always been suspicious of women who weren’t proud of their nipples.

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shifty henry August 19, 2014 at 9:54 pm

A concerned young lady complains to her gynecologist, “Whenever I take off my clothes my nipples get real hard.”

“That’s a little unusual,” he said. “Get undressed and I’ll check you out.”

The doctor began to examine her breasts and nipples. After a considerable time touching and observing, the doctor still looked puzzled.
“Well, I don’t know what you have,” he finally said, “but it’s contagious!”

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euwe max August 20, 2014 at 3:57 pm

Now?

Sailor August 17, 2014 at 9:10 pm

We’ll miss your writing, but at least send Will a fresh set of photos every few months to keep us entertained!

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Talk Me Down August 17, 2014 at 9:25 pm

That was about the lamest “suicide” post I’ve ever read in the electronic world.

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Buz Martin August 17, 2014 at 9:55 pm

This is classic Mande. She tells us why she stopped writing for FITSNews — in a post on FITSNews. And I have no doubt we will see more of her.

oO

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sparklecity August 17, 2014 at 10:41 pm

And the whole point of this is???????????????

You are posting because you QUIT posting?????

What a bunch of BS!!!!!!!!!!

No wonder Gen X and Y’ers can’t accomplish a damn thing except spin their wheels!!!!!

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Smirks August 18, 2014 at 9:04 am

“I’m quitting Facebook.”

*three weeks later*

You have a friend invite from Blahblahblah.

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The Colonel August 18, 2014 at 10:51 am

And a Linked In and Twitter invite to go with it…

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T-Rat August 18, 2014 at 11:04 am

I’m renouncing my citizenship and then I’m going to run for the US Senate. Top that bitch.

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The Colonel August 18, 2014 at 11:44 am

But first I’m going to:
1. prison for a drug felony conviction
2. knock up a bimbo 30 years my junior
3. get busted for DUI
4. play a little polo
5. consummate my bromance with Will Folks
6. have my hair done by ChrisCraft 35

The Colonel August 18, 2014 at 11:47 am

7. star in the stupidest “reality” show on telebishun (including Here Comes Honey Boo Boo).

gregorybgeddings August 17, 2014 at 11:06 pm

To hell with her tits. I want to see the Howard Rich administered whip marks on Will’s butt cheeks. Right now I need a good laugh more than I need a masturbatory fantasy.

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Thomas August 17, 2014 at 11:14 pm

I type this as I am bombarded by the Ferguson Poilice Department’s Long Range Acoustic Device. I can smell the CS gas that MRAP just deployed. If you want clicks, preach to the choir. If you want the truth, ready?, it does not pay as much until it goes viral.

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E Norma Scok August 18, 2014 at 9:27 am

That’s an interesting comment…on your comment.

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Thomaswaytruthlife August 18, 2014 at 11:51 am

I am so moved by your comment. I wish I could get to know you better just so I could bask in the aura…nay the glow…of your perfected self. I would be honored to crawl on all fours in your shadow as well….kissing your shoes and eagerly anticipating the fragrant little poots that squeeze from your omniscient buttocks.

Not content to use a simple recording device, I feel the need to follow you around with a chisel and a slab of granite so that, eons hence, the world may know the truth…and know that the truth is good…and know that the truth is Thomas.

Toot! Toot!

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Thomas August 18, 2014 at 7:42 pm

Since I am here, I attribute my amazing powers of observation to the Cheyenne Indian in me. The German in me likes a cold beer but the Irish in me can’t handle it. Writing was my strong suit. I had to work on math although it became easier as I grew out of my adolescence. I memorized over 100 court cases my freshman year in Political Science 101. Always wanted to practice law but man, back in the day, the drugs will kill you and the sex was good. Nowadays the sex will kill you and the drugs are good. If not for my sense of humor I probably would have ran for Congress. I ran back to the Catholic Church instead. You know, Shall not my soul be subject to God? for from him is my salvation. For he is my God and my saviour: he is my protector, I shall be moved no more. Psalm 61.

Meanwhile, check out politicalfare.com next year. That will be me and, hopefully, Bridgette, working the system, turning deception into revelation. There is only one truth in all things, and reporting it does provide a pretty good income.

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GrandTango August 18, 2014 at 5:52 am

Thank you Mande for giving me something more than just fodder. To get an original thought on this blog, is as refreshing as it is rare. And the fact that you put so much effort into explaining your reasoning, is valuable and informative. Not many people are as intrigued with message, or media.

Briefly: I think the bigger problem is that the half-dressed, trashy women FITS used to feature, and the bent toward the prurient, attracted a bit of a lower-brow audience. They like you because you are beautiful and sexy. Sadly your appearance is a distraction because of the level of reader we’re dealing with. Most are liberal, and rail about a War on Women, but only if it can be used as a political weapon. They have no respect for you otherwise. If you notice, so many Democrat women are unattractive. If you look like a man, they leave you be to advance in their party.

Anyway: I read this site, because it is prolific, topical and it is SC based. It is very clear (blatant) about what it believes. About its funding sources, not so much. But I do give FITS a lot of credit for building it, even if he is misguided and uses tactics I would not employ because of ethics and maturity.

As for you: I have found you to be original, and when FITS publishes inside information, it gives the site value. Headline-only reading applies to FITS’ news analysis of daily, mass media coverage. He is usually cookie-cutter, and he is preaching to the choir, as you say. It’s not unique and there is little or no value in his analysis. We know he unreasonably hates Republicans and Nikki Haley. So do his readers. That’s the same as the rest of the media.

And I think you could present more compelling content if you were based in Columbia. Politics is a different animal on the Grand Strand. Politics is more about personality (shallow) on the Coast, than it is substance. Most know enough to vote Republican, because they HAVE TO BE Successful. But they don’t follow-up to make sure their elected officials are ACTING Republican. And too many are lured in by the money attached to selling nude bodies, drugs and gambling. All debase a people in the long run. But Democrat politicians – and liberal-tarians- don’t care about that, if they can get votes from peddling it.

Anyway: All producers of thought face the dilemma you seem to be dealing with. It comes easy at times, but you have to struggle at others. Don’t quit just because this site fails you. There are other markets, where people actually have open minds. You just have to find the audience and hit your mark.

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E Norma Scok August 18, 2014 at 9:26 am

“producers of thought”

Comedy gold Jerry..gold!

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Vomiting on the floor August 18, 2014 at 12:54 pm

From one professional blogger to another. (Tango – you live in your own head)

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GrandTango August 18, 2014 at 1:07 pm

Did you get this: “I think the bigger problem is that the half-dressed, trashy women FITS used to feature, and the bent toward the prurient, attracted a bit of a lower-brow audience.”….

I think that’s what REALLY P!$$#d you off. LMAO…

PS: Hilarious: Ya’ll used to LOVE Mande when she was perpetuating liberal-tarian bilge. Now that she has figured out, any truth is rejected by you closed minded perverts and bigots, she sees the site as a worthless medium. And she has a point.

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much ado with heaps of ego man August 18, 2014 at 8:11 am

Good Lord, go book a double session at your therapist! I think you have Daddy issues. Or is this how the South raises it’s women?

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mawhoem August 18, 2014 at 8:12 am

Mania
its’

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Same ol' Same ol' August 18, 2014 at 8:37 am

Yes, I agree with the others, you are very pretty.

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karl August 18, 2014 at 9:04 am

Who???

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Norma Scok August 18, 2014 at 9:24 am

What a whiner.

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Bingo! August 18, 2014 at 11:34 am

Yep, if I was married to her I wouldn’t leave sharp pencils about the house, I might be tempted to pick one up and poke my own ears out.

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Jackie Chiles August 18, 2014 at 9:27 am

I wonder if this woman even reads the comments on FitsNews articles. At least half of them mock every article posted-regardless of which side it’s coming from. It’s almost impossible to “preach to the choir” here because there’s a relatively diverse group of readers here.

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idiotwind August 18, 2014 at 9:33 am

don’t judge the readership by the commenters. i read Fits frequently though i find his views mostly ill-considered. not everyone feels the need to vent at the bottom of the page. i often just leave things alone, particularly when the comments section is already full of the usual suspects (amazingly spewing the same conclusions no matter what the article was about). i’m pretty sure Fits has a more diverse readership than you imagine because it is a semi-reliable source of local alternative news even if it gets padded out with paid malarkey like ron paul and that idiot school voucher guy.

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Yeah okay.. August 18, 2014 at 12:52 pm

yet i see your handle all over this site.

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idiotwind August 18, 2014 at 1:48 pm

yeah but i try to keep it varied. the answer to every question is not ‘obama is weak’ or ‘bush was evil’.

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Pomposity August 18, 2014 at 2:30 pm

Yep, why reach for Occam’s razor when you can spice up the answers?

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Philip Branton August 18, 2014 at 11:02 am

***….meanwhile, over in the Tara barn…..***

Scarlet: Why, I do declare, I sure do wish Mande was “hip” to follow Thomas Ravenel around on his campaign trial …..

Rhett: Yes Scarlet, considering she has obviously been up to nothing….

Scarlet: Rhett, that fine lady is a MOTHER with child. She most certainly works….

Rhett: ( SMACK )

Scarlet: What did you do that for? You hit me and it hurt…….you BEAST…!

Rhett: Scarlet my dear, there was a horse fly named Mande on you….!!

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TaraDeSaussure August 18, 2014 at 11:43 am

what she is saying is that FITS is for people with attention-deficit; that it is superficial; that it pretends to be news but really isn’t; and that it is a waste of time to read.
Wow, a negative commentary on the publishers of this site.
I get my news from CNBC, PBS, NBC, and the New York Times if I really want to know what is happening.

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troll August 18, 2014 at 12:09 pm

It’s pretty much common knowledge the comments section here is made up of a handful of people that either work on the blog or know people who do, often times commenting under multiple names to give the appearance of varying view points. The rest are trolling.

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HUH?? August 18, 2014 at 12:50 pm

what exactly is a troll? People with varying opinions or people trying to provoke a fight or something along those lines? I hear the reference but it is usually when someone doesn’t like what the other person has posted.

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idiotwind August 18, 2014 at 1:59 pm

look around this site and find the most frequent commenters (uhmm,,,,other than me) they are trolls. their comments are nasty, brutish, and unforgivably long. and usually shine no light on the subject at hand. they are just some idiot wiggling his privates in public because he is anonymous. and its always a he.

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Soft Sigh from Hell August 18, 2014 at 5:31 pm

“its always a he”

Ain’t that likely the truth!

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I'm a TROLL! August 18, 2014 at 5:41 pm

So what is your real name and address you anonymous pompous ass?

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Smirks August 19, 2014 at 8:32 am

they are just some idiot wiggling his privates in public because he is anonymous.

You make it sound so dirty!

and its always a he.

Rules #29 and #30.

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idiotwind August 18, 2014 at 1:56 pm

i dunno. there are a couple famous names that appear too often – but they’re only tiresome because they keep saying the same thing. but the progress of any comments section seems to be toward trolldom its true. look at the atlantic website. what the hell can you do??

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Troll August 18, 2014 at 2:48 pm

Famous names? That’s a good one!

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itsmorninginamerica August 18, 2014 at 2:06 pm

funny – i just read your July 26 Israel piece in the myrtle beach paper. boy it sure sounds like it was written by Fits.

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Toyota Kawaski August 19, 2014 at 9:01 am

Dam if the title of the POS piece were only true!!!!

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