Since Brent and his company are frequent topics of criticism right here on this blog, and I even wrote a book about his crappy company, I was looking forward to reading Brent's advice for handling pains-in-the-ass [i.e., truth-tellers] like me.
Brent based his series on The Air Force Response Assessment which provides allegedly “best practices” for dealing with online criticism.
According to Brent, the first step is identifying the type of person the critic is, from among four choices offered by the Air Force.
(I have no idea why our Air Force is devoting scarce taxpayer resources to evaluating threats from Facebook, Blogger, Youtube and CompanyNameSucks.com. But, since there are apparently lots of underemployed generals who are no longer needed to nuke the Russkies and ChiComs back into the Stone Age, they have to keep busy doing something until their pensions kick in.)
Brent covered four kinds of complainers and explains them this way:
- The “troll” is an individual who operates a website or blog that is predominately dedicated toward bashing and degrading other people and/or businesses.
- The “rager” is an individual who engages in online rants (often laced with profanity) or jokes, sometimes satirical in nature.
- "Misguided individuals," unlike trolls and ragers, do not necessarily have bad intentions at heart. They may simply lack enough information to clearly and accurately communicate their point of view. As a result, they end up jumping to false assumptions or conclusions.
- The “unhappy customer” is an individual who has personally had a negative experience with your company (or has had a personal negative experience reading your book).