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Whether you are blogging or sending out a Tweet, you need to always be careful how you address a topic or individual. From an author’s standpoint, responding to a review is a perfect example. I belong to a number of forums where authors give each other tips, and each week I usually see an author ask how to address a negative review posted on Amazon or elsewhere. Most of us respond th same way – DON’T RESPOND! Negative reviews are going to happen; we can’t make everyone happy, plain and simple. Amazingly, a number of authors will reply in a nasty manner to such negative reviews. Such a response rarely helps matters. In most cases, the reviewer simply stated his opinion, nothing more. Reviewers rarely use a negative review to personally attack an author. Yes, for the record, I have recieved reviews for my novels that were a bit harsh. After taking a day to think it through in one case, I considered the reviewer’s feedback, and on one point, I thought the reviewer’s criticism had merit. By contacting my publisher, I had four words added that for me rectified the issue. I am graetful that the reviewer pointed out the issue. As for the rest of the individual’s critigue, I did not agree. Consequently, I moved on.

How does this relate to Internet Etiquette? If I had posted a negative response to the review, nothing would have changed. The reviewer would still have the same criticisms, of that I have no doubt. However, if I posted a negative comment, I would look unprofessional, childish and petty to say the least. Well, whether you are posting a review, sending out a Tweet or uploading comments and images to Facebook, don’t be crass or rude. Your reputation will be negatively impacted if you do. From a business owner’s standpoint, regardless of whether you are an author selling books or a company selling computers, you will likely lose business as a result. In some instances, a business’s post led to bankruptcy. From a job seeker’s standpoint, if a potential employer does a background check and finds your negative posts, you could instantly lose credibility and have no chance to EVER get a job from that company. Just be nice and respectful when you post, and you should have no worries.

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