From the Editor’s Surface: On dealing with negativity and criticism




I love criticism a lot. It’s one of those things that allow us to grow as people. To this end, I actually read every single comment on every one of my articles to see what went wrong, what can be fixed and what worked.

Beyond that, since I joined WMPU late last year, I’ve been working with Mehedi and Surur to see what we need to do to make the site better and improve our content. Beyond passively reading comments, I’ve also ventured into the comments to discuss from time to time as well as into some other communities to learn about people’s thoughts about the site and see once again, how we can make the experience better.

What several people don’t seem to realise is that Michael Allison, Surur, Mehedi Hassan etc, we’re all real people. We have emotions. We make mistakes. We get frustrated. We get angry and generally run the gamut of emotions.

We also enjoy writing about Windows and Windows Phone, we wouldn’t do it if it wasn’t fun and many times our readers make it fun, often a few don’t.

To use an example, a while ago we wrote about an issue in the Windows store. It’s a bad issue, it’s minor but really hurts the experience, we got a few comments along the line of “yeah but if you were a real website, you wouldn’t cover this”.  Any article critiquing any Microsoft service like Groove or Skype is viewed as click bait or throwing shade. If we source a rumour it is seen as “misinformation” or “LOL WMPU” never mind the fact that we’ve only gotten a rumour that we sourced ourselves wrong a few times (that I’ve never personally experienced).

Criticism is quite fun when you do it right. We’re aware that WMPU picked up somewhat of a bad reputation, however, the (for lack of a better word) circlejerk has just become a ridiculous meme that has a tenuous base in reality.

To cover the most frequent criticisms:

  • You’re not a legitimate site/blogger/journalist: Surur said I can’t use the words I wanted to use. However, I think people here are under a misconception that we care about being called bloggers. We are tech bloggers, we write about tech and strive to be as accurate as possible. Quibbling over whether we’re journalists or bloggers is asinine and pointless. Focus on the content and not the man.
  • You post too many rumours: Rumours are fun and interesting ways to springboard into discussions about things we may not have previously thought of. All rumours are clearly signposted as rumours and many are given a credibility rating on the tumour rating scale. I addition, we’ve  reached out to our readers several times and discovered that they do like the way we report rumours after heated internal discussions on the matter.
  • Clickbait: A word used so frequently it means nothing. Just like all books are meant to be written, we write our articles so people should read them. That’s the end game, and not liking an article does not make it click bait.
  • Too negative: We are not Microsoft’s marketing division, it is not our job to push a favourable corporate narrative just because it makes you feel bad about your phone.
  • Too positive: Sometimes, we genuinely like things like the Lumia 950 and 950 XL, believe in Windows Phone and don’t care about the app gap. It’s actually quite possible.
  • “Writer X said A on Monday in his editorial and writer Y said B on Tuesday, get your stories straight”: Different people have different opinions, we aren’t exactly the same person.

I could go on forever and just not stop, however, the crux of the matter is this. Criticise, but be fair. We discuss and critique ourselves all the time, we’ve been constantly improving our site both content-wise and design wise for our readers.  We’d love to be able to take feedback from our readers, however when half the comments are just being immature and unfair, it becomes hard to care about the reasonable voices or even wade through to read.

Do you have any genuine criticisms or comments on this piece, let us know in the comment section below.

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