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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Comment Type #17

THE CONTRARIAN

This kind of post is one that is not interested in discussion or adding to the community at a blog or message board, but is simply negative or in disagreement. The difference is less one of content than one of intent or purpose. The entire reason for posting is to disagree. The blog entry is wrong, the others posting are wrong, the world is wrong, you're all mistaken, I disagree. There is no attempt at learning or understanding, there's often not even a real effort to persuade, simply disagreement. The post is contrary for its own sake.

This kind of post shows up most often on sites where the content is controversial or strongly held, such as religious, political, or Red Sox v Yankees web sites. It often can be the trademark post of specific people, ones that always seem to show up and disagree no matter what is said. This kind of contrarian will often be one of a few lonely voices of opposition on a website, such as a liberal on a conservative blog. The person so bold and set in their ways as to infiltrate the "enemy camp" often simply disagrees with whatever the given post is before bothering to read it and decide.

A contrarian post is not necessarily a troll, although it could be depending on how it was written. Such a post is rarely an attempt to generate responses and outrage, it's simply a kneejerk reaction, an unthinking response to what is assumed to be wrong.

Contrarian posts really don't add much to a community, although they can add traffic to a blog by the arguments they can generate. Contrarians aren't much more fun or more welcome on a blog or message board than they are in real life.

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