Be The Content, Not The Comment
Proactive vs. Reactive Mindsets
People occasionally send me opposition articles.
“How should we respond to this?” they ask.
We shouldn’t. Write your own article.
In general, you want to be the article, not the comment.
If you write a comment or social media reply to their article, that will only be seen by those who read the original article or already follow you on social media. Social media posts are here and gone, but that article will still be in search results. The publisher can reshare it on any platform anytime they want.
If you write your own article, even as a response to theirs, you have that content forever. You can reshare it in response to that article or any new article in the future. They can delete your comments, they can block your social media, but they can’t remove your articles.
Creating your own content requires you to be proactive, rather than reactive. You need to have your own vision about what you want to say and create that doesn’t depend on getting mad about what the other side is doing. You can still respond to them and what they say, but you do it on your terms.
At this point, most activists know generally what the other side will say. It would be very easy to write an article you know will be useful when the usual talking points come up. You can do this in creative ways. Just take the energy you’re currently using to react and put it towards creation.
This principle applies to all forms of content. If writing isn’t your thing, make YouTube videos. Record a podcast. Create infographics. And if you’re not a creator, that’s okay. Sponsor someone who is:
P.S. There is one exception to this rule:
Leave a comment on content you support.
Engagement drives most social media algorithms. If you like or leave a comment on articles you enjoy, it causes more people to see that content. When you leave comments on stuff you hate, it also causes more people to see that content. Make sure people see what you want them to see!
Comments and replies also help creators. It lets them know that people are seeing and responding to their content. If a thousand people read an article, the creator has no way of knowing how they feel about it outside faceless metrics. You comment helps them understand the emotional response to their work.
If you leave a really insightful reply, (at least in my case) they can turn it into the content. If you ever see me reply to someone by saying “I’ll address that in a future article” it probably means what they said was interesting enough I want to write a whole article about it. So please, keep sharing this work and your replies to it.