Getting booed at Tablet and my first appearance in The Jewish Press

I had a bad feeling when my editor at Tablet — who I really love — sent me an email telling me that my latest essay there (about how I unintentionally set my hand on fire but believe it was no accident) would run on Tisha B’Av.

Being an Orthodox Jew, I pretty much regard that as the worst day of the year, so I was immediately filled with a sense of foreboding. And it now seems I was right to be Continue reading

You might have suspected trolls are crazy…it turns out they are.

I just had to share this brief but fascinating article about a study that demonstrated internet trolls are in fact sadists. Check it out here.

My latest obsession: comparing the numbers of comments to the numbers of “likes”

Okay, I’ll admit it: there are better ways to spend my time. But for some reason, I have recently become obsessed with the following question:

Why do some articles get many “likes,” but few comments, and some articles get many comments, but few “likes?”

Until recently, I never paid attention to the social network shares on my articles. I paid attention to the comments so I could monitor and respond to them, but I didn’t watch how many people “liked” my article, tweeted about it, or whatever. I guess something happened when I finally joined FB myself.

First, I found myself comparing the rates of “likes” vs. comments on my Tablet articles, then I noticed the same discrepancies on other people’s articles.

I get that it’s easier to “like” than to write a whole comment. I do. Also, “likes” get shared with other people readers think will enjoy or appreciate the article. And that explains why some articles (the most recent one I wrote, for example) have a “likes” to comment ratio that far favors the “likes.”

Do more comments than “likes” signal dislike?

 

What I don’t get are the stories that move in the opposite direction (including one of my other articles). What makes someone comment, but not “like”? Because they’re mad at me? Because something I said incensed them? Is that it?

Do you have any insight on this issue (as a reader, writer, marketer, or publisher)? Please share it in the comments below.

Fans, friends, and trolls–publishing my first piece on Tablet

So, Tablet published a piece of mine this week. It’s been a crazy experience.

In the first place, writing the piece was a bit out of my comfort zone. While I usually write fiction, this is a personal essay. In brief, the story is about confronting my inner teenager as I’m approaching 40 and relates an episode where I thought a younger man was checking me out in a cafe.

Troll

Trolls don’t only live under bridges.

The subject matter was outside the editorial policies of the chareidi magazines that comprise my usual stomping grounds, so I had to find an alternative publisher. Afraid I might embarrass my husband, I almost decided not to publish it at all, but he assured me that he didn’t mind. And when I shared an early draft with writing friends, the strongly positive reaction encouraged me further.

Tablet accepted my query, then the completed essay. They had it up in a matter of days. Whoa. It didn’t leave me much time to prepare myself. And, boy, did I have to prepare myself.

You see, there’s a lot of differences between a Jewish, but broad-spectrum, online magazine like Tablet and print magazines in the chareidi world. The biggest difference is the comments section.

In a print magazine, there is no comments section. Continue reading