In a recent article we did dealing with a business that (perhaps jokingly) exhorted its facebook “fans” to “flame” a local blogger, commenter Generic asked, “How is sending traffic to someone else’s blog anything but a favor?” I asked our own Beth Spotswood, who has been the victim of many a (far less organized) flame on her column at SF Gate for her thoughts.

I originally asked Beth “can you explain to Generic why getting flamed sucks and is not worth the traffic?” But then I realized that this was kind of a bullshit thing to ask her! After all, it’s certainly worth the traffic to *me*, why am I assuming she’s such a delicate flower that it’s not worth it to her? So let’s hear what Beth has to say:

A few years ago, I would’ve said that traffic is so not worth it. But a few years ago, I cried when someone sent me an email telling me I rambled.

I’ve been writing my SFGate column for 3 years and uh, calling me a rambler is nothing. Just last week, someone suggested I get shot. Someone else called me a “fat cow east coast carpet bagger.” I was born on California at Cherry, but whatever. When I start to see a lot of comments on one of my posts, I emotionally prepare and remind myself, “It’s traffic. Lots and lots of traffic.” Because really, since I love writing and I want people to read it, I want traffic. Even if the crazy ones want me dead.

If I were KevMo from Mission Mission (which I’m not because I don’t adore Benders or jean shorts), I’d be fine with being “flamed” by members of a nightclub’s facebook page. And then I’d take every opportunity to rip on said nightclub until the end of time. Mission Mission is a great site. I bet a lot of those “nightclubbing douchebags” will stay and read some shit.

Thank you douchey nightclub for all of the traffic.

What I do not do if “flamed” (God, I hate that word) is respond in the comments. I guess it depends on the “flame” (still cringing), but for the most part, I don’t participate in comment wars. Why? Because I get to say whatever I want in a whole column. What’s up?

Also, can we please go back to using the word “flaming” as it was meant to be used? It’s supposed describe really great gay people. It’s a good thing.

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at

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