Great post from the folks at Teahouse, described as "A Gay Webcomic About Fancy Whores":
Teahouse became way bigger than either of us ever expected it to. We had no idea it'd blow up the way it did and with that popularity came a number of incredibly unpleasant surprises.
One of the biggest casualties has been our ability to interact with people and fans. We used to be able to joke around and even engage in serious conversations (not confrontations) but we can't anymore. I'm not sure when it happened, but at some point people started taking everything, regardless of whether or not it was an obvious joke, seriously. So we hardly interact with people anymore and it super sucks because we used to enjoy it.
There's this interesting culture of hate on the internet. I don't know if it's just that people are angry and feel a relief in releasing their anger online in the form of anonymous online "hate justice" but it's rough on the receiving end of it. I won't lie. People seem to think that ugly opinions are the same as constructive criticism and it's not but there's no arguing with them about it. They're not looking for reasons to like you, they're looking for more reasons to hate you.
So the biggest piece of advice I've been giving people interested in web comics recently: "Minimize your response to negative people period. Don't even try to reason with them. Just ignore it or delete, try not to engage." Every once in a while we'll slip up and let something get to us or joke about something that we think is minor (always blows up in our faces, someday we'll learn) but at this point, that's how we try deal with all the crap thrown at us. "Ignore, delete, try not to engage."
I relate to so much of this, and I so desperately wish I didn't.