The spectacle of a slighted novelist going on a gossip blog and defending themselves in the comments—then starting a nutty Tumblr and throwing a "Take Back the Internet" party—is now referred to as the "Gessen Method" by a Texas publication. They're referring to n+1 editor and first-time novelist Keith Gessen. He has now been branded—much to his chagrin, we're sure—not as the next young literary man but "is an icon—a symbol—a cautionary tale about Internet conflict and the way we deal with it."
But imagine living your life under an Internet microscope, where total strangers are invited to criticize your life, your work, your romantic choices, and your psychology in front of a jeering audience of commenters. Gessen-bashing briefly replaced alcohol abuse as the favorite sport of NYC blog commenters, and in his zeal to respond, Keith did everything wrong...
The smarter you are, the less likely you are to respond appropriately when you are attacked on the Internet... Writers, academics, executives— successful people are more likely to handle this wrong because they have been trained, more or less, to expect rational behavior from their peers. [Lubbock Online]
Even though it's hard—so hard—and we don't always follow our own advice, the only way to deal with a blog-avalanche is to ignore blog commenters, bloggers, and blogs in general. Try avoiding the entire Internet if you have a book coming out, actually—the last thing you need to be wasting your time with is obsessively checking your Amazon rankings. Work on your next book, but don't be tempted for one second to make it include more than a cursory reference to Internet culture, Candace Bushnell.