There's nothing like getting your retaliation in first. There was Ryan Jordan (or at least I think that was his name) acquiring a fake persona to avoid stalkers on Wikipedia long before anyone thought of stalking anyone associated with Wikipedia. Now, we have the curious case of a US pastor who has foresworn Technorati because of the bad words people have for him in their blogs. He decided to ignore what blogs write about him because, according to him, they have said nasty negative things about him. Those negatives thoughts might cause him to leave his ministry. I have always been deeply suspicious about people who say: "I try to stay away from negative people." They often know how to judge people, and not in a good way.
The strange things is, up to March 19 when he announced his decision, it was hard to find any slings, arrows, sticks, stones or even mild chastisement in blog posts that might have caused the pastor to take Technorati out of his bookmarks list. To be honest, it still is. So, why do it? Publicity stunt? The move has, after all, temporarily propelled his name to the head of Technorati's top ten searches.
I had to use Google blog search for this rather than Technorati as it was down. But he started blogging, it seems in September. From about December onwards, the chatter started, but mostly from people who knew him from school or college or were members of the church. Those early postings note that Furtick's church was getting close to a 1000 people to turn up.
You get various eulogies through January and February. "Amazing dude"; "This church has blown up"; "Steven Furtick has said all I ever wanted to say about church"; "There is no doubt that Steven Furtick and team at Elevation are just freaks." Ooh, possibly near the mark. No wait: "I have NEVER heard of a church that is doing what they are doing in such a short amount of time." The other 99 per cent is similarly treacly.
Then, on Monday he decided he didn't like Technorati: "For every 10 guys with blogs who think I’m a hero, another guy thinks I’m the anti-Christ". I'm still searching for just one comment that even goes near calling him the anti-Christ. The publicity stunt theory certainly sounds more appealing by the minute, especially given the breakneck speed at which this pastor seems to be trying to build up his church - there are now two in Charlotte, apparently.
However, this story might have more to do with a commenter called ty23 who took offence to a mildly critical post about Furtick's atttitude to 'church shopping' - finding a church should not be like buying shoes, basically, but creating a church? It seems that in some quarters, you don't have to have shoes you don't like, you design your own shoes.
Ty23 delivered a lengthy rebuttal. Ty23 claims not to be Steven Furtick but ty23 has a similarly direct writing style and starts to refer to doing what he can in "my church" in a follow-up post on the same blog. Note the mention of how people find posts about them using Technorati. Those pesky sock-puppets. Always getting into scrapes.
Furtick's wife says of the response to his post about Technorati: "Now there are people posting about him because of this. Go figure." Yes, quite. Not drawing attention might have been a good idea.