Seven Habits Of Highly Obnoxious Trolls

Accepted Session
Short Form
Scheduled: Wednesday, June 22, 2011 from 9:00 – 9:45am in B202/03


Developing more effective habits isn't just for the good guys. We'll discuss seven methodologies that make trolls more effective---and tell you what you can do about it.


Stephen Covey’s 1989 book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People “presents an approach to being effective in attaining goals by aligning oneself to what he calls ‘true north’ principles of a character ethic that he presents as universal and timeless.”

Another character ethic that is universal and timeless is that of the “troll”. The practice of disrupting communication using trolling techniques is probably as old as communication itself. We’ve all done it, but some of us have gotten good at it, and regularly “attain our goals”. In this talk we discuss seven techniques:

  1. Rush In (Where Angels Fear To Tread): A true troll doesn’t wait around for an opportunity. Trolls make their own opportunities.
  2. Play For The Endgame: An aimless troll is a failed troll. Every sentence should have an end in mind.
  3. Pick The Best Play: An obnoxious troll has done the research, and wastes no time with strategies likely to fail.
  4. Think Win-Lose: Trolling is like fishing—a zero-sum game. The more fish lose, the more the troll wins.
  5. Avoid Understandings: Poor communication between the troll and among the victims is a key to success.
  6. Help ’Em Troll Themselves: The troll’s target community, properly leveraged, can be more effective than the lone troll ever could.
  7. Sharpen The Axe: The truly obnoxious troll is practiced, prepared and proud.

Given this impressive array of effective habits, how do you have a chance? We’ll suggest some time-tested strategies for dealing with even the most obnoxious troll: Identifying The Troll, Fishing For The Troll, Starving The Troll and Turning The Troll.

The session will be interactive, and trolling fun will be had by both the speakers and the audience.

Speaking experience