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DON'T PANIC!
Hi, friend!

I received a one-star rating in iTunes and it disturbed me. Has that ever happened to you?

Sometimes, negative reviews are mostly just hate or even off-topic rants. Some of these qualify for removal from iTunes. But what do you do about those legitimate negative reviews?

For this particular review (which I'll share with you if you reply and ask me for it), I went through the following process. (Please forgive all of my personal pronouns, but this is personal and I though you'd like to see it.)
  1. I was discouraged that the reviewer said I was doing almost everything I try so hard not to do and also speak against. I felt like a hypocrit.
  2. I regretted the content that most likely sparked this review.
  3. I wished I could contact the reviewer and defend myself and my content.
  4. But then my friend Erik Fisher (host of the fantastic new podcast Beyond the To Do List) gave me a link to Seth Godin's short blog post "You won't benefit from anonymous criticism." I read it and my perspective started to change.
  5. I started to see how this one negative review plays into the bigger picture: it's one review that is rebutted by hundreds of other reviews, voicemails, and emails from you and other listeners.
  6. I also consider more of the possible scenario: the review comes from a different country and probably a different cultural perspective, the reviewer probably listened to one particular episode and based their review on that, and the reviewer did mention a technical issue that I'll further examine.
  7. Now I'm finding things I can learn from this review.
  8. Consider my own recent episode about unstobble vision, I remember that I want to reach effectively out to the audience I have, not abandon them—you!—and change everything in hopes of turning just one negative person.
  9. Now I feel inspired to go write positive reviews for podcasts I listen to. You should, too!
Sometimes, I wish we could respond to iTunes reviews (I'm discussing that now on Google+). But then again, it's probably best that we can't, because it forces us to receive and consider the message, then chose to ignore it or learn from it and change something.

What have negative-review experiences been like for you?

Faithfully,

Daniel J. Lewis

P.S. I always welcome constructive criticism and appreciate those who take the time to give it. I can always make time if you'd like to share a concern "face-to-face" on Skype. My personal Skype is "DJosephDesign" if you ever need me, but I don't always have it online.

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