I’ve never come across the term trollumnist, but it’s pretty self-evident that there are quite a few trollumnists out there. So what is a trollumnist?

{Note, the word has been added to the Urban Dictionary}

Trollumnist (n.) — A writer or blogger who “trolls” in a multichannel, multimedia environment, trying to bait readers into a reaction that editors want to generate. Comes from the term trolling or the noun trolls.

Here is what trolling is all about:

In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts controversial, inflammatory, irrelevant, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room or blog, with the primary intent of provoking other users into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.

Here is where the term first came to my attention:

As the newspaper business model heads south, though, we’ve been subjected to the rise of what we might christen the “trollumnist” — the writer who simply “trolls” in a multichannel, multimedia environment. And the erstwhile self-identification of papers like the Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian as quality outlets matters little in the attention economy: on the internet, no one knows you’re a broadsheet. Whereas a true columnist might make controversial arguments or challenge common sense, trollumnists merely provoke outrage in order to sell papers, draw links and capture increasingly scarce reader attention. The beauty of it all is that it doesn’t take much training to do it, and as media content goes, it’s cheap as chips. Any fool can offend people given a reasonably prominent platform.

{via david reid}