In case you have missed it:
Okay, you have been writing for a while and are now seriously considering getting into the publishing world. That’s good. If you really aim to write for money, be it as a published novelist, non-fiction-author, freelance columnist or try to publish your short stories, be professional. Always.
If you decide to join an online forum for writers, facebook, twitter or if you own a blog – any public forum, in fact, you should keep it professional. Agents and editors are scouting for new writers and if they see the author of a good and saleable book is behaving like an idiot, constantly arguing, posting all sorts of things that make them look bad, there’s a great chance of him or her walking away. Opportunity missed.
A public forum certainly is a great way of exposure, but only if used the right way. Nowadays, everything is trackable, google yourself and you will find a lot of proof for that. Especially, if you are an active part of online communities. Agents/editors/potential employers, who receive your e-mail and like what they see, might be put off as soon as they search your name in google, if they are confronted with foul language and online-fights, you, calling others names.
Publishing houses don’t want difficult, they want easy-to-get-on-with authors, employees. Yes, you can be a square-thinker, but be professional about it. One can have a good discussion without getting personal.
In the end, if you are invited to an author-interview you won’t start yelling at the interviewer just because he asked a question you don’t like, would you?
I have heard of authors who have been ‘released’ from their contracts before their book went into print, because they have shown a different side to them, after signing.
Being a paid author has to be considered a job and therefore, to be taken as seriously as one. Your online presence is your personal reference, make the best of it.