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Comment politely for your benefit

As a reader of numerous blogs, I often find some great information about various topics that I am interested in. Sometimes the comments are just as useful as the article content, chocked full of extra links and discussion.

Beavis and Butthead fighting

However, one of the problems that I see is how ruthless some people can be in the comments section towards the post author or site in general.

Now, I’m not going to name names, or provide links to some of the flaming comments that I am going to talk about. I don’t feel that doing so will provide any benefit to this article, as I’m sure you have seen the comments that have left you nauseated, or just thinking “Grow up!”.

Why comments are important

Your comments on a particular article can be a benefit, not only to the article content itself, but to your site. When you leave a comment on an article, you are giving your opinion and feedback of the article. You can be providing additional information about the topic that could help another reader further understand and digest the content. You could also be providing additional items that maybe the post author hadn’t thought about, such as links or a further clarification.

What you say and how you say it is paramount in your reputation and integrity.

Comment with integrity

I recently read a tirade between two bloggers that came down to a blogging grudge match. There was name calling, trashing each other professionally and personally, and the language that was used was less than “family friendly”. I was amazed that it went on and on. These two individuals slammed each other, their sites, professionalism and left numerous other commentors advising both of them to grow up, get over it and move on.

I can understand if someone reads an article on a blog and disagrees with it. That is the great thing about this world we live in. Each person is entitled to their own opinion. It is what you do with your opinion that separates you from the rest of the blogging world.

If you disagree with an article, don’t trash the whole article or author. They are posting about their opinion or experience about the topic they are posting about. If you desire to leave a comment, do so. However, explain why you don’t think something will work, or why your opinion is different.

Just leaving a comment that “You suck” or “Your full of crap” doesn’t cut it with me. I’m sorry, but that doesn’t do any good for anyone to learn and it doesn’t promote useful discussion. It only makes you look like an a*^hole.

If you truly want to leave a good comment, something more than “good point” or “I hadn’t thought of that”, then there are a couple of things to do.

5 tips to leaving a good comment

  • Complement the author on a specific portion of the article that really resonated with you. What did you find or learn from that part of the article?
  • Provide an insight into the topic that wasn’t discussed that might be of benefit to other readers and the author. This could also be an answer to another persons comment or question. Providing useful insight helps everyone.
  • If you have a favorite site or article that has relevance to this article’s discussion, then providing it might help others. I say might because you need to have a good understanding of what the current article’s point is. Just to leave a link to someplace else might not be helpful.
  • If you don’t like or agree with something, it’s ok to say so. Just also tell the author why you don’t agree with it. This could open the authors eyes to something they might have overlooked or hadn’t thought about. If you can’t do this nicely and tactfully, then maybe you should keep your hands off of the keyboard and move on.
  • Respond nicely (see above point). If you have left a comment and either the author or another person has left a nasty, flaming comment back to you, how you respond can really show your integrity. Just because someone has slammed you or your opinion, there is no reason to stoop to their level of childishness and tactlessness and slam them back. You can respond if you can do so nicely, but chances are it will become a “pissing” match. Better off just letting it go.

In conclusion

These are just a few of the tips that I have found useful in blogging so far when it deals with leaving comments. I hope you have found them insightful and hopefully you have learned something from this article.

Blogging is a wonderful hobby and profession. Leaving comments is part of that experience as it is how you interact with other bloggers and people around the world that share a similar interest.

One last tip, as my mom would say:

If you get in a pissing match with a skunk, you will both come out smelling.

8 Responses to “Comment politely for your benefit”

  1. aksn1p3r says:

    I approve 100% with your “comment ethic”.

    I like to keep my personal thoughts and conveyances of opinion to a minimum of factual info and a small suggestion, if not commendation… that in turn would be the mutualistic approach to gaining a mature audience who will exhibit professionalism as it should be exhibited, both online and off.

    We read warning posts about tactics and defamation… but do we adhere?

    Lets keep blogging simple and morally inclined. Great post!

  2. elliott says:

    Thanks for the kind words!

    I also agree that one’s personal opinions should be limited to creative critcisms or suggestions, but never to defame or trash the other person.

    Morality and ethics in blogging is paramount to being a better blogger. Without them, integrity of the entire blogging community could be damaged seriously.

  3. Grizzly says:

    Hi Elliot,

    I’ve been reading your posts on BZ and had to explore your blog. Excellent topics, writing and you sound like a heck of a nice guy – a real winning combo.

    Just wanted to say that you’ve got a terrific site and I’m glad I found it.

    All the best.

    Grizzly

  4. elliott says:

    Grizzly,

    Thanks for finding me! I like your blog also, and plan on visiting more often. Thanks also for the kind words as my wife tends to think so. 🙂

    Best wishes also!

  5. betshopboy says:

    An insightful post indeed. Hope to see every bloggers adopting such code of “comment” ethics because reading slanging matches and names calling in the comment section really spoil the fun of blog reading.

    I hope I’ve applied some, if not all, of your good tips in my comment here.

    The last tip was pure GOLD!

    Consider it ZOOMED!

  6. elliott says:

    @ bestshopboy,

    Thanks for the zoom! I feel strongly that how you comment can help draw visitors into your own site. However, how you respond to criticism or personal attacks is key to your success.

    I have seen all to often an innocent comment left on a site, only to be turned into a pissing match between others. How you respond in this situation shows your class and integrity.

    Thanks for responding!

  7. Yes, a direct hit. I personally haven’t encountered the rants you talk of, but I am very selective about the blogs I visit and trashing and namecalling I don’t have any time for.

    You points and suggestions are great. Start with a positive even if you don’t agree. Try to contribute something to the dialogue, something that would forward the conversation.

    Comment to others how you would have comment to you.

    Nick

  8. elliott says:

    Nick,

    Great quote to use and live by: “Comment to others how you would have comment to you.” I like that!

    Thanks for stopping by, I’ll have to visit your site for some inspiration on those lowly days for me.

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