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Thursday, June 30, 2011

How to Comment on a Blog

If you cannot bother to read beyond the title line or past the first few sentences, please do not bother commenting. Comments that do not indicate that you have read (or at least thoroughly skimmed) the article/post/links, will likely be deleted. Nothing wrong with opinions, but when they are not within the ballpark of the subject, there's no point releasing them, as they add nothing.

Here are some helpful tips to blog commenting from this site:

How to Write a Great Blog Comment

 

Rule #1 -- Determine Your Motivation


People have different reasons for writing blog comments. What's yours? Are you trying to get the attention of an influential blogger? Drive traffic to your own blog? Establish yourself as an expert on a topic? Do you appreciate the person's work and want to say thank you or brighten his or her day? Do you disagree so strongly with what you're viewing or reading that you simply can't let it stand without a rebuttal? Sometimes, understanding your motivation will help you decide what kind of comment to write.

 

Rule #2 -- Provide Context

I know as you're writing your comment *you* know what you're responding to -- maybe it's the article or video or maybe it's someone else's comment, but when people come to the page later and read the comments, it isn't always immediately clear what you're talking about. It's most important to provide context when there are a lot of comments. If comments are coming in really fast, for example, yours can get separated from the comment to which you're responding.

 

Rule #3 -- Be Respectful


I shouldn't have to tell you this, but comments that start out "You're an idiot," are laced with profanity, or are just plain disrespectful, undermine the authority of your argument. Nobody gives much credence to an obnoxious troll. So aside from the pleasure you get from annoying people, you're wasting your time writing such comments. Always remember there is a real person reading your comment. It's easy to be mean while hiding behind the anonymity of the Web, but you shouldn't say anything you wouldn't say in person.   

 

Rule #4 -- Make a Point


Sure, most bloggers will lap up short comments like "Wonderful!" "I love it!" and "Thank you," and if all you want to do is express gratitude or brighten their day, comments like that are fine, but you'll make a more lasting impression and a more meaningful contribution to the conversation if you say a bit more. Why is it wonderful? Why did you love it? It's even more important to make a point when you disagree. It's a waste of time to just write "You're wrong," or a longer ranting equivalent. Make sure you include the reason you disagree. It's easier than you think to avoid making a point. Consider the comment "You're spreading lies by saying the ideal temperature for chocolate storage is 28 degrees. At that temperature, the chocolate will go bad." Really, all you've said is "You're wrong." You need to say *why* the temperature is wrong. Say what temperature is better and why. Maybe say where you get your information. Is it based on your experience, the recommendations of the Chocolate Storage Association, or just your own wild guess? Make a point.

 

Rule #5 -- Know What You're Talking About

 When I read comments I’m always amazed by how many people admit (admit!) they have no idea what they're talking about and then go on to make recommendations, suppositions, or write long rambling analyses based on nothing more than a pure guess. I swear I've read comments like "I've never worked with chocolate before, but I think 29 degrees would be better than 28 degrees." That kind of comment is not the way to get positive attention from an influential blogger or establish yourself as an expert. If you have a question the author didn't answer about why 28 degrees is best, it's fine to ask; but when you're commenting about something that's based in facts, you're not adding anything useful when you write comments based on your intuition. You're not under orders to comment on everything you read. Save your time for commenting about things where you can actually say something useful.

 

Rule #6 -- Make One Point per Comment


People have short attention spans, and in my experience attention spans are shorter on the Web and even shorter when people are skimming comments. A comment should be just that -- a comment -- not a manifesto. If you have something so complex and important to say that you can't do it in a few short paragraphs, start your own blog. If you have two separate things to say about the video, photo, or blog post, it's usually better to break it up into two separate comments. Remember, people are often skimming.

 

Rule #7 -- Keep it Short


This is really an extension of Rule 6, make one point, but since it's possible to go on and on about one point, I thought I'd also remind you to keep your comments short. Again, it's a comment, not your own blog post.

 

Now hopefully with practicing some of these helpful tips, we can actually have a fruitful discussion about the topic at hand, rather than the usual hate filled comments which are based solely on nothingness.

dirt

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3 comments:

  1. I totally agree.

    What's a good brownie recipe? I used too much egg and oil in my last batch, I think, because it came out all gelatinous and gross. I'm not a baker, but I think an hour in a 350 degree oven should've been fine. But the fucking brownie fuckin' burned at the fuckin bottom!!!!

    Also, grandmas usually have bad morning breath. Cougars are awesome though.

    ReplyDelete
  2. FINALLY! A comment that makes sense!

    dirt

    ReplyDelete
  3. Someone actually commented earlier that I didnt credit the space the info came from regarding commenting!...lol A prime example of NOT checking out links before commenting. Sheesh!

    dirt

    ReplyDelete

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