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In an effort to curb the trend of removing comments from blogs, here are a few tips on comment leaving to share with your readers.

I know that you all are busy and deterred from commenting because of:

  • Multiple mediums. If you just posted a twitter feed, a Facebook update, and responded to some texts to organize the evening outings or after-school events, you certainly don’t have the time to read an entire blog (or news article *ahem*), let alone the time to formulate a thoughtful response.
  • Fear. We’ve all heard all the horror stories about employees getting fired for posting negative statements about their job or customers. Or of those people that get caught up in a tit-for-tat argument that goes viral and ends up following you for the rest of your internet ‘life’. In fact, we teach our kids now the maxim that “when it’s on the internet, it’s forever, so watch what you say.”

I can’t do anything about the first one, but the second one… Fear not my crickets.

We need your help to challenge ideas and prevent (and curb) the current trend of myopic worldviews. Plus, it might just be fun! I wrote in a blog once, a million internet years ago, that “an unchallenged idea is not a complete thought”.

The rules maintain the cautionary tenet: “When it is on the internet, it is on the internet FOREVER.”

With that in mind, here are 5 Basic Rules to Commenting:

Rule 1: DO NOT DRINK AND COMMENT. Unless you are like one witty blogger I knew who created funny, sarcastic, and entertaining blogs under the influence of 2 glasses of wine, don’t do it. (Or blog for that matter… well, don’t post them right away at least. Make sure that they actually are just that funny.)

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Rule 2: Be respectful. When you are on a Blog site, you are in someone else’s HOME. If you wouldn’t walk in someone else’s house and say it, but it has to be said, make sure that you take the time to think before you hit submit.

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Rule 3: Beware the Trolls and Trawlers[1], but don’t let them scare you away. Kill them with kindness. And remind them that it isn’t their home. If it gets bad, follow the rule I tell my kids: “Ignore it. Report it. Delete it (or ask the blogsite to).”

trollTrolls guard BRIDGES… troll-under-bridge-clipart-old-bridge-clip-art

Trawlers go site to site…trawler-clipart-CoolClips_tran0409

Rule 4: Don’t blog if you are upset. If you read something particularly upsetting, STEP AWAY FROM THE COMPUTER. Get a breath of fresh air, count to 10. If it still has to be said, say it intelligently. Ignore the trigger words and get to the point of the disagreement. Don’t argue points that will NEVER meet. Agree to disagree and move on. Or go ahead and disagree just for posterity. Don’t leave them in their la-la land. If they took the time to write it, more than likely they want to discuss it.

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Rule 5: Tone down the snark. It can be fun, now and again, but make sure that you and that blogger already have a rapport (and context) that allows for it. Still, consider that others will be reading it. (I offended a visitor to my blog once because a regular commenter and I were cracking jokes back and forth in the comment section. We just virtually shrugged at their “I’m SO offended!” comment and moved on… but really, it probably wasn’t the venue for it.)

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I hope that helps. I know in my first blogging experience there were more than a few bloggers and commenters that didn’t understand these basic concepts. I helped them as they presented themselves, but I couldn’t save everyone.

Feel free to share, add to it, or heaven-forbid, disagree. 😛


[1] I will blog about this word confusion later. (Yes there is a difference, read Grimm’s Fairytales and then we can laugh together)