How to Comment (Post 44)

The Waiting wrote a wonderful post on interweb interactions the other day and I’ve been wanting to throw my hat into the discussion ring for some time.  I think there’s a lot to say on the subject.  Yet, it’s also amazing how often basic etiquette gets ignored or even worse still when common sense is totally turned on its head.

 

Way back, in the earlier days of my blogging experience – a blogger named Angry Ricky wrote a post about commenting.  I can’t seem to find it now, but the gist of it was:  “a blog is like going into someone’s home…would you go into someone’s home and insult them?”

 

I tend to agree with that sentiment.  Bloggers put a lot into their blogs.  For the most part, they engage in this effort for little to no monetary gain.  So, unless they directly ask you for criticism, why offer it?  And especially, why offer it if you tend to provide your “sublime” criticism-dollop surrounded with a sugar cone of a**hole?

 

You may even be right.  But, at what cost?  At the cost of losing a good connection?  At the cost of losing a devoted reader?  Yep, a post may be too long.  The frequency of posts may not be what you might do.  SO WHAT?!  Honestly, other people have different goals and ideas than you do.  It’s that simple.  So, get off Mount YOU and join the population of the humbly-grateful-you’re-reading-at-all.

 

Guess what, I’m not blameless.  I’ve offered up criticism when it wasn’t asked for when I felt ‘closer’ to a blogger.  BUT, I also was very clear to state, “I get that it’s your space and you can do whatever you want.  I get that my thoughts might not be right for you and what you’re trying to accomplish.”  Then, after adding my unsolicited advice, I WOULD BACK OFF.  I backed off because -in essence- I was in the wrong.  It is the writer’s space to do with as they wish and no one else’s.

 

Sometimes I think it’s better to go over what NOT to do then what to do.  It brings forth a certain clarity.

 

So, based on my -nearly a year- of blogging experience, here are the NOTS:

 

Don’t be a RUNT.  Okay, runt is not the word I really wanted to use.  It simply rhymes with it.  You would think not being a runt is common sense, but it’s not.  If you’re having a bad day or you want to vent, either save it for your own post or unload it on your poor  roommate.  What you shouldn’t do is spread your nasty all over someone else’s page.  It won’t win you any friends.  Let’s move on.

 

runts candy

As sour as can be…

 

Don’t take over a thread.  Look, I LIKE comments that go back and forth and back and forth too.  They are often lively conversations and they are fun to read.  That’s not what I mean.  What I mean is interjecting yourself into every single comment and conversation as if you are the blog owner, when you’re not.  Same goes for insulting other people you disagree with who are commenting alongside of you.

 

Don’t sell too hard in the comments.  I, for one, enjoy when people leave RELATED links back to their blogs or to posts they think I might like to read.  That helps me to keep up with the good stuff.  It’s like a curated blog-reading-list and I love it.  But, I know there are A LOT of people who don’t like “sells” within their comments.  I’ve seen other blog owners boot or moderate people for it.  I suppose the thinking is, “I’ve created this space, it should be about my work.”  That makes sense.  I’m not so worried about it at my blog, so link away.  But, I will say – no matter where you comment – a soft sell usually works best.

 

Don’t feel like you have to protect free speech like Paul Feckin’ Revere by approving everyone and their every opinion.  Some people are just complete ass-hats.  They don’t deserve to be in your sacred space.  MODERATE THEM.  It is your kingdom.  Your house.  Your blog.  Protect it.

 

knight in armor

“Comment at will, but you may get the lance…”

 

Now for the PLEASE-DO:

 

Do say something nice.  I have received many comments through the course of this blog that have literally made my day.  They have kept me going when posting day after day really felt like too much.  I received one today, in fact, that put a smile on my face and made me feel like it was (is) all worth it.  I mean, isn’t that awesome that you can affect someone that deeply even with just a few words in response to theirs?  It’s kind of spectacular, actually.

 

The rest is really just common sense.

 

As for me, my one regret is that my posting schedule keeps me from reading more blogs.  But, I can assure you – once my project is done, your blog will be visited.  So, thank you for reading.  As always, I’m very, VERY grateful.

 

SM

 

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Sweet Mother is updated daily-ish.  Join me on the tail end of my quest towards 365 posts by clicking the “follow” button at the top of the blog.

 

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Photo creds:

knights, runts

 

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60 thoughts on “How to Comment (Post 44)

  1. Well said if I ever start a bog (that my ADD will let me write more than one post for before getting bored :-)) I will be putting a link directly to this post on it. (Assuming you don’t mind)

    That’s the beauty of free speech, some will learn from others views, but if it actually angers you there’s a little red X at the top calling your name!

    Keep up all the great work(s)

  2. A good rule:

    DON’T BE A CREEP!

    We get it, you follow that person because she’s a hot chick. Your pithy hipster comments wont make her want to sleep with you!

    I swear, every time I see those posts, I can literally hear the neck-beards out there squirming.

  3. I’m kind of scared to comment now… 😉

    But I agree–it often comes down to common sense, doesn’t it? It also gets back to the golden rule.

    Your comments always make us feel good. You put things like “all love Rubes.” That’s so cool. 🙂

    1. you should never be. your comments are always nice and constructive and honestly – if it’s nice, i can take it. hell, i’ve even approved some that are not so nice. but, i feel like… develop a relationship first – for the other yahoos out there. not you, tho. YOU are the online relationship building queen. that’s why you have 100 something comment a post. by the time i get to your blog, it’s practically “sold out!” 😉 sm

  4. Amen amen amen. It just comes down to behaving like an adult. Adults don’t throw their toys when they’re mad. Adults don’t literally bite your hand when you say something that rubs them the wrong way. Adults DO listen and use tact. And they apologize when they’re wrong. I am really lucky to be surrounded by a big community of bloggers who, for the most part, stands by your rules. I get enough “kid” throughout the day (and night) that I appreciate how we can all get along and behave like civilized, smart adults.

    Thanks for the ping and your support, SM. You are the queen of Best.

    1. USE TACT. what a dead on two words. and that’s the key – TACT. establish a relationship first -maybe- and then subtly suggest whatever you want to. but, realize that most adults don’t need it. it’s like telling melissa mccarthy she’s fat. SHE KNOWS SHE’S FECKIN’ FAT. well, here’s the killer – I KNOW WHAT’S WRONG WITH MY BLOG AND MY WRITING. i’ve been doing it long enough to know and i’m self aware. and yet, people will STILL tell me. it’s almost laughable. christ. and tone is everything. it’s just feckin’ everything and no matter what, people won’t get it. BUT, like you said – THANK GOD – the majority of the people DO get it or this would be no fun at all. it’s a case of ‘don’t let a few rotten apples spoil the bunch’. thanks for spurring a fun post. xoxoxox, sm

  5. ‘What not to do’ is probably the most crucial, yet the least stressed-upon aspect when faced with any new arena. You make some excellent suggestions here. I am particularly averse to ‘hard selling’ comments; I think it defeats the whole purpose of the sell. Another thing I don’t like is disingenuity: Don’t comment until you’ve actually read the article. I’ve had people corroborating my post saying the exact opposite of what was written there. It’s laughable sometimes.
    PS: I haven’t been active on the blogosphere myself as I took a long hiatus. It’s good to be back 🙂

    1. ap, it’s good to see you back here! i understand all about taking a hiatus. as i’m going to do a short one right after i finish the next 40 or so posts. you are absolutely right. if you can’t bother to read the post DON’T comment. it’s so simple and yet people still don’t always get it. thankfully, though, the majority do. xoxoxo, sm

  6. Couldn’t agree more. Nothing pisses me off like an abusive comment. If you want to disagree, fine; in fact I would welcome it, I love a good discussion. But behave like a decent human being in the process please…

  7. BRAVO, SWEET MOTHER! Very well put! I’ve been extremely lucky that I’ve only gotten 2 negative comments in the two years since I christened this blog-o-sphere, and luckily, only one of them was insulting. And funny thing, the insulting one was written by a guy I know PERSONALLY. He’s from my HOMETOWN, and we were very good friends in high school. I was so rattled, I thought my teeth might fall out from the impact of the SHOCK (well, not really, but you get the idea). And his caustic ca-ca was about my dearly departed ex-husband who thought this man was his friend as well. However, thank God, here in Word-Press Land, it is our KINGDOM, so I chose to flush Mr. Nasty’s comments right down the cyber shitter where they belonged.

    I’m really glad you chose to write about this issue because we ALL get enough mean-spirited malarkey thrown in our faces in the real live, crappy world beyond our cyber realm. So, we definitely don’t need that kind of malice in this wordsmith sanctuary.

    SO, AGAIN, BRAVO and have a simply fan-tabulous day/evening!

    Tenacious BITCH and company…:)

    1. tb! it’s so good to see you. i’ve missed you and need to swing by your blog! oh, you are so right – life is hard enough, don’t sh*t on my art work. sh*t on your own if you fancy sh*tting. but, alas, some ppl will never get it and in the end, it’s best to pick your battles and mostly, move on. xoxox, sm

      1. GOOD TO SEE you as well, SWEET MOTHER! And absolutely, pick your battles carefully! Making children eat vegies (worth the STRESS-knots on my neck)…cyber critics – BACK off at the sight of our cyber fist or prepare for a dual the likes of which your GREAT-GRANDCHILDREN will be feeling the cyber scorch from, LOL! If you fancy SHITTING! hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha….

    1. yeah, i firmly feel that too many GREAT people tolerate too much. it’s your land. your kingdom that you’ve created and people you don’t know do NOT have the right to pee on it. hell, ozzy got arrested for peeing on the alamo. so, it’s fair to moderate a comment or two. ;0 xo, sm

    1. i let the sh*t fly. i don’t care that it’s always not perfect and i hit the comment ‘delete’ button often and with a passion. loooool. otherwise, i just write. and THANK YOU for the kind words, foster. they always mean a lot to me. xoxo, sm

  8. Negativity is such a waste of energy. In my own experience, I have posted about some very sensitive personal matters, only to be attacked in a savage and particularly cruel way. Thankfully, I eventually learned the art of comment moderation, and have no problem hitting the DELETE key, (although that doesn’t keep the sometimes unexpected a**hat from contacting me directly by email, just to share their wisdom). Despite these direct attacks by email, I still leave my email address out there on my blog. Those random and idiotic malevolents end up in my TRASH, and I carry on, oblivious to their putrid stench. I love it that your post was well stated, and current, and true. We all can choose to spread a little warmth, or we can stink up the place. We can be friendly and respectful, or we can spread hatred or judgment. The one thing we all have in common, is that we all get to choose which way we use our words. Every day, in every way. Thanks for sharing some of yours.

  9. I’m very seldom a comment asshat. Every now and then I find myself typing out something in a fury and then deleting it when it is out of my system. The same rule applies for Facebook and Twitter.

  10. I think it is great you wrote about this. That is the entire point of my Blog really. People are just plain mean in comments and say things they would never actually say to someone. Anonymity makes people runts. 🙂

  11. Nicely put. Comments are probably the best thing about blogging, in that they demonstrate that people are reading your work AND getting your humor (sometimes). Bad comments are almost worse than none at all.

  12. Hey SM, thanks for the lesson. Being fairly new to the blogging world I need to find this stuff out somewhere. I do love to comment on posts and while I try to adhere to Thumper’s Law, I have always had a tact deficiency. I have to work on a filter that will funnel my tactless remarks into the right boxes although I’m not holding out much hope. I have landed in the manure pile a couple of times and didn’t much like it. But I’m pretty much used to writing what I feel and it’s a hard habit to break. But I’m trying. Thanks again. And yes, I’ll have some fries with that!

    1. It’s funny, i’ve never found you ‘tact deficient’ on my blog, only truthful. maybe you are only that way with a-holes. in my humble opinion, none of the above would apply to you… xoxoxo 😉 sm

  13. i once got an angry comment when i wrote a post about my being happy on Obama’s victory…that was sad because i was just happy when Obama won..im not even in US still i was happy but the blogger said something like “Whats there to celebrate”..that may not have been his exact words but similar to that..
    Sweet Mom i hope i was never rude with your blog or ever did anyone of the above…

  14. From a quarter century of writing, I could paper my walls with rejection slips, so, I think of myself as being thick skinned about those things. What bothers me the most is when people try to tell me how I feel or what I’m thinking. They envision motives or reasons that don’t exist. That I can’t abide. Disagree with me if you want, but don’t tell me what I believe. And, as I answered in a comment at my site today, I am god of my blog. I’ll put your comment in the trash can in a heartbeat and block you forever if you piss me off. Finally, if you don’t like what I write, don’t read me. I’ve always considered myself like lovers of Jack Daniels (most of my blogs are influenced by this fine gentleman); I am an acquired taste. If you don’t like me, try another whiskey or stick around and take another sip. Soon, I’ll have you! All joy. HF

  15. I can’t spell the word I want and am simply far to lazy to look it up today (sorry).

    So instead….Brava (clapping in background, pretty people standing and shouting).

    Brava.

    I cannot begin to tell you how many times I wish people would follow these rules. Remember these rules. Apply these rules. I am fairly thick skinned and will tell a person they are off base. Some of my blog is dedicated to politics, thus I get people who often disagree with me, that is fine I welcome intelligent disagreement, intelligent debate.

    This though, this is perfect. Runts! Love Runts, yes indeed know a few of these.

  16. I haven’t experienced any runts personally but I have seen some blogs that have been targeted, and it really was a campaign of nasty. 😦 Damned if I know what rock these people hide under.

  17. “criticism-dollop surrounded with a sugar cone of a**hole” is possibly the best line ever and I’m dying to throw it into a conversation. In fact, I may have to cruise the streets looking for the right opportunity. I fully agree with you. A-holes cruise the internet. I’ve been really lucky so far but I know that inevitably I’ll run across a couple.

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