A Word on Comment Etiquette


I thought I would take a moment out of my day to write a quick post about proper comment etiquette. Now I am not going to claim to be an expert on the topic, I don’t claim to be an expert on any topic, but I do consider myself to have a high level of Customer Service skills and common sense. Combined with a strong opinion I feel that I am able enough to write this post….

Recently on one of my other blogs a reader commented on an error in my spelling which I appreciated openly. I was unable to fix the error at that moment, but have since revised so that it is correct. While checking my emails today and moderating my comments I came across a comment from another reader, pointing out an error in the original comment about my error… This was not an issue, what WAS an issue is that ‘this’ reader went on to be vulgar and foul in his/her comment and unnecessarily rude in general regarding both errors that were made. Thankfully I have my site set up to moderate comments before they are posted and I caught this before it hit the site, but it got me to thinking about the proper etiquette of commenting and the basic rules that people should follow.

The following are ‘MY’ personal guidelines, and are not meant to be ‘pushed’ on anyone. Feel free to add you own as well and share any tips, tricks or stories you might have in the comments section of this page.

 The Basics of Comment Etiquette:

  • First and foremost, keep it clean. When you are commenting on someone’s blog post, or on any site, it is important to remember that people of all ages may read the content on the site. Keep your comments free of foul language or sexual content unless you are sure the site is for a mature audience only.
  • Secondly, say to others only what you would appreciate hearing yourself. It is fine to point out an error, disagree with a view, or propose an opposition, but do so with tact. Swearing, belittling or general put-downs are not polite and I am sure you would not appreciate them on your site, why would you want to put them on someone else’s?
  • Commenting should enhance the post, share the love, or propose an opposite opinion. Disagreements, debates and even arguments are fine as long as they are done tastefully and neither side is trying to make the other look bad. It is important that you remember your comments are in black and white, like texting there is no emotion shown on the screen. Be careful with your choice of words as many times what you mean to say gets interpreted very differently than it should by incorrect word choice. Avoid aggressive words and remember to use “I” to show the readers that you are simply sharing your opinion.
  • Use comments as a line of communication. Comments on a post make the writer proud and often time comments encourage more writing. Use commenting to show your support for the site and to help bring traffic to your own. Posting a comment saying that you enjoyed the post is wonderful and it encourages the writer to not only reply to your comment, but to write more content as well. Positive feed back is motivating.
  • Remember that each thing you say is a reflection of your own site. Posting a foul comment on a blog you read only reflects on you. Each comment you post holds a link to your own blog site, or other place on the internet. Keep in mind that if you want to appear professional online you need to think before you type. People are not going to want to visit your site if they see vulgar comments written by you on another blog.
  • Avoid spamming people. Though commenting on other blogs helps to generate traffic to your own site avoid spamming blogs with your own link. If you want to place your link on a site it is best to first post a useful comment, and/or use the link only for relative material that relates to the post you have just read.
  • Share your thoughts and show the writer that you actually ‘read’ their post by writing a more in-depth comment than ‘good post’. Though ‘good post’ is a great pick-me-up, writers like to know what it was that you thought was ‘good’ about it. Try elaborating on your comments to make them more personal.

I am going to leave it at that for the moment, as I am sure that many of us don’t need this basic advice, but for those of you who do feel the need to be foul on other’s posts remember these actions reflect more on you than they do the writer…. Just a thought!

 

Cheers!

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3 thoughts on “A Word on Comment Etiquette

  1. I really don’t understand why people get so angry and upset about what someone puts on their blog then comment rudely. I mean really, let’s play nice, people. It shouldn’t be necessary to have tips on comment etiquette.
    That being said—thanks, Kate.

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