I have been posting videos on Youtube for over a year. I have been writing blogs since last June, and I’ve seen and written many comments. Out of all the comments I have written and seen I began to recognize a pattern, or series of rules, that the best comments, and responses to the comments, have in common. There are ten rules that good commenters seem to follow. There are five for the person leaving the comments, four for the person responding to the comment, and one for both. Here, then, are the Ten Commandments for comments and responses.
For the person leaving the comment:
1) Be honest. If you lie to either protect a person’s feelings, or hurt a person’s feelings, no one learns anything, and the person writing the comment ends up looking like a fool.
2) Be proactive. If you are going to say something, say it responsibly so that when you leave comments in the future, people will listen and take you seriously.
3) Don’t ramble. When you leave a comment, be brief and stay on subject. It becomes confusing if you’re reading a blog about the economy, and you start going off on how shoes are made of leather and not something synthetic.
4) Don’t comment on the person or their character. Keep in mind you don’t know this person, and your only problem is with what they wrote, not who they are. Don’t confuse the two; it could get you in trouble.
5) Be creative. Where appropriate, use humor. A creative comment will stick in peoples’ minds a lot more than dictionary definitions and statistics.
For the person responding to the comment:
6) Appreciate the commenter. Positive or negative, if they are leaving comments, they are reading what you write. Thank them for commenting.
7) Listen, don’t lash out. By listening to comments, there might be something you can learn, or use in a future blog. If all you do is lash out, you will never learn anything.
8) Don’t take comments personal. Unless they are telling you to drive your car off a cliff (it was a comment left on one of my videos) most comments are not directed at you, as a person. Pay close attention to what a comment says, it may contain ways to strengthen your blog.
9) If you disagree with a comment, say why. Any time you write a blog, article, or book in which you state your opinion, you probably have a reason for your position. You may get comments that you disagree with. Don’t be afraid to stand up for your opinion, but do it in a tasteful manner. Acknowledge their opinion, and explain your reasons for your belief, you may change their position, and if not, you will gain their respect.
10) Be respectful. Whether you leave comments, or Respond to them, remember, you’re dealing with people who have feelings. No matter what, you get what you give, and if you give respect, you will get it in return.
Don’t look at comments or responses as personal attacks. Try to see them as growth opportunities.
Challenge: Look at comments left on your blogs and see where people are trying to help your blog improve and succeed.