We often hear advice on the way bloggers and page owners should treat their followers, but not much has been written about how followers should behave. Many large news sites and websites have removed their comment sections, but for those of us who are building a following, this section can be important.
We have a policy at Writers Write that we do not allow abusive, derogatory, or intolerant comments on blog posts and social media posts. Don’t get me wrong. We are happy to have constructive criticism and valid arguments in streams.
We are not happy for people to insult and abuse others under the guise of ‘opinion’. As Douglas Adams said, ‘All opinions are not equal. Some are a very great deal more robust, sophisticated and well supported in logic and argument than others.’
This made me think about the etiquette of commenting on posts. Here are six things I believe people should consider before they make a comment:
- Be kind. Be polite. The author of the post is a real person with feelings. Remember that you are a visitor on the platform.
- Leave it alone if you don’t like it. You may not agree with a post, but this does not give you the right to go on a tirade about the stupidity of the post, the page, or the author. If you truly don’t like it, ignore it. If you think the page is bad, don’t follow it. And you don’t have to announce it. Just do it.
- Don’t preach. Posts are not a platform for you to promote your agenda. Don’t turn the comments section into a pulpit. Start your own blog and share your passions, obsessions, and opinions there. You can create your own following without ruining the experience for others.
- Leave religion and politics out of it. Unless the blog is about religion or politics, there is no need for you to add any comments about it. If you fear for the state of the writer’s soul, or if they offend you, don’t follow them.
- Think before you ask. If you are asking a general knowledge question that the author may not know, Google it first. If you have a question that relates to the post, read through the comments. Somebody may have answered it already. If you know the answer to a question, please answer it. The author of the post will be grateful for your help.
- If you like it, say it. Always leave positive comments if you enjoyed the post or you have something valuable to add to the discussion. If you have had an experience that relates to the content, and you share it in a helpful way, people will be interested in hearing about it.
Life is short. Follow blogs and pages that you enjoy. And if they change into something you don’t like, it’s easy enough for you to leave.
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