Comment Guidelines & Why They're Ridiculous
Lately while networking — yes, I’m still trying to convince myself I’m networking — I’ve been noticing some things that I find slightly ridiculous. Namely, “comment guidelines” or “policies” on others’ blogs. I’ve seen this on a few blogs over the last couple days and I can’t help but think that this is turning something a blogger should be happy to have into something that a blogger feels obligated to deal with.
When people choose to comment on our blogs, we are allowed to have certain expectations. For one, we don’t want spammy comments taking up space on our blogs. If your comment is nothing but spam trying to get my visitors to go to your website, I probably won’t be too happy with it. Another reasonable expectation is for commenters to be respectful. You can totally leave a comment on this entry about how you think I’m the biggest asshole on the planet, so long as you do it respectfully. Other than that, I think that the comments section is free game. When bloggers go beyond reasonable expectation is when I start to have problems.
I’ve seen bloggers go so far as to say that all commenters should have good grammar. News flash, this is the internet and not all of your readers are going to have learned English as their native language or even their secondary language. I, personally, am able to overlook bad or even atrocious grammar because that commenter took time to read my blog and voice his or her opinion on what I had to say. If a commenter’s grammar is shoddy I’m OK with that, because frankly, I am honored somebody took time out of their busy day to read the crap that I have to say. I value every comment on my blog, and I read them all.
Another restriction I can’t stand, is when a blogger wants all comments not relating to actual content to be relegated to an email or other forms of communication. I don’t expect you to like how my blog looks, or how I look for that matter, so if you do like it or have a concern please tell me. (OK, if you have a concern about how I look, maybe don’t tell me — unless you’ve noticed that my left eye is actually a gargantuan cancerous/radioactive growth then, please, do tell.) If that means you open up my latest blog post to tell me something unrelated to its content in the comments, I’m OK with that. It makes me feel good that people care enough about my blog to comment.
When I am taking time out of my day to read your blog you should be happy, and not critical of, how or where I voice my opinions on it and its content. The obvious ones, like don’t spam and be respectful, are OK to say out loud but when you start to get picky you start to look ridiculous.
Comments are good. Don’t forget this.