i love all your comments, people! one of the things i had hoped for in my goals for this year was to have more conversations on this blog, and i think that’s happening. thank you so much!
so with this in mind, i thought it’s time to throw together some comment guidelines. not because there are any big problems – actually, i can’t believe how few comment problems we have here on this blog (none of the trolls like me??) – but because with increased number of comments, i’d like to have a tool to manage any upcoming glitches.
here is what i propose:
last year, i wrote two posts on appreciative communication and improving on silence, both about comments in the blogosphere and beyond. taking the ideas in those posts, here are my personal aspirations for commenting:
- comment with kindness and respect
- listen carefully to others in order to understand their perspectives
- take responsibility for my words
- keep criticism constructive
- respect diversity and be tolerant of differences
- keep a balance between self-interest and the interests of others in the conversation
- remember truth!
- improve on silence: make the comment meaningful
yes, these are aspirations – meaning that i strive towards them but cannot guarantee i will always fulfil them 100%. when i don’t, i’m open to moving closer to them, and open to people pointing out to me that i could do better.
while i don’t expect commenters to have the same mindset, when i choose to challenge, edit or delete a comment, i propose that i point to these aspirations.
an example would be something that has been happening a bit lately. i’m getting more and more traffic from people who appear to be using mass commenting software. this is an interesting grey area. while i have no problem with people commenting here who also want to drive traffic to their sites, i’m not excited when that seems to be the sole motivation. in that case, i want to point out that i will either delete the comment or edit those areas that are glaringly promotional without adding much to the conversation.
practically, this means that i find it preferable when people state their names or their blog names when leaving comments, rather than calling themselves “lose weight now!” or some such thing. similarly, i’m not fond of seeing bold face in a comment when i get the feeling that it’s done for promotional purposes.
then there are controversial topics like sex trade or the use of police force. i definitely want to invite passionate comments – but when it comes to name-calling or generally disrespect, that’s where the buck stops. if there is a problem, i think the first line of defense would be to point out that i’m uncomfortable with a comment, and why. if that doesn’t work, i’d like to reserve the right to edit or delete, with a preference for editing. i don’t like the idea of totally deleting a comment unless it’s obvious spam.
you are my commenters. what do you think? any – well, comments? additions?
(a little comment on the back-end of this post: it’s st. patrick’s day today, so phew,
i’m glad these are green birds! and what a nice coincidence:
the image is by ©2008 gareth taylor.
go to his profile, what he says there goes perfectly with this blog post)