Don’t Be A Jerky Blog Commenter
Rebecca Kelley and Jane Copland commented on blog commenters who hate as their contribution to Sugarrae guestwhore week. And I say "commented" because that’s all they did, pass along their comments from an AIM thread. Nice work, girls.
The Mozzer’s post was amusing, but it was somewhat of a miss opportunity to discuss a larger issue — that small sub-sect of the search marketing blogging community that would rather tear each other apart than build one another up.
We opened up blog comments back in January and, despite my initial fear that every comment that came in would tell me how misguided/useless/idiotic I am and question Bruce’s motives for hiring me, our commenters have always been both intelligent and polite (we thank you for this). There have only been a handful of people who stop by to tell me that I am an idiot. That is a far smaller number than I deserve, so I feel very lucky.
However, blog commenters aren’t always so behaved. Have you been to SEOmoz?
I always get a good laugh out of the commenters who head over to SEOmoz with the sole intention of telling Rebecca Kelley that she’s a newbie idiot that knows nothing about SEO and that she should go home and play with her dolls. It’s amusing because I know it doesn’t faze Rebecca (if it did I’d go protect-your-own mode) and it only serves to make the angry commenter looks like a royal ass. Also, Rebecca Kelley doesn’t play with dolls unless she’s throwing them through car windshields.
I have no problem with people coming to the blog and telling me where I took a wrong turn, why they don’t agree with my viewpoint, or that I have no idea what I’m talking about. That is both fine and welcome, assuming it’s respectful. I’m sure most bloggers enjoy that. It adds to the conversation and that’s what blogging is supposed to be about – conversation. But if you’re not adding anything and you just want to tell someone they’re an idiot without explaining yourself? Well, then I think your limbs should be painfully torn from your body. And then you should then be beaten with them. That’s just my personal feeling.
You need to use common sense when commenting on someone else’s blog. Respect the space. You’re walking into their house. Don’t bring negative energy in by spitting on the rug. Take your shoes off and play well with others. You don’t have to agree or like everything that is being said, but if you are an adult, you should be able to intelligently dissent. If you instead go on a tirade, people will be able to quickly detect that you are a lonely idiot who makes himself feel smarter by bringing others down. This isn’t a good way to make friends. This is a good way to be labeled a menacing troll and be permanently ignored.
And if you’re going to be a bit mean, at least own up to who you are. It’s very frustrating to get slapped in the face by someone who won’t even tell you their name. I know this is something Li Evans recently faced when an anonymous blog commenter showed up to stir up some trouble but yet wasn’t brave enough to reveal his/her true identity. Be brave enough to own up your comments or keep them to yourself.
As a general rule: Comment when you have something to add to the conversation and own up to it. Even if it’s something small, or disagrees with the blogger entirely, if it adds to the conversation, please share it. We heart our blog commenters. I enjoy knowing that Susan and Bruce are not the only ones who read this blog. I define myself by this blog’s success, you know?
Lorelle has a great post on how to deal with mean-spirited blog commenters. The best course of action is to ignore them and watch them go away. However, that is very, very difficult when what you’d really like to do is smash your bulky office telephone over their pointy little head.