If you are anything like me, you read other blogs. A lot of other blogs.
If you are anything like me, when you write something, you want to know that it has been read and what people think. Getting “liked” is great and all, but us bloggers live for the comments you make.
If you are anything like me, sometimes you want to comment, but aren’t sure what to say.
So, I got to thinking about the best (and worse) ways to comment. Here are four quick examples I came up with:
You just read a really good post on what it feels like to be depressed. You really found yourself identifying with the writer’s experience.
DO NOT fall into the trap of feeling like you need to give advice or “fix” people, like this:
You seem like you are feeling very sorry for yourself. I’m sure you can snap out of this funk if you just work out more and think positively. It worked for me!
You may think you are “helping,” but it can make the person feel even worse.
DO write something like this:
I’m so glad you wrote this, so I know I’m not the only one experiencing this level of difficulty. I hope you feel better soon.
This one short sentence will go MUCH farther to help this person feel less crazy, alone, depressed, or even suicidal than dozens of “likes.” For bonus points, describe your own struggles in a few sentences or point them to a post you wrote about a similar experience. It’s not shameless promotion if you are trying to connect with someone. Let that go.
You just read something funny. Writers of humor are at a serious disadvantage. They (we) don’t have any idea how their writing is going to come across to people. They hope it’s as funny to us as it is to them, but they are insecure like every other artist (and human being) on the planet. Take your finger off the “like” button and use your words people!
DO NOT write:
It don’t think it’s funny when people’s junk catches on fire. What is wrong with you?
Maybe you don’t like what you read for whatever reason. That doesn’t mean it is not funny.
DO copy and paste the part you enjoyed the most into your comment, like this:
“…and just as I was thinking about how hot he was, his crotch went up in flames!” <— THIS was my favorite part of your post. I did not see that coming. I really needed the laugh today. Keep it up. I’ll be following you from now on!
You read some kick-ass fiction, but you noticed a flaw in the story line.
DO NOT write:
Your story was great, except the ending made no sense at all. Why would the little girl be sitting on the porch eating peanut M&Ms when you mentioned at the beginning that she is ALLERGIC TO NUTS? Weak dude. Seriously.
So many things are wrong with this. First, Saying something was “great” is super boring and not specific at all. What the heck does “great” even mean especially when followed by the word “except”? Second, do not ever use all caps. It’s WAY TOO AGGRESSIVE. Lastly, calling someone’s writing “weak” is, well, weak.
This story made me feel warm and fuzzy. I liked the way you captured the voice of the 8 year old girl so exquisitely. I did notice a tiny inconsistency in the story. If you want, I’d be happy to elaborate, otherwise, keep up the good work.
You see what I did there? I call it 2Pos+1Neg–when delivering criticism, you say two positive things, followed by one negative. It makes it much easier to be on the receiving end of the negative criticism. Also, I asked permission to give the feedback, instead of putting out there right away. This will make the writer feel more in control and less defensive.
A blogger just wrote a post about something you totally disagree with.
DO NOT say:
What the hell is wrong with you? I hope you die in a hole covered in rat vomit!
Because, really, what good does it do to say something like that? You may think it makes you feel better to “vent,” but it just perpetuates your crankiness. (Also, it makes you look like a mean and nasty shithead.)
I may not agree with what you are saying, having been raised to believe the opposite, but your post was well-written, insightful, and really made me think.
I hope these guidelines are helpful to you. When you think about it, it really just comes down to following the old golden rule: