A Guide to Comments
Comments for blogs and articles allow people to respond with their opinion as if that opinion is equal to all and helps interact with your customer/reader so that conversations can occur. Um, no. For years this and similar blanket statements have perpetuated this. It is a myth because evidence proves otherwise based on how humans act differently than prescribed and planned. Here is a non-comprehensive list of the types of commenters who, generally, do not add to the conversation at all.
- Abuser/Harasser - the person who comments with abuse and harassment.
- Can't Read - the person who comments who clearly can't read critically and/or interprets what is written incorrectly most likely by reading it wrong.
- Can't Reply - the person who comments to someone and you can't find that someone anywhere in the discussion because they are probably 30 pages in the past but the commenter didn't know they should hit Reply to the original comment they are replying to. (Granted, this could be a software issue too.)
- Complimenter - the person who comments with a compliment. (Not a pain point but deserves its own entry.)
- Conspiracy Theorist - the person who comments based on conspiracy theories as they lack any evidence or warp the evidence to their secret findings.
- Grammar Nazi - the person who comments to tear down the author or other commenter how those said people speled something wrong or used a comma, incorrectly.
- Jokester - the person who comments with a joke or anecdotal story. (Not a pain point but deserves its own entry.)
- Old News - the person who comments that whatever the author wrote is old news and that the commenter knew about it and how great they are and how dumb the author is.
- Opposite - the person who comments the opposite and gives anecdotal evidence for support.
- Never Read - the person who comments who clearly never read the article and at times bases their comment on the headline alone.
- Not the Point - the person who comments about the article but missed the whole point of said article. (Really, this isn't that bad, they are usually take being corrected by nice people with no problem.)
- Read the Manual - the person who comments you should read the manual or search someplace else in the forum for the answer because it's all been answered before and berates the person looking for help.
- Repeater - the person who re-writes the main point or summarizes the article while sounding like an authority who came up with the idea in the first place.
- Squirrel! - the person who comments off topic.
- Squirrel Hunter - the person who goes off topic to comment that the Squirrel! commenter is off topic.
- That's Why I - the person who comments that they don't use ABC because of the issues in the article and rambles on about why XYZ is better because they use it.
- Sarcasm Denial - the person who comments in reply to another person's sarcasm because they took it literally.
- Troll - the person who comments just to make people angry.
- Trolled - the person who comments to the Troll because they fell into the Troll's trap.
- Tweet Size - the person who comments with the length of a Tweet with a snide remark or vulgar comment in order to justify their existence and remind people they are alive.
- I Told You So - the person who comments that they knew it would go that way all along even though there is no prior evidence that they knew it would. This includes commenters who take the moral high ground. (See also "That's Why I".)
- Commenter - the person who comments something of value which was the original idea behind having comments open to people. The less than 1% of all people who comment. This includes people who politely point out errors to the article by citing evidence, politely help correct typing or grammatical issues, or respectfully disagree by bringing up valid points.
Yes, there are situations that the owners of articles do want to interact with their readers because of a common goal but seriously, that is not common. And no, posting anonymously isn't cowardly. It's a right and some people may have to post that way. (No, I'm not talking about free speech cases where people yell "Fire!".)
What about me? It is rare for me to comment but when I do I always endeavor to be a Commenter. Life is too short for the rest. For the most part, I've found writing an email to the author the better route. Then I can have a conversation with them if they choose to talk to me.