A Comment is MUCH More than a Few Words Strung Together!
You wouldn't know it to look at us now, but we used to be pretty quiet in the Rain! I mean REALLY quiet. You didn't even know we were here kind of QUIET! We lurked for MONTHS before we ever made our first comment in January 2010. Still mostly church mice quiet until we started blogging in June 2010. It took awhile, but we realized MOST people don't bite, and well those that verbally bite, we mostly avoid because who needs that in Life?
Today we left our 20,000th comment. Depending on the topic, our comments might get pretty involved. We're looking to help, compliment good work, share an experience, offer support, or start a conversation. What you won't find from us is "Thanks for the information, I'll keep that in mind the next time we select a home inspector" on 10 blogs in a row :)
Here's some key lessons about commenting in general, in no particular order of importance:
- A great comment can lead to a new relationship. We've subscribed to people just off a comment alone! A comment is often the first step in establishing an AR relationship. And regular commenting reinforces the relationship.
- A comment can destroy respect for someone. It doesn't even have to be on your own post, but if I'm reading a post and someone says something totally outrageous, rude or petty, they're going down a few notches on the respect meter. And if you're going to do any of the above, don't be surprised if you incur the wrath of AR Friends. If you go outside the norms, word does get around and people WILL do some self-policing.
- Consider whether the post is Public or Members Only before you make that comment. If you're going to have a rumble with someone, maybe DON'T do it on their consumer oriented post! You got a burning desire to tangle, how about an email instead?
- Don't rain on someone's parade. Sorry, but it takes a complete ass to go on someone's Featured Post and WRITE "I don't understand why this got Featured" or something to that effect. Engage the gray matter. That person didn't get to self-feature, someone ELSE put them there, so don't take it out on them.
- When you find a mistake, you don't have to make a public spectacle out of it. See the Email Me on the side bar?? Use it! We appreciate when someone lets us know we've got an error to correct. We're human, mistakes happen.
- Comments are LOUD and they last! Google finds them! Look at your Google Analytics. When we do, we find Search matches for other AR members. That comment on OUR blog may be getting YOU found by someone, so make those extra seconds of Internet fame work for you.
- You don't have to agree with someone, but you don't have to be a jerk either. Argue your point rationally and civilly. Period. If you can't do that, then maybe you shouldn't be leaving a comment at ALL. Go back to Sandbox 101 Remedial Training!
- Sometimes the comment isn't really about YOU or to YOU. There are people here that I know it's impossible to move their thinking. I could go talk to a brick wall and have the same impact. However, there are OTHER people that read that haven't made a decision yet, and if in my opinion the poster is totally off base, that comment we leave just might be with the intent of swaying others.
- Just because someone has a number badge with pretty colors doesn't make their comment any more valuable. You know what that 500k thing under our photo means? Only that we got here before a bunch of folks, or blog more, or comment more and racked up more points. It DOESN'T mean what we type should get treated with more reverence. If our words don't stand on their own merits, then they don't stand at all.
- And if you want NO respect from your Active Rain peers, be a serial commenter. Just go ahead, find your magic combination of 50 characters, copy and paste and be done. Adios. You've TOTALLY missed the point of Active Rain. The power is in the community and you've chosen to NOT be a part of that.
- And one last important consideration, read the ENTIRE post before dropping your comment. Commenting just off the title or first paragraph? Posts aren't always what they seem at first glance! Do so at your own peril, and don't be surprised if you get some ridicule from someone if it's obvious!
We could go on some more, but these are the essential nuggets we've picked up. If you've got more, please leave them in the comment section!
Keep on Blogging and Commenting!
Liz and Bill aka BLiz