Commenting is what makes a blog article a living and breathing document.
When you make insightful, witty, or thought-provoking comments, you encourage a dialogue that adds value for the entire community of the blog – for today and into the future when new readers happen along.
Our Blog Commenting Guidelines
1. Be Yourself
2. Be Respectful of Others
3. Add Value
Unlike some of the mega blogs, the comments here predominantly fit those guidelines. Thank you all for that.
In putting these guidelines together, I read many blog commenting policies. Policies are rules and that is why we have guidelines that assume your intentions are good.
Having good intentions does not necessarily mean you cannot take a contrarian view. By all means, share your perspective. If you do that respectfully, that’s one way of adding value.
Thanks to the technology in place here on this WordPress blog on the Genesis theme framework, most spammy comments are automatically rejected. So, for example, inserting more than one outbound link in your comment will explain why it did not appear in the list of comments.
Your Comments Reflect on You
Comments are just like anything else you place on the web, they are there for a long time and they point back to you. They become part of your social graph, which means they in part define you.
This social web is a mirror of society in general. When you add value you make more friends and become welcome wherever you go. That’s a primal need for nearly every human being, so take a moment to choose your words well.
If you really want to get your point across, consider how you can positively make it without challenging the viewpoint of the author or another member of the community.
The Best Commenting Strategies
Everyone has had the experience of enjoying the value of a blog post and been inspired to leave a valuable comment, only to then be at a loss for what to say.
In that case, just be yourself.
We have also all experienced a situation where a follow-up comment to one of our comments challenges our perspective, or worse yet, our expertise.
Resist the temptation to strike back. Be respectful of others.
If you want to leave a comment but are at a loss for words, simply ask yourself how you can add value to the conversation. When you do that, the words will come.
Nearly a year ago to this day I wrote an article that provides 10 Blog Commenting Strategies.
I could probably now add 20 or 30 more ideas to that list. One that comes to mind is motivation.
Most commentary on the social networks is quietly designed for seeking agreement, acknowledgement, or understanding.
That’s why one of the best commenting strategies is to respect the author and the community by sharing your understanding of what has been said by those that have preceded you.
Then you earn the right to add a little bit more – and you will be respected and understood in kind.
How about you?
What guidelines do you suggest encouraging more productive conversations?
Share your comment below.
Jeff is also the author of Built-In Social: Essential Social Marketing Practices for Every Small Business – (Wiley 2013)