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Four Rules for Better Commenting

Rebecca Moore November 13, 2013

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Have a question about something? Have sufficient knowledge about a subject and want to help others by answering their questions? Want to voice your concern about an issue or problem? Know where you can do all those things? In comments.

Using the comments section of a website or forum can seem daunting or fruitless; especially if you go and read some of the comment sections of most popular websites. Use the following rules to help make your commenting experience the best it can be.

1. Research

Don’t you hate it when someone asks a question and it gets answered, and not two minutes later someone asks the exact same question? I can hear the collective eye rolls as you remember instances when this has happened. This phenomenon is not just relegated to real world situations, it happens in comment sections and forums all the time. Screens and screens full of the same question. At first, other people might try to answer the question, then they will start referencing the original posted answer, and finally they will just ignore the post. This creates a comment section/forum full of useless, duplicate information.

So how do you help stop this?

Research! Or more specifically, search the comment section or forum posts for comments or questions similar to yours. More than likely, you will find a similar post and an answer or suggestions. If you can’t find anything that fits your needs, feel free to post away.

2. Use Proper Grammar and Punctuation

When crafting a comment take the time and consideration to write something understandable. Use proper grammar and punctuation. Have a purpose for your comment, and keep that in mind as you write.

For example, if you have a program issue, make sure you include what you were doing in the program when you ran into the issue. That way, when other people read your post they have more information to answer your comment with, or helpful suggestions. Also, using proper grammar and punctuation helps to get your comment read.  If other commenters have a hard time deciphering the meaning behind your comment, they may just ignore it; which doesn’t help you at all.

3. Remember That There Are Real People on the Internet

Posting comments can be a great thing. You can get answers to questions you have,  answer questions yourself, meet people that have similar issues or interests as you and many other things. But like with most things, there is a dark side to commenting. Because people are not interacting face to face, sometimes comments can get mean and nasty. People feel like because you can create a persona online or comment anonymously that they have carte blanch to be rude, belittling, and mean.

Don’t be that person! Remember, when you comment or answer a comment that an actual real person is going to be reading what you wrote. Take that in to consideration. Would you say what you wrote to that person’s face if this were a real life interaction? If no, then don’t post it. Also, we all know sometimes emotions get the best of us, so if you can try and take a little time to cool off or think before you post or respond to a comment.

4. Please Don’t Feed the Trolls

Troll (Internet)

In Internet slang, a troll (/ˈtrl/, /ˈtrɒl/) is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people,[1] by posting inflammatory,[2] extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a forum, chat room, or blog), either accidentally[3][4] or with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response[5] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.[6]

(Wikipedia)

Internet trolls are a mainstay of the Internet. You will encounter them no matter where you go. Trolls don’t care if you have a simple question or if you are new to the forum. They don’t care that you have an opinion. All trolls care about is causing chaos wherever they are. The best thing to do when you encounter a troll in a comment section or forum is to not engage with him/her at all. Trolls feed off of interaction and recognition. It will be hard to ignore them (since they do like to poke and prod at people), but if you persist and turn a blind eye the troll will hopefully get bored and move on.

Using these three simple rules, you will have a better experience commenting on the Internet than most people. And feel free to leave a comment below.

 

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