Add a comment…what about? Who cares?

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Some bloggers don’t give a sh*t

When you read an article or blog post online and at the end it says something like, “have your say: put it in here…” do you really feel inspired to jump into the conversation? Or do you think, from the invitation you’ve seen, that the writer/blogger really couldn’t care less what you think but wants some extra traffic from whatever BS you might write in a comment?

Good “posticles” and “artiposts” attract comments

…and of course they deserve to. I love the comments I get on here and always respond to them, because – frankly – if nothing else, it’s only polite. If someone takes the trouble to share an opinion on a “posticle” of mine it’s only good manners for me to answer that comment.

And in 99 percent of cases the point the commenter has made is very valid, adds an extra dimension to the discussion, and turns my necessarily one-dimensional OP into a conversation that is useful and beneficial to all who take part.

Some bloggers just don’t give a sh*t

What really makes me angry is the way in which some bloggers and other online communicators devalue people’s views purely by intimating, in their blog posts, articles, web content and more, just how little respect they have for what others have to say.

Typically it can be interpreted as “oh, by the way – we’ve put a little box down underneath this text and we want you to write whatever junk you like as long as it’s not spam, so Google sees that we’ve got lots of comments.”

Talking of spam…

Some bloggers, especially, break out into total allergy syndrome at the mere sound of the S word and issue vicious warnings to any commenters with the audacity even to suggest they work for a living.

OK, we all get the spam comments coming into our sites, and some of them are so awful they’re hilariously funny … as you’ll see in this earlier article of mine.

Enjoying this article? Spoil yourself with more good laughs in our humour section here

But as for writing sheer vitriol all over your site that spammers will not only be deleted but also hung, drawn, quartered and fed to your ravening Rottweilers – get a life, for Heaven’s sake. There are lots of easy plugins you can use to filter out spam and save your reputation and your blood pressure.

And if all else fails? Pssssttt….somewhere on your keyboard is a little button with the word “delete” written on it. Use it.

WordPress: are you listening up?

Much as I love my dear, sweet WordPress site managed by the equally lovable and incredibly adept Babs Saul, I really would like to see more imaginative “comments” options that don’t make people who want to get involved in a discussion here feel that all their valuable opinion is worth is just as a “comment.”

Blogging,posts,articles,comments,business blogs,business blogging,plugins,writing,Google

Asking readers to “speak your mind” can give the impression you don’t care what they say

Or even, Heaven forbid, as it currently appears in my current WordPress persona – once again, no blame for my beloved – but “Speak Your Mind?”

Why the hell should I “speak my mind” when you phrase your request as if you’re expecting an indignant rant from an 85-year-old complaining about dog poop on the street at a local parish council meeting?

If I bother to add something to your online discussion it’s not just me “speaking my mind” to a mute computer screen: it’s me giving up my valuable time and brainpower to a) take you and your text seriously which it possibly doesn’t deserve and b) attempt to make some sense out of it, or even praise it if it isn’t utter crap.

OK, so what’s the solution?

As I am saying that terms like “comments,” “speak your mind,” etc., are inadequate and the views of readers of blog posts and other online articles should have a higher status, my next question is… how do we do that?

This is an issue that not only WordPress, but many other platforms might like to consider.

Here are just a few of the words which, if used to replace “comments” would at least show more respect for what readers have to share. Taking that a stage further, each of those words could be prefixed with something like “please share your (word/words) here,” rather than the dreaded “speak your mind.”

Which do you like best? Please add your vote below and, er, “speak your mind…”

  1. Assessment
  2. Conclusions
  3. Impressions
  4. Observations
  5. Opinion
  6. Perspective
  7. Point of view
  8. Take on it
  9. Thoughts
  10. Viewpoint

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  1. I often wondered if you can have a poll at the end of a post on a question that was raised in the article and … I think comments are cool – it is only when the writer ignores all comments and never replies to any that you feel, huh…but then stuff happens in life too…but the question or invitation is not a bad thing and it is a blog post as opposed to an article so it falls into the sphere of ‘social’ media…so a bit of social is always lovely…wouldn’t you agree? (see what I did there LOL!) x

    • ooo and to follow your question on choosing a new way of describing comments (although have no issue with the word myself) – a close contender would be opinion…, or take on it….or…..thoughts – however sometimes the reader just wants to comment or ask a question – as they are not necessarily with opinion etc. on something they are learning or considering.,…

      • Yes, thanks for coming back Sarupa! I reckon “take on it” or “thoughts” would be more respectful than “comment” without suggesting they should write a 10,000 word dissertation about it. “Thoughts” could easily work for questions, too.

  2. Thanks for that, Sarupa. Although I focus on blog posts here the same is true all over the online media, not just the “social” variety. When you read articles from the main newspapers online you get the same sort of lukewarm “comment if you want to” invitation which to me, dilutes the whole differentiating element of online comms – interactivity. Maybe these bloggers and journalists just haven’t quite gotten over the one-way street of pre internet days, where they could write what they like and their readers couldn’t disagree with them quite so easily!

  3. I think, ‘thoughts’ would work well, although I quite like the idea of a poll as Sarupa suggested. I bet, there’s a Plugin somewhere …

    • Thanks, Angelika – I like polls, too, but they can be a little restrictive, especially if you’re using a check-box format as usually there is no allowance for readers to add any further thoughts to their choice. Out of interest, what word is used for “comments” on German websites and blogs? Is it the equivalent to “comments” or are Germans a bit more respectful?

      • I’ve seen a few German wordpress sites and they use the equivalent of ‘comment’ (Kommentar). As for polls, I wouldn’t like to use them all the time but it might persuade somebody to click a button who otherwise never comments.

        • Good point, Angelika. Some readers are shy about commenting even though they would like to participate in the conversation, so a check box is one way of solving that problem.

  4. Spot on Suze. It made me think about how I want to engage with visitors and maybe “let me know how you feel” best says it.

  5. blogmistress says

    Aha! Your blogmistress has only just read this post (shame on me) and is now looking into it for you… 🙂