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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Blog Comments

This blog, like many others, has a feature that the author can turn on or off. It allows the readers to comment on what has been written by the author. Even when the feature is turned on, the author can moderate the comments - and has the option to publish them or not publish them - or even just delete them altogether.

Generally I'd think it's a good thing to get comments on my blog(s). I keep the feature turned on. I don't get many comments (maybe because one of my blogs is specifically to respond to inquiries which would otherwise come as comments). When I do get comments (versus inquiries), I kind of want to celebrate them because it's an indication that someone is reading my blog. A blogger always wants that ... to know that someone is reading his or her blog.

Another reason I celebrate the comments I get on my blog(s) is that they can represent healthy dialogue - where minds are stimulated. I think it can create value. I have a couple of friends on Facebook and we're constantly commenting on each other's posts, having lively discussions about a variety of things. I enjoy it quite a bit.

On the other hand, I sometimes get comments that really do warrant the delete button. They aren't necessarily profane or wouldn't represent hate mail. But I won't publish them because I usually consider them snarky or irrelevant. And those two categories aren't mutually exclusive!

So how does a blog comment go into my irrelevant or snarky category? Perhaps the most common irrelevant ones are the ones that arrive in a language other than English. If I have to go use translation software to figure out what you said --- I'm just not gonna publish it. It's really that simple. My blog is published in English. If you want to comment and engage in some dialogue about what I'm blogging, please do it in English. Otherwise, I discard your comments.

The other category is the snarky category. I know, you're asking what that word even means. Webster's dictionary defines it as "sarcastic, impertinent or irreverent." So a blog comment comes across that way when it tries to discount or devalue whatever it is that I've blogged.

Recently, for example, I've blogged about some things that are right or wrong, or choices people can make ... and offered my recommendation for how to choose. It has been surprising how many people would like to water down my response. At least three comments came in - when I blogged about the notion of accountability partners - that essentially said something akin to, "Judge not let you be judged." Folks, I'm really not going to publish such nonsense.

When I blog about a topic, it's because there's a position I've taken after much study and thoughtful consideration. If you think I'm wrong, then you have a responsibility to tell me where I'm wrong. Offering snarky comments to simply imply that you disagree with me is ignorant and of no value to either of us. Educate me. Persuade me. Otherwise, don't waste your time (or mine).

Why am I blogging about this today? Because I've noticed an upward trend lately in the number of comments that I am rejecting and deleting. Apparently people are reading my blog(s) who don't want to communicate in English or who don't like what I have to say. I'm not sure why they would read my blog(s) then.

But here's the thing ... they are my blogs. And I get to decide what's published on them. If you want to start your own blog, you have my blessing to do so (although you certainly don't need it). So please don't waste our respective time with non-English or snarky comments to my blogs. They simply aren't going to be published or even considered as legitimate dialogue.

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