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Topic of the Week 3, Comments

Comments are integral to blogging because it gives the blogger feedback, and it gives the readers a chance to voice their opinions.

In a way, the blogger is giving the reader a product. The product is his or her opinions or ideas.  Every good company knows that consumer feedback is the best way to improve a product, since every product produced is not for the company, but for the user.  Comments on a blog act like this consumer feedback, and let the blogger know if they are meeting their audience’s needs.

Comments given by the blogger in response to reader comments also builds strong customer relations.  Again, one of the most important aspects of a company is its association to the community it serves.  By providing genuine interaction with your readers, they become engaged and feel as though they are a part of your blog, and for the sake of the analogy, your company.  Without that interaction, you’re no more personal than the Sunday newspaper, if not less than.

Comments given by a blogger also act like advertising, and networking.  When the blogger comments on other people’s blogs, they build relationships, and if they present themselves well, the host of the other blog will visit the commenter’s blog, and maybe even start linking to the commenter’s blog.  This is like networking in a corporate environment, and it provides free advertising as your name and maybe even your blog, appears more and more frequently on other blogs.

My advice for commenting is like any other kind of writing.  Be professional, clear, and positive, even when giving negative feedback.  Like the “sandwiching” effect, bread and butter up the beginning and end with compliments and credit, and give the meat of your opinion in between—especially do this if your opinion is negative or disagreeable.  Be punctual, and generally well mannered.

This is another important fact I’ve learned that is often left unsaid: Ignore what could be considered “spam” comments, especially if they are “flaming”/offensive.  Getting in a quarrel with a troll, even if you are defending the blogger, is like lecturing a dead man on why the choices leading to his death were poor—it won’t get you anywhere, and will only flood the comment space with more spam.

This is what I feel good commenting is all about.

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