Friday, November 2, 2007

The Comment Rant (amended)

When I set up this blog, I set it up for pre-moderation of all comments. So first I received an anonymous comment to my The Brookline Public Library Recycles...Books post, then another on to this rant about promotional sounding, unsigned comments (which I've now amended). The second of which was considerably negative, so much so that it won't be published.

Now, there are many things I found irritating about the original comment:

First and foremost, sign your name. Clearly you want to engage me in one way or another; clearly you care. If you want me to take you seriously, tell me who you actually are. Transparency is the word.

Now, the link I was pointed to, and the comment itself for that matter, is written for someone that has some sort of say in libraries--"Let us sell your discards and donations." --I'm not a library; I don't have a stack of books to discard. I walked by and saw some in the recycling can. You want to impact change--talk to the Brookline Public Library.

Finally, the comment refers to ways to purchase books. When did I mention buying books? The post was about recycling books and then I suggested ways the library could have better handled their unwanted material. If you, the anonymous commenter, wanted me to add to that list of options you should have written the comment in such a way to convey that goal.

The second comment was a bit more inflammatory--it's funny how people think the internet is a black hole of anonymity and therefore regular rules of conversation or etiquette don't apply. It is for this reason that I'm establishing a set of guidelines for my approach to moderating comments:
  • Tell me who you are (transparency)--if for some reason you can't, tell me why
  • Talk to me (create dialogue)--don't sound like a salesman or an obvious promotion, I work in PR (I get that all day)
  • Talk to my audience (be relevant)
  • Be respectful--name calling isn't okay, even behind the veil of the Internet

***this post has been modified from the first version I published the morning of November 2nd.

No comments: