They’re a privilege, not a right. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t mean that in an elitist or dictator-type way. After all, comments are the passengers to the bus driver that is the blog author. They’re what makes the trip so enjoyable.
Yet it’s still at the discretion of the bus driver whether it’s a private journey or an open one.
Which is why you’ll see some blogs requiring you to register before commenting; some with no comment options at all; and others that are open-ended and encourage comments wholeheartedly. I’ve always been of the last mindset, as are the majority of bloggers.
Yet this is what also makes them a privilege. When you comment, it’s at the invitation of the blogger. Blogs don’t have to offer comments, although they’re missing out if they don’t (just my opinion). The blogger is essentially inviting the readers into his or her house. You wouldn’t trash a house you’re a guest in, would you?
So why the equivalent in comments?
Here’s an example. On one of Chris Brogan’s recent posts, a comment was left that disagreed with the post in question by a visitor called Agitationist. Fair enough. Yet the person then went on to say, “I hope you’ll take this constructively, but your writing is very sloppy. Ending a sentence with ‘and things like that’ is just lazy.”
We all like (or need) constructive criticism – it’s how we grow and evolve into being better at whatever we do. But calling someone lazy and sloppy isn’t constructive, in my book. If anything, it seems a little vindictive. Jealousy, perhaps? But constructive – no.
Blogs used to have a reputation of being childish – a waste of time for loners in their bedrooms.This view is still entertained in certain circles, but by and large blogs are now more respected than much of mainstream media. Much of this is due to people like Chris Brogan, Rob Scoble, Peter Kim and others.
Blogs are growing up. This is thanks to both the bloggers and the commentators that combine to offer a truly interactive learning space. It’s not too much to ask that we show the host and the home a little respect, is it?
If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment and subscribe to my RSS feed or via email to ensure you can enjoy the latest post(s).