Whose blog is it anyway?
Whether you have a blog on your professional website, or just a personal one that you maintain for yourself and a few interested readers, you should have a set of rules in place to handle negative comments and bad behavior. It’s your place: blog, journal or website, it’s your spot on the web, your home, your showcase.
Your place, your rules — which also means you also have to have rules, or else watch on the sidelines as anarchy takes over. Your blog is a place that invites comments and discussions — a comments policy helps prevent the nasties from defacing your work and ruining the conversations you want to happen.
Guests may comment — the purpose of a blog is to foster discussion after all — but people who post inflammatory, inane or vile stuff may as well have sprayed graffiti all over your walls.
This is where a comment policy comes in handy. Everyone comes in knowing the rules and those who don’t follow them can leave or be made to leave. Boors, trolls and asshats may be invited to tone it down or be forcibly booted out– this is the point where comment moderation and deletion comes in handy.
What is your SOP regarding comments on your website? Whatever rules you come up with, you have to make them clear,and visible.
- Author Barry Ritzholtz of The Big Picture has a long and thorough discussion in his comment policy page (worth a good read when you have the time), and writer Michael Hyatt’s shorter page explains his rights over poster comments. Every serious writer or site owner has one: even Playstation has a comment policy, and Blogherald (a blog about the blogosphere) explains what you can do with a comments policy and explains your rights as the blog owner.
Clear rules are important because you need strong protections to weed out the unwanted elements sure to wander in on your home space. And it’s not just the rude people you want gone, you also need to address the comments they leave behind: like nasty, spiteful ‘presents’ you’ll want to contain as soon as possible.
- With no clear rules, chaos reigns.
- You make the rules, you can’t expect people to follow them if you don’t enforce them.
- You don’t follow your own rules, you’ve just eaten into your own authority.
It’s that simple. Now, what are unacceptable behaviors you won’t tolerate on your blog? List them down and work on codifying them. Continue reading How To Handle Negative Comments On Your Blog