All the news the New York Times "forgot" - to print

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Comment On Comments

Since it has recently become an issue, I thought it might be helpful if I offered a tutorial on how to properly comment on this website [and it’s free!]. I understand that not everyone that reads this site makes comments (here the number is somewhere around 97% of the readers). In fact, I’m not a comment person myself. I hardly ever comment (especially on other sites) unless I really feel like it and even then I rarely follow up on the discussion. So, if you are in that group, don’t worry, I’m one of you.

For everyone else… I have a few suggestions/guidelines/rules/regulations. First, remember, this is my website and I reserve the right to delete whatever comments I happen to dislike. As far as I am aware of, the Fairness Doctrine still has yet to be put into law so there is no rule that I have to allow for both sides of an issue to be discussed or argued. On this site, I am correct approximately 147% of the time. This is my little dictatorship, and like most dictators I don’t tolerate dissent unless I find it amusing or something along those lines. The best comments are the ones that either say how great the post/website/point/garbage I wrote is and prove further proof that I am in fact correct.

If you are still having trouble getting all of this I have a few helpful suggestions.

One – write your comment as if you were writing a glowing review for a potential best seller. For example, “thanks Silas for your wonderful post. I read it 300 times and am forwarding it to all of my friends.” Or, “once again, Silas adds valuable insight into the issue of the Palin/McCain feud. Although clearly unbiased, his lucid post unambiguously lays out the copious flaws in the selection of Sarah Palin as McCain’s vice president.” Or just the simple “dittos, you are a great Canadian” works as well.

Second – avoid lol (not terrible, but sort of overused) and rotflol. First off, do you really think I believe you when you say that you’re rolling on the floor laughing out loud? You must be a really talented person because I can hardly type when I’m lol, and I can’t even comprehend typing and rolling on the floor at the same time (if you can do it though, please consider taking a video of it and posting it on YouTube).

Third – don’t argue. If you want to debate that’s ok (sometimes). What I don’t want on my site is arguing. If you want to make insult, take out your rage, fume, etc please consider doing it somewhere else. There are programs and medication to help with that type of thing. My website is not one of those programs.

Overall, I don’t think the website really has a huge issue with the comments section. I actually don't care if people leave comments; it really doesn’t matter to me. When the content of the comments that are left are implicitly negative though that is when I feel like I need to intervene [and stuff starts to disappear…]. So in conclusion, just be thoughtful about what you write, follow the golden rule, think about how others could/are going to view it and you should be fine.