Whether you like it or not, negative blog comments are bound to happen. And they’ll do so in many ways by many different types of commenters…
Here’s the thing folks – at some point during your blogging journey, you might create some controversy or write something that will bring out the Wrath of Khan in someone. And that’s totally fine – we all know that you can’t please everyone and though you might be likeable to many (or most) – you can’t be to everyone. Except for me of course lol. I”m kidding – I’m sure there’s plenty of folks out there who don’t appreciate Griddy and I’m okay with that. Grrr….:)
All jokes aside – I’m all for stating your opinion and disagreeing with someone if you actually do. It’s what a healthy and constructive discussion is all about. But there’s a way to disagree and a way to handle those people that do. And depending on how you do either – will make a hell of a difference to both you and your readers.
Danny Brown wrote a great piece on this topic a few months back called, Of Comment Trolls and Flash Mobs. You definitely want to check it out as he has some great insight for you and he goes a step further with advice on how to deal with attacks about you on someone else’s blog.
So How Do You Deal with Negative Comments on Your Site?
Do you reply politely? or at all?
Do you delete the comment?
Do you take on a defensive approach or tone?
Do you try and see where they’re coming from and why?
As for Me…
Seeing that I’m the owner and author of this blog, I have complete control over what is said here, who it’s said to and the tone that’s used. Now I may not be able to control a comment the second it’s published, but I sure as heck can do something about it once I read it.
Luckily for me, I haven’t had TOO much trouble with tactless trolls and other un-wanted commenters on this blog. The operative words being TOO MUCH! I’m blessed and honored to have an incredible community of intelligent, funny and respectful friends – or legitimate commenters if you will.
Dealing with a negative comment entirely depends on what is actually written and who it’s targeted to. I do have a comments policy on this blog although it’s not out in the open like most. You’ll find a little paragraph in my WTH is nG section which reads as follows:
*Although everyone is entitled to their opinion, I as well as others, would highly appreciate it if you were to refrain from using profanity, racial slurs, obscenity or any other kind of offensive and derogatory language that is targeted at others. These types of comments won’t be tolerated and are subject to being deleted if deemed inappropriate by ME.
Note to self – make my comments policy a little more fun to read and find a better home for it somewhere on my home page ;)!
I have ONE rule when it comes to replying to comments of any kind – and that is – be POLITE or DIPLOMATIC if/when necessary and try to reason with the person if there’s room for it. This rule pretty much applies to my life offline as well. But this rule excludes comments from sex driven peasants or dickwads – those are ignored and go straight to the trash!
My blog is my baby. My sweat and tears go into it everyday (or almost). So if someone’s gonna’ stop by and urinate all over it (or the people that make it the great place that it is) – I’m gonna’ try to understand why – even if my blood pressure has shot through the roof.
The thing about trolls is that they sometimes make valid points but their lack of tact or rude tone sets you off. If I see that they’ve said something that actually makes sense and causes me to question my own views, then I’m going to want to know more. I thank them for their opinion and ask more questions – how and why. I also ask them to provide examples or go a little further into detail. If we come to an understanding – great. If we don’t, then I make sure to let them know that I respect their thoughts and that we should agree to disagree.
Remember that depending on how you reply to a comment can often determine the tone of the entire conversation that is to take place.
If it’s a tactless troll just out to get some attention, then I may politely ask them to change their tone – especially if their comment is directed at one of my other commenters. Danny Brown mentioned a great point in his article in that he’ll usually issue a polite warning and has what is called the 3 strike rule.
If one of my readers has been attacked on my blog, I may apologize to them myself for the unfortunate occurrence and let them know that the troll is being dealt with accordingly.
Another way I may deal with a negative comment is to send the person a nice email asking why and if there’s something I said that might have offended them. At this point, it’s always good to go back and read what you’ve written to try and understand what could have lead them to react the way they did. Are my facts wrong? Was my joke misplaced or unintentionally targeted at someone? Did I give credit where it was due?…
You have to remember that everyone is entitled to an opinion and there’s no harm in disagreeing with people – but at the same time, everyone is also entitled to a certain level of RESPECT!
If you want to disagree with me – by all means do so. Heck, I might realize that I was wrong in the first place and thank you for enlightening me further. But if you’re gonna disagree – whether here or elsewhere – do so with eloquence and respect. Be civilized. You’d be surprised how far you can go by simply being courteous towards others regardless of your opposing views. Make it a constructive debate instead of an argumentative one.
Anyhow, I’ve said enough. Needless to say there’s a lot more ways to handle such comments, but I’d love to hear from you and how you go about dealing with them yourself.
What About You?
What tips can you share for handling negativity on your blog?
Have you had to deal with negative comments in the past – either on your blog or elsewhere? How did you respond to them?
Do you have a comments policy on your blog that addresses this issue?
Make sure to share some specific examples if you have any.
[image credit: via Drivinmedia]