Blogging Part 3: Comment Etiquette


Image courtesy of dab-oracle.com
Image courtesy of dab-oracle.com

I find myself hopping back on my soapbox this morning so I can pontificate about blogging and comments. Well, specifically about comments left on blogs and a sort of code of etiquette. A long time ago, in a land far away, I had another blogging site (I actually still do, as apparently you can be inactive on the site for a millennium and still keep the account) and I had a blog I followed quite religiously.

I got in the habit of leaving “semi” long comments. The lovely lady who owned the blog I was commenting on sent me a “sharp” rebuke for being too wordy. My response at receiving this email of displeasure was two-fold.

I was upset that I was breaking some sort of comment etiquette and irritated that she did not want my input after inviting people to comment on her blog. After a bit of thoughtful deliberation and a conference with my daughter (who’d been blogging much longer than I had) I stopped following the lady’s blog and dropped her from my email contact list.

A short while later, I got an email from her (in my spam bin) saying that she was sorry. She told me she was wrong about my comments being too long and she missed my feedback. By then, unfortunately, I’d moved house and was living in another blogging site, WordPress. I never bothered following her blog again, as I don’t ever visit that particular blogging site since my move.

But as time has gone by and my experience grows on blogging and the interaction it requires, I can see her point. I also read a great blog post from Marilyn over at Serendipity a while back where she posted about inconsiderate commenters. By the way, if you have not had the extreme pleasure of reading this fascinating lady’s Blog just click HERE. You will not regret stopping by.

I decided that as a “not-so-regular” commenter on other people’s blogs (I have a hard time fitting in reading and liking them) and the fact that I have a lot of folks who  do leave comments on mine, that perhaps a short list of don’ts might not hurt. It might save you that cringe worthy moment when the blog owner that feels like you are “taking the Mickey” with your comment and  upbraids you on it. *Taking the Mickey is an English phrase for making fun of or being tacky towards someone or taking liberties.*

Comment Etiquette:

1) Don’t leave an entire page worth of  comment. Most blogger don’t appreciate your version of a comment that resembles Gone with the Wind. Keep it short, but if you want to engage more fully, send an email to their contact email address.

2) Don’t link back to your blog site. Nothing is more offensive to a blogger than if you use the comment section to advertise your blog post. Social media is for self promotion, not someone else’s blog comment section.

3) Don’t argue with other commenters on the post. It’s cool to interact (that’s why we blog) but do not get into a protracted war over an issue. I once had two people carry out a full paged campaign on a blog post I’d written. Don’t do it.

4) Play nice. This really could be an addendum to 3). If you disagree with someone, just say so and try to make your point as succinctly as possible. Don’t get tacky. It’s not appreciated and can result in getting you blocked.

5) Don’t NAG. This, along with the GWTW type comments are my pet peeve. If you don’t know what constitutes nagging, here’s a clue. If you leave repeated messages (comments) talking about the same things? It is NAGGING. Stop it.

6) Don’t be negative. Constructive criticism is always appreciated.

7) – This is the last one, I promise – DO feel free to express yourself and commit to your comment. Remember, other people are reading what you have left on someone else’s blog post, if you do it “right” they will follow you back to your blog. It is a great way to self-advertise without being offensive.

So that’s it. The MikesFilmTalk’s Comment Etiquette Guide. I would like to point out that this post is not “aimed” at anyone in particular. I had the idea for this post while pondering a response that someone left on another blog site. It made me think of my cringe worthy moment over two years ago, when I got diarrhoea of the keyboard.

We all love to interact with each other in the blogging world, let’s just try to do it politely and positively.

So how about you? What sort of comments can you do without or make you see red? Do you have any commenting etiquette that you think should be followed?

Let me know, but to paraphrase Captain Spaulding in The House of a 1000 Corpses, “Don’t go all Margaret Mitchell on my ass.”

Cover of "Gone with the Wind"
Cover of Gone with the Wind

Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, http://MikesFilmTalk.com Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

44 thoughts on “Blogging Part 3: Comment Etiquette”

    1. It’s definitely a case of different strokes for different folks. When I start getting comments that match the length of my original blog, I sigh and think, “Oh no.” LOL Thanks mate! 😀

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  1. Mike, this is really a great post that for some is probably a very touchy subject. I have visited sites where messages are posted not to Like unless you have time to comment to sites that have rebuttal after rebuttal throughout the comments. I find sometimes reading comments from other bloggers can be as interesting as the post itself. However, I hate those sites that use their postings to rant and rave over issues or use it to belittle others. To me, if someone posts a negative comment that is offensive, simply delete it and contact that person personally or simply let it go. A blog should not be the place for nanny-nanny-boo-boo. I think you absolutely NAILED proper etiquette for bloggers! Touché 🙂

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    1. Thank you so much! I’ve always welcomed comments as much as I welcome views and likes. What I do not welcome are rants or arguments. It’s a blog, not a forum or a chat room. So no nanny-nanny-boo-boo! Great comment mate! Cheers! 😀

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      1. That’s the final word. Our sites are not social media. They’re not open to everyone or anyone. In the end, we rule our little piece of cyber space and anyone who visits is subject to house rules.

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      2. Exactly! You had posted something along those lines ages ago, and after thinking about it, I thought, you know we should have some kind of guidelines…or etiquette. Thanks for starting that train of thought! 😀

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  2. I don’t think it’s a coincidence this was posted a couple days after I left a lengthy reply to your PA4 article. I created a movie blog to talk about movies. That’s what I thought the blog community was about. Dropping by someone’s entry and saying “Hey great review!” is dull. WHY was it great? Or not so great? WHY do I agree, or disagree? Yes, sometimes short reviews are sufficient as I have left many of those – and then other times longer replies are necessary and I have left many of those, as well.

    You don’t want me leaving “lengthy” replies that’s fine, good riddance to me, for you certainly don’t need me since you have over 3,000 other followers, but what you lose in me is someone who actually reads all your reviews and leaves honest feedback, agree or disagree. Maybe contrary to popular belief, but I believe in quality over quantity. And just b/c someone “likes” your entry doesn’t mean they actually read it. You can simply press the “like” button from the Reader list without even clicking on the article. But I always took the time to read your content and digest it. Anyone who gets their feathers ruffled by someone with a different opinion or perspective is just being overly sensitive.

    And just for the record, I plan to delete my blog soon. I can’t even get a single person to watch “The Hidden Face” or take any interest in any of the articles I write promoting anything outside of the mainstream. I can find reviews about drivel like “Bullet to the Head”, “Die Hard 5” and “Beautiful Creatures” but give someone something they haven’t heard of that’s actually good, and they avoid it like the plague. This defeats the whole purpose of me creating my blog in the first place.

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    1. Actually, I’d watch Hidden Face if it were available, but like many interesting movies, it has never shown up on any cable station. Hollywood rules with a heavy hand.

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      1. Hey Teepee, if that were the issue I could recommend netflix streaming; $7.99 a month and you can watch a TON of films you may not have even heard of! 🙂 “The Hidden Face” is on there as well as a slew of others. If you don’t like that idea, “The Hidden Face” is also available for rent on Amazon.com for like $3.99 i think. It’s worth a few bucks! 🙂

        And in case you were wondering, if you were to get the netflix streaming you can cancel anytime – even after only one month. $7.99 a month is a great deal. You just go to the site and subscribe and they have a large selection of movies & TV shows you can just click on and watch right on your computer – or another device if you have one hooked up so you can watch on your TV. 🙂

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  3. Some excellent points made here! I typically don’t mind if people leave long comments on my blog so long as it’s relevant. Absolutely agree about people posting links to their site though (UNLESS it’s a frequent commenter who visits often and engages and it’s again relevant to the post, that’s fine) but people who are just dropping by for the first time or leaving irrelevant links, negative Ghost Rider.

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    1. I tend to tune out if the comments are “mondo” long. I have a short attention span at the best of times! LOL I don’t mind links from folks visiting, Director Eric England left one for his next film on the comment he made on my review of his film, but I’ve had folks come on and leave a link to their review and that’s not okay! Thanks for sharing mate!! 😀

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  4. Hi Mike, I think reciprocation is vital, this is something I have worked on of late but as you so rightly point out its hard to do the writing as well as check out other people’s stuff too. For me the length is less important (either way), than the tone and the message within, as long as it is relevant. Comment etiquette begins for me with a considered, constructive, non critical/negative approach from the sender and a suitable and worthy response from the recipient.Linking/self promotion is definitely not great, I have learned this as it was something I did at first.

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    1. Well blogging is a learning process that we learn as we go along. I still remember my reaction to the “naughty” step email I got when my comments were considered too long. LOL Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the post mate! 🙂

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  5. “Fiddle dee dee! All this blogging talk has spoiled every party this spring. Sometimes I get so bored I could scream. If ether of you boys says “Blog” one more time I’ll go in the house and slam the door.”
    Oh…sorry I went and got all Margaret Mitchell on you… Really though I loved this post and found myself agreeing to your every point. Thanks for reminding me to be on my best behavior when visiting someones blogging home.

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  6. Went to a couple of your links and read further on the etiquette. I really appreciate the likes and the comments and try to reciprocate. I think the new WORDPRESS notifications update is really helpful in this regard. People are always telling me, I look but don’t write. I think it is wonderful that they take time to look. It’s okay! Thanks for this post.

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  7. Great piece Mike. Totally agree with all of it. With people linking to their site, I don’t mind it if it’s related to the post I have written but if it’s just asking me to visit their blog for the sake of it then I’m not interested. I always feel quite honoured if someone leave a long comment but I worry that I look unappreciative if I just leave a short one in return! The complicated world of comments, eh?

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  8. Good stuff Mike. For me, the worst thing people do is leaving links to their site. I dont mind if they are from people who visit me frequently, and I’ll happily leave the link and visit them. But from people who are first time commenter’s asking for promotion or my readers to check out their site, they get deleted.

    I don’t mind long comments if they are relevant to the post. Or go into detail on why The Innkeepers is such a poor film 😉

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  9. I agree, I agree, I agree, though we all break our own rules. I would add one tiny thing: It’s okay to not comment. A “Like” lets us know you’ve visited. I know many friends feel they should comment just to say they care. I appreciate it, but it’s okay. I love you too!

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    1. Your tiny thing is a huge thing actually (and I’ve just discovered that there is not way to type or say that, that doesn’t sound just wrong) Someone who takes the time to “like” my stuff is so important to me. I like “likes” as much as comments. Well pointed out! Cheers mate!! 😀

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