How to write a great blog comment (hint: spell check!)
I pay so much attention to what I write in my blog posts, trying to make the content balanced, and get the presentation correct. People judge me on my ability (or lack of) to write well. Comments also matter and today I found a post where one of my favorite writers, Grammar Girl, addresses this topic:
Quickly, here are Grammar Girl’s rules to write a great comment:
- Rule #1 — Determine Your Motivation — why are you writing the comment?
- Rule #2 — Provide Context — state what you’re responding to in the post or comments
- Rule #3 — Be Respectful — others may read what you write in the future, say only what you’d say to their face
- Rule #4 — Make a Point — “me too” posts are a waste of time, have substance
- Rule #5 — Know What You’re Talking About — speak with some authority or cite something useful
- Rule #6 — Make One Point per Comment — keep it focused and on track
- Rule #7 — Keep it Short — brevity is your friend, it’s a comment not the post
- Rule #8 – Link Carefully — you don’t want to come off as a spammer, people will call you on it
- Rule #9 — Proofread — people judge you on how you write!
And finally, my reason for writing this post in the first place:
Grammar Girl mentions readers should use a browser with a spellchecker to help avoid the troll who jumps in with: “What do you know about chocolate storage, you can’t even spell ‘their.'” Of course no browser spell checker that I know of will help you if you misuse there or their. Another option is to expect users to copy and paste into a Word Processor or PolishMyWriting.com. I do this sometimes, but it’s time consuming.
If you run a blog and want to help your readers, you can install the Intense Debate comment system and enable the After the Deadline plugin for it. Then your readers will have access to a hyper-accurate spell checker, misused word detection, and grammar checking. I don’t have proof of it, but who knows, maybe well written comments will help raise the level of conversation on your site. Let me know!