I try to respond to everybody who takes the time to comment on my hubs. I really appreciate that they cared enough to do that. But when people want to get into some kind of on and on and on debate I start to resent that. I feel like, hey, I stated my position in my hub---I took the time to write an essay and this is a writing site. If you have THAT much to say to me, then why don't you write your own hub? That's what Hub Pages is for!
I don't mean that in a nasty way, just that, you know, enough is enough. I'm not interested in getting into it--If I wanted to do that I'd go to a bar.
What is your position on debates in your hub comments?
I feel like I almost need to post a disclaimer sometimes--like, feel free to talk amongst yourselves, but I said my peace already. That's what an essay IS.
I agree with what you are saying, comments are great and I wish I had more of them.... as it means that people are reading my hubs; and fortunately nobody has tried to argue with mine. But I feel guilty commenting sometimes, purely because it is taking away from peoples writing time!
Disagreeing with somebody is fine, but like you said... if they feel strongly enough about it, then why not counter it with another hub? at least it is more productive for hubpages as a company, them as an individual, and allows you to get on with writing!
Well if you want only your side of the story or your own opinion then you should not have comments section. I mean if you don't want feedback or have no time for silly questions or discussion.
That's not what I'm talking about. Sharing a different perspective is fine and I welcome comments even when I don't agree--I've only deleted two comments in the whole 2 years I've been here, and those were threatening and truly foul. I'm talking about when one comment turns into an never ending argument over a position I already stated in the article. I think it's totally fair to say I welcome you thoughts but I'm not here for a neverending debate, go write your own hub if you have that much to say.
Well dang, Pam. If you didn't write such provocative hubs, maybe people wouldn't feel so inclined to multi-comment!
All kidding aside, when you write a hub that attracts a lot of attention -- even if it's not controversial but simply affirmation after affirmation, it can be exhausting and time-consuming responding to each commenter.
I,too, am curious to know how others handle this. My hubs tend not to attract much dissent (except the Sarah Palin ones).
I imagine that politely suggesting to "take it outside" (meaning, if you really want to discuss this topic ad nauseum, take it into the appropriate FORUM) would do the trick (?)
I normally send an email, rather than commenting back. I state my position and re-inforce the fact that what I believe will not be changed and I am not trying to change anyone else's beliefs. I try to be nice, and I think I am. I alway thank them for commenting and for their readership. I appreciate literary criticism, but I am looking to have my viewpoint changed.
People never start debates on my hubs and I thought a few of my hubs were quite controversial. I wouldnt mind people starting debates as long as they're not being rude to me about my beliefs. I don't care if someone things I'm wrong or stupid or watever, I don't wanna know. But if people have interesting things to say or want to challenge my opinions in a proper way then I'm more than happy about that.
I suppose it depends on how strongly you feel about your topic and the people's comments.
Hi MM and Davina--Those are both good ideas. Thanks!
I think I'm going to put together a little blurb to add onto the end of provocative hubs, something to the effect of, I welcome other points of view but won't be participating in debate because 1) I'm not interested in that, and 2) I don't have time for that--but by all means go at it with each other if you want to, or write your own hub, or better still, take it to the forums. I'm thinking up the right wording as I speak--gonna keep it as a text document on my desktop and copy and paste as necessary!
Genius - However the majority of the stuff I post up is poetry anyway so I don't really care what people think.
Apart from that one guy who asked what the purpose of a tongue-in-cheek poem was...to which I wrote an entire hub in reply...
Part of the pleasure of Pam's hubs are the comments and the debates that get going there. I'm sure no-one expects endless responses once a debate gets going, and you certainly shouldn't feel obligated to act as adjuticator, especially not in some of the polarised discussions I've seen! Henry Kissinger would have his work cut out keeping the peace!
Thanks Amanda! That's kind of how I feel--Like I need a professional to referee these things sometimes! lol!
But also, much of the 'debate' isn't really productive IMO. I mean, I know what I think, that's why I took the time to write an essay. And people who don't think that, they aren't going to change their minds just because I say this or that to them, so for me, it's not pleasant, it just turns into this war of who knows what they are talking about more, and I don't see any value in that at all--at least not for me. At some point it feels like harassment, like, see here this is my hub, go write your own if you're all that offended. Thanks for giving me permission to bow out! lol!
You've a hot debate going on the Goldman Sachs hub at the moment. It's going nowhere, and I see you've wisely called time on any further involvement. That kind of stuff gets frustrating because it gives no ground. It's like, well this is black, and that's white, and there are absolutely no shades of gray.
I agree Amanda, cause sometimes you feel you're going around in circles and having to make the same kinds of reply comments over and over again. I can see why it can become annoying.
Pam I was going to open a new thread and do this , but figured youre such a humble and down to earth girl you might roll ya eyes ,hahaha...but my thoughts are just as sincere!
When I grow up(as a writer) I wanna be just like you!
Look how many hubs you have on the featured hub list 3,4?? outta 6 featured!! and 'meaty ones' too
Far out,I am inspired all the way up to my number 4 (lol)
I know you have many other achievements too , but it was time you were saluted.
No need to comment
To date, no one has found Nutella or tomatoes to be that controversial, so I'm in good shape!
Its sometimes hard to keep the debate going after they have run out of fresh ideas, but I try. Hopefully other people have chimed in too that way you are not doing it alone.
I think that comments should be yea or nay after all it is only opinions. I write hubs if my comments exceed a certain amount of words as to spread the wealth so to speak. I think that debates are healthy and that an exchange of ideas is what makes us interesting and different. There is that delete forever button that can be used if you do not want to hear from a hubber that use I think will be undemocratic.
I have written a hub on how to address negative comments as I am thankful always when someone took the time to voice their opinions. I think that if you want the comments to be to your liking then subjects such as politics and religion should be avoided. I do not agree that these expression of opinions should be routed to the forums.
In that case some of the answers need to be routed there as well. Even though the answers can be controversial as well, there is no guidelines where to place certain subjects. The subject of debate almost produced another hubpage.
Its an issue Pam, that I feel I have a bit of experience with! I learnt the hard way - I published a post on my blog, it was critical of a paid product, I went to bed (it was evening down under) - I woke up to 50/60 emails advising me of coments - as I kept on working thru the email list gmail kept on telling me another 5 emails had been added to the "conversation". I think it took until midday to clean up that first day. It took a week for my life to return to normal - not just comments but commenting elsewhere to support friends, writing a follow up post and a hub http://hubpages.com/hub/Make-Money-Onli … ous-Views.
I remember thinking about 3/4 hours in thinking this is insane - I don't need it I am either going to delete the post or close the comments. I get comments on that post to this day. To date there are 454 comments (some of the mine) and 93,262 words on the page (the original post was around 600 words). I've made quite a lot of money from that post, (though the affiliate I promote on it now didn't exist when I wrote the post - I got lucky), I doubled my regular readers and my subscribers.
It was a one off - its not just the content - its the backlinks to it as explained in my hub above.
The point is that when I backed off the comments I noticed my friends answered the questions - in fact I'd never used the product I had reviewed but some of my commentators had so they were better informed than I. My role came down to hitting the approve button!
The arguments are somewhat circular - most people these days don't actually read everything on the page (I don't blame them!) - so its probably repetative - to be honest I haven't gone back and read it all either. I don't even know if Google reads the whole thing LOL.
Basically as the debate continued it appears those that believed in black stayed on the black side, those who were on the white stayed there - it proved to you just can't help some people but I for one am entirely convinced that free content definitely provided by long-winded crack pots in the comments not only helps your hub to rank but also tends to prove to the world just how insane their views actually are IMHO!
As a fan who likes to read your stuff. pretty much all of it, as it is so well written I love the comments on many of your hubs. Some on your hub comments are really thoughtful and offer other ways to view the subject of your hub. I love it, it opens up so much learning for the reader.
I know it is easy for me to say, but if you could keep it much as it is it suits me fine.
I used to comment a lot, but I stopped, because I realized, finally, that it wasn't welcome. In my case, I did in fact write hubs of my own dealing in great detail with some of these issues, but I found that if I put in a link to my hub in the comments, I was being overly promotional. And if I tried to just summarize a hub in a comment, it was not understood.
I still comment with differing takes on issues, but I take care to do it on hubs written by hubbers who don't seem to mind so much. In many cases, it's easier to do this on hubs written by people whose political orientation is a little more similar to my own. But it's also an issue of attitude toward debate: are we all struggling to get at the truth from different angles, or are we all stuck believing whatever we believe from the outset with no possible give.
I don't mind discussion, but I don't write hubs so I can enter combative debates with people who vehemently disagree with me. I respect anyone's right to disagree with me--yours as well Aya--but I don't like being pushed to enter into repetitive discussions defending my ideas. I don't find it to be constructive at all, and in my experience it rarely changes anyone's mind on either side.
I especially dislike Libertarianism and have said so and explained myself ad nauseum, and I understand Libertarians are not enthralled by my perspective either. So while I respect anyone's right to BE a Libertarian themselves, once I've said no thank you, I don't like it and am not interested, it means exactly that. I have that right. Just because I write doesn't mean I have an obligation to enter into an endless, pointless political conversation with anyone who disagrees with me. My writing IS that conversation.
It baffles me that people have such a hard time understanding this simple concept of courtesy and personal boundaries.
Misha one the of the first things you ever said to me after I joined Hub Pages was that I was going to die in a concentration camp because I didn't agree with some opinion you were going on about. Do you remember that? I do.
I thought, Jesus, something is WRONG with this guy.
I would never say crap like that to my worst enemy.
Yeah I love you too.
LOL, I still maintain that the political views you are a proponent of lead to concentration camps. And sadly among the first people to die there are those honest idealists that performed PR support for the coming regime. They are not needed anymore, they even will hurt the case when they see that what looked so nice on paper starts looking in reality - and being honest and idealistic they start to raise their voice against... You are doing this already...
By all means I would love you escaping such a fate, and I never wished differently, all what I was trying (and still trying) to do is to show to you where I think your views lead you to...
Whatever, Misha. Maybe where you come from this is a nice thing, to tell people you barely know that they will end up in a concentration camp because they think the 'wrong' things. Here is the U.S. that's just rude and bullying and 'out there'.
I usually try to answer all comments and its maybe my recent one that will be my most controversial.
I also feel that since I try to be objective with other points of veiw ,then as others have said before me , I expect the same courtesy.
Be respectful , or be gone I say
Agree, or disagree, but will really depend on me whether I want to debate or add anything.
I don't exactly feel obligated but do read Comments carefully and try to reply to ALMOST every one. But as for a debate or strong opposing viewpoint, I'm mostly only concerned if the Commenter has stated as fact something that could harm an innocent drive-by viewer. In those cases, I make sure to say something like, "...Interesting...I have to admit my personal experience differs in that...." And then let it be.
So far no one has really gotten out the big guns on any of my Hubs, which is a little surprising. One would think topics like reincarnation and guns being my friends would stir 'em up a touch. Maybe it's just that nobody reads 'em anyway?
Pam, I know what you mean about this! What I find annoying is when my views are stated somewhere in the hub or a response in the comments and it is obvious that the person commenting has not read it all and I have to repeat myself!
I try to look on long debates in the comments section as adding info to the hub and, indeed, often this can be the case with additional useful info from people posting as well as further thoughts of my own!
Whenever I comment on my hub or someone else's, I get a little meaningless message that says something like "Thanks for participating in the HubPages community." I think it's really about that. Making HubPages connections, fanning other hubbers, encouraging other hubbers that enjoy your work to fan you. All this not only builds traffic, it's fun!
I get a lot of supportive comments from people who seem to agree, and, of course, I am gratified by every single comment (don't stop!) but I pay extra attention to those who have read my hub, understood most of it, but disagree with one or two points. Why? Because I don't want to just "preach to the converted". I think both sides of a debate come away from it understanding the issue better.
I enjoy hearing from people who disagree with me, especially when they make well thought out remarks that help me to sharpen the focus of my argument.
However, here's what really gets me: people who comment and tell me how right I am, and then go and say the same thing to someone else who wrote a hub in which the exact opposite position was taken on an issue. This truly baffles!
They probably don't agree with you at all, they just want you to back off and leave it alone. That's what I'm talking about here.
Of course, it is the internet. It's not like politeness is much of a priority anywhere online, but it's a relative thing. Sometimes one person has and enough, or just doesn't feel like battling something to the death. Not everyone likes that kind of discourse, so lots of times people will say, "You're right," or "You could be right," just to end the conversation.
We were actually taught at the bank. Just tell people they are right and move on, whether you think they are or not.
The people who agreed with me, and may not have actually agreed, were commenting on my hubs. They certainly weren't obliged to comment at all, and it wasn't a question of getting me to back off.
They came to my hub of their own free will, said how much they agreed, then went to another hub, and agreed with that one, too, when the two hubs were taking opposing positions on the issue.
Pam, I'm with the others here who enjoy the comments on your hubs. I know that some people don't know when to stop and become obnoxious. Maybe you should just announce at some point that you will not be responding to comments on a hub and let everyone go at one another.
Well, that's what you get for being so damn good at what you do.
Sorry if you do not agree with me, but I have received several novel length comments on my hubs this week basically were just opposing viewpoints. Often these comments wanted to start debates, promote links I was not comfortable with - and thus I felt these hubbers should be writing their own hubs on the subject. I even put such a note on one of my hubs because people were starting to use it as a preaching forum.
I think that what sorts of comments are considered really rude is in fact somewhat a cultural issue. It's true that some cultures encourage debate and others less so.
By the same token, telling people what the likely consequences of their actions might be, especially when they are strangers, is something that is allowed in some places and not others. (For instance, in Israel it is quite common for people on the bus to tell complete strangers that their child is going to catch cold because improperly dressed.)
I appreciate American politeness. But I also regret the inability to speak openly to strangers about things that really matter. Sometimes it's a matter of trial and error to find each person's boundaries, because even cultural issues have a personal component.
Introverts in any culture are not going to appreciate direct people like that. I belong to a Yahoo group where people from around the world talk about these issues. Also, I think some Americans I have encountered have been much more likely to write comments that really cross the line. It is just a personal issue, but for some of us hubs are not debates. The forum is good for that.
I really feel obliged when some one comments on my hubs. Though not always I try to reply comments. Some times I mail to the writer of the comments.
It becomes difficult when I get a comment from an unidentified user (that is often in my hubs. Many of the comments are from non-hubbers and without a link or e-mail address.)
Most of the comments I received are in support of my views. Only few times there are debates. I love to have comments from those who are disagreed with me. Those enhance knowledge and ignite debate.
Hubbers are welcome to start debate on any of my hub.
Someone takes the time to read one of my Hubs and comments, I'm gonna reply..every time. If you are just looking for attaboys then preface your Hub with " No contrary comments allowed...".
Sometimes the comments are even more interesting than the Hub itself.
On the other hand no one is obligated to post a "no contrary comments allowed" notice, but from time to time some comments are just too long or not needed. Our hubs, our babies . I do not mind contrary comments from time to time, but the long lengthy novel comments are too much. Many hubbers have commented about deleting those without any warning.
I think those comments should be welcome. After all they are giving much time to write those.
Ultimately it is up to the hubber to moderate their hubs.
Sweetie Pie, I agree. It is up to each hubber to make the rules on his or her hubs. But this is precisely why new hubbers -- or hubbers who have just now started following a particular hubber's writing -- may not know in advance what the rules are on each hubber's site. That's why, when reprimanding someone for breaking the rules on our own hubs, we should take care not to be rude, also.
Don't assume someone who violated your rules knew what the rules were in advance.
I do not have rules Aya, I simply have no desire to permit certain comments. Today people were beginning to have lengthy Bible sermons on one of my hubs, and I have the right to delete it. As the Hubpages staff says we are allowed to moderate our hubs, so this is not about perceived rules or anything of the like. People have deleted my comments before, and I just accepted they did not want my opinion there.
On the other hand, I have felt a few comments were reprimanding and chiding of my opinion. There are a few people that are way too brisk in their way of speaking to others, and even make some try to feel inferior. That is something I just do not put up with. However, I know I have always been overly polite in dealing with all people on my hubs, so I am not really worried if someone thinks I am rude for deleting a comment.
If someone has read one of my hubs and leaves me a comment, I definitely will respond. May take me a while cause I'm not on my computer every day, but sure will answer back. it gives me feedback on my hubs and sometimes gives me more ideas. plus, some of the comments are so funny, they make me laugh and laughter is always good for the soul.
I don't write a lot of Hubs about controversial stuff, so comments aren't usually argumentative. I generally answer all comments (unless I think letting the person have the last word is more polite). If the add yet another comment I may or may not comment back. It depends on my mood and whether I'm up for a debate or not. Once in a while I am. Otherwise, I'm happy to let their comment stand without additional debate.
I have one Hub that turned out to be "controversial" (only because so many people seem incapable of realizing that just because I made one point it didn't mean I ignored all the things I didn't happen to be writing about). That one got really insane, comments that were attacking me for things people imagined I am (but am not). I didn't feel obligated to respond, but I enjoyed it because I thought I was able to point out holes in the reasoning of these people. (In other words, you call me "crazy", and I'm going make you look really stupid and disturbed. : )
The other ones I'll keep going back and arguing (if I'm in the mood) are the ones who have accused me of working for companies whose products I've written about, or else working for their competitors. This type really irk me because they say things like, "Wake up people. she obviously works for..." That's an attack on my integrity, and I'm not letting those go (unless the "argument" is a repeat or goes on longer than I'm in the mood for). I see it as "win/win" situation. If I'm in the mood for a debate/argument, I get to have some fun. If I'm not, their comment goes undebated as an opposing opinion on my Hub. Either way, it's good.
Gee, just seeing a comment makes me happy, even if they don't have something nice to say, Comments mean the reader is interested enough in the hub to say something. However, I have to agree with SweetiePie. If someone is deliberatly nasty or obnoxious, the best thing to do it just deny the comment. If the nasty person is a nut or troublemaker, ignoring them may be the best way to go.
Dolores makes a good point: readers interested enough to leave a comment should be responded to...I would ignore nobody, regardless of the tenor of the comment...If we put ourselves out there with a Hub we have to be willing to take the slings and arrows that will follow...I understand when the discussion turns nasty perhaps editing may be required...but only when it becomes obnoxious and tiresome to all...in a free country folks are allowed to be different, bizarre, even deviant, as long as no harm is done...
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