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Blog Comment Etiquette

Updated on September 29, 2009

Whether you're a blogger or someone who just likes to read blogs and leave comments, there are basic comment etiquette rules for commenting on other people's blogs. I've been blogging for about 5 years now and while most people are pretty good about commenting within the boundaries of decorum, some really just aren't. This article is mostly for the latter group who never seem to know how to express themselves without offending someone. If you follow these basic rules of blog commenting etiquette, you ought to be able to comment without ticking anyone off.

1. Don't swear at people

If you want to disagree with the blogger in question or other people who've come along and left comments, you should be able to do so without swearing directly at anyone else. I won't say that you shouldn't swear at all because some bloggers swear quite a lot themselves and will expect that of their readers, but, obviously if you're on the Pope's blog you wouldn't want to swear in general, either. It's ok to disagree with ideas and people but do so without calling people names, as many bloggers will remove your comments if you do so and that essentially means you wasted your time leaving the comment to begin with.

2. Make Paragraphs

If you only write a few sentences this won't matter, but if you're someone who likes to leave 300 word comments all in one block you are someone who may find your comments removed by the blog owner. It's not necessarily because they don't like what you've written, but rather usually because no one can read an epic comment of that sort and it will detract from the overall quality of the comment section. If you want to write a longish comment make it readable.

3. Don't lecture anyone

Lecturing the blogger or other readers is likely to put everyone right off you and many bloggers will remove these comments altogether because they don't add anything and create an atmosphere of tension. If you're an expert on something, good for you. If the blogger isn't an expert on your area of expertise and you want to correct them on some matter, do so in a polite, non-aggressive manner and you may find yourself being thanked. Talk to them like they're a right idiot and you may find all of your comments being removed from that point forward. This also applies to other readers -- don't lecture anyone unless you've been asked to.

4. Don't Self Promote

Do not pop round to various blogs and tell people you can relate and then leave a link to your own blog and tell everyone to pop over to yours for the real deal. Don't leave links to your blog for any reason unless the blogger has requested links of a specific nature as many people are put off this type of thing and will view you as a spammer. If they've asked for a link to some sort of info and you include that info, that's fine -- but don't spam.

5. Leave a relevant comment.

If you've just read a 500 word blog post on the trials and tribulations of divorce and depression and all you can say in the comments is "hi! great blog!" then you should consider the rule about having nothing to say and not saying anything. It's actually more impolite to do that than to just not say anything at all. People who spill their guts on their blogs are not necessarily looking for reassurance but neither are they looking for "cool blog!" comments with inappropriate timing.

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