Bloggers usually love comments and people who leave them. Positive or negative, they are usually productive, they say someone has read your text and thought about it. They are a valuable feedback, an insight into what our readers like and dislike, what they are passionate about, what we as bloggers need to work on. However, more and more unproductive comments tend to litter blogs and digital media, turning the helpful act of commenting into flaming and trolling. There seems to be no right way to deal with that sorto f thing- or is there?
Ivan Brezak Brkan, Editor in Chief of one of CEE most popular tech blog Netokracija took the stage of the blogging conference Blogomanija and confidently stated that there indeed is a way- and that way is not censorship.
Sure, flaming comments are tedious, unproductive, we do not want to read them and they get on our nerves but if we censore them- what is next? Are we to block Facebook, because it filled with negative comments and flame. Will we block Twitter next? And then, what do we do- censor our email, because some hate happens there too? There is no ignoring them, marks Brezak Brkan:
We all know that type of comments: they are anonymous, obnoxious and tiring, but we also know why we put up with them: they raise the site traffic, they increase interaction and they are inevitable.
Content and Comments Are Like Batman and Robin
Ther isn’t much we can do: we can censor them, but that is the last option we should consider, We can introduce Facebook comments to our blogs so everybody has to put their name and their face behind a flame, we can try biometrics, we can try using IDs or maybe have the commentators mail their hate to us, old-style?, Brezak Brkan joked.
The thing is, we don’t actually want to turn away people who comment on our posts. Their feedback is valuable to us. They are the feedback we need to grow as bloggers and writers and reporters. Contenct and comments are like Batman and Robin, the dynamic duo making the blogosphere a better place.
We like to think comments are something that ony emerged in the last decade, in the digital era, Brezak Brkan points out, but the truth is people always sent their feedback to the press- it just used to be done in form of a letter or by picking up the phone.
The absolute worst thing the free media could do is to censore comments and put an end to this long tradition of writer(or blogger)-reader interaction.We tried to deal with the flaming comments in a quantitative manner, trying to argue or debate or discuss, accumulating even more comments, but going nowhere.
One thing we haven’t tried is changing the people who comment, not the comments, claims Brezak Brkan.
What I tried doing is contacting the flamers in person- well, through e-mail at least. Saying, hey I read your comment, what seems to be the problem? Do you want to talk it out in person? (They never do)
Your response needs not be public, it may even be more effective if it is private. Lets try to do that and influence the people who comment, create a new generation who do not hate everything on the Internet just because they can.
In conclusion, Brezak Brkan noted: all you int he Blogomanija audience, and all you blog followers, if you like an article, do not hesitate to comment, We really appreciate your feedback, positive or negative.