Friday, May 28, 2010

Blog Comments Categorized: Encouragers to Aliens

I'd better warn you: this post is just simply crawling with Catholic cooties. Don't worry: The Lemming has another post coming soon, that isn't.

You might (maybe) find something useful - or amusing - in this bestiary of blog commenter.
"10 Types of Blog Comments: Part 1 of 2"
Matthew Warner blog, The National Catholic Register (May 26, 2010)

"Blog comments are like the graffiti of the untamed digital continent.

Some are helpful, like the spray paint on the fence that says “beware of dog.” Others are very impressive, like a beautiful mural. Some obviously took a lot of time and thought. Others are done passionately and quickly. Some are for self-promotion, like a gang sign. Others are done simply to exercise our power to do harm and cause suffering. Many are angry. And still others leave us scratching our heads.

"As bloggers and blog readers, it's helpful to distinguish between the different types. Blog comment sections can be very powerful places to get unique perspectives on an issue, share helpful information, build people up, engage in thoughtful discussion and contribute to the 'soul of the internet.' But far too often they turn into annoying and useless diatribes of self-congratulatory tit-for-tats anonymously pounded out from behind an impersonal keyboard and obscured by thousands of miles of virtual space. That's a waste of an opportunity...."

Matthew Warner is a Catholic, and that "soul of the Internet" phrase is a reference to something the Pope said (see "Giving the Internet a 'Soul?!' No, Really: This Makes Sense," A Catholic Citizen in America (May 8, 2010))

This week's post describes the sort of people you find, leaving comments on your blog. Next week, he'll suggest how to deal with them.

Here's his list, with a paraphrase of how he describes the types:
  1. Encouragers
    • Leave simple, encouraging comments
  2. Non-contributors
    • Like the encourager, except without encouragement
  3. Contributors
    • They write something that makes sense - in the context of the post
  4. Destitutes
    • "They just want somebody to talk to."
  5. Slackers
    • They didn't read the post, but they've got an opinion
  6. Brawlers
    • They like to argue
      • Not learn
  7. Angries
    • They're angry
      • And it's somebody's fault
  8. Posers
    • They say they don't care - but took time to comment anyway
    • "Their comment basically says 'I don't care about this, but I still took the time to comment and tell you. That's how much I really don't care about this. And now I'm going to get really defensive about something you said-but I really couldn't care less about it.' "
  9. Self-promoters
    • Spammers
    • Link-baiters
    • Honest people who want to promote something
  10. Aliens
    • Don't make any sense at all
    • From another planet, maybe?
The first comment on that post added two more types:

"Posted by Barbara Garro on Wednesday, May 26, 2010 2:25 PM (EST):
"Here are two more:
"Diarists—those people who tell you they are tired, just got up, have a cold and other information no one needs to know.
"Political Activists—they come with their needle stuck in their cause and post and post and post, sometimes many times a day."

Bottom line? If you blog, odds are that you've gotten comments - and I think you'll find at least a few of these types familiar. I think Matthew Warner did a good job of describing the sorts of commenters bloggers get - with a bit of humor.

What I'm looking forward to is next week's post, when he says how to deal with them. I've read some of his work: so I'm pretty sure that he won't recommend boiling oil and pitchforks.
A tip of the hat to newadvent, on Twitter, for the heads-up on this post.

And, thanks to MatthewWarner, also on Twitter, for writing the post in the first place.


Brigid said...

I think there may be a close quote missing: ' * "They just want somebody to talk to. '

The Friendly Neighborhood Proofreader

A Contributor

Brian, aka Aluwir, aka Norski said...


Right you are. I fixed another format error, while I was at it. Thanks!

Maurice Mitchell said...

Now I'm scared to comment...LOL I always try and respond to comments, but its the alien posts that bother me. Sometimes I don't understand the comment enough to even tell if they agree or disagree. Still, considering barely 10% of readers comment at all, its always appreciated. I'm looking forward to the second post.

Brian, aka Aluwir, aka Norski said...

Maurice Mitchell,

Me, too.

For my blogs, that "barely 10%" would be - wildly optimistic. I like seeing comments - for the most part - but realize that most folks have something better to do with their time.

Thanks - for your observations, and for reminding me to check back for part 2.

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