While I am surely not an expert at it, I want to offer assistance perhaps to some in blogdom who very much enjoy surfing the blogs and leaving a few fingerprints along the way in the form of comments.
As I said, I am by no means posing as an expert. Not to mention that, examining my own fingerprint record one may find on many blogs, it may actually be undesirable to heed any advice I offer. There easily exists an entire chorus of protests in and around Blogburg who could easily sing their many ballads about my not-so-popular engagement.
I've lost count of the times I've been called arrogant and condescending. To some I am a troll. To others I am a maggot, a rabble-rouser, a negative personality who is so obviously embittered and angry that the only one who fails to notice is, well, me.
Last not least, my heart is misguided and I really need to get some deep counseling, according to some. So, if you decide to simply bypass this post, I really understand. The older I get, I don't think I'll listen much to me and my advice anymore either.
Nonetheless, I thought I'd offer a little post about this anyway. After all, if you do possess reservations about my counsel, just do the opposite of my advice. That way, you can be safe.
Here goes: developing the art of posting:
1) Do not comment if you do not have anything to say. It's really O.K. You don't have to comment at all actually. Many people *read* blogs--even religiously read them--and never comment at all. I receive emails periodically from those who enjoy my blog but never to this day have said so on a thread. They've never commented about anything on a thread. They are interested in reading, that's all. And that's O.K.
2) Do not think you always have to leave a long comment. Some will laugh at this one--especially coming from me. My comments sometimes are long. I can only hope, however, that if they are long, it is necessary. But that's a hope and nothing else. I'm quite sure there's lots of comments I've made that were much too long.
3) Do not attempt to engage every point you think is weak in a post--whether directed toward a blog-post or a blog-comment. There's time for interaction. If you want to engage, engage one point or maybe two. That's it. Only the inexperienced will fry all his potatoes at one meal.
4) Do not pursue nuking. Similar to the above, this person who attempts to engage you does so, not to either learn or edify or even challenge. The nuker nukes to annihilate, to destroy and place your head--or what's left of it--on his/her fireplace mantle. The nuker will offer, toward your 100 word comment, a response four or five times the length of your comment. I once wrote a 900+ word blog and a particular response to it was over three thousand words. Frankly, nukers suck (is that term wrong?).
5) Avoid becoming a parser. Parsing is fairly typical in Blogburg. Here's how it works: You say:"..." Now me: "..." You say: "..." Now me: "..." From my perspective, I've rarely received edification nor seen it demonstrated from this approach. If someone with whom I am interacting cannot put words together in plain sentences and paragraph form, I personally do not stay on the phone long. I politely say my good-byes.
An even more aggravating parser is one who takes exception to virtually every statement you make in your post--whether a blogpost or comment. If every verb and adjective is wrong, you cannot make it right with this type of parser. Never engage one. Do not become one.
6) Do not retaliate when people call you names. If you are making a good point, somewhere, sometime, you will be called a dirty birdie--especially if you are on a site whose post perspectives are particularly different from your own take on things. So, if you comment, you must expect you will be harassed. It's life in Blogburg. Get used to it. You very well may be both a snit and a snot. However, just because they say you're one does not make you one. Learn to let the insults go. Stick with the issues.
7) Pay little attention to anonymous posters. There is reason sometimes that anonymity could be necessary. Rare should be the rule of thumb, however. And, if you dare engage one, you are taking a great risk. Anons bear absolutely no responsibility for what they write. I rarely, if ever, respond to anything one posts. Frankly, I am considering disallowing Anons from SBCT.
8) Never expect anyone to answer all your questions. No blog host or commenter with whom you interact should be expected to answer everything you ask. Accept what you can get and be content.
9) Do not be ticked if the bloghost does acknowledge your comment--either favorable or unfavorably. Your point may be the best one posted. So? Be grateful you were able to post it and move on.
10) Always assume many people read and follow your comments but never assume many people care. On the one hand this will save you from writing what you must later apologize for. When I post, my working assumption is, I will post nothing about which I would later be ashamed. I do not fulfill this perfectly but I attempt to sincerely follow this assumption nonetheless. People you haven't a clue are reading you, read you. The Chairman of a Pastor Search Team emailed me not long ago asking for a recommendation for their Church. My contact with him? He'd read and followed my comments around the blog circuit.
On the other hand, assume a lot of people could not care less about your comments. If you keep this in perspective, you will avoid becoming eat up with your own ego.
I hope these few pointers will contribute in some small way to healthy interaction in and around Blogburg.
Grace. With that, I am...