Tag Archives: comment

Your Opinion is the Only One That Matters


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Yes, it’s true – the world revolves around you – and only you! Your opinion is the only one that matters, right? No one else on this planet counts. No one cares what they think. Right?

Wrong.

You may not like something, but that doesn’t mean that others won’t. What someone finds to be helpful may seem “dumb” to you. But why does that mean you should automatically dismiss or bash it?

If you don’t like something being done, it’s fine to offer advice and suggestions. It’s NOT so cool to be snide, rude and outright hostile about things – as though your opinion is the only one that matters. Try stating what you think and feel nicely… even giving actual solid suggestions… and see how much further that gets you in life.

Do You Like This Comment?

Add one more to the list of things that you can “Like” on Facebook. Starting today, you can Like comments that others have made. You can also UNlike a comment if you change your mind later.

As ReadWriteWeb points out, this could mean some pretty cool features in the future from developers. “Imagine the addition of “people whose comments you liked” as a metric by which to measure future content for prioritization or other analysis.” This could prove to be invaluable for those of us whose jobs and lives depend on community engagement.

If you really enjoy a comment someone had made anywhere on the Facebook site, you can simply Like it instead of spending time to write out a comment of your own. There are a LOT of times where I see someone post simply to say “I agree with you!” or “I like what you said!” Now you can just click the Like button and be done with it.

The Best Email Flame I Ever Received

When you are subjected to public scrutiny as closely as I am, you have to develop a thick skin. Not everyone is going to like – or agree with – what I do. I’m okay with that. I welcome differing opinions, and even encourage people regularly to post rebuttals to something I’ve said. I’ve received my share of complaints, put-downs, and outright hostile messages over the years. Most of the time, I simply hit the reply button and add nothing other than a smiley face in the response.

I do actually pay attention to these critiques. Some of them, over the years, have helped me to strengthen myself and make changes to the way I do things. I don’t ignore criticism. When someone takes the time to write to (or about) you to suggest you what you did wrong, you should always try to turn that into a positive for yourself. How can you use what they’ve written to make yourself a better person / tech / geek / whatever-you-may-be? How can it enrich what you’re already doing?

Today, I received what has to be the best flame of all time (via email). I’m not going to take the time to respond to each of the points made, because I honestly feel I don’t have anything to prove. This person obviously doesn’t like me. That’s okay. I’m fine with that. The world will not end. Some days I don’t always like me, either! He believes I know absolutely nothing about computers. I believe the work I’ve done over the years speaks for itself.

I do find it humorous that I am apparently single-handedly responsible for nearly everything that is wrong with the entire technology industry today! Who knew I had that kind of power? Go me!

Here is the email, unedited (other than to add proper paragraph breaks and random punctuation marks). I didn’t even correct his incorrect spelling of my name.

Mr. Parillo:

I have seen you a few times, on television and online, and have come to the conclusion that you should find alternative employment. Perhaps re-stocking straws and napkins at McDonald’s… or something else that does not require you to come into contact with sharp objects… or anything more technical than Play-Doh.

I have seen your trite review of the original iPhone, which seems to be nothing more than regurgitating the exact same complaints that everybody else had, weeks before your lame video came out. I have also seen the video of you on TechTV laughing at a man for seeming to have Parkinson’s, when his condition led him to accidentally break a priceless, and irreplaceable, antique wax recording. I have reviewed the video a few times, and found your behaviour and actions to be not just improper, but completely reprehensible and unforgivable. I, fortunately, have never felt the desire to watch TechTV, nor its successor, G4, and have been spared from the bulk of your asinine antics.

The few videos I have seen of you, seem to show you to be less computer-literate than my great-uncle. Granted, my great-uncle was one of pioneers in the advent of the personal computer. My mother herself worked in the Research and Development division of IBM when I was young. Those of us who are old enough to remember punch-card programming, and have been fortunate enough to have started our learning on such machines, have the privilege of calling ourselves true computer “geeks”.

Lame, talentless hacks who seem to know little more about computers than to figure out how to adjust print settings, such as yourself, really have no place at the big-kid’s table. There are, unfortunately, too many of you walking around and trying to pass yourselves off as being knowledgeable, and as sources to trust. It is people like you that hold the industry back and make it seem as if someone who does not posses your startlingly limited understanding of computers are somehow novel, and pitiful.

You are the reason that three years after the launch of the PlayStation 3 all of its games are just tired remakes of older games, with absolutely no innovation, or creativity. You are the sequel-set, dumbing-down the market to make it easier for people to accept cheap imitations of games they played a decade ago.

You, and your ilk, are the reason that so many people have become so complacent with technology, demanding nothing more from the creators of their operating-systems than margin ally better graphics, and a few new sounds. Since the advent of a “graphical user interface” was first developed by Xerox in 1973, and refined by Apple beginning in 1979, there have been no real advances in the personal computer operating-system. The mouse alone has remained largely unchanged since Douglas Engelbart invented it at Stanford Research Institute in 1963 (in addition to his inventing the first GUI at roughly the same time), despite the fact the prototype was invented in 1959, as a track-ball, by Kenyon Taylor, Tom Cranston and Fred Longstaff at the Royal Canadian Navy’s DATAR project. Both the OS and mouse have only seen slight refinements in the almost fifty years the respective technologies have been around.

It is people like you who just bitch and moan, and make insipid and lame attempts at sarcasm, about modern consumer technology, that hold it back. You are not intelligent, nor knowledgeable, enough to offer true criticism of the respective industries. You, instead, rely heavily on their advertising, and other bribes, and offer people nothing more than their own gripes sold right back to them. What this does is support a false sense of empowerment for the average user, and gives them no incentive to become better educated, or demand more from from the companies that sell them this out-dated schlock as though it was something new.

The plasma display alone was invented in 1964, but everyone believed the hype that it was something new, and exotic, when they were re-introduced a few years ago. LCD technology alone is over a hundred years old, with the first, viable, displays being created in 1964 at RCA. The simple fact that you don’t offer serious critiques of out-dated technology being constantly re-packaged and regurgitated on an unsuspecting public, the fact that you have nothing serious or meaningful, the fact that you offer nothing insightful is just further proof you are, at best, completely pointless, and at worst are actively working to aid companies to continue this kind of nonsense.

This says nothing of my earlier example of your being a hateful, callous, spiteful, and selfish person. I suppose there might be something to be said for karma, since it is fortunate you are not on television anymore, and that nobody of any import considers you an expert on anything. Why don’t you do yourself, and your misguided viewers, a favour and be honest about your limited knowledge, that fact that you offer nothing new to anyone. Why don’t you just come out and admit that you are nothing more than an enabler of the bland and senseless discussions in which you engage. Get honest, or give it up and go home. Turn off your computer and try something more your speed, like a Lite-Brite. Maybe you could hone your skills enough to “programme” a smiley-face or something.

Wow! It’s all my fault that PlayStation games suck, that there have supposedly been no “real” advancement in computers since the GUI was introduced, AND that large companies are making their products better and then selling them as something “new.” Cool.

How to Get People to Comment on Your Blog Posts

Geek!This is Bradley Bradwell’s submission for the HP Magic Giveaway. Feel free to leave comments for this article as you see fit – your feedback is certainly welcomed! If you’d like to submit your own how-to, what-is, or top-five list, you can send it to me. Views and opinions of this writer are not necessarily my own:

Bloggers often find it difficult to get visitors to their website, let alone receiving comments for their posts. However, these bloggers aren’t realizing that there are a few strategic techniques that can prove to be very helpful when attempting to attract commenters.

Make a Controversial Post

These types of posts allow different opinions to be expressed, and allow others to react positively or negatively to your stated opinion. However, don’t be offended when receiving criticism from your commenters – as those posts are crucial for keeping all parts of your audience interested. This type of criticism can also be constructive, giving other commenters more to react to.

Get The Facts Right

The worst types of comments you can receive are comments that accuse you of lying or posting false information. These aren’t productive comments, and can reduce your reputation – not only on your blog, but throughout the Internet. Link to sources you use in your posts, and (if possible) include a short bibliography towards the end. Before you publish your posts, have someone edit them and ask you questions. These questions can prove to be very helpful in creating higher quality blog posts.

Ask People to Comment

No, I don’t mean spam the living hell out of everyone you know. It can be very useful to ask for constructive information from your readers. This can be as simple as asking for an opinion, or asking for information regarding your blog post – from within the post itself. It’s also important to know that asking for comments doesn’t mean be quick about it; provide informative and creative entries that might better invoke a conversation.

Comment on Other Blogs

This means speaking your opinion in the digital public space, and letting people know where you stand. By doing this, you’re showing that you have distinctive, unique thoughts and opinions. This can lead readers to comment on your blog, adding (once again) additional information to your original post. It’s also important that you don’t just post comments on one particular blog, but spread your opinion by posting comments on a variety of other web sites and blogs (preferably, those which are similar to your affinities). Spreading yourself throughout the Internet may draw various opinions from people who otherwise wouldn’t know about you.

Get Hits

This goes without saying: if you don’t get hits, your not going to get comments. Submit your blog posts to various “social sites” when warranted, such as Digg or Reddit. In general, you should promote your blog to the best of your ability, and give yourself time to achieve increased inbound traffic. Promoting your website also means promoting throughout your local community, and asking for community members’ opinions. These can be the most powerful comments, as these members are in a similar location and potentially facing similar difficulties as you are with certain products and ideas.

Getting people to comment on your post is by no means an easy task. Make sure that you’re always providing high quality posts for your readers to comment on, and give the appropriate credit to the appropriate people. Make sure that it’s simple and easy for your commenters to find your comment box, and allow them to express their opinion no matter what side they take. At the end of the day, enjoy what you’re doing – and give yourself the credit you deserve for a job well done.

What Determines a Blog’s Success?


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LisaLee is a long-time community member, and she writes: “Just wondering… what does blogging mean to you? To me, I blog to share my thoughts or latest internet finds, and I really like to get feedback and a sense of community. Without it, I personally don’t see the point in blogging.” She continues:

Maybe I’m wrong. But I feel I may as well blog in a paper journal as I used to before the days of internet.

I’m just getting very disheartened over the lack of feedback I get on my own site. I’ve already stopped blogging over at my site because I was tired of expecting comments that never come. Without them, I have NO idea what my readers are thinking. Are they shy? Bored? Think I’m stupid? It makes me feel insecure, Not a cool feeling, when I am sharing something of myself. So I decided to stop blogging on my site, but I really miss doing so. And I’m having the same problems now on Live Journal. I feel maybe I have really lost my “writer’s touch”, so to speak.

The whole reason I am writing this to you is because I am wondering if you have any tips or pointers as to how to get more interaction/comments going on a blog? And also if I have the wrong attitude or not. Should comments be “expected” and, if so, and I’m not getting any, what am I doing wrong? Maybe I just need to get more of an audience.

Well Lisa, you bring up good points. It’s disappointing to create content, and receive no feedback on it. I have poured my heart and soul into something before, and gotten absolutely no feedback. Here’s the thing: there’s a lot going on on the Internet these days, and a lot of people are blogging. If we’re not posting, what are we doing? We’re hopefully commenting. My biggest recommendation for you if you want to receive feedback on your blogs, get out there and comment on others’ work. The more you do this, the more you will be noticed.

I don’t always comment on blogs I read. I may not have time at the moment, or feel I have nothing to add. Comments don’t make you successful. If you rely on them to feel validated, you’re facing an uphill battle. Do you read blogs that you don’t comment on? Well, maybe you comment on them all. I maybe only comment on 5% of the blogs that I read. I love to read the comment feeds… they usually end up adding a whole new perspective to what was originally written.

I know many people have been happy with their blog at Geeks. It’s a targeted audience, and it’s a huge audience. If you blog there about a topic that is near and dear to another Geek’s heart, the chances of receiving commentary is very high. If you leave a comment somewhere, that person will check out your profile. They’ll read what you’re writing, and comment there. Then someone else will read their blog, and find you as well. It’s one big cycle.

Get yourself out there. Look for others with similar interests, and make your presence known. Then, continue writing about topics you are passionate about. People will find you. And remember… blog for yourself. If you are happy with what you write, it doesn’t matter if anyone else is at the end of the day.

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How Can You be an Awesome Commenter?


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Some members of Ignite Seattle recently appeared at Gnomedex 8.0 to give their short and informative talks to our conference attendees. Monica is a news reporter, and spoke to us about the ways we can all become better news, blog and even forum commenters.

A product of her wired generation, Mónica obsesses over her Facebook profile and can’t remember what life was like before e-mail. She plays on the P-I’s flag football team and calls it a good afternoon when she can tinker with her piano and her Ibanez guitar — and a good evening when she can get out and enjoy the nightlife. A huge film fan, Mónica will often cry at movies people have no business crying in. She can’t cook, but she’s trying.

According to Monica, the Internet has some amazing things for news. One of the things it’s done that is awesome is to make news about the conversation. If people are smart about this, they know they need to take as much responsibility for the quality of the conversation as they do for the quality of news they provide. This means providing the right tools for community moderation, having enough resources to police that community, and that we need your help.

Face it, a lot of comments just suck. They’re angry, or abusive. It’s important to come together, and really integrate what the community has to say. What should you, as a commenter, think about before you comment?

  • Think of the impact of what you’re going to say before you say it. If you jump into a conversation about a hot topic, be careful. Being an angry commenter will do you no good, and no one will listen to you. Ignore the trolls. Focus on something smart in the story or post, and comment about that.
  • Tell us what you think. You’d be surprised how many people tell us what they think without thinking. Think about the issue. Read the story. Know what you really think and feel… and THEN comment.
  • Tell us your story. Maybe the author didn’t get to your story… quote yourself. Tell your side or perspective of a story if you were somehow involved, and it will expand the story as a whole.
  • Tell us what you know. Many journalists think they’re really smart. One thing you can do is to put up a study, share a link… whatever will help flesh the story out even more. Just do so with respect. What this does is to bring heads together, which is always better than one.
  • The most important thing you can do when leaving a comment is to ask a question. It will keep the conversation going, and you may learn something new. Ask a good question. Explain yourself, and people will do their best to answer.
  • Even if a site doesn’t ask you to identify yourself, you still should. Own up to your ideas. Be accountable for what you say.

Everything Monica had to say rings true to me, as a Blogger. I especially love this line: “Many people tell us what they think without actually thinking”. She hit the nail on the head there. Think about what you’re going to write, people. Know what you really think, and believe in it.

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Is your Blog Usable, or a Jumbled Mess of Information?

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When someone visits your blog, can they find their way around easily? Is everything neatly organized on your site… or is it more of a jumbled mess of information, links and text? Here are some excellent tips to help you get (and keep!) your blog organized.

  • Be predictable. When we want to know what a site is about, the first thing we look for is an ‘About’ page. When we want to contact the owner of a site, the first thing we look for is a ‘Contact’ page. When we want to leave a comment, we usually look to the bottom of a post. When we want to subscribe to a blog, we look for the subscribe button at the top of the sidebar. These things are so common that they’ve become standards… things we expect. When we can’t find the standard, we look for the next most similar thing. By adhering to these predictable standards, you’re actually making it as easy as possible for your blog’s visitors to do exactly what you want them to do. Sometimes being predictable is not a bad thing!
  • Be obvious. Look down at your keyboard, and you’ll probably be able to spot at least one key that you’ve never noticed before. This is either because you have no need for it, or you don’t know what it does. It could be the most useful key ever, but your hesitation when confronted with the unknown has probably stopped you ever pressing it before. What if it deletes everything you just wrote? We don’t like not knowing what the result of our actions will be, and so it goes with your blog. Non-obvious links and buttons will very rarely be clicked. Would a new visitor know what this does, or where it leads?
  • Subtract the unimportant. By hiding important elements (your most popular posts, your feed icon, your comment button) amongst a dozen other unimportant things (widgets and recent comments), you’re making it harder for readers to do what is truly important to you.
  • Limit options. A category list with 10 categories is a lot more usable than a list with 50 categories. Too many options creates overload, which leads to deferral: a visitor will not engage with that element at all. Your list of 5 most popular posts will get clicked more than your list of 20, and so on. Simplified options make it easier for the visitor to decide where they want to place their attention. Too much choice will actually hurt your blog’s usability.
  • Do the little things. A usable blog, aside from the above, is also made up of many little touches that make your visitor’s browsing experience easier, such as:
    • Does your header image link back to your main page?
    • Does your blog have an about page?
    • Does your blog have a contact page?
    • Do your headlines match your content?
    • Is it clear where your links will lead?
    • Do you use frequent paragraphs in your posts?
    • Do you have comment links at the bottom of your post?
    • Do you use sub-headings?
    • Are your posts less than 2/3 screen-length wide?
    • Are you making your best posts easily accessible?
    • Are your links easy to pick out?

    All of these are things you should think about, and improve upon where needed, if you want your blog to be successful.

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Are you the only Person who Isn't Blogging?

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Thomas is a 14 year old who recently tried to start a Tech blog to make money via AdSense. He didn’t do so well, but learned a lot along the way. He is passing along his tips for starting and maintaining a more successful blog.

  • Don’t think you are going to get rich quick. Blogging takes a ton of effort, work and time. You’re not just going to start a blog, write a few posts, throw in Adsense and make a million dollars! So keep that in mind. I do it because I enjoy it as well, not just for money. But of course, I’m only fourteen and I don’t need to feed a family.
  • Do choose a niche! And no, tech is not a niche, unless you are somebody like Chris. Tech is just too wide of a topic, trust me… I tried it. Also, “about me” is not a niche. Unless I’m your friend, I’m most likely not going to read your personal blog, and it certainly will not make money. Make a list of your top 5 things to do. Those are all potential blog topics. Blog about what you like and know, otherwise it will get boring and become a chore.
  • Do read other blogs in the niche you choose. This is very important. It keeps you up-to-date on the latest news in your niche, and will give you ideas for posts. A feed reader is a good way to do this. I would also recommend reading ProBlogger or LockerGnome for more tips on making money blogging.
  • Do comment on other blogs in your niche. This will help get your name out, and drive traffic to your blog. News Flash: “cool post man!” is not a comment. Comments are well-written tips relating to the post, or an answer to a question in the post or other comments. It’s a conversation.
  • Don’t rush into it. Plan ahead. This is probably the single most important thing when you start a new blog. Choose a name for your blog, get a domain, get a design and get hosting. I would also recommend writing a couple week’s worth of posts to get you started. Do all this before you launch. Also, budget in a little money. You’ll need it for hosting, and you may want to buy advertising.

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Be a Good YouTube Commenter!

Mrivera1 is a regular in our Live Community. He sent me the following email to pass along to you all:

I have been part of the YouTube community since August, 2006. During that time, I have watched over 5000 videos, and I have made over 200 comments on various videos, and I have even started developing my own YouTube channel more. Because I am on YouTube all the time, I have become quite well educated in the idea of “YouTube Etiquette.” that is, the idea of being a respectful member of the YouTube community. I have also noticed that some people don’t like to leave good comments (the meaning of good not in the positive sense, but in the respectful sense) on videos. So, as you (Chris) have become somewhat of a YouTube guru (with 1000+ videos and thousands of subscribers), I think your YouTube channel would be the best way for me to get the message out.

  • Don’t personally attack the person who made and/or posted the video! Ever heard of the saying: If you have nothing nice to say, then don’t say it at all? Personally attacking the person who made the video via comments is probably the worst thing you can do to a person on YouTube. Derogatory comments are very inappropriate and they don’t improve your image at all on YouTube. In fact they will make people DISLIKE you on an unbelievable level, as such activities are very cowardly. Such comments can even get you banned from commenting ever again.
  • Don’t curse in the comment section! Language is probably the ultimate sign of the intelligence of the person who is making the comment (i.e. YOU). Good language signifies a smarter person who actually knows how to think before speaking. Bad language signifies someone who has no self control, and someone who doesn’t get the idea of cursing as being a less than appropriate thing to do. So, in a nutshell, don’t curse, unless you really don’t want to be considered a smarter YouTube member.
  • Leave comments relevant to the video you are making! How many times have you seen a comment that has nothing to do with the video, or is just one or two words long? Such comments are a pet peeve of mine and of many other people. If you cannot post a decent video comment that has something to do with the video and is at least a sentence long, then don’t comment at all! Such comments are a big waste of space on the comments page. Oh, and never, never, never, NEVER leave first, second, third, etc. types of comments. They are annoying and can make you look bad.
  • Don’t use the video comments list as a message board! The comments list is there for you to leave comments, but not to start whole topics of discussion! Don’t argue, debate, etc… in the comments list! If you want to start a discussion or debate, then go join a message board, or maybe an IRC service (WyldRyde is one), as those are more appropriate places to hold discussions, but not in the YouTube comments list. That includes stuff that is on the same topic as the video you are watching as well as stuff that is completely off topic. Most people try to get others to argue just for the fun of it, but it isn’t funny at all.
  • Don’t spam or talk about heinous/illegal things in the comments list! Spamming or talking about illegal things is unacceptable on YouTube. Usually, such comments will be deleted, but thousands more are not. Such activity is very childish, and is of course, frowned upon by the community! This kind of stuff can also get you banned from commenting as well, so don’t do it!

How to Start (and KEEP) a Blog

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It happens to the best of us. We start a blog with every intention of keeping it up, and then things get in the way and we forget it. Maybe you don’t know what to write. Maybe you just don’t have time… many things come into play. Here are some excellent tips to help you get started, and stay focused.

  • Decide what it’s about If you’re writing for a particular audience, write what that audience wants to read. If you’re trying to reach out to D&D fans, don’t start writing about the Civil War. Only write about D&D and related topics. If you’re going for a more general audience, research what you’re going to update about and see if it’s already been blogged to death. Everyone blogs about politics, so stay away from it, unless your story is less than 12 hours old.
  • Don’t be concerned about comments. Just because someone doesn’t comment on an entry, that doesn’t mean people aren’t reading it, it most likely means they didn’t have anything to say about it. I’ve read tons of articles and blogs that I’ve never commented on, because I felt everything that needed to be said had been said in the entry itself, or was already in the comments. This doesn’t mean completely ignore comments – if no one ever comments on your blog, that almost certainly means no one is reading. I prefer to have comments disabled on my LJ, so I don’t have to worry about it. Instead, I let my readers comment me by email.
  • Let readers know when you’re gone. If you’re going on vacation and won’t be updating for a while, let your readers know. They may think that you’ve abandoned the blog and didn’t update about it, and remove you from their RSS subscriptions. This will decrease the number of readers of your blog.
  • Make sure you like your blog If you don’t like the way your blog looks, or your URL, change it. If you think there’s something wrong with it, there probably is. I’ve gone through this myself, and I changed the look of my previous journals countless times before I became completely happy with it. However, you may just think other people don’t like your look, so you need to get opinions. If you change the look of your blog, people may stop reading due to lack of familiarity.
  • Get a life Instead of worrying about what your next update will be about – get out and do something. If you just sit on the computer all day and tweak with your blog, it’s going to be a very boring read. I’ve learned that the less time you spend worrying about your blog, the more content you’ll have to write about. But make sure it’s interesting, because quantity does not equal quality.

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