How to write a good comment: your suggestions
5th October 2010, 11:39 at 11:39 am #128154
I’m thinking of adding some information around the commenting areas on the site with guidance on how to write good comments for first-time visitors to the site.
What do you think makes a good comment? What should people write – or not write – to make a good contribution to the site? What makes a comment COTD-worthy?5th October 2010, 12:00 at 12:00 pm #146625
1) Take your time: it’s not a race to post comments. There are no prizes for being the first one to post a comment in a news article. If you have something worthwhile to say, someone will read it and reply to it.
2) Don’t be afraid of length: some of my best comments (in my opinion) have been my longer ones. It’s a simple equation: the more material you include, the more opportunity there is for discussion. The more discussion we have, the better the forums and the blog.
3) Tell us what you really think: don’t just post a sentence and leave it at that. If you think that Driver X did this better than Driver Y, tell us why you think as much. People may not agree with you, but give them something to respond to rather than a broad statement.
4) Keep your emotions in check: Formula 1 fans can be pretty passionate. And I admit that some of my comments of late have been fuelled by that passion, which has gotten me in trouble before. Fortunately, some of them – mostly critical of Ferrari – have never made it to the public site of the blog. Getting carried away with your emotions can lead to trouble.
5) Don’t be afraid of you emotions: at the same time, don’t let your fear of repercussion dictate what you do and don’t do. Don’t like Ferrari? That’s fine – people will have to accept that you’re not a fan. Think Alonso is a better driver than Hamilton? That’s just as okay.
6) Common sense rules: seriously, this one speaks for itself. If you think it’s a bad idea to say the sky is green, it probably is. Don’t go posting stupid stuff because you want to be funny or to have people reply.
7) Stick with it: you might not get replies to begin with, but give it a little bit of time. Once we see you’re becoming a regular, we’ll welcome you with open arms. But don’t run away if you don’t get a comment in the first ten minutes.
8) This is Keith’s party; we’re all just guests at it: I shouldn’t have to say this, but Keith has been gracious enough to set the blog up for our enjoyment. The least we can do is show each other some respect. So don’t swear. Don’t troll. Don’t go upsetting people because you can. Don’t go making jokes about Keith’s receding hairline (seriously, don’t). Be respectful, polite and all those other things your mother taught you when you weren’t listening.
9) Don’t be afraid of Steph: she doesn’t bite. Not unless you ask her to.
10) Don’t argue with me. Ever.
But most importantly:
Be very careful as to what you type: I speak from experience here. I’ve been around a while and I like to think that I’m one of the posters who people pay attention to when I say something. But I got caught out a while ago with some faulty fact-checking and made some claims that weren’t true, and I was challenged on several of them by the very people I’d made those claims about. In the end, I had to issue a public apology and retraction of my comments, which I’m still very embarrassed about. I’ve also seen it elsewhere on the internet, relating to the USF1 debacle in particular, with people claiming it was a fraud and a hoax. These are serious criminal accusations (that were were not backed up with proof), and the website can be held liable for it – and we don’t want that. If you’re going to say something that might be a bit extreme and claim it to be fact, make damn sure you’ve got something to fall back on, because it can very easily end in tears.5th October 2010, 12:18 at 12:18 pm #146626
I agree with most of what PM has written (though I believe we perhaps should be a little afraid of Steph, just to be on the safe side). In addition to what PM said:
* Don’t be afraid of your own ignorance. Not everyone who uses this site is a walking F1 encyclopaedia, and nor should they be. If you’re entirely wrong about something people will most likely pull you up on it, but this is not YouTube or 606 – people are unlikely to be unpleasant about it. You’re far more likely to learn a lot more about the sport if you join in!
* On a related point, don’t be shy about asking questions. There are plenty of us willing to show off our aforementioned encyclopaedic knowledge of F1 by answering them for you.
* And finally, don’t take it personally if people disagree with you. Most of us are pretty good at discerning the opinions from the people behind them, and are far more likely to be attacking the former rather than the latter. Again – this is not YouTube or 606.5th October 2010, 12:22 at 12:22 pm #146627
All good advice.
I would disagree with PM on number 2 though. Certainly don’t leave comments a few words long, explain your position. But don’t use 10 lines when 5 would do. Some comments are as long as the article they’re commenting on but don’t really have much to say.
They aren’t going to be read fully by many people.5th October 2010, 12:52 at 12:52 pm #146628
Don’t be afraid to voice your opinion. Your opinion is just as valid as everyone elses.5th October 2010, 13:01 at 1:01 pm #146629
All my comments are COTD – worthy :-)5th October 2010, 13:58 at 1:58 pm #146630
The comment above by PM, although is constructive with few interesting pointers, is also an example of how you “should not” write a comment because it is way tooooooo looooooooooooong and over explained. Some people that may have busy lives (i.e. job, family, and/or other life obligations that prevent them from sitting on the computer all day) will usually look at that post and just go zzZZZzzzZZzzzzZZzz…. next post please! If you think people spend time reading all your lengthy over-explained comments, i must disappoint you and say that you are completely wrong. Everyone knows how to use google or sit for hours and copy/paste some information to make their arguments sound more flashy.
1) What do you think makes a good comment?
I don’t want to sound cynical, but does it really matter what we think? On the end of the day , it will come down to what you like Keith (or person responsible for the said article). What makes a good comment really depends on if it agrees with your own views? Tell me if I am wrong please.
2) What should people write – or not write – to make a good contribution to the site?
Don’t dwell making arguments that are blatantly simple into a Godzilla novel. Make your comments direct, short and straight to the point. If someone replies to you post and disagrees with your views, then you can expand on it if needed. Bottom line is, there is plenty of time to write a book on the subject if you so want to do it.
3) What makes a comment COTD-worthy?
Again, this question somewhat made me laugh, because what makes a good comment really depends on if it agrees with your own views. If I say to you that the following title “Failing to use Ferrari tactics is destroying Red Bull and McLaren’s title hopes” might be viewed as biased. You will no doubt disagree and think my comment is not worthy of a COTD lol. While, I think it is perfectly worthy of a COTD. Need I say more? Conclusion: Don’t ask us what we think, because on the end of the day, you (or person responsible for selecting the COTD) will be selecting only what agrees with your/their mind.
Thank you , have a nice day.5th October 2010, 15:06 at 3:06 pm #146631
Don’t ask us what we think, because on the end of the day, you (or person responsible for selecting the COTD) will be selecting only what agrees with your/their mind.
Not so – I have picked opinions I disagree with for COTDs (as well as ones I agree with) and will continue to.5th October 2010, 17:12 at 5:12 pm #146632
Actually I’ve noticed many COTDs that disagreed with Keith. My first ever (sorry to brag, but the first ever) one did. Both it and another were very passionately written, but others have been very direct and positive. I don’t think there’s any general rule really.
Other than that, good advice everyone. My own personal advice is try not to get too involved and if something is agitating you, walk away. It might seem like you’re having a battle for the souls of the young children for tomorrow, but most people will usually come here with an opinion already formed and nothing will change their minds. If someone posts something like “LOL Button is *****” they’re unlikely to bow down to stats and knowledge to the contrary. Yours is only an opinion too, no matter how good a case you think you have. I myself would be better to remember that.6th October 2010, 12:53 at 12:53 pm #146633
All good. I agree with most of what has been said, in particular PM’s point 8 and what Maksutov said about length.
Yes it’s Keiths party and I’ve noticed since coming to the site more frequently that there is almost a family vibe here when you can almost tell what somebody’s reaction will be to something. It’s such a damn shame we all can’t hang out in person during a race weekend!
And yes 100% agree with Maksutov on length. I’m incredibly busy with work and family and often skim past longer posts. Mind you, your response to say that long posts were zzzZZZZzzzZZ was quite long itself, and I didn’t actually read past point 1 :P6th October 2010, 17:59 at 5:59 pm #146634
For me the most important thing is to be honest and to tell it exactly how you see it.
It isn’t an exam and there isn’t a right or wrong answer, it’s a comment on a blog and people want to know what you think and why you think it. A lot of the enjoyment I get from this site is the varying opinions that many of the posters on here have and then finding out the reasons for those differences.
If you disagree with someone then tell them and give them the reasons why but try not to make it personal and always remember that sometimes you have to agree to disagree and then leave it at that.
If you have any personal knowledge or experience of a subject being discussed then don’t be afraid to tell people, it doesn’t have to be exactly the same as obviously few of us have any first hand experience of F1 but there are many aspects of the sport that you may have experienced in another situation and I always find it very interesting when people post their experiences as part of the discussion.
Don’t try to post a Comment of the Day and don’t write what you think Keith wants to read, nobody likes to trawl through a load of sycophantic rubbish and perfectly composed posts can lose a lot of the emotion you’re trying to include so try to keep it natural and genuine.
Don’t be afraid to disagree with Keith or the guest writers, as long as you give a fair argument in defence of your opinion they won’t take it personally or hold it against you.
Remember to turn the Caps Lock off when appropriate.
Don’t get offended when people disagree with you.6th October 2010, 22:26 at 10:26 pm #146635
“Not so – I have picked opinions I disagree with for COTDs (as well as ones I agree with) and will continue to. “
Ok, if you say so ;)
“Mind you, your response to say that long posts were zzzZZZZzzzZZ was quite long itself, and I didn’t actually read past point 1 :P “
lol, true.. it is too long ha ha…6th October 2010, 22:48 at 10:48 pm #146636
1) Take your time: Give it slow and easy. Build it up from the basics and let it flow. You don’t want to be racing ahead. If someone’s with you, you’ve got to take them there.
2) Don’t be afraid of length: Some say length isn’t all that matters, it’s what you do with it. Technique can make up for a lot, but there’s some gaps that just need filling.
3) Tell us what you really think: Use your tongue to let what’s inside your head out. The brain is the most powerful part of the performance. Talk them through it. Side details paint a more intense picture.
4) Keep your emotions in check: Don’t get over involved. What you’re doing is important, but it’s not something you’re doing all day. Getting too intense too quickly can be a real downer if the other party isn’t in the same mood.
5) Don’t be afraid of you emotions: Without the passion, who’s going to want to come back for more? You’ve engaged their mind. Now engage their soul.
6) Common sense rules: Don’t put anything out where it’s not supposed to go. If you haven’t got permission to do it, don’t get smart.
7) Stick with it: There’s more than one move to make. You can always try and salvage things if they’re not looking good first off. Hey, nobody’s perfect and there’s an adjustment period. You’ll be getting on better before you know it. When it goes well, it goes for hours, not minutes.
8) This is Keith’s party; we’re all just guests at it: But if you’re not into the party scene, you’re free to take it elsewhere with a chosen one or two. Who knows what you’ll be missing out on, though. Just don’t spoil the party for the rest of the participant because you’re not into it.
9) Don’t be afraid of Steph: she doesn’t bite. Not unless you ask her to.
And that’s why I say;
Posting a comment is very much like making love to a beautiful woman….7th October 2010, 0:14 at 12:14 am #146637
Just as my post got awarded COTD today. :)
– Try to post everything in a positive way: don’t negate everything; you could always do it the other way around and it’d still mean the same. It gives a better start for discussions.
– Say what you think: people around this site are very friendly, and even if they don’t like what you write, you’d have still made your point.
– Don’t be afraid of lenght BUT don’t try to write a whole new bible: if you can keep it short, do it. I’m sure people prefer short posts to very long and tedious ones.
– Try to be funny and well-mannered: we’re all happy here reading about the sport we love, so bashing hate opinions about everything is a bit sad. It’s a very serious blog but there’s still room to have a nice time reading comments and giving opinions.7th October 2010, 1:56 at 1:56 am #146638
Don’t try and pretend to appear you know something when you don’t know what you’re on about. Like has been mentioned above, there’s a lot of strong opinions and views around here and they often go weak with no fact explaination.
Also if a fan of one driver then has 10 replies from a fan of another driver all saying the same thing that can be annoying. Don’t ‘gang up’ would be a way of putting it – if someone said somehting don’t repeat the same thing.
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