How To Write Great Comments on the Internet

Do’s and Don’ts + One Simple Facebook Tip

We’ve all seen them. Facebook posts, blog posts, articles, instagram, tweets the list goes on and on. And every single one invites you to comment. In fact comments are everywhere on the internet these days. Sometimes it seems like the Web has become one gi-normous chat room. But how do you make great comments? What are the do’s and don’ts? And why should you even comment in the first place? Well, friend, read on. I’m about to reveal all.

What is a comment?

An internet comment is a written expression of your reaction to a piece of content that you’ve read or viewed. It could be a blog post, an article in an online newspaper, a YouTube video, a Facebook post, a forum, a podcast and so on. Most of these types of content will include an invitation for you to comment and a comment box to make it easy to do so.

5 reasons why you should comment.

Comments are a wonderful way to interact with another person. Here are five good reasons why you should take the time to comment on that post you read today.

  1. You can start or contribute to a conversation. If you spend much time online, you are probably spending time alone. By making a comment you are interacting with other people — sometimes in real time, but often over a period of time so that you keep coming back to the conversation to see what other people have said. This gives you a real sense of engagement with that community, whether it be a blog, Facebook group, friend, in a forum etc.
  2. Your feedback can make all the difference to the writer. As a new blogger I can tell you that I treasure each and every comment that someone makes on my blog because it means that person has not only gone to the trouble of reading my post, but also it has stirred them enough to want to express an opinion. I get very excited about the comments my work receives.
  3. You could learn something new. It’s surprising what you can learn from comments. Last week I made a contribution to a discussion about dealing with carpal tunnel syndrome. When I went back to that conversation the next day, a whole host of others from all over the world had chimed in with different treatments that had worked for them. There were also comments about the many causes of CTS, links to websites, videos and a whole host of encouragement for the woman who originally posted. Since I’m planning an article on carpal tunnel at some stage, this was a great conversation for me to be part of, and you can be sure I’ve saved the link in Facebook so that I can return to it when I’m ready to start writing that post.
  4. You will keep in contact with a friend. Even though the world’s a big place, social media makes it so easy to keep in touch. But don’t just read what your friend has written and press like. A comment shows them that you care about them. I have friends from all over the world and I rarely get to see them face to face. A yearly Christmas card was once the best we managed. Sometimes not even that, and it was so easy to lose touch. Then along came Facebook and voila! Keeping in contact has become so simple. Writing a comment doesn’t take long, but it shows that I care and want to maintain that friendship.
  5. You can make a difference. Your input into a conversation could make a real difference. Your answer in a forum might be just what is needed. Your question might be what someone else was too scared to ask. Your viewpoint might give another person food for thought. Your opinion might be just what someone else needed to hear.

Don’t be scared to make a comment — it’s a great way to connect online, to express your opinion and to start a conversation.

Commenting do’s and don’ts.

DO  be thoughtful. Your comments should show you care, and want to give a genuine opinion or reaction.

DO  be helpful. Carry on a conversation. Answer a question. Provide a link that answers the question. Be a friend.

DO  think about an appropriate length for your comment. Sometimes a short sentence or phrase is best. Other times a longer form will suit. Occasionally it might feel like you’re making a whole new post. Comment appropriately for that type of media.

DO  check out the rules of the group. Many groups have rules about the type of comments that can be given and whether links or promotions are allowed. The rules are usually pinned to the top of the group board in Facebook.

DON’T BE A TROLL. People who leave hurtful, unhelpful or downright rude comments are known in the online world as TROLLS. There are some places where I never bother to look at the comments. Online newspapers are one. I cannot understand why people feel the need to be offensive online in these places. Nine times out of ten, I can guarantee they would never make such a comment face to face. On many blogs these days, there are specific rules excluding Trolls. All comments are marked “Pending Approval.” If you make a troll-like comment it will be excluded and you could even be blocked from that site. On Facebook sites, the rules are often explicit:

Facebook group rules are often explicitly against negativity. That’s not to say that you can’t express a valid opinion, just be very careful how you phrase it.

I’ll say it again: DON’T BE A TROLL.

DON’T “over comment.” There’s such a thing as commenting too much. A good rule of thumb is to only comment on things you’re really interested in, or have something relevant to say. Don’t comment just for the sake of commenting because it can begin to look like spam. There’s a line between making helpful, friendly comments and beginning to seem like a stalker. Use your common sense here.

One Simple Facebook Tip As Promised.

I’ve done it. You’ve done it. We’ve all seen it, probably countless times.

You make a comment on Facebook, press post and THEN realise that you’ve made a mistake. That spelling error glares out at you.Or auto-correct has “helpfully” changed a word, unnoticed until after you pressed send. Or you re-read the original post and realise that you’ve misunderstood and your comment is irrelevant, or worse, inappropriate. So do you either hope no-one notices? (They will.) Or post a second comment along the lines of “Oops! Stupid auto correct! I really meant to say…” (Clumsy).

OR

You can edit your comment. Yes folks, you can just change that comment and eliminate the mistake forever.

How to edit your comment on Facebook.

If you notice the mistake immediately after you published…

On an iPad: simply press and hold your finger on the comment and it will immediately offer you the chance to edit.

On a computer: hover the mouse on the comment and three little dots will appear beside it at the bottom of the text. Click those and you get the option to edit or delete.

If you notice the mistake later…

On both devices click on the three horizontal dots on the top right corner of your comment. “Edit” will be among the options that appear.

The three dots at the top right of your comment allow you to edit or delete.

That’s it. Save yourself the embarrassment of inaccurate posts with the simple application of the Edit Button.

BONUS TIPS: Facebook etiquette links

https://www.hongkiat.com/blog/facebook-etiquette/

https://turbofuture.com/internet/Basic-Facebook-Etiquette

To Sum It All Up.

Comments can be a great way to show you care. They help you interact with friends, colleagues and groups online. Sensible comments help you engage with a wider audience, and can even help you build a positive online presence, if that is your goal. They help to build your sense of engagement and connection with the world on the web.

Be diplomatic with your commenting. Keep them respectful and fair. Comment when you genuinely have something to say, but don’t comment on everything. Don’t risk looking like a spammer and above all else don’t get a reputation as a troll.

The best quote to remember is one I’m sure we’ve all heard our mothers say.

So, have you been passively reading online? “Liking” your friends posts but never engaging or posting your own thoughts? Are you a quiet observer who follows, enjoys, even takes on advice sometimes, but stays very much in the background? Maybe you even get a newsletter, or follow on social media, but you’ve never hit reply.

Well, make a comment today.

You’ll be amazed at how much more connected you feel to that group or that friend when you begin to interact. Strike up a conversation. Write a reply. Do more than just pressing Like. You could brighten someone’s day — and they could positively make your day in return.

 

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