Monday, November 16, 2009

On Comments…

I have found after reading other people's comments— as well as commenting myself that there are several different types of comments that you find:

Authoritative Comments
Sometimes I find that I leave comments that tend to sound like I know what I'm talking about. I know that I am no expert on everything, but I do have a way of sounding so. If I leave a comment and appear to sound like I'm a know-it-all… please forgive me. I tend to blame it on having to write in a professional, concise manner at work.
Banter Comments
I see a lot of these kinds of comments in Facebook and Twitter. These are the ones that you tend to leave that are supposed to bring out a chuckle. It's friendly banter that is passed back to the reader, often after they post something witty and/or funny.
Compassionate Comments
Sometimes people confess to things, or tell of a tragic tale in their posts. So often we want to be able to offer some form of assistance to the writer so that they know that they are not alone. I have been told that I have a lot of compassion in my comments to others. I try to offer any kind of helpful and supportive words which will help build confidence in the writer. So often we are exposing ourselves to public scrutiny by posting our thoughts and our feelings. We do not want to feel that we have said these things in vain, nor do we want to be ridiculed for being brave enough to post.
Dutiful Comments
Many times people feel obligated to comment back if you commented first. Some people consider this a type of empty comment, but I feel that it is a way of letting the person who commented first know that you read their comment and are willing to comment back.
Empty Comments
I hear a lot of people complain about empty comments. These are the ones that tend to not have much thought behind them. They may not even make much sense and not tie very well to the original post. To me a comment is welcome no matter how much thought goes behind it. It just proves that you are there and are willing to say so.
Feedback Comments
Sometimes someone writes something that is very well written and you want to give your feedback as to how you interpreted their writing. I find this to be very helpful especially when the post is a story or poem.
Group Comments
I have seen others comment back to the comments that others have left. I myself have tried this because it offers a way to dialog about the post. Many times I write directly to the person who commented, but sometimes they do not have a return address so I have to add a comment to the thread of comments already given.

This is by no means an exhaustive list— I am sure there are other types and would welcome any additional ones you happen to have encountered. It does seem odd to have to comment on commenting, but that is what commenting is all about.

I tend to view comments a lot like telling jokes. So often you hear a joke that reminds you of a joke you know and you want to tell it. So often I find a post that reminds me of something that I myself have experienced and I want to share my thoughts about it. Many times a comment leads me to another post because they offer an opinion or perspective that I had not thought of before.

What about you… How do you comment? Do you feel like you tend to comment in a particular way? Do you find that comments help you in your writing?

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