This particular subject I’ve been thinking about on and off for the last several years, usually whenever I comment on someone’s blog and then somebody else cuts into the conversation and sometimes it would piss me off and at other times it just didn’t bother me. I had never stopped to think about what made the difference.
The other day though it happened again and I sat there for almost 30minutes trying to figure out WHY it was bothering me so much. I had a very different opinion on the subject from the Blogger and voiced my own and we’d pretty much let it go at that, agree to disagree. Then somebody else chimed in. I asked them who asked them and they replied it was a public site. I retorted with the mature, elegant and sophisticated statement of “butt out” at which point the blog owner stepped in and clarified how he viewed the comments section on his blog. Then it was fine because I became aware that he wasn’t the using the same rules that I was. This forced me to think about what I consider my rules of etiquette for commenting on other comments.
I view a comment on a blog as a conversation in a public place between 2 people, the person who wrote the post and the person making the comment. It is like 2 people sitting at a busy coffee shop talking to each other. Sure, they are in a public place where others can overhear them, but the expectation is that they have the illusion of privacy and their conversation is only meant for them. It is just as jarring to me when someone else interjects themselves into a comment as it would be for a complete stranger at Dunkin Donuts to sit down at the table I am sharing with my brother and tell me how I am wrong to like black coffee. THAT is a good way to end up dead. New Hampshire has a Constitutional Carry law so you better remember that before mouthing off to some stranger.
The flip side is, when someone comments positively on somebody else’s comment. Say I’m talking to my brother at Dunkin Donuts and pull out my Sig p938 and am talking about how I wish I knew of an easier way of cleaning it and somebody says “Hey, if you don’t mind me butting in….” and then they tell of a way they know to halve the cleaning time. I can be like “Thanks! Have a seat?” and then they can either sit down and talk guns with us or carry on their way. Either way, they acknowledged the tacit understanding of privacy.
Now if that isn’t complicated enough for you, then you add in the fact that some posts INVITE cross commenting. How do you handle that!? For me, I don’t. I don’t tend to follow people who would invite a crowd over to their house, stuff everyone into a big room, lock the doors and start saying controversial things just to see what everyone does.
Speaking of houses, I guess I tend to view a Blog as somebody’s house. If Friend X invited me over to their house and they also invited their friend, Friend Y, who I didn’t know, I wouldn’t start telling Friend Y he is wrong to use the yellow coffee cups. I’d leave them alone and let the owner of the house deal with it and if they don’t, then it certainly isn’t up to me to do so.
NOW throw into the mix that everybody has different ideas about this whole subject. I view the comments section and my blog as my house. Wipe your feet, leave the other guests alone if you can’t say anything nice (by the way, disagreement isn’t mean or “not nice” but how you disagree certainly can be) and be chill, even if the host is ranting 😉 I’ve run into people who would say their blog is a farmers market, not a bleeding house and they want tons of people with all their goods interacting and hollering over each other and screaming across the whole thing to that one guy over there. And goods and ideas are exchanged and most people walk away with what they want. Fantastic. But don’t event think about acting like that in my House/Blog.
Ok, I think I’ve blathered enough. Do you even think about this, or this just me being a super sensitive snowflake? Whatever your thoughts on the subject, I’d be interested to hear them.
I think this has broken the writing slump I mentioned in my Monthly Roundup. I’m pretty excited about that!