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How To Write a Critical Comment

Posted by KL Tech Muse at 9:22 PM on November 12, 2009

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Interestingly this week two people that I follow on line did blog post on having to deal with people who flamed them because of something they said or did. Chris Pirillo post a email he received from a viewer “The Best Email Flame I Ever Received“, and Todd Cochrane replying to emails he received after his post “State of the Podcast Sphere Part 1” in his podcast Geeknews Central #526 “Soap Box Time”. Chris Pirillo is a TechTV alumni, founder of Gnomedex, and streams from his office 24-7 answering tech questions. Todd Cochrane is the lead blogger on Geeknews Central, CEO of Raw Voice and Podcast Connect. Both of their post got me thinking, if you think someone is wrong, what is the best way to communicate that to the person. After all there is nothing wrong with being critical if done correctly it can start a great conversation. The trick is disagreeing without being disagreeable. I wrote down a couple of ideas

  • Write down exactly what you think without stopping. Read it and then delete it.
  • Wait awhile after you read a post before you make your comment. Take time to think and calm down before you write.
  • Don’t make things personal, calling someone names, questioning their intelligence or ancestry will mean anything else you say, will not be read, because your comment will end up in the trash. Think about it if someone started calling you stupid or names would you be interested in anything else they said.
  • Don’t use ALL CAPS, that like standing in front of someone and shouting in their face.
  • Be clear and get to the point on your criticism and let the person know that you are available for further conversation.
  • Don’t post anonymously if you believe in what you are saying then be willing to stand behind it.
  • Check your spelling and grammar

I am sure I missed some good tricks. Do you have any tricks you use for doing critical comments that are helpful. Finally there is nothing wrong with criticizing someone’s post. Critical comments are how bloggers and podcaster learn and grow. However, flaming someone, just makes you look small and doesn’t help the content provider at all.

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