I was sad that I didn’t have an opportunity to participate in the last few Friend Friday discussions, but enjoyed reading everyone’s thoughts on Highlighting the Negative, Fashion Do’s and Dont’s, and Work Wear vs. Blog Wear. This week, the topic is all about the relationship between criticism and comments.
My general thoughts on the subject are summarized in this quote:
“Make visible what, without you,
might perhaps never have been seen”
– Robert Bresson
Sometimes we need others to open our eyes to certain things and, sometimes, that comes in the form of criticism. The question is: how do they go about doing it?
- Do you allow comments on your blog? Why or why not? I absolutely allow comments on Beautifully Invisible, and go a step further by trying to encourage my readers to post them as well.
As I have mentioned before, this is a different type of fashion blog. Because it isn’t a personal style blog, like most, I don’t have to deal with individuals criticizing the way I look or my style choices. That type of negativity is something I don’t have to deal with right now. Would I still allow comments if I was a personal style blogger? Yes, simply because I know I enjoy commenting on personal style blogs. How would I handle the negativity? I honestly can’t say, because I haven’t had to deal with that yet.
I think blogs like Beautifully Invisible lend themselves to comments. The posts, whether cerebral in nature or simply an inspirational photo, hopefully encourages reader interaction. And I love reading what others have to say.
- Do you think at times people leave comments that are insincere or not well thought out? What’s the point? The answer to this is definitely “yes.” Something I have witnessed on numerous sites, including my own, is people leaving comments that have no bearing on the post they are responding to. Others obviously quickly glanced at a photo, but didn’t read the content. The worst are the people who simply leave comments because they are advertising their own blog. I think it’s obvious when someone does that, and it won’t get you a new reader. Things like this drive me crazy.
When I first visit a blog I make it a point to leave a well-thought out comment. If I am a frequent visitor/commenter, I don’t always leave long comments, but you better believe I mean what I say when I do comment, regardless of the length!
- Would you ever leave a comment that could be considered negative? I think there is such a thing as constructive criticism, and, if I was going to say something negative, I would try to do it in a constructive and polite manner. If I was to say something negative, I would try to sandwich the negative remark between two positives.
That being said, I would not criticize someone’s personal style choices (unless I was specifically asked to do so). I think every person has a right to express themselves they way they see fit, and that is what fashion is – a way to express yourself. Just because I wouldn’t wear something, or I don’t like the way something looks in a photo, that doesn’t mean the other individual isn’t rocking the hell out of that piece in real life.
On the flip side, would I say something negative about an editorial-like post? If I did, it wouldn’t be about the writing style or insulting to the author. If I disagree with something they say, I will comment about it, but I won’t do it in an insulting tone. And hopefully it will start a conversation. I like it when people do that to my posts. Let’s get the conversation going!
- Most people claim to like constructive criticism. Do you really and how do you offer that kind of criticism to others? According to wikipedia, the definition of constructive criticism is this:
“Constructive criticism, or constructive analysis, is a compassionate attitude towards the person qualified for criticism. Having higher experience, gifts, respect, knowledge in specific field and being able to verbally convince at the same time, this person is intending to uplift the other person materially, morally, emotionally or spiritually.”
Again, I think this answer will vary for people who do write personal style blogs versus blogs that are more editorial in content. I do like constructive criticism, and encourage it. I actually sought out (gasp!) criticism about a month ago when I asked a blogger that I deeply admire to critique my blogger blog for me (you know who you are – thank you AGAIN!). There is always room for personal improvement, and sometimes others see what you yourself can not. As long as the person is pleasant and compassionate with their criticism, I encourage it. But if it’s criticism simply for the sake of being negative, no thank you!
- Some bloggers don’t allow comments in order to cut down on negativity. Do you think that is the way to go or are there other ways to deal with the negative vibes? I actually don’t like this practice. For me, personally, the blogging community is what this is all about. Getting to know other bloggers, interacting with them, and developing relationships with them, even if only via the computer, is the biggest strength to be gained by blogging. If you can comment on my blog, I would like to be able to comment on yours as well. The same is true for readers without their own blogs. I want to be able to build that relationship with the people that are reading my blog.
I understand that some people go overboard with comments. I also understand that some people are just mean – they either don’t care to or don’t know how to be constructive in their criticism. But don’t the positives outweigh the negatives? Isn’t it worth wading through the negativity if it helps you build relationships with your readers?
On the flipside, as a blog owner, you have the right to remove any comment you deem is spiteful or intentionally hurtful. You don’t have to take those types of comments in real life, so you certainly don’t have to take them in the blogosphere. Is it censorship? I suppose so – selective censorship. I delete spammers, and would consider anyone who is consistently negative in tone and content a spammer. If you are an internet troll – be gone!
What are your thoughts on criticism and commenting? Do you ever censor your comments? Have you ever had issues with an unruly commenter?