Recently, PR blogger Kami Huyse published an interesting article: 5 Tips to Avoid Comment Hell: Dealing with Trolls. There, she posed a crucial question for new bloggers who are nervous about allowing comments on their blogs:
"I have had many clients ask me about the risks of blogging. How do you keep competitors and arch enemies from taking over the conversation and dissolving the ‘conversation’ into a shouting match?"
- Moderate comments.
- Have a written comment policy to manage expectations.
- Be in it for the long haul.
- Ban grossly abusive comments, but let most negative comments ride.
- Turn comments off if necessary, preferably temporarily.
A few quibbles notwithstanding, I mostly agree with Kami’s advice.
That said, I also believe it’s important for everyone who chooses to participate in conversational media to learn how to handle the inevitable unpleasant bumps of conflict and even flames.That’s not something you can learn theoretically. Personally I think you need to live through it. Only then can you put Kami’s advice into balanced practice. Otherwise, you might be tempted to protect yourself into total vulnerability.
Of course, surviving public conversational conflicts is not fun — but it’s crucial. If there’s one thing you learn fast in conversational media, it’s that you can never really control the conversation. Most of it happens in venues that are beyond your control, anyway The best you can do is influence it.
I raised that issue in this comment to Kami’s post…
READ THE REST of this article over at my other blog, The Right Conversation…