When I decided to begin blogging I knew that I would be putting myself out there. I post pieces of myself for everyone to see and it allows people to comment on my thoughts. They can choose to not comment, or the can choose to comment positively or negatively. It is what blogging intrinsically is, a way to share yourself and interact with others that get to view those pieces.

[pullquote align=”right”]Mean Spirited Comments or Critiques Have Bite.[/pullquote]No matter how many followers you have, if you just have a handful, or a horde you should be receiving feedback. In my case, most of them are positive. “This was great,” “Excellent post”, etc., but every now and again something pops up that makes me stop, get my feelings hurt and want to grab a bat.

Learn to Distinguish between Mean Comments & Criticism

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  • Mean Comments: Nothing can be learned from a mean comment. If they are just saying hateful things, being trollish (meaning no point, just spewing hate) and commenting just to attack, those comments should be completely ignored.
  • Critique or Disagreement: When someone’s opinion differs from your own. You say the book rocks, they say the book was horrendous that is a difference of opinion. A critique would be if they think you handled something wrong, in their mind and think you should have done it a different way. Like, if they think you should have included a book cover in your Interview, instead of just the tour banner. Those type of things.

These are two very different type of comments, but both might have that stinging quality to them. Yet, the critique is much more, because they require action. If they think you are handling something improperly, maybe they are right? Do others feel this way? Should you consider making changes to what they suggested, or do you just ignore them. Because, why would someone point out these things in your comments?

My first impulse is to argue my point, especially if the criticism is handled badly or negatively. No one likes their “flaws” to be pointed out, especially in a public comment forum. I will admit I react poorly to badly handled criticism. The funniest thing is as I’m editing this post, I actually got a critique via twitter. And I replied back badly. Not one of my best moments, which led to more nasty comments, so obviously it didn’t have a desired result, for either of us.

But, I don’t think critiques should come through in a public forum like twitter or comments on your blog, unless they are constructive criticism. As opposed to a comment that’s only intention is “Hey, let me point out how you suck.” I do believe comments like those are meant to harm and not help and should be treated, not as constructive at all.  Much like a mean girl points out that another teen has toilet paper on her shoe in front of the class, which results in everyone laughing at her, instead of taking her to the side and pointing it out. Both resulted in the girl removing the toilet paper, but one just led to slight embarrassment, the other led to humiliation.

Yet Constructive Criticism is Different:

Criticism that has your best intentions in mind. Maybe a comment that says, “This was a good point, but I think doing it this way might work better…”

In my estimation, those are the only type of comments that should be relegated with any importance. A comment like this seems to have best-intentions in mind. These comments look to improve instead of tear-down. In my mind, while they still may sting, might improve your blog in the long run.

What to keep in mind if a situation like this occurs:

  1. Mean comments and Critique comments sting. We all want to think that we do things perfect every time. But, any type of negativity will sting. How you are emotionally will usually decide how BIG of a sting that will be. Keep in mind that other events of the day might influence your reaction, so read the comment a few times and try to interpret what the person is saying. What at first seems mean, might really just be a badly worded critique.
  2. You shouldn’t reply to the comment immediately. Especially if it angers you. It is suggested by THE PEOPLE that you step back, take a few hours to cool off and then return to the comment. If you have a point to make, reply back. But, understand that it might not go over as well as you intended. Stepping back might also help you interpret the comment better.
  3. Always keep the comment up. By deleting the comment you show that they did hit hard. By posting the comments you show that you really are not rattled by negativity and will allow the whole story to be played out on your blog.
  4. Finally, blow it off. Not everyone is going to love you and you shouldn’t let negativity affect you. It does nothing but ruin your day. It might be easier said then done, but most of the time, comments that are mean-spirited are done with other emotions like jealousy in the fore-front. Think of it as a reaffirmation to your awesomeness. They had to take time out of THEIR day to try and bring you down a notch. Guess you made an impact.

Topics for Discussion:

Would you leave a criticism in a comment forum on someone’s blog?

Personally I would never do this. If I see something on a friends blog, meaning someone I regularly talk with, email, or tweet with, I will EMAIL them or DM them that there is something they might want to take another look at, via their blog. I would never EVEN consider contacting someone I’ve had no other contact with and critiquing them, especially in comments. I think if I were to do this, no matter what I said it would be received poorly and what good does that do? I have ruined someone’s day and gained nothing in return by a heavy conscious…and why? A spelling error?

Have you received criticism on your blog via comments or email?

I’ve actually received both, usually in email I will thank them and then go and check out the post in question. I want to know if something is wrong. I do not like when someone comments and corrects my spelling, or my grammar. I’ve gotten comments like, “your grammar is terrible…” – well if you had my best grammar in mind you would have told me in what instances it was terrible, instead of just making an insult veiled as a critique.

Should we take this topic to heart, especially when crafting reviews?

In the last few weeks I’ve been thinking of the art of critique and how to properly give and receive constructive criticism and how to apply it to my review style. But, I came to the conclusion that I do not believe as a reviewer I am here to critique. If that were the case, I would be a Beta reader and not a reviewer.

And this ends my rant, but I hope it helps, me thinking through these things that we all are faced with on a daily basis.

Reader Question of the Week:

“am new in the the blog world and i need your help to know how to write a bloggg plizzzzzzzzz” – atiangesther

Sorry, I couldn’t resist. I would first suggest that you implement the Shift button on your keyboard and then spell check. Those are always a big help when putting together a coherent blog post or question. Then I might take a writing course, or just read up on the internet on how to properly craft an idea. How to get your point across those types of things. Then I would read, read and read some more. Read other blogger’s work, step out of book bloggers and read technically writers, mommy blogs, those sort of things. Note what you like about their writing style and try to implement some of those flashy techniques in your own writing. Then finally, just do it. If you just sit their waiting for it to happen, it never will.

Book Blogging News:

It Came from the Library! This Teen Read Week™ kicked off on the 14th {source} along with the announcement of the YALSA’s Teen Top Ten winners. Veronica Roth busted it up, man! {source}

Happy Thursday. Talk Less. Read More. Blog with Integrity.

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