One of the first things I do when I get in the morning is comment. I comment on articles and blogs I read. The blogs have no central theme. I comment on stuff on the Middle East, health care, generations, social media, marketing, economics and just about anything else I feel like. Each comment runs between 100 to 200 words, not just “I agree” type of stuff. And I try to do two or three comments a day.
Commenting is my daily warm up, not unlike warming up before going for a run or a physical workout. Writing is an incredible mental exercise and it helps me build synaptic connections to carry me throughout the day. That and my four mile walk … bring it on!
I try to add something significant to each piece I comment on, my take on it. If my comment spurs additional comment activity, then that’s a good thing for everyone – especially the writer of the post. It follows along with my idea of my personal value. The same goes for comments on my blog – I love’em. They add to the discussion, and isn’t that what a blog’s supposed to be, a discussion? And they give the post legs.
This brings me to my big commenting irritation, the “moderation abyss.” You know what I’m talking about. After you post a comment, a lot of blogs require moderation before actually publishing it (mine included). Normally this takes a few minutes or in some case a couple of hours. That’s cool. Believe or not, some people actually have lives outside of moderating my comments. Hard to believe but it’s true.
Here’s my issue. Writing a blog is not a right, it’s a privilege. It’s a privilege to have an audience, no matter how small. People take their time to read your ramblings. The least you can do is treat them with respect. If they not only read your blog, but also put forth the effort and mental energy to actually respond and add to it … then you should sure as hell check your email and moderate their damn comment. To let their creation sit in the “moderation abyss” for days on end because you’re too damn lazy to get off your butt and read it – is unacceptable. And you should be stripped of your blogging privileges. If you aren’t going react to comments, then turn them off. Seth Godin does, and that fine – it’s his choice, plus he probably gets a million of them. That way there’s no expectation that your creation will unveiled to the world. And yes, a thoughtful, well constructed comment is a creation.
A few days ago I commented on piece I liked talking about “story telling, curation and the Long Tale.” I’d never read their blog before, so I didn’t know how they operated. I liked their piece and felt strong that my comment added to their discussion – abet a different twist.
My comment sat in the “moderation abyss” for day and a half before I couldn’t take it anymore. I found the email of what I think was the assistant to head of the company that owned the blog.
Below is my email:
I don’t know if you’re the correct person to contact concerning this issue … but here it goes. From what I’ve read on your site, I like it. Your mission seems to go hand in hand to much of what I stand for. I especially liked “The Long Tail and the Curation Economy.” It provided me a launching point for some great thought. I thank you.
Here’s my issue. I commented on the post, a comment I thought had some merit and added to your discussion. Unfortunately, nobody will be able to read it, nobody will be able to use it as their own launching point. It sits in “the moderation abyss.”
I don’t know if this is intentional or not. Maybe my comment is not up to your literary standards. If this is the case, all I can do is try to improve before my next submission. But if my residency in “the moderation abyss” is due to your laziness … shame on you. Having a blog, a blog that people read is not a right, it’s a privilege, an honor given to you by your audience. It’s also one that can easily be taken back.
How you treat people, prospective clients before they become clients … is a reflection upon how you would treat them afterwards. Something to think about.
In addition – I’m following you on Twitter. You might want to reciprocate. You might just find some interesting stuff.
It took them about an hour to post my comment. But they’re still not following me on Twitter. Oh well.
Oh, by the way … if you comment to my blog, I promise not to send you to the “moderation abyss.” 😉
If you’re on Twitter please follow me … there’s cool stuff happening over there too @clayforsberg.