Today I am guest blogging for The AgChat Foundation about maintaining positive conversation in the comments section of your blog and what to do when things turn negative.
When starting a blog there are many different things to consider. Past the nuts and bolts of the original design and strategy to relay information to your intended audience one thing often forgot is a strategy to create a positive and respectful conversation in the comments following the blog and what to do when they turn negative, or in some cases downright hostile.
The first step begins as you are writing the blog post, as the tone in which a post is written can set the stage for others to comment, either positively or negatively. If a post is written to talk with the readers and respect their opinions, instead of talking AT them, readers tend to think more critically about what was said. It encourages them to engage in positive and constructive conversations that remain respectful even when opinions on the subject can defer greatly.
Even when a very positive tone is taken there are often naysayers, trolls or haters that are still attracted to your blog. So what are some good and bad ways to respond to these comments?
First it’s important to read the comment that was left and try to understand where the reader is coming from. The biggest key to maintaining a professional and courteous dialogue with those who disagree is to remember that you are not engaging in a debate, but a conversation. Any attempt to engage in a positive dialogue can help turn the conversation to a more positive tone. In cases where it’s unclear where the commenter stands, simply asking more background information on their viewpoint can be a good start to the conversation. However, the reader may be overly passionate and have a sincere concern for the subject that is being discussed and is looking for a platform to voice their concerns. In this case it may be best to politely agree to disagree and move forward.
Often times the following mistakes are made, which only encourage more negativity that can lead to a stalemate and harsh criticism towards the writer and other commenters: