More Thanh Words

"My name is Thanh and I'm a Blogger". Now that I have admitted to that, I can say that I'm a stereotypical "geeky" Engineer who enjoys sci-fi books and movies and into all things technological. I also love music and have a passion for FOOD. I'm a social person and like to talk to people. I hate people who are fake or overly aggressive. If you're also into some serious discussion, with a pinch of sarcasm and a dash of real emotion, then please read on.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Blog Comments

I just read this a couple of great posts about blog comments and whether they are a good thing or not. Firstly, read the posts here and here.

I think that blog comments can be a good thing, but also a very evil thing. Let's start with the positives. Blog comments are a good thing when discussion about a topic ensues and parties with diverse knowledge and background on the topic contribute information that is both interesting and adds to the original post. I've seen this happen quite a lot on the food blog that I write and many food blogs that I read. The food community encourage each other to try new things and give helpful hints on things to try or recommendations on places to eat. I find it is a very supportive group and comments on those blogs are add real value to each post.

The places where blog comments are evil is when a post presents a personal view of a topic by the author (which may be conservative or extreme) and the author gets attacked personally for expressing an opinion. The anonymity factor of blog comments (online forums also fall into this category) means that people feel like they can be outright rude without retribution. You wouldn't swear at people in real life for giving an opinion that you disagreed with, but with anonymity comes power. It gets really ugly sometimes and people are slanging it out very fiercely. I've only felt this on a very small scale. I posted some discussion topics on some forums and gave an opinion and asked people for theirs. Most people discussed the topic, but there were a few who went way off tangent and attacked me over other things which aren't even related to the post. There are always a***oles in this world, who feel like they have the right to attack others. It's just that in cyberspace, that is much easier to do with little consequences.

It's in instances where people start attacking each other that comments are a total waste of time. The idiots will always dominate the comments and no real discussion can take place. It's always the case that a few rotten apples ruin the barrel of apples. You can try to curb this by moderating comment, but there is an equally strong argument against doing that. Moderating comments takes a lot of time, and the mere fact that you control what others says means that discussion is already skewed to what you want, no matter how fairly you think you are being.

It's a tough topic to decide whether blog comments are useful. Like another writer wrote, some stories don't require comments. Breaking news stories really don't require people adding comments like "That's so sad" or "OMG". Those stories speak for themselves and people can decide how they should react themselves. Even opinion based stories may not necessarily require comments. In the days of old, a print story was just that, a printed story that you read. You could discuss it with your own friends, but the writer didn't need to hear back from you to have a satisfied feeling about writing a well researched story. They have done their part by imparting that knowledge out into the world, and how others want to use it is up to them.


Blogger Jiggles said...

I find them useful particularly when I've felt down and over emotional and its nice to have people commenting as sometimes it makes it better.

As for anonymity, I've seen this in a few instants and I think if you want to say something say it but have the conviction to believe what you say and to stand behind your name and not hide behind anonymity.

I suppose with me if I've learnt if I something nice to say I say it if not its just better not to say anything at all.

6/15/2007 12:17 AM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

Jiggles, they can be useful for tiny blogs like yours and mine where comments are a form of encouragement from fellow readers. But in large blogs affliated with newspapers, sometimes the comments do get out of hand and its all about attacking the writer.

6/15/2007 6:19 PM  
Blogger The Oriental Express said...

Words can heal;
Words can kill;
It's nice if people
are sensitive about
how others feel.

6/16/2007 10:35 AM  
Blogger A-la-la-la-n said...


Thats so Sad!


I agree with Jiggles, can definetly make you feel better

6/19/2007 2:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanh you are a total racist person. not sociable in one bit!

6/22/2007 12:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to second your remark anonymous. Last week he called the police and got me arrested. I dunno how I got into his bedroom with those MP4 players in my backpack.

7/11/2007 1:39 PM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

I was being a good citizen. Stealing is wrong and me calling the police on a drunk leaving my house with my mp4s is the right thing to do.

7/11/2007 10:24 PM  

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