The Seven Deadly Sins Of Culture Blog Commenting

When it comes to the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) strike, there doesn’t seem to be much of a shortage of opinions and observations. Case in point, the post here from 10/29/2010 has generated a substantial number of comments that focus on everything from the original blog topic (branding) to a dozen other business related issues inserted into the context of the DSO labor dispute…

Seven Deadly Sins Of Culture Blog Commenting

Most of the discussions going on in the comment thread are quite thought-provoking and for the most part, they have remained entirely civil. At the same time, it is clear that emotions run deep and on a few occasions, readers have veered over the line and committed one of the Seven Deadly Sins Of Culture Blog Commenting.

With eight years of blogging experience I can safely say that I’ve figured out a few things about how to get a point across. So allow me to share some of what I’ve learned so you can not only contribute in positive fashion but you’ll also maximize the impact of your point(s).

The Seven Deadly Sins Of Culture Blog Commenting

  1. Impatience. If you aren’t reading your comment aloud before hitting the “submit comment” button, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Moreover, when reading aloud, try to use some inflection that mirrors your intent. You might be amazed at how something might sound and if you find that you need the inflection to deliver your point, that’s a good indication that you should add more detail.
  2. Sarcasm. Comment threads are akin to having a conversation with a four year old that hasn’t quite figured out what sarcasm is all about. In short, they don’t get it and although we’re all adults, the print medium isn’t the best method for conveying sarcasm. So when in doubt, don’t use it.
  3. Self Promotion. There’s nothing wrong with including a link to one of your own posts or websites in your comment but make sure you’re adding value to the discussion and not using my blog for your benefit.
  4. Anger. Same basis as the original deadly sins but in blog format. When in doubt, save the comment, sleep on it, then make a decision.
  5. Trolling. In short, don’t be a putz on the internet just because you can. If you wouldn’t say what you’ve written to someone’s face, then it isn’t fit for publication. As a side note, I don’t mind strong language (we’re all adults) but not in the guise of trolling.
  6. All Caps. This is the equivalent of screaming at the top of your lungs and frankly, I can’t think of a single topic related to this business that requires such an extreme measure. Likewise, take it easy on the exclamation points.
  7. Being “That Guy.” Within the context of blog comments, “that guy” is the person who (inadvertently or not) simply won’t shut up and uses a steady stream of circular logic to single-handedly grind a good discussion into the ground and draw attention away from the main topic. You can also become “that guy” by engaging in multiple sins within a single comment.

Please keep in mind that Adaptistration has a long standing blog policy that contains a section pertaining to comments. By and large, I’m all for discussion threads that are filled with thought-provoking content and frequent challenges to opinions. So if you plan on leaving a comment, be just as prepared to have someone challenge your position as quickly as they would agree and don’t be offended when/if it happens.

In general, there’s nothing wrong with taking another reader to task on his/her position but so long as you avoid any of the Seven Deadly Sins Of Culture Blog Commenting listed above, you’ll not only prevent your input from getting moderated but you’ll start to build a strong online reputation.

So what are you waiting for? Submit a comment and join the conversation.

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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5 thoughts on “The Seven Deadly Sins Of Culture Blog Commenting”

  1. I try to read the comment not only the way I would say it, but the way a very grump person I know would say it. I try to read it with the negative tone that some people always have (I frequently have it too, being a grumpy gus sometimes). That seems to help me … sometimes … when my brain is partially functioning.

    The same thing goes for my blog posts. I can’t tell you how many people don’t understand my incredibly witty but oft sarcastic sense of humor.

    Oops … I think I’m going there again … 😉

    (And emoticons don’t work.)

    • Bless you for making that error, I get questions about editing comments all the time and it is possible but only for registered users, which is free.

      To create an account, just click the register link in the “Become A Member” widget in the left sidebar. Once the account is verified, you’ll be able to edit your comments. Just make sure you’re logged in and when you are, you’ll see an “(edit)” link immediately to the right of the timestamp of your comment. Just click and edit to your heart’s content.

      I should point out here that I do not, under any circumstances edit reader comments. I can delete them but not edit.

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