If the unwritten rule of civil conversation starts with not venturing into the subject matter of religion or politics. I would also contend that an addition to that duo in today’s modern world would be the discussion on whether or not comments should be allowed or encouraged. These conversations themselves can turn just as laughable or just as vile as the comments you see today everywhere across the web.
As many of you know from day one I have never posted or allowed comments on my site. Many have asked why? Others have suggested maybe I’m afraid of negative comments. And others think no matter what the reason I should just open it up because in their words it’s just “dumb” not to. All are valid questions or points of view. The truth of the matter as I believe is this, “There is no one correct answer.” With that one statement I can set a table of bloggers, entrepreneurs, columnists, authors, media consultants, brand or business developers into a verbal combat free for all. Which is exactly the reason why I stand by my statement. This decision should be thought about and implemented with the same tactical reasoning you would deploy any other part of your marketing or business plan. It’s a strategic, and focus decision. Not just something to allow or disallow as an afterthought.
To use my own sites as an example I made the determination to not allow or display comments because first off as many of you know I reject unsolicited feedback in any form. Unsolicited feedback is meant for the giver not the receiver regardless how it’s defended by the giver. Other reasons consist of examples such as the boiler room operations that post on any site of record with vague or quasi agreements then follow-up with some call to action statement such as “I found another great resource on this subject also at BlahBlahBlah dot-com you should check out!” If something like this is appearing on your own site but you’re leaving it up because you think it shows others that people agree with you and what you have to say, I would suggest you look at it again with fresh eyes. Then there are the ones that to me defy logic and at the same time bolster my views. I was going to post these in a screenshot format, however it was too difficult to hide their names to protect their identities from ridicule so I’ll just quote them here, “I’m not educated enough in this group to fairly comment. I’ll edit this comment when I know more.” and this one “I will have to wait until after the first meeting before I post an opinion on this group. I sure hope this is what I have been waiting for in a networking group.” Thanks for letting us know is all I can say.
Then there are the down right rude or vile ones left with no other agenda than to serve some form of release or craving that screams a need for professional help. I believe everyone knows exactly what these types are so I needn’t go into details.
Not having to waste any of my own focus or sanity dealing with or paying for and providing the platform was a strategic decision. My work is very public and also appears on many other platforms or sites where comments are encouraged. Also, I felt strongly that being referenced on other platforms carried much more weight than culling and displaying on my own whether good or bad.
As I said earlier I feel there is no true right or wrong answer. The correct answer is exactly where this very powerful medium fits into your overall strategic plans. And exactly where and how you’re going to use it and why.
© 2012 Mark St.Cyr