I’ve been doing this blogging thing for awhile now and hadn’t felt compelled to write down any rules or guidelines until recently. Some of the comments from visitors seem earnest in being taken seriously as opposed to just another Troll wandering by yet the structure or content of the comments makes it very hard to do so. With that in mind I’d like to present the Stupid Evil Bastard’s Guide to Proper Commenting:
If you’re going to bother to comment have something to say that’s worth reading. For example, I sometimes write about video games in general and the various console systems in particular. If the entire content of your comment consists of something along the lines of “PS2 SUCKS MY BALLZ! XBOX FOREVA!” then do us a favor and refrain from posting it here. If there is one thing that is guaranteed to get me to delete your comment from the site it is statements like the above. Pointless flame-bait comments will be short lived on here because they are, well, pointless.
Make an honest attempt at punctuation and spelling. This isn’t a college class and I’m no English professor so you won’t be graded on your commentary. You will, however, be judged by it. Not only by me, but by all the folks who visit the site regularly. Typing in all lower-case and using intentionally fucked up spelling for common words may be very stylistic and hip, but does little to convince anyone that what you have to say is worth considering as anything other than the random mumblings from another bad example of a failed public education system. Using “u” in place of “you” may be fine if you’re texting a buddy over your cell phone, but it makes you look like an idiot when you’re trying to put forth a supposedly intelligent argument.
If you’re responding to a thread that is already lengthy take the time to read most of the thread first. There’s little point in chiming in with arguments that have already been beaten to death unless you have something new to contribute to them. Showing up and bleating out the same tired line as people before you will just earn you some sincere and heartfelt mockery on my behalf.
Don’t dish it out if you can’t take it. Or, in other words, if you don’t want to be called names then don’t call people names. If you don’t want people to take quotes out of context then don’t take quotes out of context. If you don’t want people to subtly imply that you may have the intelligence of a carton of spoiled cottage cheese then don’t imply the same in others. Most of all, if you DO engage in these activities, don’t bitch about it when the favor is returned to you. I’m specifically thinking of David in this case.
There is a difference between an opinion and an informed opinion. Try to have more of the latter over the former and people will take you seriously. If you’re going to claim that the Founding Fathers were all Christians and intended the USA to be a Christian nation then at least attempt to provide references and quotations that support your assertion. Simply showing up and saying “everyone knows the Founding Fathers were all Christan and anyone who says otherwise is a big dodo-head” is not going to win anyone over to your point of view. By the same token there is nothing wrong in admitting that you don’t know enough about a subject to offer anything other than conjecture on it.
Try to stick to the topic of whichever entry you’re commenting on. For example a recent entry I made on the release of the latest Matrix movie trailer suddenly became a debate on religion. Some folks show up at SEB to read my more serious topics and others show up for the fluff entries I tend to toss out there from time to time. Try to keep discussions on religion to entries on religion and discussions of movies to entries on movies.
I encourage folks to comment on any of the entries I put up and I am loathe to delete anything beyond the most obnoxious and pointless of replies or items that are just outright spam. I do not censor comments and I encourage folks to share opposing viewpoints. I think good debates make for a healthier society and a good part of my reason for putting up the more serious entries is to encourage people to think more than they tend to do. You don’t have to follow any of the guidelines I’ve listed here, but you’ll probably find you’ll be treated better and more likely to be listened to if you do.