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Handling negative blog comments

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By peterurban - February 13th, 2009

Ok, last week I spoke about the power of comments on online blogging communities. But what about the dark side of blogging, every bloggers worst fear… (Please cue the ominous music.)

The negative comment!

You know what I’m talking about. What a nightmare. You post something you really care about, and that you put spent some time thinking about, and someone shuts you down. It hurts! Well, it hurts me. But the fact is that no blogger can survive without them.

Don't Worry! The negative comment isn't out to get you.

More often than not, negative comments spur more interesting conversation. If you’ve written something provocative, something that you think will not only appeal to your audience but that will get them thinking in a new way, negative comments are testament that you’ve done it right! An interesting blog post will usually get an array of reactions.

The trick is, though, dealing with the negative comment properly.

For this I turn to Charlie Four Whisky’s blog on business communication (which, by the way, is great). He wrote about this very topic in his post A Corporate Blogger’s Worst Nightmare: Negative Comments and How to Handle Them.

I completely agree that negative comments provide a worthy invitation for conversation on your blog. A mature response, perhaps clarifying your position and taking the opportunity to get into the finer points of your opinion, can be helpful not only in response to your negative commenter, but also your general reading community.

He also reminds us that we can’t control what others think of us. Why would we want to? You couldn’t be you anymore if you let other’s opinions dictate your beliefs and actions. Negative comments are sometimes inevitable: not everyone will agree with you.

What do you think about the almighty negative comment? Friend, or foe?

PS. I invite you to check out Whisky’s post linked above. Its swing on this topic is geared towards corporate identity, and is definitely an interesting/useful read.

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