Thursday, December 3, 2009

Coffee Break: 10 types of commenters

Someone once asked me why I don't allow comments on my blog. The answer to this is a long one, though I am aware that it isn't socially "friendly".


For the record however, my work consists of some interaction with online communities. To make that long story short, it's a daunting task to be able to moderate (and respond) to all the comments that come in.

Some people generally love to comment on articles. Whether its a news article or some feature about love and relationships, people will always have something to say. But if you're observant, you would notice that there are also a lot of comments out there that are really passive-aggressive posts or mere rantings that sometimes miss the point.

Of course not everyone posts comments like this, but many do.

Out of the Crooked Timber came up with a list of 10 types of commenters that I'm sure you're familiar with.
  1. The commenter who has not read the post properly, decides they know what it says anyway, and fires off a series of disgusted observations.

  2. Commenter who applies the most uncharitable possible interpretation to the post, and goes straight into rant mode.

  3. The commenter who takes the opportunity to make some sarcastic remarks highlighting his (99% of cases are male) own superior scholarship/intelligence and damning the CT author. “If only Chris has read the second treatise of Heinrich von Pumpkin in the original German, he’d be aware ….”

  4. The commenter who uses every comment as a peg on which to hang his (yes, “his”) own obsessions about, e.g. analytical philosophy, populism, Palestine, etc

  5. The commenter who simply wants to make nasty personal remarks about the CT author, often about female members of the collective, often using an alias.

  6. The commenter with a sense of grievance against CT following their treatment in some comment thread back in 2004.

  7. The commenter who notices that a CT author said P in 2005 and not-P in 2008, and who gives every impression of compiling an archive of such contradictions.

  8. The commenter who has posted in the thread in error, and angrily denounces literary theory in a discussion of Irish cuisine.

  9. The spambot.

  10. The commenter who reads what we write, tries to have a conversation, is occasionally appreciative, points out mistakes helpfully rather than as “gotchas”, brings their own knowledge to the table.

Note: CT = Crooked Timber