Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Guidelines for Catholic Combox Writing

Sharing This on 7+1 Quick Takes. Thank you Jen for hosting.

I love and hate the comment box.  On my blog where it’s moderated and readers are spiritually mature and attended the combox-Finnish school, I can kick my shoes off and put my feet up like I do on my sister’s coffee table. But elsewhere on the world wide web, writing about politics or religion, I’m clenched in a kung-fu stance, ready to hurl my voluminous law books at anonymous commentators who overstep the boundaries of human decency.   If I believed trial practice was tough and ugly, fielding controversial debates on the comment box is like sumo-wrestlers meets mud-wrestling ring.

            After trial and error in the combox both as a reader and writer (mostly error because of my unbridled fingers and self-righteousness), I’ve formulated a guide for myself.  Here are my suggestions:

1.     Be positive.  Leave appreciative comments to articles you like to encourage writers in evangelization. If you’re on the receiving end, respond to a compliment with a “thank you” or if time doesn’t permit, return the favor later or in another post written by the same commentator/writer.  You can also pay it forward and encourage another writer to keep them inspired.  No positive comment ever goes wasted and it builds up a close-knit community of networking relationships.

2.     Don’t be anonymous (unless you have good reason) or at least pretend you are not anonymous. Putting your name out there holds you more accountable to what you say.  Before the vast internet audience, Catholics must preserve our (saintly!) reputations as we become missionaries of our Church and ambassadors for Christ himself.   God knows you by name anyway, even if the people on the other side of the internet don’t.

3.     Pause before you comment.  The benefit of combox writing is that it gives us time to develop our thoughts and responses and sieve our emotions unlike off-the-cuff remarks in conversations. So take advantage of the opportunity to sound wittier and more dignified than you really are.

Read the rest at Catholic Lane.


8 kids and a business said...

Oh thank you, Annabelle.I like #4 and #6 the best. I have comment moderation too and sometimes I spam comments that come in because they are (1)rude, (2) attack the Catholic Church, (3) don't make any sense. Sometimes people post an entire blog post as a comment; I let those in if they are relevant and the person is polite.

mary333 said...

Oh how I wish these were combox RULES, Anabelle! Those comboxes can get downright ugly at times!

I can picture you in your kung-fu stance ;) Great article! (And funny too - I love your sense of humor!)

Nancy Shuman said...

I'm leaving my comment here (although I did link over and read the rest) because I also want to say that I love your new blog-look! AND I found the post really helpful!!

Jamie Jo said...

Did you put your picture up there just for me? (thank you, you are beautiful by the way) I hope you didn't get a bad comment, it sure can ruin a day can't it? I got rid of anonymous. I have my email on my blog, if anonymous really wants to comment, they can email.

Anabelle Hazard said...

Thank you Nancy. I've been planning on redecorating since my daughter suggested I change mine to pink like Mary's.

Jamie, yes you had something to do with it. I thought Its time to stop being pseudo anonymous. Thank you for the compliment. If you think highly of Josh Duhammel, I'm so honored.

Mary, I'll email the rules to Sue. he can forward it Tim BOb Blog.

Terry, I know you didn't join CS because of those interesting commentators, right? It's sometimes hard to think of them as Jesus in disguise.

Lisa said...

Great guidelines! Def. the one about pausing- it's saved me from leaving hot-headed comments a time or two. :)