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rude

Polite comments please!

“I visited your blog. Recipricate the visit {URL}”

“CD wants you to read the blog post {URL}”

Believe it or not, these rude requests have recently entered my blog comment and email box. Do they really think it will result in me clicking on their link? I certainly didn’t, and I deleted their comment/email as well.

It really annoys me when people are rude, but more so when people expect me to react because they have chosen to do something.

So what if you have read my blog post? That doesn’t mean I automatically have an interest in what you blog about, yet a number of people have this expectation; even worse are those associates/friends who expect me to read their blog regularly just because I know them, even if there is no sign they have EVER read any of my blog posts!

It’s like those people (not clients) who get annoyed because I don’t return their phone call straight away – it may suit them to call during the day but I have a business to run!

Not a very constructive blog post I admit, but there is some relief to vent about rudeness and expectations! Of course, we can all take the message that a polite request is much more likely to get someone to do what you want (in this case, read your blog post!)

Negative comments and controversary

I received an email today which discussed how he treated a particular negative comment on his blog.

The comment he received was apparently very critical, rude and insulting – effectively calling him dishonest and claiming he owed the commentor something.

Obviously, the blog owner could have deleted the message and been done with it or left it and replied to it. However, he decided to leave it and not comment on it straight away. A few more negative comments were added to the discussion – other people agreeing with the first commentor. But then, some of the blog owner’s loyal supporters jumped in – they defended the blog owner and strongly criticised the people making negative comments.

The blog owner had expected this and he took is as a chance for an active discussion, a controversy that increased traffic to his blog and some independant highlighting of his good points.

It was effective in that he had a discussion and it would have helped his blog and site rankings. Personally, I’m not sure I would have followed suit.

For one thing, some very negative comments were on his blog and they were first – some people may never read long enough to reach the positive comments. As a potential client, I wouldn’t be impressed by a blog discussion like that for two reasons – 1. why didn’t the blog owner make any response to his complainers and 2. I was probably reading the blog to learn something not hear about the person behind the blog.

I also didn’t like the fact that he was happy to have his supporters attack and flame his detractors. I prefer to not have any defamatory or hurtful comments in my professional dealings (blog, discussions, in person, whatever) so I would not allow a situation to build if I expected that outcome. It just doesn’t some across as professional to me.

I will write about how to deal with negative comments separately, but what do you think – is leaving a negative comment like that on your blog to spark a discussion a good thing or not?

Polite emails

Writing thank youWriting an email is so quick and easy that sometimes we forget it is in writing and still reflects on how we are perceived.

For starters, emails should be just as polite as letter or face-to-face contact. Apart from being likely to get a positive response to good manners, it is simply a sign of respect and professionalism.

I recently received an email from someone who runs a network which I don’t participate in. The second paragraph started with “If you are not a fan of using Forums, perhaps now is a good time to change your attitude.”

It didn’t help that there was no greeting to start the email (It opened with “Just a reminder to go to the Forum”)

I found this quite rude and it actually made me less likely to join her forums in case that is how I would be treated there as well. She made no allowance for people being busy, having concerns over online security* or not knowing how to use a forum – she just assumed I have a bad attitude and that I should change it to suit her.

So how do you keep an email polite?

  • start with a greeting, and preferably use the person’s name

  • use words like please and thank you

  • don’t insult people – if you must say something negative, put it in positive or constructive terms

  • be brief so you don’t waste their time

  • use proper sentences so it is easy to understand and you look intelligent and literate

  • treat the reader with respect – if you wouldn’t say it to their face, it isn’t appropriate to write it either

* Her email mentions that non-members can read the posts so I would have concerns about the security of the site.