Roslyn Zolandor Team : User Experience and Information Architecture Tags : Corporate Blogging Common Sense Web 2.0

Responding to Negative Comments

Roslyn Zolandor Team : User Experience and Information Architecture Tags : Corporate Blogging Common Sense Web 2.0

If your blog has a regular readership then there’s a good chance your posts are generating comments. While this is a great way increase interest and involvement in your site, negative comments can quickly sour the atmosphere and damage your reputation. The fear of negative comments has led some bloggers to completely remove commenting abilities. Although negative comments can be harmful you can greatly minimize the potential impact by responding effectively.

When you receive negative comment there are three ways you can address the issue.

Do Nothing
Sometimes the best approach to a negative comment is to monitor the situation but avoid posting a response. You should consider this approach for comments that make valid points in a professional manner. Not everyone will agree with your opinions. As long as the comment is on topic, well written and level headed it may be best to leave it alone as it may generate additional comments and increased traffic.

Moderate Comments
In certain situations it is best to remove negative comments. Posts that are not relevant or those that directly attack are good candidates for either removing or not approving for public viewing, especially if those comments are posted anonymously. Our ultimate goal should be to create a thriving community on your blog. Anything that doesn’t contribute to this community should be removed. However, resist the urge to remove any comment you don’t like. Thoughtful negative comments can still add to the overall conversation. Be especially mindful of comments from regular readers and responders as they are likely to get offended should their comments be removed.

Your final option when facing a negative comment is to respond. This approach is most successful with comments that mistake your intentions or confuse facts, as these are easy to refute. Before you begin ensure that you are not responding with strong emotions. Always respond politely, correct any wrong conclusions and thank your posters, especially if they are regular contributors. By responding in a thoughtful manner you are not only promoting your community you are demonstrating your ability to be professional.