How to Handle Some Comments

| August 11, 2010

On occasion I receive comments with typos. On occasion I upload posts/articles with typos. It happens. When I catch a typo in my work or someone else’s work I either correct it or notify the author of the typo. I’d rather someone correct me than allow my work to stay forever incorrect on the internet.Writing

Editing Comments

There are some comments that I receive with the occasional typo or misspelling that, if I catch it, I’ll correct it. Some folks notice their errors right after posting the comment and they contact me asking me to make the correction. No problem there. However, there are times when I receive long comments that are laden with typos, misspellings and word usage errors.

The biggest issue with such comments is that they usually occur when the writer is slamming an editor or website. The post typically explains how the writer is being treated unfairly by picky incompetent editors or, the site for which they were writing is really a scam. Most often, these posts involve Demand Studios (no surprise there).

To Publish or Delete or Contact the Commenter

When I’m faced with such comments, I have to make a quick decision. Do I publish it, delete it or send it back to the commenter to have the writer take a second look at the post and modify it? I’m beginning to get a feel for what some of the Demand Studio CEs have to deal with.

  • Edit & Publish: What I have that the CEs don’t have (or I don’t think they have), is that I can look in my comments database to see if the comments come from folks who have commented on NJFM before. If they have, I can see how they contributed to the community in the past. If their comments have been generally helpful and grammatically correct, I make the corrections and approve the comment. Everyone is entitled to a few bad days.
  • Delete: If the comment is from a brand new reader and it is laden with errors and my gut doesn’t like the general feel for the comment, then it’s a no brainer.  It gets the flush.
  • Contact: Every once in a while I contact the commenter. If I believe the comment is worth while, but the errors are too many for me to properly correct, I email the comment back to the writer explaining the reason why I’m sending it back. At that point it is out of my hands.

Why Bother Correcting Comments?

I guess if the misspellings and errors occurred on any of my other blogs, I wouldn’t mind so much. But, since this is a blog on freelance writing, I think I owe it to the commenter to correct obvious mistakes.

I learn a lot from my readers. You guys have helped me to realize that I have a comma and Writerapostrophe problem. No, no one came out and said, “Felicia, you’re getting a little happy with those apostrophes and commas.” But, I was able to realize it by reading your comments, visiting your blogs and looking at resources some of you guys provided (I still have an apostrophe and comma problem, but its getting better).

Comments on this blog are just as important, if not more important than my posts. Two years from now when someone links to your comment as a resource, you’ll be glad that the errors were removed.

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Category: Blog, Maintenance, WordPress

About the Author ()

Felicia A. Williams is a freelance writer and blogger. She spends the majority of her time with her family and writing. If she's not writing or commenting on NJFM, she's either outside smelling the roses or writing articles for one of her other sites.

Comments (9)

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  1. Oceanside Blogs says:

    Felicia: On the subject of comments, thought you might enjoy this video (it’s a little long, but worth it):

  2. Christina Crowe says:

    Hmm, that’s interesting. Though, I suppose it makes sense since your blog does attract mainly freelance writers.
    Christina Crowe recently posted…17 Practical Ways to Make a Living OnlineMy Profile

  3. Christina Crowe says:

    Interesting. I never thought about correcting comments visitors leave on my blog before reading this post. It does make sense, but, then again, it could be a real hassle once you start receiving hundreds of comments per day (similar to what ProBlogger has to deal with). I can’t imagine having the time to correct so many comments, since there’s bound to be quite a number of people with a few typos or grammatical errors here and there.

    On the other hand, it can definitely improve your writing if you’re looking at the mistakes other freelancers are making and then correcting them yourself.

    I’m happy that you correct comments though. It makes participating in discussions a lot easier for visitors.

    Christina
    Christina Crowe recently posted…17 Practical Ways to Make a Living OnlineMy Profile

  4. Interesting post, Felicia, and well reasoned.

    You’re smart to point out the difference between editing out others’ spelling and grammar errors versus entire comments (because of the content and/or tone).

    As a freelance copyeditor (not with DS), I’m ever alert to grammar and usage errors, but I’ve learned to overlook the minor ones in others’ comments. But you raise a good point of the eternity of our written words on the World Wide Web …. Those words may live on forever!

    With so many different blog platforms and comment options, both bloggers and commenters have varying degrees of control when it comes to editing. And that’s a good thing.
    Cassie Tuttle recently posted…Mini Grammar Lesson- Does “number of” take a plural or singular verbMy Profile

  5. Grandma says:

    LOL how true! re: typos

  6. Deanna says:

    I know that sometimes I forget to re-read comments before posting them so I’m always grateful when you fix my typos. 🙂
    Deanna recently posted…Demand Media Files to Go PublicMy Profile

    • Felicia says:

      No problem, Deanna. Typos are a part of writing and I know I make plenty of them. It only becomes a problem when there are several paragraphs of typos. The ones who usually protest the loudest about their writing abilities are the ones that usually have the most typos (at least that’s what I’ve witnessed). 😉