10 Questions Blog Commenters Should But Don’t Ask
John Scalzi knows that you want to be a better commenter because, “You’re a fine upstanding human being, not some feculent jackass with a keyboard, an internet connection and a blistering sense of personal inferiority that is indistinguishable from common sociopathy.”
To help achieve your objective, he suggests asking yourself ten questions:
1. Do I actually have anything to say?
2. Is what I have to say actually on topic?
3. Does what I write actually stay on topic?
4. If I’m making an argument, do I actually know how to make an argument?
5. If I’m making assertions, can what I say be backed up by actual fact?
6. If I’m refuting an assertion made by others, can what I say be backed up by fact?
7. Am I approaching this subject like a thoughtful human being, or like a particularly stupid fan?
8. Am I being an asshole to others?
9. Do I want to have a conversation or do I want to win the thread?
10. Do I know when I’m done?
He fleshes each of those ten out quite nicely; I commend the piece to you in its entirety since, after all, you don’t want to be that guy.