I’ve been blogging for over seven years… this is just an experiment, and unlikely to be repeated. Here goes:
Have you ever read through comment streams on major financial news and blogging websites? Or the Message Boards at Yahoo? It is often ugly, bitter, and uninformed. That’s why I am bringing to you the Peterson’s Guide to Financial Blog Commenters! Let’s have a look at the zoo:
The Insult Masters
There are many who can’t argue the details of an article, so it saves time and face to insult the author or other commenters. These are all too common, and make life dreary for serious thinkers.
The Person with a Little Insight
There are well-meaning and knowledgeable commenters, and they are a breath of fresh air compared to most of those who comment. Would that we had more of them. More often found in places where authors don’t write offensively.
The Person with a Lot of Insight
This is rare, but occasionally you get commenters that know more than the writer, or at least are on a par. If you spot them in the wild, take a snapshot of them, and send it in to the Aleph Blog. I appreciate great wisdom wherever it is found. Usually found as blogs that take a studious and serious tone.
Cult Members / Victimhood
The internet has many nooks and crannies, more than a mountain of English muffins. Let me point out a few with respect to cults & victimhood:
- Big Biz & Big Government
- The Purple Party (I.e. “there ain’t a dime’s worth of difference between the Republican and Democrat parties.” George Wallace)
- Jews — Really? We haven’t gotten past this? Anti-Semitism is so 20th Century.
You know how the world works, and you talk down to the unwashed who don’t agree. Though they may deprecate religion, they are as bad as the worst of the religious in not listening to the views of the other side — after all, they have the knowledge that few do.
Too Much Time on Your Hands
I don’t know why some people leave incredibly long comments at a website or blog. It would be far better for them to start their own blog where they can showcase their work, and put it forth positively, rather than merely reacting.
The Writer is a Shill
There are some commenters that exist only to push a view for which they are compensated. Be wary of those who stridently comment in areas where there is some financial advantage to do so.
Pushes Pet Issue
Much like the cult members and victims, there are those that will push their pet issue, because that is a main goal of theirs.
Tells Sob Story
Cute kid, huh? But some people use comment threads to grieve over their story where they allege they were abused by powerful corporations, governments, etc.
Some just make jokes about the article or comments, and this is perhaps the most common of all… after all, who doesn’t like a good joke? Unless, of course, you are the target…
There are many who go for quick hits on authors or commenters. After all, in an anonymous culture, there is no cost to being insulting or rude. So take a pot shot, right?
Like those that have to much time on their hands, those that rant have a lot to say, and you are entitled to all of it.
Finally, the least valuable — those that insist on points of grammar, when the sense of the communication is easily known.
My main point here is that most who comment on financial websites and blogs should not do it, or they should change, so that they comment in such a way that they elevate the discussion above the analogy of a common brawl. Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. Aim for the good of others, rather than putdowns. It’s that simple.