This week's topic:
1. Do you allow comments on your blog? Why or why not?
I do allow comments. I guess the basic reason is that most of us who are putting something - anything - on the Interwebs are doing it with the expectation that someone out there will see it and stop to read and look, and maybe they'll even let us know that they were there. I guess it's kind of a validation thing. But it's more than that, too. It's a way of connecting with other people who care about the things we care about that we might not be able to talk about with the folks we see in real life. Honestly, no one in my "real life" cares about clothes the way I do - no one but my mom and my aunt who I don't see very often. The comment exchange gives me a chance to interact with people who do care so I don't have to bore anyone else with my thoughts on patterns and trends and bargains.
2. Do you think people leave comments that are insincere or not
well-thought out? What's the point?
I have gotten some weirdo comments talking about buying art prints or something which CLEARLY had nothing do with the post. Spammahs. Those, I delete. And the ones that are like, "I read this post, now come read my blog!" seem weird to me. I do stop by and read the blogs of those folks that comment on my posts, but please don't comment just to ask me to do that, you know?
3. Would you ever leave a comment that could be considered negative?
Well, this one's nice and subjective.... I think lots of things could be considered negative if they're read out of context or what have you. I will say that I have never and would never write something with that intention. How can I possibly say "never"? Because I learned the hard way many, many years ago that whatever you write can come back to haunt you - that's true whether it's on paper or online. I don't put those things down because I've taught high school for a number of years and I'm concerned about my Google-ability. I mean, no one wants to find a comment from their high school teacher ripping on someone else, am I right?
That said, sometimes, when people ask for suggestions, I'll chime in, and then I wonder if the person actually wanted suggestions or not. Like, maybe they're a tiny bit hurt by what I've suggested. I worry about others' perceptions of the things I say/write, I guess....
4. Most people claim to like constructive criticism. Do you really and how do you offer that kind of criticism to others?
Oh, constructive criticism. This kind of makes me chuckle. I think that most people appreciate constructive criticism, but we've had so few good models of it that we don't know how to give it particularly well. There's the ever popular "compliment sandwich method": "I love that top! I don't think that skirt goes. Those shoes are adorable!" which is not actually constructive. It leaves me wondering what I need to do to fix things.
Maybe it's because I come from a culture where tact is seen as part of being well educated, but tactfulness is really important to me. And I think it's really important in giving constructive criticism. There are little wording choices that make things sound like suggestions, that make them a bit softer, because while honesty is the best policy, I'm all about truth spoken in love.
As far as offering it, I offer it only when asked; it's part of that tact thing I find so important.
5. Some bloggers don't allow comments in order to cut down on negativity. Do you think that is the way to go or are there other ways to deal with the negative vibes?
You know, this is a hard one. First of all, I can't imagine what possesses a person to say something outright hateful on someone else's blog. Except, you know, hatefulness. But when it happens, and thank GOD it hasn't happened to me yet, I think each blogger is entitled to choose the way that she thinks is most appropriate for dealing with it. If she feels that the easiest way for her to handle it is to disallow comments, then, hey, go for it. Then there are the bloggers that will not publish negative comments (or just plain hateful ones), and that's fair, too. And then there are those who just leave everything up and let it be.
I guess the thing is, every woman knows what she will and will not put up with and why, and it's her prerogative to deal with negative comments as she sees fit.
I haven't had to deal with it yet, but honestly, it's my blog, and the same way that I ignore people calling out insults on the streets, walking on by and not dealing with the foolishness, I might just delete that comment - it's the virtual equivalent.