Online Articles And Comments

Posted: August 12, 2015 in Opinion
Tags: ,

imageI have to admit that I enjoy reading the comments posted by people on articles online. From intellectual comments on the Guardian Crossword to total abuse on football fan sites, it is all fascinating stuff.

Also fascinating are the rules on individual sites. There are sites who don’t like you linking to anything third party. This is sometimes reasonable. If they have advertisers paying to be shown on their site and you are pushing smoke free, tobacco free, nicotine free cigarettes by linking at the end of a comment, then expect them to be annoyed. Again, they will delete your links without actually stopping you from commenting, hardly a punishment if you are just a serial commenter.

Some dislike abuse and will, wait for it…….., delete your comment if you abuse anybody. Oh no! Shock, horror! How will I survive this degradation? The fact that they may deserve it is irrelevant. They have been allowed to post an article which may generate some feeling, you however, have to bottle this feeling and reply in a civilised manner.

I must admit, as I get older I actually find it easier to be civilised than I ever used to. The kind of thing that used to irritate me now only makes me smile. There was a time when I could never have written a blog. I would be too bothered about what other people would think and how they would comment. Now, I accept that not everybody will agree with what I have to say but, if it promotes healthy conversation then it’s a good thing.

Another aspect of people which has been revealed by the world wide web is how many of them struggle to write coherently. This is not a criticism, in fact it is a sad indictment of the world in which we live. The amount of comments that are very well intended and thought out but are more memorable for the bad spelling or the bad grammar is astounding. Maybe the ones who have the most time to surf the web do so because they are unemployed, maybe they are unemployed due to a lack of education, maybe this lack of education comes through when they comment. I don’t know, it’s just a thought. What is true is that, in general, they cannot be blamed and any attempt to comment on an article, whatever the subject, should be applauded not derided.

The stellar opposite of this is the people who write the articles. For them there can be no excuse for bad spelling or grammar. Yet it is amazing how often badly written pieces appear online. You would think that each publication would have an editor, if not a compositor, to check any article before it is published.

Actually, most of them do. The problem here is that the editor is usually the owner of the site. To be the owner of a website does not require any qualifications in English, or any other language for that matter. So, a semi literate person can set up a website and invite people to write for that website even though there isn’t a decent writer amongst them. Nobody can check the quality of writing because nobody is good enough to do so.

If I’m being honest, these are the websites I enjoy commenting upon the most. My opinion is simple. If you are going to start a website that involves writing, then make sure that at least one person involved with the site knows how to spell, write, construct a story, etc., etc. If not, you are only letting yourself down.

There are many websites nowadays who will invite people to write for them. This is an unpaid situation but, they argue, your writing skills will be on view to a much larger audience because they have x number of views per day. This is certainly true but again, if you are good you will increase THEIR readership, how does that benefit you? Well, if you personally get more views you may be invited at some stage to write for a publication in a paid position. You may also decide to strike out alone. If so your CV is enhanced having written for a known publication previously.

When all is said and done, online articles are not going away, whether well written or badly written. They serve a purpose. In some cases they allow us to let off steam, in others they inform us. We can be educated by them and we can discover things through them. Generally they are a very welcome addition to our lives and, if nothing else, they give us something to comment on!

  1. Liliane says:

    Unfortunately many times people who can’t express themselves and quickly run out of arguments to defend their point of view resort to insults .


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