Online comments are a powerful mechanism of communication that gives users the freedom to express themselves. Unfortunately, comment sections have the potential to turn hateful quickly. In a digital world, haters hide behind anonymity and the security of a screen. Creating community guidelines helps to limit these negative comments by enforcing a template for how users are expected to act and behave.
As my website stands, I do not have a comment section for users to interact with. My main focus this semester was to inhabit an online space, not so much to connect with my users. That being said, I plan on continuing this blog beyond PUB 101, and in the future I will be ready to focus my efforts on user engagement. This means adding a comment section that opens the door to public opinion.
Here is how I plan to keep my comment section a constructive space…
1. Create Community Guidelines to be displayed on the homepage of my website. These rules will indicate that hateful and prejudice comments will not be tolerated. This is a safe place for all.
2. Monitor the comment section. Go through the comments and delete all remarks that don’t coincide with the Community Guidelines.
3. Respond to positive comments. If I want to cultivate a constructive comment section on my site, I need to acknowledge those who have taken the time to comment something positive. This is my way of connecting with my audience and encouraging kindness.
4. Respond to constructive feedback. I respect the fact that my visitors have a right to voice their opinions and give feedback about my site. As long as these comments aren’t hateful or rude, I am all for receiving constructive criticism that will help me improve my site. To encourage my users to share their constructive thoughts about my content, I will make a point of thanking those who do leave helpful feedback.