How many times have you seen a comment on a blog post, or a social-media thread, that is clearly meant to demean and insult another person or their skills?  Too many times… maybe some have been directed at you.  People love to hide behind a keyboard using a fake name or as “anonymous” and become incredibly brave, saying things they wouldn’t have the guts to say in person or if they had to be accountable. People lash out, criticize, and berate without much thought of the consequences. 

What the blog world needs is a good dose of the Golden Keyboard Rule:  Type stuff to others as you would have them type stuff to you.  That’s pretty clear.  It’s a simple measure:  do not write a comment or send an email you would not write or send if the recipient were standing in the room with you.    Now some people just simply don’t care and they enjoy hiding behind a keyboard to be a jerk. To those folks, this post won’t make a difference. But if you do care, then here’s what you need to do: never send a negative comment or email, or an upset knee-jerk reaction, without sleeping on it overnight.  I have found that (almost always), you wake up the next morning in a better mood, realizing it was not that big of deal or deciding your response isn’t going to help the situation.

Think about your own online behavior:  do you tend to put things in print on the Internet that you wouldn’t consider saying to the person next to you?  When you are “reviewing” products or services, do you have the same level of respect in your comments that you would like given to you? 

As bloggers, one of our main goals is to expand our audience and our influence through our online presence.  What impact will we make if we leave hurtful comments on Facebook or bash others when commenting on their blog posts?  What if we get into a public feud or an escalating tit-for-tat insult-fest for the whole world to read? Don’t think the DELETE button will save you. If it gets online, IT STAYS ONLINE one way or another.

On the contrary, what impact will we make if we leave genuine, thoughtful comments or even in some cases, respectful criticism? 

When you are leaving comments around the internet, think of each one as a mini-advertisement for your online business.  You can strengthen or weaken your reputation with every comment.      

We also need to keep in mind that our reputation affects our online business.  If we want people to spend their hard-earned money on our products or services, we need to make sure that we have good “people skills” and that includes having a positive influence when we interact with people online.  Focus on relationship-building and use your influence wisely.  Nobody wants to be known for arguing, complaining, and criticizing; unfortunately, that has become the norm for many social-media users.  It’s also common for thin-skinned bloggers who want a public presence, but react impulsively, defensively, and even angrily at every nasty email or comment they receive. You better learn to ignore the trolls and “anonymous” jerks if you want to be successful blogging.

Type unto others as you would have them type unto you… 

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