|Time to recognize the great commenters among us... the MVCs!|
I know, I know... those of us who are at the helm of small-time blogs are not exactly awash in comments, so probably have spent little time contemplating what makes a good one.
But I've actually given it considerable thought — well over a year of considerable thought, if you can believe it — because I've received many excellent comments made by some great commenters. (Some folks call them "commentators", but to me, that word is much too much associated with sports commentators... a whole other species of animal.)
Anyway, in the midst of that long thought process came the idea that maybe these people deserve some type of recognition. We probably all agree that someone who regularly takes the time to leave a comment is a rare being indeed. And anything that is highly valued and not very common is just crying out to be recognized with an "award".
So a little over a year ago, I started this blog post and created the accompanying graphics. The idea was to revive something that seems to have gone by the wayside since the early days of the internet: rewarding online achievements with a badge. It was something that I hoped would perhaps catch on with other bloggers, especially since anyone with any sort of social media presence these days can receive and display a badge, unlike back in the old days when only webmasters could share them.
Still, without a proper accelerant, some things just don't catch fire and that's exactly what happened with this idea for the better part of a year. Then just this past week, I came across an absolutely perfect springboard for me to launch this post once and for all.
All it is, is a simple Blogger widget (link at the end of this post) that allows me to display a list of my most prolific commenters. It's down there on my sidebar; you may or may not have noticed it. If you haven't, scroll down and see if you're on the list.
If you are, come and collect your badge!
|Most Valuable Commenter recipient badge...|
And if for some reason you can't see the list (you can never tell if a browser might have issues with some scripts; I encountered issues while testing this out), here is what it looked like just before I posted:
|My MVCs as of July 22, 2017...|
Feel free to take a copy of this graphic and place it on whatever social media platform you use. You can link it back to this post to let people know what it's all about, but that's not required. (You can write up your own blurbs about it.) For me, it's just a way to pay tribute to people who have taken the time to let me know that something here has added value to their lives. Granted, a virtual badge isn't like buying you dinner, but it's something. ;-)
By the way, that list is obviously live and dynamic and is likely to change over time. I'm not going to create rules or make it complicated; if you see yourself on that list at any given moment, go ahead and grab the badge for yourself. (Note: keep the graphic as a .PNG if you want a transparent background.)
But back to my original question: what makes a great comment/commenter? I took to an online thesaurus and found ten attributes that begin with the letter C (for "comment", of course). If you want to be considered an MVC, I'd say you need to meet at least eight of these criteria.
Yes, first and foremost, an MVC is someone that can be counted on to provide copious amounts of interaction. (That's got to be at least 50% of the whole idea behind this, right?) To paraphrase a common saying, comment early and comment often.
Not only does an MVC comment often, s/he provide consistent, reliable opinions. We can depend on this person's comments to deliver to our expectations.
Admittedly, we all like the "yes man" (or woman) — i.e., someone who comments regularly along the lines of "I love that!" — but on the other hand, it's interesting to see a different viewpoint every now and then... even a totally opposite one. An MVC knows how to offer that in a constructive manner.
It's a bonus when an MVC is capable of making deep, insightful comments that promote further discussion. As a blogger, if I get a contemplative comment, it means I've done my part well.
Well, it's always a good thing for a commenter to be easily understood! An MVC should always be coherent. I often wonder why some spam comments aren't more coherent... maybe then I'd leave them be. ;-)
Bloggers' egos need to be stroked, so an MVC understands the importance of being complimentary... but never in a fawning, gushing or insincere way.
An MVC also knows how to be genuinely congratulatory when the occasion calls for it and shares in our successes.
Of course, all of the above serves to confirm that an MVC is a thoughtful, considerate person. This invites reciprocal behaviour.
Over time, an MVC inevitably builds up a collection of comments that demonstrate his/her competence. Hence, an MVC is credible.
Sometimes it's more common to be brash than polite online, but a true MVC will always remember to be courteous and respectful above all else.
And there you have it. Ten great attributes that define what is to be a most valuable commenter. If you've been identified as one already, know that you're appreciated wherever you drop your opinions. For those of you who have a fear of commenting — LOL — maybe some of the above will inspire you to understand how much good you can do by overcoming that fear.
If you're a blogger and want to add this widget to track your MVCs, grab the code from this helplogger post. The version I'm using has been modified from the original, which listed numbers against each avatar. I dislike the added competitive factor of numbers and decided to do away with both the simple 1, 2, 3, etc., part of the listing as well as the total comments made by each person. Yes, the list is ordered, but details beyond that are irrelevant, in my humble opinion.
If you end up implementing it, encourage your MVCs to display their badges so that we can inspire others to join the ranks of most valuable commenters.
So what do you think? Does this idea have any legs? Perhaps you have a suggestion for a variation on it that might work even better? If this floats, I'll ensure that the badge graphic is updated every year.
In the meantime, congrats and thank you to my current MVCs...