A week ago, we asked Stu to provide some humorous but instructive suggestions for how to comment on RandBall. As one of this blog's leading commenters in obtaining coveted "like" buttons pushed, we feel he is a leading authority. Stu?
I was asked by RandBall reader Newbie and RandBall proprietor Michael Rand to come up with a guide for commenting on RandBall. This is that guide:
: be funny. This is also the first rule of Deadspin’s Commentist Manifesto
, and it applies here as well. These can be tricky waters to navigate. For example, “FIRE CHILDRESS!” is funny if you don’t mean it, but is neither funny nor interesting if you do. We’ll let you know if you’re doing it wrong.
DO NOT: swear or be prejudiced. The latter’s an obvious no-no (except for the Belgians, who get what they deserve and then some from all of us here). As for the former, you can sprinkle a mild one into your post for flavor, but any of the harsh ones will be moderated into the dustbin of history. I can vouch for this.
DO: be interesting. Out of all the interwebs in all the world, you’ve landed here for some reason. Probably because you were looking for pictures of Erin Andrews, Ines Sainz, or Thom Lineman (sp?), but that’s alright. We don’t judge. We only ask that when you’re here, give us something beyond “Gardy needs to go LOL!”
DO NOT: use this space as a platform for your unique insights into politics, media bias, the state of the newspaper industry, and Michael Rand’s education. Unless you can make it funny (see rule #1). Chances are, you will fail, so tread carefully.
DO: offer constructive criticism. If you take issue with something that’s written, Michael and his guest columnists will often respond in the comments. While it’s true that they all live in an ivory tower far above you, the rabble, they have great wi-fi up there and can respond lickety-split to your feedback.
DO NOT: stray too far off-topic. While many of us do so anyway, it’s still a good rule of thumb to keep your comments to the subject at hand. Unless you can make it funny (see rule #1).
DO: be nice to the female commenters.
DO NOT: be overly nice to the female commenters. You’re not going to score. You’re just embarrassing yourself and us.
DO: have some sense of perspective. It’s just sports, so if you’re super upset about the latest Vikings-related atrocity or lack of Twins free agent activity, there are other venues where you can vent. Once you’ve calmed down and crafted a really elegant joke about the Metrodome roof and Jenn Sterger, welcome home, friend.
DO NOT: have a sense of perspective when it comes to our enemies. Callous, mean, and wildly over-the-top cheap shots at the Green Bay Packers, Chicago White Sox, and Iowa Hawkeyes are encouraged and, frankly, expected.
I hope this has helped. Feel free to add your own rules in the comments.
(Photo: Your comment getting moderated, in print form, by the Pugtron 3000).