Website comments

Writing public comments on websites

Many websites have the facility for readers to post comments. When you see a website article with several hundred comments underneath it, you may wonder what the point is of your adding another comment. Quite often there is none, but as explained below in many cases commenting is worthwhile.

Why you should write a comment.

The reasons for making a comment are:

– Your perspective as a member or supporter of the Conservative Muslim Forum may be quite different from the other people who have commented. Voices sympathetic to Islam, from Muslims and non-Muslims, need to be seen in print.
– The writer of the article may read all of the comments, even if nobody else does.
– Comments can get picked up in search engines.
– It is important not to let the public space be occupied solely by people who may be indifferent or hostile to Islam.

Use your real name

Website comments are usually made by people using pseudonyms. That seems to encourage writers to be rude and offensive. Using your real name will ensure you are disciplined about what you write, because your name will be against it.

When people read website comments, they usually pay more attention to those where the writer has used what seems to be their real name. Such a writer is displaying the courage of their convictions, unlike those hiding behind pseudonyms.

Use your photograph

With most websites you can upload your picture when registering for comments. The same effect can be achieved if you log in using your Facebook or Twitter accounts for example, assuming that you use a proper picture to identify yourself on Facebook or Twitter. (If you don’t, you should as such profiles are taken more seriously by visitors.)

The rationale for using your picture is the same as the rationale for using your real name. It causes other readers to take your comment more seriously.

Writing style

Follow the advice on letter writing given elsewhere on this website.

The comment obviously does not deserve the level of effort needed for a real letter. For a start, you don’t have a definite recipient who is going to read it.

However, you should still ensure that it is written in perfect English, is polite, short and that you are clear before you start what point you want to make.