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Monday, April 17, 2006

Comment Type #4

The previous comment types have been fairly standard, obvious, and well-known. But no list would have been complete without them, and as they are useful for reference, I wanted to get them out of the way as soon as possible. Today we start with less familiar comment types unless you're an experienced internet commenter and message board visitor.

THE COMPLAINT DEPARTMENT

Complaint comments are most prevalent in message boards or blogs dealing with a game or when connected to some group or company that can affect the product or topic being discussed. MMO"RP"Gs* such as Everquest or World of Warcraft tend to see a lot of these types of posts, but any sort of comment section or message board can be visited by them. Political blogs see complaints about the actions of politicians or the media. Sports blogs have complaints about the manager or coach, or head office, or other details. Any setting or focus can include these kinds of comments.

Some are reasonable, they point out something that's wrong and often even suggest solutions and ways to remedy this problem. This kind of complaint post is better received and can contribute a great deal to the conversation and the blog they appear on. In the case of game message boards such as for Everquest, the message boards allow designers and programmers to know of problems in the game or suggestions to make something better. For other blogs and message boards, this sort of post brings people together for a common cause and can help find solutions.

Some are simply irrational rants, raging against a perceived problem without remedy or often sense or grammar. Other complaints are repetition of the same annoyance so often that even if they are well-written and correct, they can become unwelcome or counterproductive. This kind of complaint may serve some deep need for catharsis but usually does not help anyone or anything. A poorly done or crazed complaint often will become a rant (Comment type #5) and lose all real impact.

Complaints are often difficult to read and are skipped over unless they address an area the reader is personally is interested in or a very topical issue (Illegal Immigration, Gay Marriage, National Elections, NFL Draft Day, the next patch coming up for an online game, etc). But a well-written, thought out, and pertinent complain can spawn an excellent discussion and even result in beneficial change in some cases.

*Few games labeled RPGs (Role Playing Games) are actually role playing games in anything but the most superficial sense. Everquest even stopped using RPG in their official press in some instances, calling it an MMOG: Massively Multiplayer Online Game.


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