Monday, June 12, 2006

Comment Type #25


In general, commenting on message boards or blogs is a dialog or conversation. Comments can be quick or long but they are either in response to the original post or blog entry, or based on what someone has said previously. In this, the comments on the internet are interactive, with people sharing their opinions, thoughts, memories, and information.

There is a class of comment that is not really part of a conversation, however. It is intended not to interact, but to lecture and instruct. The Professor comment is usually long and always directed at the readers not as suggestions or thoughts, but as information, as truth and something important they must all take note of and learn.

Sometimes a Professor post can be very informative and interesting - blogger Muslihoon is good at this kind, giving in-depth information on Islamic and Arabic culture and language that always is useful. Such a post is usually welcomed and helpful; in fact it's the kind I often look for when I work on this blog. A good Professor post can be a boon to the blogger, adding or correcting information or news about the topic.

Sometimes a Professor post is dry, condescending, arrogant, and patronizing. This is, of course, unwelcome anywhere unless it is done in a humorous manner. The worst kind - although sometimes quite amusing - is the Professor post by someone who really doesn't know what they are talking about and is in error. The tone is pedantic and academic, but the content is pure sophistry, riddled with factual and logical errors.

If you know a topic well, this can be an acceptable manner of giving information out, such as information about your home town, for example. The key is accuracy and tone, to be sure your information is true, valid, and factual, while retaining a tone that is approachable and interesting rather than demeaning and arrogant. If done right, a Professor post can be a great read - like a mini blog entry or article. If done wrong, the result is simply mockery or dismissal.
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