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April 11, 2009

Overnight Open Thread: “A Commenter Bestiary” (genghis)

In last night’s comments “kbdabear” posted a link to this piece at “Edgelings” titled A Commenter Bestiary. It lists and describes the various prototypical commenter types you encounter on any blog, regardless what the blog or topic is about. It seemed like it needed it’s own separate post though.

The author of the piece, Michael S. Malone, is apparently the reporter who wrote a widely circulated and posted article last October about being ashamed of being a journalist. He does a pretty nice set-up describing his newspaper experience and “letters-to-the-editor” vs. his time as a blogger and having to deal with commenters. Here’s a few examples of commenter types he’s encountered:

The Relentless Pol - Posters who can’t join any discussion without immediately using it to make a political point, i.e., “The current lack of sunspots is the direct result of the Bush Administration’s failed policies.”

The Dismisser - The ultimate arrogant commenter, this person never actually engages with the topic, but merely declares it beneath anyone’s interest, already resolved, or improperly stated - and thus hardly worth the bother. The Dismisser’s only real message is: I’m smarter than you and you need to acknowledge that fact.”

The Parser - What would we do without the Internet Grammar Police? These folks assiduously correct the online writings of others - never quite catching on that the Web is designed to be fast, fresh and sloppy.”

The Lecturer - This is the buzzkill pedant who feels the need, even in a casual, light comments section to post a 1,000 word exegesis on what everyone should be talking about. Hey, thanks pal!”

Lots more species in the piece, but I’m sure there’s some he left out. If you can think of any others (and that includes sub-genres and combinations of types) post them in the comments. For example: There’s a sub-species of “The Parser” that takes it a step further by pointing out that your typo proves you’re an idiot and invalidates whatever point you were trying to make. Feel free to tell us what type you think you are as well as labeling/accusing your fellow commenters. I’m sure they’ll want to know.

Notice: Posted by permission of AceCorp LLC. Please e-mail overnight open thread tips to xgenghisx@gmail.com. Otherwise send tips to Ace.

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posted by xgenghisx at 08:03 PM

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