Learning from negative comments on tech tips blogs

I love getting comments on blog posts and I’ve already blogged my arguments for keeping posts open for comments. Thankfully, most posts I make receive mostly positive comments and I haven’t had to deal with too much negative stuff. Obviously I listen to the negatives and try and improve if I’m at fault. But I think we can all learn something from negative comments on tech advice blogs – and that includes the commenter, the audience and myself. Here’s two general examples based on comments I received recently.

Your tech tip didn’t work for me

This particular post had about 10-15 positive comments. People really liked the tech tip I gave and it worked for them all. Then one person left a comment just saying that it didn’t work for them. Fair enough. But it would have been nice if the commenter had given a bit more info on what he had tried before leaving the negative comment. If the tip worked for me and the first 10 commenters then perhaps the problem may not be the tech tip but a conflict in that person’s system causing it to fail to work. If they had access to another computer, they could try running it on that for example. The main thing is just try your best to figure out why it doesn’t work for you and eliminate your set-up before leaving a negative comment then we can all learn if there are particular set-ups where the tip won’t work.

Criticise, but at least offer an alternative

In another post, I reviewed some free software which I thought was pretty good. Again a number of commenters liked it. Then one person accurately pointed out some failings in the software and said he was disappointed. Again fair enough, but it would have been nice if, instead of being completely negative, the commenter had recommended a free better alternative or one that they used themselves so again we would have learned something. But there was nothing.

So if you leave negative comments on tech tips blogs, help us all to learn from your comment and take something positive from it.

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