Commenting Etiquette

I don’t quite know entirely why, all those things my mother told me not to do I suppose, I still find myself surprised at the way some people choose to treat their hosts. It shouldn’t be a surprise that this growing level of rudeness extends to the online world. In fact, it quite obviously flourishes here in this world where people don’t meet face to face very often at all. Being semi-anonymous gives a lot of people the extra willingness to say things online that they might not say to somebody in person.

Oh, I am not a hamster, I know the reason for it. The remoteness and semi-almost-anonymity that you get by being one of millions of faceless names behind keyboards gives the extra boost in self confidence needed to drop the inhibitions that are normally present at person to person meetings in polite society.

It’s no secret that I write in several blogs. On one of them I wrote a post about OpenOffice.org in which I called it a “Freeware App”.

Apparently somebody managed to take offense at my description of OpenOffice.org and they left me the following comment:

OO.o is NOT freeware. OO.o is open-source-software, that means that the source-code is freely-avaiable. The source-code of freeware is not avaiable that is closed-source-software. Learn the difference before posting something like this on a blog.

I don’t think I need to repeat here what I said in reply comments about the fact that, in my opinion (which on my blogs is the only one that counts beside God’s), OpenOffice.org was in fact “freeware” because of the simple fact that it’s free.

The big thing about it here is the general tone of the message they left and the superior / talking down to a lesser being tone of the last sentence. It’s just plain not right. Even if they were 100% dead on, there’s absolutely no reason to get all belligerent about it. A politely phrased note would go a whole long way farther I guarantee you.

As it is, Not only did I reply twice to this person’s comment, I’m here on another blog talking about it some more. In both cases I’m right. First, that OpenOffice.org does indeed qualify to be called freeware. Second, that regardless of anything else, It’s my blog and I’ll bloody well post what I bleeding want to and I’ll not be asking your holiness’s approval first.

[Tags]blog, comments, rude comments, politeness, polite comments[/tags]

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