Monday, August 31, 2009

Why You Should Comment on Blogs and How to Comment

For the many readers of Pallimed who have not commented on the any of the blogs (Main, Arts, or Cases) I would really encourage you to break your silence and be proud to say 'long time listener, first time commenter.' Here are some of the reasons why you should comment on blog posts:
1. Comments Are Peer-Review: Discussing a counter-argument to the original post helps balance the viewpoint and encourages the writer and other comments to better define the original point.
2. Comments Make a Community: By contributing you now are part of a small network of Pallimed commenters which provides a foundation for a growing community. Often times the commenters answer each other's questions before any Pallimed writer gets a chance to reply.
3. Comments Guide the Content: Sure blog topics are what we decide to write on, but how we decide to write on is influenced by great comments which open up new areas of interest.
4. Comments Are Currency: Comments help any blog writer realize they are not talking into thin air, which is what it feels like when you first press 'publish post.' And that currency can be cashed in as goodwill from any of the blog writers. If we get a request for more info or a favor from someone who comments often, we will be much more likely to reciprocate.
5. Comments Make a Better, Smarter Blog: Comments often lead to new resources, new links and new insights making the blog a better resource for everyone. Also like a huge crowd sourced editors desk, if you find a broken link, a misspelling, poor grammar, tell us. We'll fix it, then thank you for helping all future readers.(Edit 9/8/10: Found two errors, but no one told me. *Sniff*)
6. Comments Make you a Pallimed Author: Drew started this whole thing, but Thomas Quinn, Lyle Fettig and Christian Sinclair (me) all started out as commenters before becoming formal contributors.
Barriers to Commenting:


"I didn't know I could make a comment"
-Well now you know. And knowing is half the battle.
"I don't know how to comment"
-See below.
"I don't have anything important to say."
-A comment doesn't have to be a long counter-point, it can express general agreement, a variation on a theme, a new question, a request for blogging on something different, etc.
"I am concerned about putting my real name online"
-Comment anonymously. Don't say anything inflammatory. Say anything you would be willing to defend on the radio or in court. Talk about things more generally. But using your own name may actually establish you as a thought-leader and for continuity purposes lets us know who is doing the talking. Is anonymous one person or 45 people?
How to Comment on a Blog Post:
Pallimed has a comment function (at the bottom of each post) that allows you to give us feedback on each post. Just click on the "comments" link at the end of each post (the link usually tells you how many comments have been left so it says, e.g., "0 Comments" or "1 Comment").  If you usually see the posts via email or RSS subscription there is now a link added to 'Post a Comment.'
You do NOT need a Gmail account to post a comment it is just one of the options in addition to OpenID and anonymous.  The wiggly word check is to help reduce spam commenters which should be a minor hurdle for a great relief.
Comments Policy: The editors of Pallimed reserve the right to remove any comments we deem offensive/hateful, mean-spirited, commercial, or in any other way inappropriate. This blog is intended to foster collegial, well-informed discussions about research and news relevant to clinicians working with patients facing severe/life-limiting diseases: it is not a forum for discussing individual cases or airing complaints or concerns about specific cases (whether from the clinician, patient, or family perspective). Such comments will be removed at the discretion of the Pallimed editors. Any posts older than 14 days are moderated to reduce spam.
We ask that you refrain from providing specific details about cases because of HIPAA restrictions. But if you want to discuss a case more broadly, that would be more appropriate.
Our full comments policy is here.

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