Here’s three easy steps to get people commenting on your blog:
- Write a very articulate, insightful, thoughtful piece about anything, preferably something controversial that’s liable to get posted to Digg or some other social bookmarking site.
- Misspell some very common word, preferably a homonym, homophone, or use both the British and American spellings of a word throughout the piece, like “grey” and “gray.”
- Sit back and let the comments roll in!
Case in point:
This review of some book by some nut-job.
I was tooling around the web just now and found a story on Digg about a blogger being sued for defamation, etc., by the author of a book he reviewed negatively. Curious, I wound my way to the original review, read it, and thought, wow. I don’t understand the half of what this guy’s talking about because the subject matter is evolutionary biology, and what the hell do I know about evolutionary biology? Except that dinosaurs and homo sapiens are separated by hundreds of thousands of millions of years or something, despite what these people think.
So after reading the review, I scrolled down to the comments and there it was. Comment number 1. Someone correcting the author’s spelling of “foreword.” The author mistakenly wrote “forward.”
I paused and thought to myself, y’know. As a crappy speller and a crappy self-editor, that’s an honest mistake (perhaps even a Microsoft spell-check error like the now-infamous mistake I made when I submitted a paper wherein all the “messages” had been changed to “massages” ). And I was ready to let it go at that. But as I kept skimming the comments, there it was. A long and protracted debate about spelling, grammar, pronunciation, linguistics, etc., etc., all the way down do the bottom of the page. Not about evolutionary biology and the rather important debates we ought to be having about evolution and science as opposed to the pseudo-science of the book under review. But about the proper spelling and pronunciation of “foreword” and “forward.” Even when the author of the book finally chimed in to defend himself against the reviewer, people were still upset that the reviewer had misspelled a word.
A-ha! The secret to blogger success! Spell-check and editing be damned!