On Feedback and Perspective

Recently I’ve seen a number of posts on the subject of giving feedback to writers / artists / creators, and I wanted to add a few thoughts of my own.

First a confession: For the longest time, I was really, really bad about leaving feedback. Not because I didn’t enjoy the stories (I did) or because I didn’t think the writers deserved some appreciation (they do!), but purely because as a reader, I really had no insight on what it’s like on the other side of the “Comment” button.

Now that I have started sending my own writing babes into the world, I have a very different perspective (and am now trying my best to leave feedback on everything I enjoyed). So I thought I’d make a little reference guide on “What I (the Reader) Believed Writers Think About Feedback” vs. “What I (the Writer) Now Know They Really Think”. Maybe you’ll recognize yourself somewhere in there, too…

Reader comments: I loved it :-)

The Reader believed: Eh. Why are you bothering me? I have important writer things to do.

But the Writer knows: I am so happy to hear that, thank you for taking the time to tell me!

Reader comments: This was so funny / sad / hot!

The Reader believed: I know. That was the point. Why are you bothering me? I have important writer things to do.

But the Writer knows: I made you have a feeling! I made a thing and it touched you! YesYesYes! Thank you for taking the time to tell me that!

Reader leaves kudos / comment on a story that is older than two weeks

The Reader believed: Geez, that one’s ancient. Why are you bothering me? I have important writer things to do.

But the Writer knows: Someone is still reading and enjoying that story! That is so awesome! Thank you for taking the time to tell me that!

Reader leaves kudos on every story in the series / comments on every chapter in the story

The Reader believed: That’s a bit creepy. Please don’t be a stalker.

But the Writer knows: They read one thing and liked it so much they read the others, too, and they liked all of them! Thank you, lovely person, for making my day!

Reader writes long, burbling comment full of exclamation marks!!! and emoticons :-))))) because THEY LOVE IT SO MUCH

The Reader believed: What are you, three? If you expect me to take you seriously, try talking like an adult, please. Also why are you bothering me? I have important writer things to do.


(Okay, so I haven’t actually had that last one happen to me, but I imagine that is what my reaction would be. Except I probably wouldn’t be quite so restrained.)

Anyone else have that experience? Feel free to add your own :-)

Ten Brief Ways To Comment on Fic For People Who are Nervous To Comment on Fic

I’ve seen a few conversations lately about commenting on fic and how to do it if you get shy or anxious or don’t know what to say, or what to do if you’ve already kudosed a fic and wish you could kudos it a second time. 

 1) "Just read this for a second time!”
2) “I loved this!”
2) “<3″
4) “This was great!”
5) “One of my favorites!”
6) “Extra kudos!”
7) Reply to another comment with “all of this!″ or “+1″
8) “Will definitely recommend this!”
9) “This was my favorite part: [paste quote]”
10) “Thanks for writing this!” 

No one will be angry if you leave a short comment.  Your comment doesn’t have to be different or unique.  It will still bring a smile to people’s faces! 

Another great thing you can do is add a fic to your bookmarks with a “favorites” selection (the little heart).  You don’t have to say anything and the author will know you cared enough to let other people know you liked it, because bookmarks often function as reclists to others. 

You can also post a link to the fic on tumblr or another social media site!  Even if you’re too shy to tell the author how much you liked it, telling other people to read it will bring more readers, and maybe one of them will say just what you couldn’t say. 


First of all: Yep, you’re gonna have to integrate your YouTube channel with a Google+ page. Otherwise, you won’t be able to comment. Yep, you can stop making that Mean Girls joke “Stop trying to make Google+ happen, it’s just not gonna happen.” They made it happen.

Here’s where you can get started. 

When you comment on a video, a check box will automatically pop up giving the option to “Share to Google+” Yep, that box will already be filled in. 

But what happens if I don’t share to Google+? Well, don’t expect to get any replies on your comment. That’s right. You can only have a conversation with others on YouTube if you’ve made a contribution to Google+. And yes, that also means You can’t reply to comments that haven’t been shared on Google+(EDIT: YouTube fixed this glitch officially. yesssss) 

That also mean YEP. You most likely cannot respond to those comments from videos you made a while back and had been meaning to reply to. This is the only option you’ll get. (EDIT: Hopefully this will be fixed later.)

So there’s really no point to be defiant and uncheck that “also share on Google+” box like you really want to.

EDIT: There’s also a possibility that you can just SHARE your video on G+ and your comments be reply-able without having to be on G+ themselves. But I’m still testing that out. I’ll let you know. 

You can, however, tag users as a way of responding to them. Though, it will not be specific to a particular comment. 

So how are these comments shown on Google+ newsfeeds?

Well, if you share a video while commenting, it will show up on your G+ newsfeed. 

If you’re replying directly to someone else’s comment, It will NOT show up on YOUR newsfeed, it will show up on THEIRS.

HOWEVER, if you respond or tag someone using +username or the @ symbol, that will also show up on YOUR NEWSFEED. 

Okay, so now that’s covered. What else can I talk about?

WELL, we now have nested comments (if you’re using Google+)

And now you can EDIT COMMENTS!!!!

Also, you can disable replies…which might feed the trolls and not squelcher them. 

Also you can link videos in comments, which was their way of saying “Pssssh, guys, we still have video responses” However, you don’t know that they’re links to videos until you run your cursor over them. 

You also have this thing in every comment section of every video. It will be useful if you’re trying to find friends in the comments sections of heavily populated videos or if you’re trying to see all of the uploader’s comments. But otherwise, I’m just gonna click “newest first” like I do on Reddit and Facebook. 

Did you also catch that you can now comment privately without receiving attention from the general public yet? I’m not sure how that’s gonna affect hater comments, but we shall see. 




Things I do not know YET:

-How this affects multiple channels and those with multiple channels under a single email.

(I’m assuming you’d need to make a G+ page and email for each channel.)

-Actually, that’s all I’m not sure of yet. If you have any questions, send me asks, and if I can’t answer them, I make a list here. If I’ve also said anything confusing, let me know and I’ll clear it up. 

SHARE THIS WITH YOUR FRIENDS so we can be less confused and back on our game. 

I’ll be the first one to admit that I prefer comments to kudos, but have you guys ever stopped and thought about what all those kudos add up to?

Let’s say you have a fic that got 50 kudos. That is 50 individual people who read it and liked it. 50 human beings. Imagine 50 people standing in your living room. Go on, imagine it. Now imagine all those people are applauding you.

Sometimes it boggles my mind. Some of my fics have over 100 kudos. One of them has over 300. Over 300 people have read my words! And liked them! THAT’S SO AMAZING.

Comments are great. Comments are what keeps me going. But sometimes I just have to step back and think about the audience that fandom gives me, and how wonderful it feels that people even read the things I create. I’m grateful for every single reader. <3

A Homestuck's Guide to Fanfic Commenting Etiquette

Leaving comments on things one likes is the most basic way to participate in a fandom. Kudos and Like buttons helpfully convey the most basic of thanks, but at times one wants to leave something with more substance. However, sometimes one may find oneself at a loss as to how to leave a good comment – perhaps one is feeling tongue-tied or particularly anxious about social interactions, and is worried about how to proceed without embarassing oneself or offending the person one intends to compliment.

Or, perhaps, one is already an enthusiastic commenter but has been gently guided here by a kind friend or stranger as a polite way of saying ‘Please step up your game’. 

In either case, this guide is for you.

Keep reading
The Right Way to Do Your Blog Commenting

Good blog commenting is perhaps the easiest method for getting relevant backlinks to your own site or blog and it helps drive targeted traffic from the blogs you post yourself. However, in order to truly get this strategy to work in your favor you need to do some things or else all of your work will backfire or your efforts are going to prove to have been fruitless. Of course, for Internet marketers and bloggers alike the toughest problems to overcome are finding the right blogs for your comments and then getting those comments approved. In this article we will explore three of the things you can do to help ensure your success in this area. Cobra Blogging System reviews here.

  • me:*commenting on non-fanfiction stories* Perfect grammar, no spelling mistakes, no caps, no bad word-usage and no fangirling

On the Internet, Everybody Knows You’re a Dog by Ted Rheingold

When comments on the megapopular TechCrunch blog were tied to real Facebook profiles, the experience went from a juvenile insult-fest to a civil value-add information exchange. Tumblr has motivated readers topublish their reactions to their own tumblr, making every reader an author and every author a reader.SoundCloud adds music to the experience. Twitter allows spontaneous ad hoc discussion groups on any topic at any time, simply by @‘ing a Twitter author – which thanks to the public nature of the platform immediately makes the responder a public author as well. And on, editor-in-chief Jane Pratt canannotate articles with a highlighter – and authors’ responses to reader comments are also highlighted and elevated so they’re an ongoing part of the conversation.

The bit about the evolution of comment systems for context specific platforms is good and all but to be honest, I’m really reblogging this b/c it has Ted in a dog suit covered by a venn diagram.

The Problem With “Please Update Soon!”

So, I made a frustrated remark about how I don’t like “please update soon” comments, and it was brought to my attention that not everyone actually knows how writers receive those kinds of comments. Sometimes I make the mistake of thinking comment etiquette is widely known/accepted, which isn’t always the case, so I should have explained better. I will do that now!

I know it gets said all the time, but writing fic is hard. Many of us juggle multiple projects at once, sometimes across multiple fandoms. In addition to that, we have work and/or school and/or family obligations that take our time away. In spite of all that, every day that I don’t post an update for a WIP is a day that I am beating myself up. I feel guilty all the time for not putting out as much content as I want to. Even when people aren’t putting pressure on me, I’m putting pressure on myself.

When you say “update soon”, you are increasing the weight of guilt that a writer feels. Though you may just mean to be voicing your enthusiasm, what we hear is that you are going to be disappointed in us if we take a while to write the next part.

Not only that, but comments that only ask for updates without actually giving any feedback on the content of the chapter can leave writers dissatisfied and sometimes upset. It is like if you placed a gift in someone’s hands, and they immediately asked you for another one. It can make a writer feel like they are only worth something if they keep you supplied with a steady stream of things to read. Writers do like to know that people want to read more of their work, but what they want more than that is to know that you have enjoyed what they have already written

So if you are looking to convey to a writer that you are really enjoying their fic and you would like to read more of it, here are my suggestions:

DON’T say “Please update soon!”
DO say at least one nice thing about the chapter, even if it is a small or general thing (”I love the part where they kissed!” or “This made me smile!” or even just “This was great!”) and then, if you want to, you can add something along the lines of “I look forward to reading more!” or “I can’t wait for more!”. Writers want to know you actually enjoyed reading the part that they did post, and it’s not nice to ask for more without commenting on the work they have done already!

DON’T say “Finally an update!”
DO say “This was a great chapter!” or “I really enjoyed reading this!”

Keep in mind that there is a vulnerable human on the other side of that computer screen who desperately wants people to like their work. In your desire to get more words out of them, remember to show appreciation for the words they have already given you! Appreciated writers are happy writers, and happy writers will write more, without you even having to ask, I guarantee it. 

On constructive criticism and comments

Dear fandom,

Somewhere along the way, the term “concrit” or “constructive criticism” seems to have lost its meaning. Or at least, it seems to have been watered down to mean: “anything that isn’t a flame.”

Whether constructive criticism should even be given when fanfic authors don’t ask for it, is a discussion of its own. I’m firmly of the belief that it shouldn’t be given if not asked for, because fanfic is something that fans contribute for free to the fandom community, and just assuming that they want criticism (constructive or not) is presumptuous.

I tend to liken this situation to a dinner party. You like cooking, but you’re not a professional. Still, you enjoy making your friends feel good and to give them things they might enjoy. So you invite all your friends to a dinner party where they get a free meal and good company. Would people randomly start criticising their free meal in this situation? Most people wouldn’t, because it’s not a restaurant where they paid for a service. It’s something that were given to them, for free, because they might enjoy it.

But if criticism is given, there seems to be an expectation that people should accept and enjoy concrit. The problem is that people stick the word “constructive” in front of any piece of criticism seemingly without any thought to whether it actually is.

It seems rather like a lot of people think criticism is constructive as long as it’s not a flame. That’s a dangerous assumption.

Constructive criticism is an artform in itself. It has to do with bringing out both positive and negative aspects of a work, in a way that makes the person being critiqued receptive to the comments. It involves well-reasoned opinions that offer specific things that are helpful for the person being critiqued. The less you know a person, the more careful it’s natural to be in a situation where criticism is given.

Keep reading

On reblogging art:personal policy

I saw a post going around telling people that if you reblog art, to only put comments in the tags.

I was going to reblog this, because it is completely antithetical to the way I view art and fandom, but I realized that I should probably write my own thing instead of hijacking someone else‘s post.

First off, don’t speak for all artists.  Ever.  We all have different feelings about how we want our art shared, and the way I want my art shared is not the way you want yours shared.  Every artist has a right to ask for different things.

I want people to reblog my art WITH their comments in the text of the post. Don’t put your comments in the tags!  That means they’re not rebloggable and other people won’t see them. I want to see everything you said and I want other people to enjoy what you said, too!  Please reblog with comments! Please converse with each other.

Social media is about getting to know people through our creative work and about creative work starting conversations and inspiring new creative work. We can’t do that if we’re not talking to each other!  So please, please, always put your comments in the main body of the reblog. I want to know everything you have to say about anything I draw!  And I would love to talk to you about it! And I am sure other people would, too.  As far as I’m concerned, that’s what we’re here for.  Tumblr shouldn’t be a one-way street; it should foster a conversation.  But that’s just my opinion. If other artists want comments in the tags, hey, that’s fine.  I don’t.

Poll: Disqus Yay or Nay?

As this blog continues to grow every day, I have tried to grow it organically. I recently started to more actively use Twitter @medicalstate. I have also begun to notice some reblogs with comments in them, and some readers writing messages in regards to posts I make. As a result, I have begun to think about whether to add Disqus commenting to the blog. So far though, I find that these comments are few and far between and messages are manageable.

One of my main gripes with Disqus is how awful it looks tacked on to the end of posts and pages. It seems so terribly out of place and I love to keep a clean looking interface. However, if the people speak, I will give Disqus a try as well.

For those who do not know, Disqus is a commenting add-on that you can plug into Tumblr that allows for commenting. It allows for a lot of flexibility, like the opportunity for anonymous comments, commenting restrictions, threading etc. When I first started this blog as a secondary blog, I never realized that Tumblr only allowed replies on the primary blog. The only choice then is Disqus (since Tumblr has yet to implement universal commenting like other blogging services). However, as it stands, I find it breaks the clean look of the blog (which I personally value) but does have the benefit of adding more function.

I have a little request to anyone commenting on pictures/stories featuring Hades and Persephone - no matter what your opinion is on the orginal myth, remember that modern day retellings/works inspired by the mythology are not the same thing as the myth itself.

I saw it already a few times on tumblr - people shouting “You are romantizing rape/abduction/abuse” when they saw any work (a picture or a story) presenting Hades and Persephone in postive light, even when the work itself had Persephone follow Hades out of her own free will (no abduction) or didn’t give any details on the backstory at all.

You have to remember there is usually a degree of separation between the source material and new story/picture based on this material. Especially if author put an active effort into eliminating any elements of the original story that may seem problematic to the modern audience.

It’s ok to have your own opinion on the orginal myth, it’s ok to discuss it, but the work you are commenting on is a separate thing and it deserves to be judged separately.

If it’s a shitty picture then go on and write what you don’t like about it. If the story has flat characters or gloifies abuse by the way how the main character gets away with abusing their sigificant other then comment on this. If you want to discuss the orginal myth go on and create a new post about it, but don’t go crying “rape apologist” on anyone who slaps “Hades and Persephone” on their work.