Bloggers are human – and yes – we make mistakes!

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Like many people in the PR industry I read a lot of blogs.

I have the ones I read on a regular basis, as well as those that I stumble across on Twitter and Facebook.

The thing I love the most about blogs is the abillity people have to comment – to add value to a debate or a topic and help spark even more interest than the original post itself.

Or at least thats my idea of what comments are for – but apparently not everyone feels the same.

During my rounds today I found three comments on different blog posts – all pointing out mistakes which have been made by the blogs author.

Some were grammatical mistakes; others were statements or sentences which could perhaps have been written a little more clearly.

The comments weren’t written in a friendly way – they were rude and you could tell the people leaving them were feeling smug at the fact that they had spotted an error.

Now, I know that blogs should be correct and anyone in PR who makes a grammatical error should know better.

But do you know what – it happens! Get over it!

Why feel the need to leave a smug comment about it?

I also spotted a post on one of my favourite social media blogs which had – shock! Horror! – not one, not two, but THREE spelling mistakes.

Did I leave a rude comment chastising the author? Or did I think; “You know what, I bet they wrote that in 10 minutes in-between client meetings, phone calls and drafting copy for a deadline, so let’s give them a little slack shall we?”

Now, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t call people out on errors (especially if they are factual errors) – indeed in some ways its a good thing. As an author you can then correct it and make sure you pay more attention next time.

But I don’t think it should be done rudely – and you should still add more to the conversation than just “oh, by the way, you’ve spelt that wrong.”

So, the moral of my rant is that mistakes DO happen! It’s making sure they don’t happen again, and how you handle the mistake that makes the difference.

Here are some tips:

1). Always approve negative comments on your blog, or ones that call you out – unless they are overly rude, personal or use bad language. Then craft your reply carefully. If someone points out an error thank them for there eager eyes and make a note not to make the same mistake again.

2). Get your work proofed. Part of my role as a manager is to proof any work drafted by other members of my team. But equally I always ask our account executive to proof my work. I’m human, mistakes happen, and sometimes you get too ‘close’ to your work to realise your making mistakes.

3). If you make a factual mistake, or you alter your post significantly after people have commented, always let your readers know you’ve made the change.

I’ve made six errors on purpose in this post (here’s hoping you don’t find more than that!). Let’s play ‘Call me out’. Go on – get it out your system!

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10 thoughts on “Bloggers are human – and yes – we make mistakes!

    • Brooke_Nolan says:

      Personal preference (and WordPress theme!). Though I understand it can sometimes cause accessibility issues. However, my posts are available via RSS feed and I can email them too 😉

  1. Krista says:

    Great post, Brooke! Dealing with negative comments is a trade-off when blogging, but mean-spirited comments are sometimes uncalled for. The point of comments is to encourage a dialogue on a topic. I get that pointing out glaring mistakes or factual errors is necessary, however, there is such a thing as constructive criticism that is often forgotten in the anonymous social media realm.

    BTW, I had to go back and read your post again after you pointed out you made errors on purpose– I’m a speed reader and often soak up the content over the grammar 😉

    • Brooke_Nolan says:

      Hey Krista,

      Glad you enjoyed the post. I think that’s my main gripe – the fact that often comments aren’t constructive. Most people can handle criticism as long as it is adding something to the conversation!

      It’s definitely easy to miss grammar and spelling mistakes. I always remember reading this: http://ow.ly/58xbN and being amazed!

      Brooke

  2. Gina says:

    You really shouldn’t use “a lot” or “alot”

    3 para – The word ability is spelled wrong.

    4th para- “Thats” – missing an apostrophe

    11th para- “favourite” – British spelling

    13th para – “its” – missing an apostrophe

    16th para – misuse of “there”

    17th para – “realise”- British spelling

  3. Brooke_Nolan says:

    Thanks for catching them Gina! To be fair I hadn’t even thought about the American/British spelling differences. For me the British spelling is right, but I guess for anyone over the Atlantic it could be seen differently…..not sure of the way to tackle that one though! 🙂

  4. John Lewis says:

    Oh dear. Comments crticising bloggers.

    So someone might have posted a comment here saying something like: “Did you never learn how to use apostrophes? Apparently not if you read paragraph five which says: ‘… all pointing out mistakes which have been made by the blogs author.”

    Such comments can be SO annoying, though possibly not as annoying as unanswered phones at Food and Travel magazine .

    • Brooke_Nolan says:

      Hi John, thank you for your comments.
      Gina got most of the mistakes except two (the British spellings aren’t mistakes – I AM British!)
      The ‘blogs author’ was one, along with a ‘your’ which no one is yet to spot…..
      And if you happen to have a number for Food and Travel subscriptions which gets answered that would be very much appreciated!
      Brooke

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