When people post projects/hacks on Hacker News, the HN community is good at giving feedback. Why don’t you add feature X? Or, The layout of Y is confusing. Or, Z failed when I tried to do X. Sometimes people will say simply, “This is entirely shit,” but more commonly people have feedback or advice.

This is not what happens with blog posts.

 

If someone writes a post people get right to the issue at hand and will criticize the person’s points. This is important, of course–and the ensuing discussions on HN are often thought-provoking and productive. But people often overlook the fact that blogs are projects too. Most bloggers are still learning. Most bloggers, I hope, are looking for ways to get better. (I am keenly aware of my own space to improve.)

Too often, the HN community dismisses someone entirely for being pedantic or naive or whatever. Perhaps these are legitimate labels. But I’m sure the author could benefit from more constructive criticism on their work as a blogger, not just criticism of their ideas.

Why not treat blogs like hacks? Try to find the “features” that are needed, or the “layouts” that are confusing. Or just be more informative: When you’re talking about X, your negative tone is off-putting. Or, If you criticize Y without talking about Z first, you lose credibility. 

TL;DR: Remember that, like projects, blogs are works in progress and can benefit from constructive criticism.

I’m Tess Rinearson, a freshman in Computer Science at the University of Pennsylvania and a rather shy blogger who is always trying to get better. You can follow along on Twitter: @temiri. Oh, and there’s a HN discussion, too.

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