Comments are a very valuable medium for growth. I don’t think I need to explain the ubiquity and value of mediums that allow individuals to voice an opinion and interact with other humans. Reddit, Youtube, forums, personal blogs, and so many other resources thrive so much on user comments that some wouldn’t exist without them. Of course, commenting isn’t always a great thing. There’s always room for someone to spew negativity and hate (commenting is sometimes disabled on Youtube with good reason).
I am guilty of not taking comments seriously. If there’s a post I disagree with, I’d keep it to myself. If there was some amazing resource that took forever to find which solved a problem or issue I had, I’d simply bookmark it. All of this was okay with me until recently.
I read a blog post created not too long ago from a respected developer, I’ll call this person L. L made a post on a topic that I found to be important. While most of the content was pleasant, I misunderstood a small but very valuable portion of it. An hour or so was spent researching the topic myself. After this, my understanding of the content seemed to disagree with L’s post.
To me, this was a big obstacle.
Here is someone whose works I respect, conveying information which just doesn’t gel with me. I put the merit of this person’s reputation and accomplishments behind the content, and started to think that my entire understanding of the topic was wrong. The only thing I could think to do was to ask for clarification.
I spent well over two hours learning about the topic myself, writing code to test my assumptions, and even longer to write up a comment which was as clear and concise as possible. My comment has yet to receive a reply. I’ll never know what the heck L was REALLY trying to say, and regret the time spent reading something that was never fully understood. At least it inspired me to learn on my own.
No one is an exception to being wrong. L might simply be. I also realize that the topic was important to me, and that L may not be taking the time to reply since it might not be important to him (why make a post then?), who knows. I found out later that L had submitted the post to Reddit. With any topic, there was controversy and enlightenment. No matter what the comments said, people talked and people grew. I found my closure in finding out that many readers who received the post the way I did deemed it as, “stupid blog filler”.
I should have said thank you to all of the hidden gem blog posts that have helped me. I should have voiced my opinions on topics that were important to me to take advantage of the growth from the interactions while promoting it in others. At least I can start now.