What kind of commenter are you?

posted at 12:45 pm on April 11, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

ABC’s Michael Malone did some research into his own comment section and others around the blogosphere, and identified a number of commenter archetypes.  In a lighthearted essay, Malone discusses how the Internet and comment sections have democratized published feedback on reporting, and points out how editorial protections have disappeared against criticisms:

For 20 years as a reporter and editor, I never worried about comments.

Sure, as a cub reporter, I used to die a thousand deaths every time a letter to the editor appeared in my newspaper that took issue with something I’d written. But it wasn’t long before I learned two things:

1. In a newspaper, there isn’t much room for letters to the editor — maybe a half-dozen per day. And very few of them, even after a big, controversial story, were about you; and,

2. The editorial page editor is your best friend. In order to keep a balanced page, he or she is only going to run (at most) a couple letters about you — and even then will try to maintain a balance between the laudatory and the cutting & and leave the crazies out.

I found this especially amusing:

That all changed — oh boy, did it change — with the Internet. Between this column and the various stories I’ve written for publications that have appeared online, I figure in the last decade I’ve received about 10,000 comments. That’s the population of medium-sized towns in some parts of the U.S. And fully half of those comments came with a single story — the one I wrote last October about being ashamed of being a journalist.

I hate to tell Malone this, but 10,000 comments is a slow week here at Hot Air.  In three years, we have archived 1.7 million comments, and those are the ones we’ve separated from the spam.  Our filters kill a lot more than that, and Allahpundit and I are usually kept too busy trying to stamp out trolls to read through all of the comments that get posted and approved.

Still, Malone’s list of archetypes looks dead-on, if a little long.  Here are a few of my favorites, but be sure to read the whole list:

  • The Troll — Everyone knows this guy (and it’s usually a guy), who intentionally visits sites in order to stir things up, provoke a furious reaction from other posters and then disappear. Classic examples are the Free Republic types who visit Daily Kos and vice versa.
  • The Angry Man — We all know this guy. His solution for almost any problem in the world is the summary execution, in as grisly a manner as possible, of every possible perpetrator.
  • The Dismisser — The ultimate arrogant commenter, this person never actually engages with the topic, but merely declares it beneath anyone’s interest, already resolved, or improperly stated — and thus hardly worth the bother. The dismisser’s only real message is: I’m smarter than you and you need to acknowledge that fact.
  • The Kumbaya — These folks always show up two-thirds of the way through any heated on-line debate and ask, “Why can’t we all just get along?” They are inevitably ignored or trashed.
  • The Skimmer — The commenter, usually sour, who reads only a headline or sentence of a piece, draws exactly the wrong conclusion, and then embarks on an embarrassing rant.
  • The Defender — Bloggers love these guys. When you are getting hammered by other posters, this is the guy who watches your back, supports you, and tells your enemies off & and does a better job of it than your real-life friends.

Yeah, I love those defenders, and I’d bet Malone doesn’t mind them either.  In fact, even though some of these archetypes can be pretty annoying, I pretty much like almost all of them.  Even when I was at Captain’s Quarters, I loved having a comment section, and it’s much more robust here at Hot Air.

So which archetype are you, Hot Air commenter?  Better yet, which archetypes do you regularly see in the HA comments section? Don’t just stick with the handful I excerpted — take a look at all of Malone’s list.

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Comment pages: 1 2 3

Yea, I’m gettin a little hammered tonight, but thank Allah (not AP) I bought an iPhone — I can comment on this biatch AWWWLLL NIGHT!

blatantblue on April 11, 2009 at 6:04 PM

We’ve had enough of your blatant BS. Later, when no one’s around, I’m gonna kick your arse like they’ve all been wanting to do.

Cheers!

DarkCurrent on April 11, 2009 at 6:11 PM

How ya gonna kick his a$$ if he aint here???

doriangrey on April 11, 2009 at 6:09 PM

Some kind of wise arse huh? You come back later and I’ll show you too.

DarkCurrent on April 11, 2009 at 6:14 PM

FIFY.

sethstorm on April 11, 2009 at 3:54 PM

Care to tell us why Palin scares the getalife out of you college kids? Inquiring minds want to know what the folks here on Planet Earth are missing.

Del Dolemonte on April 11, 2009 at 6:15 PM

We’ve had enough of your blatant BS. Later, when no one’s around, I’m gonna kick your arse like they’ve all been wanting to do.

Cheers!

DarkCurrent on April 11, 2009 at 6:11 PM

I can take all y’all Hot Air people. I’m gonna make my own website called HotAire, with an “e” at the end, and I’ll just kick ass all day.

ALL F*CKIN DAY

blatantblue on April 11, 2009 at 6:15 PM

Yea, I’m gettin a little hammered tonight, but thank Allah (not AP) I bought an iPhone — I can comment on this biatch AWWWLLL NIGHT!

blatantblue on April 11, 2009 at 6:04 PM

Good heavens… you must be a real hit with your significant others. Are you also a Trekkie per chance?

Bradky on April 11, 2009 at 6:16 PM

Want to see how I train?

I’m ready for anything.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjvZOh4OzBs

blatantblue on April 11, 2009 at 6:16 PM

Good heavens… you must be a real hit with your significant others. Are you also a Trekkie per chance?

Bradky on April 11, 2009 at 6:16 PM

Actually, it was such a hit that my GF decided to get one too.

I wasn’t cool enough to join the trekkie club at school.

The only club I could get into was the College Democrats — and I’m not even one.

blatantblue on April 11, 2009 at 6:20 PM

Want to see how I train?

I’m ready for anything.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjvZOh4OzBs

blatantblue on April 11, 2009 at 6:16 PM

ROTFLMAO….If you watch that without the sound it slams the gay-o-meter at +1,000,000

doriangrey on April 11, 2009 at 6:27 PM

Want to see how I train?

I’m ready for anything.

blatantblue on April 11, 2009 at 6:16 PM

You screwed up the link loser. Here’s the one you wanted.

DarkCurrent on April 11, 2009 at 6:30 PM

You screwed up the link loser. Here’s the one you wanted.

DarkCurrent on April 11, 2009 at 6:30 PM

Here’s a video about you!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pXfHLUlZf4

blatantblue on April 11, 2009 at 6:37 PM

Similar here. Sometimes I make a comment I think is hilarious or insightful, then check back and see no one has paid attention. Beta male trait there.

mikeyboss on April 11, 2009 at 3:43 PM

I think an important technique is to develop a small repertoire of important issues on which you comment repeatedly. Two of mine are federalism and fertility. Writing about those issues sometimes requires departing from the specific topic of the original post, but that’s all right. Bloggers easily get caught up in the very specific issues of the day; commenters can somewhat return the focus to the common causes of each day’s news. Over time, you may make progress in leading people to think about the matters you think are important. I was surprised and pleased when I found a thread here on Hot Air in which I was about to comment on the importance of repealing the 17th Amendment of the Constitution of the United States, but found that the discussion was already well under way. I don’t know if my previous harping on the issue had much to do with the idea’s having gained some currency, but I’m now more hopeful such efforts will succeed in the future.

Kralizec on April 11, 2009 at 6:38 PM

Here’s a video about you!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pXfHLUlZf4

blatantblue on April 11, 2009 at 6:37 PM

Yeah moron, where I live the girls are all Asian.

DarkCurrent on April 11, 2009 at 6:43 PM

DarkCurrent on April 11, 2009 at 6:43 PM

I’m a moran. Not a moron.

:-P

blatantblue on April 11, 2009 at 6:45 PM

I’ve probably been all of them at one point or another.

Not sure what I trend toward, though.

Fun article. Thanks, Ed.

sulla on April 11, 2009 at 6:45 PM

blatantblue on April 11, 2009 at 6:45 PM

Try that video with all Chinese girls, then you’ll understand why it’s not so funny.

DarkCurrent on April 11, 2009 at 6:52 PM

I’m so confused

blatantblue on April 11, 2009 at 7:15 PM

I’m so confused

blatantblue on April 11, 2009 at 7:15 PM

That’s normal near the end. There is nothing to be afraid of. Shhh…

DarkCurrent on April 11, 2009 at 7:20 PM

On the Headline thread last night I mentioned coldwarrior and Doctor Zero. I nominate them both for Mystery Genius!

INC on April 11, 2009 at 7:45 PM

Hmm, I don’t really fit into any of Malone’s categories. I would suggest another one, the conversationalist: one who mostly stays on topic with a minimum of sniping.

goat on April 11, 2009 at 7:46 PM

The Mystery Genius and The Relentless Pol. He hates Palin and here is 100+ post to prove why.

tjexcite on April 11, 2009 at 2:21 PM

I don’t hate her I believe she is the Barrack Obama of the right AKA the right-wing Messiah who has done nothing relevant except look and talk cute.

As for the archetypes none of them are me.

Poptech on April 11, 2009 at 7:48 PM

INC on April 11, 2009 at 7:45 PM

That’s nice, good choices. Now please leave quietly. I’m killing this thread and it shouldn’t have to suffer any more than necessary. blatantblue has already made the passing difficult enough.

DarkCurrent on April 11, 2009 at 7:52 PM

Aspiring pwn3r here. Mostly just beta-male.

StartinOver on April 11, 2009 at 7:55 PM

Most bloggers don’t like it much when you point out when they are wrong, their panties hed in HUGE knots.

nelsonknows on April 11, 2009 at 7:58 PM

hed=get

nelsonknows on April 11, 2009 at 7:59 PM

DarkCurrent on April 11, 2009 at 7:52 PM

Sorry. :-( I just got to the thread a little while ago. I haven’t read the entire thing yet. The one last night was fun!

INC on April 11, 2009 at 8:06 PM

That’s nice, good choices. Now please leave quietly. I’m killing this thread and it shouldn’t have to suffer any more than necessary. blatantblue has already made the passing difficult enough.

DarkCurrent on April 11, 2009 at 7:52 PM

(Jedi mind trick)… This is not the thread you are trying to kill…

doriangrey on April 11, 2009 at 8:07 PM

doriangrey on April 11, 2009 at 8:07 PM

Those are Jedi bones you see there

DarkCurrent on April 11, 2009 at 8:21 PM

Those are Jedi bones you see there

DarkCurrent on April 11, 2009 at 8:21 PM

You cannot kill a Jedi… You can only make them more powerful than you can imagine.

doriangrey on April 11, 2009 at 8:41 PM

Then there are the Star Wars commenters, second only in their limitless reserve for all comments galactic to the Trekkies!

;-)

INC on April 11, 2009 at 8:49 PM

Trekkies what is them? Gotes no. Wifes no. This thred no fun.

Loxodonta on April 11, 2009 at 8:55 PM

Perhaps I’m universally hated commenter

blatantblue on April 11, 2009 at 9:03 PM

You cannot kill a Jedi… You can only make them more powerful than you can imagine.

doriangrey on April 11, 2009 at 8:41 PM

Tell it to the bones, then get out. At least the Sith have some balls…

DarkCurrent on April 11, 2009 at 9:04 PM

The Troll — Everyone knows this guy (and it’s usually a guy), who intentionally visits sites in order to stir things up, provoke a furious reaction from other posters and then disappear. Classic examples are the Free Republic types who visit Daily Kos and vice versa.

I haven’t done that for a while. I bet Media Matters is really missing me.

Glenn Jericho on April 11, 2009 at 9:14 PM

Tell it to the bones, then get out. At least the Sith have some balls…

DarkCurrent on April 11, 2009 at 9:04 PM

Yes, but the owners of those balls will reclaim them and the sith will cry like little girls….

doriangrey on April 11, 2009 at 9:26 PM

In the Headlines thread, I proposed “The Sock Puppet” and “The Hermit Crab”. I was pleased to see that at least one person picked up on my intent.

I made a third suggestion that I think applies to many trolls and thread-drifters:

And “The Shoveler”, who posts ‘humorous’ comments pointing out errors in other comments, not in the original posting.

The context for the name is the crew at the end of the parade, the ones after the horses and elephants. :-)

Peri Winkle on April 11, 2009 at 10:51 PM

Okay. Is everybody done now??

LAST!

PD Quig on April 11, 2009 at 10:53 PM

Okay. Is everybody done now??

LAST!

PD Quig on April 11, 2009 at 10:53 PM

EPIC FAIL…….

doriangrey on April 11, 2009 at 11:05 PM

As before…

No comment.

MadisonConservative on April 12, 2009 at 12:13 AM

Of all the types of posters described in the article, the one that made me laugh the most is:

The Alien — This is a poster from another country who has no context for what every commenter is talking about, and so asserts his or her own cultural solution: “Why this complain about wife? Sell gotes and buy more wifes!”

There are dark days when I would really love to read an all Gotes-Wifes thread at Hot Air.

Allahpundit all ways talk get wifes.

But he no wifes. And no gotes.

Get gotes first. Sell gotes. Then get wifes.

See? This is how.

Loxodonta on April 12, 2009 at 12:27 AM

all the above and a few more, but with lots of typos.

TheSitRep on April 12, 2009 at 12:57 AM

I can take all y’all Hot Air people. I’m gonna make my own website called HGotHaire, with an “e” at the end, and I’ll just k lick ass all day.

ALL F*CKIN DAY

blatantblue on April 11, 2009 at 6:15 PM

Fixed

jdkchem on April 12, 2009 at 1:27 AM

What kind of commenters are my kind? The kind who shows up three days late, after the horse has long since left the barn. Except on weekends, when we’re mere hours behind the story, and struggle like he– to catch up. ;)

RD on April 12, 2009 at 1:30 AM

No good catchup on horse. Catchup ok on gotes. Best on chickens. You try.

Loxodonta on April 12, 2009 at 2:18 AM

Perhaps I’m universally hated commenter

blatantblue on April 11, 2009 at 9:03 PM

No. You are not.

Loxodonta on April 12, 2009 at 3:35 AM

No good catchup on horse. Catchup ok on gotes. Best on chickens. You try.

Loxodonta on April 12, 2009 at 2:18 AM

OK catchup most bestest on weeknedss. i tri but no eat meat. What brand catchup? Please to tell. tanks

RD on April 12, 2009 at 5:01 AM

Me,
Just a sailor who can tie a bowline 6 different ways…;P

jerrytbg on April 12, 2009 at 8:21 AM

There are the standard bearers around here that fit perfectly into one of three or four of those categories. These guys know exactly who they are.

For me: I couldn’t nor wouldn’t give an opinion on my own comments. I have really no idea how I’m perceived except when The Defenders tel me to be nice or comment elsewhere. I figure I’m partially The Tomboy but I mainly just comment my personal view of the topic or what Ed or AP said about it. Sometimes agree, often don’t (AP). But in those light hearted posts, I try to make it fun. Being serious too much makes me feel my age and I’m really a kid at heart.

Sultry Beauty on April 12, 2009 at 9:51 AM

Oh…one more “typical” type on HA. Similar to “The Unacknowledged Expert” but slightly different.

The Smug Know-It-All - Despite whatever conventional wisdom might be at the time, “conventional wisdom” is wrong, and they will tell you why they are right, and everyone else is wrong. See all posts on Hot Air relating to the lead-up to the McCain/Obama election, especially those who were absolutely positive that even though every single poll showed Obama ahead, that the polls were actually “tainted” (actual word used by a poster), and that they were trying to suppress the McCain vote.

asc85 on April 12, 2009 at 10:17 AM

RD on April 12, 2009 at 5:01 AM

OK catchup most bestest on weeknedss. i tri but no eat meat. What brand catchup? Please to tell. tanks

you no senz got. catchup good very day.

how man no eats meat? got lots gotes is man no eats meat? maybe stupid not. lots gotes cheez barter for more wifes. but not on wifes catchup. on cheez good.

kerry heinz catchup you try. no likes? macains mojoness you try. for you no works? obamalaise is all left. but bad taste it is. me spits out.

me you rite any times needs you with taste help.

or anglish.

but me no tanks got. rpgs.

Loxodonta on April 12, 2009 at 11:51 AM

I’m the WYSIWYG poster. No posing here, I just get a kick out of the other posts, and want to join in the fun. Sometimes I have a story to tell or a point to make, I’m not looking to insult anyone, or posting something with the intention of riling anyone.

The topics just happen to interest me; and so for now, I read, and when inspired, I respond.

Queen0fCups on April 12, 2009 at 12:14 PM

Loxodonta on April 12, 2009 at 11:51 AM

ROTFL Tanks Got!! Prez be 2 Got! U un-dystend me + my bic probrm! :-D

RD on April 12, 2009 at 1:49 PM

ROTFL Tanks Got!! Prez be 2 Got! U un-dystend me + my bic probrm! :-D

RD on April 12, 2009 at 1:49 PM

what good tanks if fullrot? yes bic probrm you got.

strangle anglish you talk. thinks me anglish your nuber 1 lungage not. may be nuber 2 you talk. yes.

busy go now. must feed gotes beet wifes. teech anglish later.

Loxodonta on April 12, 2009 at 2:52 PM

doriangrey on April 11, 2009 at 8:41 PM

Dude, Jedi suck a**. They took command of a slave army of clones. The oh so compassionate peace lovers were cheerfully sending clones created specifically for combat into battle and never even stopped to question whether those guys even wanted to fight. Did that stupid green muppet midget have any backwards sentences to say about whether the clones had any say in the war they were being required to fight? Any one ask if they wanted to volunteer? I’m glad the Jedi got wiped out; they were almost as bad as the Sith; they just had better press and were more self righteous. Power to the clones.

austinnelly on April 12, 2009 at 3:38 PM

no comment.

whunterx on April 12, 2009 at 3:43 PM

Like many here, I can fit many of those categories at differing times. I am probably a Lecturer foremost. But I hope that my posts are not entirely without merit.

Hawthorne on April 12, 2009 at 5:44 PM

I’m a non poser, anit-commie, anti-elitist commenter with a touch a of smart ass bastard thrown in. I never let the facts or the topic of the thread stop me from enlightening the unenlightend or educating the uneducated.
I also never get hung up on correct spelling or correct grammar or profanity. I, respect free speech as long as I freely speak first and loudest.

kangjie on April 12, 2009 at 5:51 PM

So tell me — what do you call a commentor that perpetually has bad breath, drools all over the keyboard and mouse, and sheds his hair all over the place?

My collie says:

A certified genius?

They’re not buyin’ it, collie.

CyberCipher on April 12, 2009 at 8:51 PM

He forgot the Godwins, the Backslashers, the Texters, and the Last Comic Standing First Round Rejects.

I’m too complex to be lumped into one category. I consider myself a Lurker, but I’m also a Straggler, someone who comments on a post long after everyone else has lost interest and moved on. In essence, a Straggler submits sometimes brilliant, sometimes stupid comments that few (if any) other people will read. Those who stumble across a Straggler’s comments may wonder if the Straggler enjoys talking to one’s self, simply content in the knowledge that one’s words will be immortalized on the world wide web. The Straggler can say almost anything with little to no consequences except to one’s self in that he or she has just achieved in getting that much closer to death after having completed nothing of significance to anyone else. It is equivalent to the sound of a tree falling in the woods. Like now.

A subspecies of Straggler is the Echo Straggler (also known as the Repeater-Straggler) who makes a point that someone else probably made hours, even days ago but doesn’t feel like going back through several pages of comments to verify. Like now, I assume.

And a rarer subspecies of Straggler is the kind who comments on posts from months or years ago—the elusive Riddle Wrapped in a Mystery inside an Enigma (RWIAMIAE).

Here at Hot Air, I find many Droll Unacknowledged Mystery Expert Geniuses, present company included. Since I’m verging on RWIAMIAE, and writing such an acronym may place me in the Texter category, I’d better leave now.

I am many, therefore I am none, or something.

CO2 Producer on April 13, 2009 at 1:20 AM

CO2 Producer on April 13, 2009 at 1:20 AM

Yes, you are something. And I hope you consider posting up-thread more frequently.

Loxodonta on April 13, 2009 at 1:29 AM

Hey, thanks, fellow Straggler. I am to think it as off wot are you say,,, I am hav no gotes. so I no get nowifes say me no stay not sleeping, I layt I stay up? Now bed, I straglE this why this is, Having nihgt you gud, Or morning is is…!

Geh, I’m feeling more stupider now.

CO2 Producer on April 13, 2009 at 3:24 AM

CO2 Producer on April 13, 2009 at 3:24 AM

dismember youre prioritites should you.

gotes first you get. rams 1. ewes lots you get. make gotes more this how.

gotes get first need help you?

easy.

rpgs.

barter gotes for wifes then.

pay tension. this impotent part most. ram keep. ewes barter some.

and what good bed no wifes?!!! crazy be you?

about this things think you so stupid not you be.

busy go now. must wifes beet.

Loxodonta on April 13, 2009 at 10:59 AM

Heh.

hitler

CO2 Producer on April 13, 2009 at 3:18 PM

This thread seems to be winding down…

DarkCurrent on April 15, 2009 at 10:37 AM

I think I may have killed this thread

DarkCurrent on April 22, 2009 at 1:28 PM

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