Hello people of TAY (or the TAY as I like to call it). It's been a while since my last PSA, but I figured it was time to discuss a little bit o' article etiquette. This applies to both those who are writing the articles and those who are commenting on them. As I've said in the past (it's like my motto now), when writing about anything - it's all about presentation.
Present all the facts: Chances are if we're having an argument (in real life or on the internet) you'd like to come out on top. Maybe you really are right, maybe you're not, it all depends on the argument you're making. So if you choose to debate a topic with someone else make sure you are focusing on the facts. Making assumptions and presenting them as facts is only going to lead to more arguing, rather than debating on facts. Make sure people know what parts of your argument or side are legit and which ones are simply your beliefs. If you've explained your side of things and people still don't want to listen, or want to resort to attacking you then my suggestion is to just walk away. Fuding back and forth can be exhausting and aggravating for both parties, so sometimes it's best to respectfully disagree, and move on.
Try to see it their way: Sometimes it's hard to understand where people are coming from and what their motivations are, but just understanding what it is they are saying is a huge deal. You don't have to like or agree with someone to see their side of the argument. As long as they're not being a total a-hole about their opinions then just try to respect that they believe strongly in whatever it is they're lobbying for.
Don't resort to name calling: This is something that happens to all of us at times. I know it has happened to me during some heated moments in the past. When or if someone attacks you in an article or in the comments section it's hard not to simply sling some well thought out insults their way. If someone is all up in your bit-niss just remain calm and do your best to respond in a way that is constructive to your side of the argument. Don't belittle the other side. Most of the time people will be understanding enough to realize you're being respectful, and step-off.
Know when to back off: If you have a strong dislike for an author or commenter chances are there's a reason why. The best things to do about people like this is to avoid them. Don't read their articles. Don't make snarky comments about their views just to make them angry or prove a point. When you berate someone with a strong belief for being wrong they're normally not just going to back down and say, "Oh my gosh, you're right!" They're going to try harder to convince you that they're the right one. Which means more comments, more articles and more fighting that you don't want to see or be involved in. If they lay the fuse, don't light it.
Know what doesn't work: If you feel like your articles or comments are angering dozens of people on a weekly basis rather than promoting a discussion, then you may want to reconsider finding common ground on the subject that would facilitate positive discussions. Am I saying you should pack up and GTFO if TAY folk aren't digging your work? No, not at all. Just be mindful of what exactly your article is supposed to accomplish. Do you want the audience to just nod and agree, or would you prefer they engage you in a meaningful discussion? Once again, it all comes down to presentation. Posting about people's dirty laundry leaves a lot not said, and actual discussion wanting.
Tell an admin: If someone is being a real nuisance or attacking you, we want to know. Don't let the issue grow into something more unpleasant than it already is. We're here to help and assess any and every situation that might arise. Luckily, this doesn't happen very often as the vast vast majority of TAY regulars are pretty chill and non confrontational. Not sure if you should even post an article? Let an friend or other fellow author look over it, if you like. Kinja allows a neat feature that lets members see other articles before they've been posted if they have the correct link. So if you need a second opinion there is that. I will gladly look over an article and give you feedback if you want to send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
That's all I have for you today. Be kind to each other and respect everyone's opinions, no matter how wacky. If peeps like chocolate over vanilla, that's their loss. Know when and how to present your side of an argument so it can come across in the best possible way. Keep on keepin' on, TAY folk. I look forward to your articles and discussions in the future.