Friendly Reminder: Comments/Posts Ettiquette

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Hey everyone - just wanted to put out a friendly reminder!

When leaving comments on songs or responding to forum posts, please try to generally stay on topic.

In song comments, comment on the song and writing and try to avoid other interjections or comments that might be off topic. These are the comments that seem most likely to lead to problems.

In forum posts, some digression is fine, but please keep your audience firmly in mind. It may not always seem like it, but we are a pretty big diverse group and things can get misconstrued very easily.

Above all, be excellent to each other!

Thanks for being awesome!

/Mod hat off

Yeah, I really have to work on avoiding non-sequiturs. It can be hard, when I look at a comment and think I should be trying to add more value to it. After all, the songwriter has put very real thought, time and effort into creating something, and surely it warrants more of a response than a pat 'great job, thanks for sharing'

I think I'm guilty of this even in my most recent comment. It was a lyric about a song in Copenhagen, which namedropped the Tivoli gardens as well as capturing various other parts of the essence of the city. It was this I responded most to, due to having a number of recent experiences in the place which were made real again by the songwriter's thoughtful invocation of them. So that formed the bulk of my comment.

I didn't even get into the most interesting parts of my Copenhagen experience. In the space of fewer than 24 hours after I visited the Tivoli gardens at night and heard a choir of Danish schoolgirls perform 'Happy' by Pharrell Williams (still my favourite rendition of it), I fought off an intruder who tried to break into my AirBnB window with a battering ram, met Queen Margrethe whose yacht just happened to pull up beside me while I was visiting the aquarium, and accidentally drifted into an all-female naked yacht party while doing one of those tourist-trap harbour cruises. I think we were all equally surprised to see each other.

Then the next day, I met Tim Wille, and that was the strangest experience of all.

So, yeah. Non sequiturs. Avoid.

Aww dang, now I have to comb through the forum posts to see who pooped the bed and got Eric riled up! Biggrin

dzd's picture

@Stephen Wordsmith So all in all just a fairly boring run of the mill trip then?

@dzd: I have never before or since taken a less interesting, or more interesting, trip to Copenhagen.

Forgive me, but I'm a bit confused about what is being said here. Smile
(I'm leaving it general to invite thoughts from other members)
Especially with this; "In song comments, comment on the song and writing and try to avoid other interjections or comments that might be off topic."
Does that mean we should not ever go off topic?
Or just not be "controversial" in our off topic Comments?
Cos I go off topic all the time in Comments (admittedly, it's almost always for members who I know won't mind or have actively encouraged me to do so), usually riffing on something that was said in the Liner Notes.
I mean, I always end up giving a legitimate comment on the song, just sometimes with other stuff included as well.
I don't ever want to make anybody upset and I apologize if I have done so in the past with my off topic comments!

I agree with @Fuzzy, I think this post is a little vague. I understand not wanting to call out any offenders by name, but maybe a *little* more specific than this would be good! Hopefully it only refers to potentially controversial comments (politics, religion, saying you don't like something that person is clearly passionate about, just generally trying to instigate a debate, etc.) but it does not say that, it says basically anything that could possibly be seen as a digression. But if you're just sharing a story related to the person's experience, agreeing with them, or bonding with them over a shared interest or value while also giving some thoughts about the song, for me (and probably 99% of people here) that only adds to the sense of community. I hope we're not suggesting all of that should be thrown out just because some off-topic comments can be controversial, even though that controversy is easily avoided with a little bit of common sense. For example, if you don't like the topic of a song or vehemently disagree with its point of view, don't comment at all unless it's just about the music (but maybe just avoid it in the first place if you don't like it!)

digressions are the most interesting parts of comments

My apologies for not being more clear.

I was not trying to say no digressions. A general digression adds color to a conversation. (I like digressions!) I think my naming digressions was probably not the correct choice.

To Amanda's and Fuzzy's point - this is really about "controversial" types of posts. Though, I will admit sometimes as a mod, when long digressions get out of hand, it becomes hard for us to figure out what is going on. But I digress... Wink

We like to use the idea of a big party for FAWM / 5090. We are all in in one big room chatting and playing songs. We have a pretty eclectic crowd and something you might say off hand around a different group may end up being not as welcome in the larger group setting. If someone starts making things awkward, it's on the host (I.E. Me) to try help keep thing flowing. If a person is saying or doing things that the rest of the folks at the party are not cool with, I may have to (very reluctantly) ask the person to leave for a while.

I think the key is to consider your audience and be considerate of your audience.

Something to remember is that while it does feel like we are just talking to each other, the resulting conversation itself is open to the public. We are group full of diverse voices and backgrounds and that is great! Not to mention the other folks that are finding us via friends, google, etc... and are lurking to see if they want to join.

While you are just talking to the songwriter on a given song, lots of other folks are reading those same comments. When you are chatting in the forum, there are lots of people reading and absorbing what you're saying that will likely never comment - and may instead leave 50/90 (or never sign up) because of what they see.

No one can keep "everyone" in mind in every conversation. I don't want people to not be themselves. You are what make 50/90 awesome!

But I want to encourage you to take a second to pause before posting something that might be considered controversial. Does it actually add to the discussion at hand? If it doesn't add... well...don't post it. Could it be misconstrued? Could it offend or hurt someone's feelings? Probably best not to post it. There's always twitter. Wink

I also want to be clear: While I completely respect and want to encourage everyone's right to free speech, there is no place for hate in this site.

As a fellow songwriter I'm passionate about supporting your voices and that you each have the right to express your art and yourselves. But I also have the role to "keep the party going". Generally, we (the mods) don't have to do a lot of heavy lifting because you are all generally awesome! (That is something I'm profoundly grateful for, by the way. Smile )

People will make mistakes - things will be said that will be received wrong - we are, after all, on the internet. If you did something that negatively affected someone else, apologize and move on. We (the mods) are human too and we get it.

But kindness in all our interactions should be the starting place. As a friend of mine says: You can be anything - be kind.

At the end of the day, 50/90 is one of the best communities on the internet! My goal is to find ways to help keep it that way.

Please let me know your thoughts.

TLDR: Be excellent to each other. And party on dudes.

Ah, understood.
I totally agree!


cts's picture

Keep the party movin'!

Thanks for the clarification @Eric Distad, well put and thanks for keeping things running smoothly!

I'm still a bit unclear. I wish I knew what inspired the original mod post so I could better understand the "problem". Does this advice/guidance also include "controversial" songs? I hope not.

my comments are my reaction to a song, which may take many forms and routes. when i receive a comment, i am happy the person listened to the song, i am only bothered when they comment after only reading the lyric, without listening, because these are songs, not poems.

A gentle reminder that you can find the etiquette page here: