FROM THE LEAD EDITOR: COMMENTING & CRITIQUE
a concise Ello style guide
Good day gentle readers and writers of the Ellosphere! We talk all the time about interaction on this site and in this community, but what does that mean?
Below is a suggested style guide for approaching the work of those who share in this community. We also strongly suggest you familiarize yourselves with the post about rules of polite discourse, which speaks to interaction in a more general sense.
Ready? Here we go ...
Since Ello provides the functionality to toggle on and off interactive features, it is a safe assumption that a poster with these features turned on is inviting you to use these features; however, not every Ellovian sees them the same way.
Comments are, for many users (and we think particularly writers) the Holy Grail of interaction on Ello. Since it's a slow-paced, highly visual site that seems to attract many views and quick interactions, comments mean all the more.
So how to comment well?
Comment from compassion. If you care enough to comment, care enough about the person who wrote it. A computer didn't write it; a person did. It almost certainly has a piece of their essence in it, so act with compassion and kindness.
Focus on what works. Behaviorists have demonstrated through shaping that rewarding what works and ignoring what does not work inevitably tends to prune away what does not work and strengthen what does. So highlight what you think is working in a piece. If you have a guess why it is working, it's fine to share that, but try to express it in terms of why it works for you, not as a universal principle of writing.
Give only what is asked for. Unless otherwise stated, most Ellovian writers seem to prefer positive, supportive feedback. Only provide critique when asked, or after you have asked if they would like some critique. Be sure you understand what kind of critique is desired and the means of transmission. Since Ello is a public space, some writers may like to receive the critique privately.
Get to know the writer and their work. We here at Ellowrites do not take a hard position on literary criticism and whether or not you can ultimately separate a writer from their work; however, this is a writing community. So commune! Get to know each other. Pick someone who interests you and read through their feed or Related Posts. It will get easier to make relevant comments as you get to know a writer and their work.
Reciprocate. If you are receiving feedback from others, provide feedback. You may not be able to provide feedback to the same writer, but aim for a comparable amount of feedback to a writer or writers.
Many Old Skool Ellovians do not care for the Learn who they are and provide an emoji in the comments instead. The is the classic, but any emoji will do.
Many newer Ellovians very much like s and see them as a little bit of love, a push to keep going. So even if you don't like hearts personally, consider giving one to writers who do.
Reposting is controversial, even more so than hearts, primarily because of stream clogging and duplication. So if you would like to repost a piece, it, and consider how much distribution is it already receiving at the moment. Is it on the Trending list already? It may work better to repost it in a week or so and give it a fresh second run.
If folks are commenting only to you on a repost, try to direct them toward the original author of the post.
Make an effort to repost older content. Posts are old in about four to thirty-six hours on Ello, depending on the post. The Related Posts feature has made it much easier to peruse older posts and bring them back into circulation. Utilize that feature to breathe new life into older posts of writers you enjoy.
We may update and revise this guide over time and as the site changes. Comments and critique both welcome