September 25, 2018 — We love your Comments to the Topretirements.com Blog! Our Members consistently say they are one of the most valuable features of this site. BUT….one of our regular contributors made yet a great suggestion that might make this feature even better. He is frustrated with some Comments that he believes get in the way of a helpful flow of information. A pet concern of his are replies that turn into long-winded 2 person chats, to the exclusion of the rest of us. In the end, he and others tune out of the Blog because of the resulting conversational chit-chat, which deprives the rest of the community of their useful insights.
To that end we have put together this short piece of Blog how-to’s. Our goal is to accentuate the positive, rather than set out a rigid list of rules.
Six great ways to post to our blog
1. Stick to the topic. Nothing kills a good conversation quicker than when somebody makes a comment to a Blog post that has nothing to do with the featured topic. If, for example, the post is about when to collect social security, don’t add a comment about IRAs. If the topic is about retiring to Florida, don’t ask someone to comment about Arizona.
2. Keep the wider audience in mind. Please realize that thousands of people might read your comments, hoping to get a valuable exchange of information from them. If you try to use the comments as a one on one chat room, you are wasting everyone else’s time. Worse, valuable contributors will be turned off and go away, depriving the community of valuable insights. If you do want to share with another member, see end of article for suggestions on how to do that.
3. Stick to the facts, or frame your comments as an opinion. Far too many times we see people posting either fringe theories or just plain mis-information. For example, the government has NOT stolen your Social Security, and members of Congress ARE part of the Social Security system. If you make a factual statement, check to make sure it is a fact (snopes.com is a good place to find out if something is true or not). You are entitled to your opinion, but don’t state it as a fact if it is really only what you believe personally.
4. Keep it to YOUR experiences. If your brother-in-law lives somewhere, try to avoid reporting it unless you have experienced it yourself. Our Members especially like to learn about places where others have retired, but only from the people who have actual experiences there.
5. Be polite, be specific, and avoid generalizations. Treat people the way you want to be treated. Sarcasm and criticism is not appropriate. Don’t generalize – For example, calling individuals or a class of people a redneck, snowflake (or worse) is not helpful. People are not generalizations, we are all unique people with foibles and strengths to spare.
6. Tread carefully over politics and religion. Everyone has their opinions. In today’s highly politicized environment you are not going to change anyone’s mind, no matter how skillfully you think you are making the argument. So please spare us all the pain and agita that gets stirred up with your blistering critiques of the other party. This site is about retirement, and we want to concentrate on that, and get along in the process.
A few more
For your safety we recommend that you not post your email address or phone numbers in your posts. Spammers have programs that can scrape websites to harvest phone numbers and emails, and spam you. If you would like to contact someone who is posting on Topretirements and have a one on one conversation, send us an email. We will try to contact the other person, and if they want to get in touch with you, that is their option.
If you don’t follow our rules and suggestions
Here is where you can find out Site Rules (there is a link to them at the bottom of every page). Please don’t post irrelevant items, are hurtful or generalize, tell your life story over and over, promote fact-less arguments, speak to only one person, or make some other violation. Since we are a free site we don’t have the resources to spend a lot of time policing violations. So if you abuse our rules and common sense we will delete, edit, or move to a better, more relevant post – if worthy.
We hope you find this post helpful, rather than stern. Other sites encourage or permit a more raucous discussion, but that is not our why we are here. Our goal is to make Topretirements as useful as possible to people who want to have a great retirement. And so far you have done a great job in helping us do that!