11 August 2020

Comments General Guidelines from Cassie Kozyrkov

I am active on LinkedIn these days and one of the people whose work I follow is Cassie Kozyrkov, Chief Decision Scientist at Google. 

She has great articles, blog posts and videos. If statistics and Decision Science interest ou, she is great. You should follow her.

Anyway, she published a set of guidelines for comments on her posts which I thought were really good.  I asked her if I could steal the guidelines and she said yes, so here we are. The following are my general guidelines. I made a few very minor changes to hers.

"Hi folks! A quick update on how I handle your comments on my posts.

"Your positive comments bring me joy and are what makes toiling on weekends worth it. I'm smiling on the inside even though I won't have time to give them all the "thank you" they deserve.

"Your comments that take the content in new directions thrill me and give me new ideas.

"Your questions provide fodder for new material.

"Your negative comments that critically and thoughtfully engage with the content specifics and help your peers (and me) learn stay.

"Your comments pointing out specific errors I've made are" kept "even after I fix my mistakes. Thank you!" [Keeps me humble a little.]

"Your comments with spoilers (e.g. "the answer is B") are deleted.

"Your comments which contain incorrect conclusions are deleted so that other readers don't get misinformed. My apologies!

"Harassing / ad hominem / negative comments like "this sucks/you suck/people like you suck" without a helpful explanation to benefit readers are deleted because they disproportionately discourage others from reading the content to form their own views.

"Why did I tell you this? So that you don't use the comments as data. They're not a poll. There are people who like my writing and there are people who don't. 

"To those who like it, thanks for joining me and keeping me motivated!

"Four more varieties:

"Comments that are harmlessly off-topic usually stay, but not if they're very distracting.

"Comments that are trying to sell something are deleted.

"Comments that make it painfully obvious that you didn't read what you're commenting on are deleted.

"Comments with intelligent humor / wordplay about the topic are my most treasured favorite thing. They make my day. (Sometimes I even respond to them when I ought to be working.) I've had some really great laughs on this forum and I'm deeply grateful for all you quick-witted, cheeky, cheerful people."

There it is. She's really great, and I really like her philosophy for engagement.

Best to all, and keep safe.