Responding to Negative Comments

When you increase your web visibility — a good thing to do for your business — you also increase your vulnerability. A YouTube video in which Josepha explained something about math recently received this comment:

Did you make this video using the Logitech HD Pro Webcam C910? Bc if so, the resolution, clarity is terrible, even when I view it @480p. Heck, none of your videos look sharp. Also, you are quite the looker here but in your vid on amazon, you look like an anorexic young boy. Don’t do bangs; wear your hair long.

Here’s the process we went through in responding to the comment:

  • Ask yourself, “Is it spam?” While the personal remarks are rude, it doesn’t look like spam. It appears that the writer actually watched videos and thought about his comments. We didn’t block or trash his comment.
  • Ask yourself, “Is it entirely personal?” If the comment had been nothing but nasty remarks about Josepha’s hair and figure, we’d have trashed it. But the writer has things to say which are related to our business, so we move on to the next step.
  • Listen. The writer is pointing out flaws in the quality of our videos. We make lots of videos for our blogs, and we make some for our clients, too. If our videos are lacking in sharpness, we should think about that. Perhaps something in our software or hardware is at fault — we’ve actually used entirely products we’ve been sent for review, so it may be that we need to upgrade. We might also need to pay more attention to our lighting, or strike a better balance between mobile device-ready and high-res video. At the very least, last year’s claim that people accept amateurish video may be outmoded now. We took the opportunity to consider these possibilities. A critical comment is an excellent chance to do this kind of thinking.
  • Respond. Rosamond responded courteously to Mr. X (I’m leaving out his name so as not to embarrass him). Mr. X came back with further advice and even removed his original nasty comment, as you can see below.

Here’s the comment thread as it now stands:

Mr. X
2 days ago
Comment removed

1 day ago
@Mr.X We thank you for your feedback on this video. We are using that webcam, but are looking for something to help with the clarity of our videos. Do you have any suggestions? The personal comments made.. we will not be passing along. I’m sure you can understand this 🙂

Mr. X
1 day ago
I guess that means the c910 is only capable as a webcam, and not really something you’d want to create high quality youtube vids with. For the latter, go with what many are using, the Flip HD. btw, you have a clear, articulate manner. that in conjunction w/ your looks could land you some kind of media gig. I’d get a better cam and start creating different content (maybe start interviewing interesting ppl). I have no idea why I am telling you this but good luck in your endeavors!

1 day ago
Ah wonderful! We were considering the Flip HD. Good to hear that it comes recommended by others. We are a teaching resource website. So our content is directed at teachers looking to have more interactive classrooms and activities to engage their students. Thank you again for your feedback!

In our case, we hadn’t done anything for or to Mr. X but allow him to watch videos about math, but if he had bought something from us, we would also have had to offer to do something about the money he had spent and the product he was dissatisfied with, or at least to offer him some sort of resolution process. By responding courteously, we were able to defuse the situation and get rid of the negative comment. If you follow the steps outlined here, you may be able to do the same.





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