It surprises us here at CommentWealth how many post authors leave their comment threads uncurated. We're not talking about the type of “curation” that's rewarded monetarily here on Steemit. We're talking about the broader definition of the verb, to curate: “to pull together, sift through, and select for presentation, as music or website content.” (dictionary.com) Steemit authors often fail to curate their comments, to pull together and reward the most valuable comments for presentation at the top of their comment thread, and to move the spam and bot comments down to the bottom of the thread, where they belong. These are simple but crucial habits for successful Steemians.
Comment curation is something all minnows should learn how to do, in order to build their following and create community here on Steemit. And in fact, comment curation is one of the things CommentWealth tries to do for minnows until they learn to do it for themselves. But we've been surprised at how many dolphins and even whales fail to curate their comments! To respond to this need, we've put together a quick guide on how to simply and effectively manage your comment curation.
This doesn't necessarily mean, identify the comments being made by your friends or even your consistent followers. You may have several of those, and they may leave polite comments. But if a newcomer has taken the time to leave a thoughtful, detailed comment about a point you've made, revealing their own thorough comprehension of your work, upvote that comment first! That is the kind of interaction you want to reward and move to the top of your thread!
We call this type of thoughtful, detailed comment a "big" comment.
It stuns us to see big comments rotting on the bottom of someone's comment thread, while that post author is busy high-fiving and upvoting their friends who have offered nothing more than a “hey.” Whales are often guilty of this; fine, they can afford to be. Minnows can't.
Remember, the first comment you upvote always receives a higher payout than the upvotes you make later down the line (until the next day, of course). So upvote the most powerfully connecting comment interactions you receive first.
Middle comments are the polite ones that aren't as engaging or detailed, but that also deserve your attention. CommentWealth believes that anyone taking the time to comment on one of your posts deserves the reward of an upvote! Just make sure you're upvoting these polite, middle comments after your powerful comments, or you can upvote polite comments at a slightly lower percentage than your most powerful comments.
Not all bots are bad, and the ones leaving automated messages after upvoting your content deserve respect and rewards, too. But they fall below the humans who have taken the time to interact with your post. Upvote your bot comments last, or upvote them at a lower percentage, if you use a slider. One possible sliding scale might be to upvote your big comments with 100% upvotes, your middle comments with 75% upvotes, and your bot comments with 50% upvotes. But those numbers are entirely up to you – experiment to find what works best!
This is crucial and should go without saying. But this is the single-most important thing any Steemian can do to build community, relationships, and a loyal following.
How minnows handle spam has a huge effect on how their posts are received. We don't recommend that minnows flag their spam. As a newbie to Steemit, you don't need to start any flame wars and your voting power isn't high enough to make a flagging impact. Flagging is best left to larger accounts that have more voting power. In fact, one of the stated goals of CommentWealth is that we want to help minnows by flagging their spam for them, and this is an activity we'll begin when our account gets larger.
But there are things minnows can do in response to comment spam that can actually help their posts and their visibility on Steemit. Make sure you comment on your spam! The more comments a post has, the more likely others are to click on it, under the assumption that the post author is someone who engages with their readers and followers. So get your comment numbers as high as you can! And that includes commenting on spam.
You don't need to be rude. You can be funny and mock them. You can be polite and helpful, letting them know you have a low tolerance for spam. You can develop a spam policy that you copy and paste whenever a spam comment is left on your work. But however you choose to handle it, make the spam work for you by upping your comment numbers!
And there's one more thing to keep in mind: we didn't discuss comment curation in the sense of curation rewards here on Steemit. But when you build your presence here and engage regularly with your followers, curation rewards from comments can become as lucrative – if not more – than your curation rewards for posts!
If you follow these five steps and keep the ultimate goal in mind, you'll build a following here on Steemit that will propel your account into higher visibility and monetization. Do you have other ways of curating your comments? If so, please tell us in the comments! After all, that's where community happens.