3 minutes reading time (650 words)

What to do if you disagree with an article in the Joomla Community Magazine


So you’re scanning the articles in the JCM, you see something and you think: say what? As you read further, clouds of steam gather around you, and after you’re done reading you decide it’s time for action. But what can you do?

Read it again and take some time to think it over. What is it you don’t agree with? Why don’t you agree with it? In your opinion, what should have been written instead of this?
If you have these things clear for yourself, you have a couple of options.

Contact the author

Our policy at the Joomla Community Magazine is that the author is responsible for their content. Contact details for each author are in the Joomla Volunteer Portal. So, depending on the issues you have with the article, contacting the author could certainly be an option.
If the author made a small mistake, you could contact them, inform them about the mistake and suggest a way to correct it. OK, that doesn’t really count as a disagreement: you’re giving the author a friendly heads up. It is different when you think the author’s approach is completely wrong. In that case contacting the author is a good option as well. You could start by asking questions. Ask them why they chose this particular approach, and depending on the answer you might want to explain to them why I think they should have chosen a different approach and what this approach should be. Unless they give you an explanation that makes perfect sense, because in that case the author is right and it doesn’t really matter that you’re right as well. And always, always remember that the author of this article is actually a human being.

Place a comment

You may have noticed it: there’s a comments section below each article in the Joomla Community Magazine. We have that section especially for you, the lovely reader of the JCM. You can use this for a number of reasons, for example to ask for clarification on parts you don’t understand, point out the things you don’t agree with, or just give kudos to the author. At the JCM we love it when people comment, and other people comment to them, and lively conversations and discussions occur, insights change, we all learn, and new ideas are born. 

A friendly warning: the comments section is not particularly a good place for the hotheaded among us. You probably can guess why: you start with a comment, other people comment to you, the discussion goes pear shaped and instead of new ideas being born we end up with door slamming exits. So before you respond, go back to square one and think about the right way to put it (which is, of course, friendly, respectful and polite - yes, even if you think the author is a complete idiot, because, well, human being and all).

Write a better article yourself

Sometimes people have different views on matters. Sometimes there’s not just one way of doing things. If you’re convinced that your way is the best way, you could consider writing an article about the same subject, from your point of view. The smart way to do this (at least, I think it is the smart way but hey, we’re talking about disagreements here so feel free to disagree) is to keep it informative instead of a sentence-by-sentence response to the article you disapprove of. That way you avoid people needing to read and make themselves familiar with two articles. Explain why this is the way to do it, or to look at it (depending on the subject). Invite people to comment and share their views on the matter. 

These are the things that work best if you don’t agree with the content you read in the Joomla Community Magazine. Feel free to comment if you have something to add. Or disagree with me 🙂

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