I wanted to write something in order to solidify my thoughts on why blog comments seemingly are more likely to be negative rather than positive, this isn’t going to be interesting or original. Probably it’s something to do with how if there’s something you don’t like it’s more important to “vocalise” it than when you like it. But there’s more to it than that.
No more so than with buildings and design, as they are subjects everyone can have an opinion on. As a sometime professional graphic designer (well, more layout really, but unless you’re a design star that’s prety much all you get to do) I detest showing artwork to clients as they have opinions which they can’t back up with anything but a gut feeling. You end up trying to explain design theory, or just giving up and doing whatever they want – so guess what happens more often. The best you can hope for in these cases is that you end up with all the graphics at the right resolution and things spelt correctly without Comic Sans.
As for commenting myself I try to be as polite as possible, sometimes even not saying things I mean in order not to offend. While not quite “if you can’t say anything good…”, you’ve at least got a chance of getting your point across.