My friend Bobby plays guitar in a band called Salient. I subscribe to the Salient email newsletter and received one today. The email directed me to an independent band website called GarageBand.com. Turns out Salient has generated some buzz on this site in the pop rock category over the last several months. Besides enjoying the music what most interested me was that this site shows the full listing of comments for every song the band has...and Salient has a bunch of comments for each of their four available songs.
Comments are certainly nothing new but this just affirmed something for me tonight: critical comments are great! Not all of Salient's comments were positive and that was a good thing because there's something genuine about this process and seeing it play out right in front of you. In fact, most of the comments are overwhelmingly positive but the fact that there are some bad ones legitimizes all of the good ones because you know that it's not rigged or biased...it's music fans voting and commenting on music. There's purity in that. Afterall, we always listen to a recommedation from another person more that an ad we know was produced by some marketing department. This is the same thing...just different.
If don't have a feedback area on your website do it now and don't delete a critical comment (assuming it's critical and not profane). People are smart enough to figure out if some jerk has an axe to grind with you. If you're doing what you do with quality and are above reproach you don't have anything to worry about. If not, maybe you need to pay attention. Either way the critical feedback is a good thing. You don't have to like it but you should keep it there for all the world to see.