Ever since I started my blog a whole 2 months ago, I’ve wanted to write a post on comments. I’m not up on blog etiquette and wanted to open a discussion on the subject to hear other people’s views on commenting.
Before I started blogging, I would read various blogs and NEVER comment. I was the definition of a lurker. I reasoned that the person I was reading didn’t know me and what I had to say couldn’t possibly interest them. The more comments the person had, the less they’d “need” my 2 cents. I remember leaving my first comment vividly for JeezLouise when she mentioned that no one was probably reading her stuff. She had no comments on that particular post. It was a very personal one and I could feel her pain. It made me sad to think she felt so alone and I had to be the one to try to reach out. After I’d commented on one, I still didn’t feel inclined to do more commenting.
Once I started blogging, I had it in my head that as long as 10 people read my first entry, I would write another. I got 7 comments and 7 more people who told me via Twitter that they read it. That was enough to feed my ego and keep me going. Considering I don’t know how to get traffic to my site except through Twitter, I’d say that was pretty good. I have no clue how to include tags, links or pictures. I’m going to have to get a book on WordPress because right now I’m just flying by the seat of my pants.
After I’d received comments on my own blog, I realized the power of them. They are tangible proof that you matter. Just being told someone read what you wrote is nice too but the feeling can’t exactly be relived like it can be by rereading old comments.
I have made a point of personally thanking everyone who has commented on my blog via Twitter. I don’t want to ever get to the point where I don’t let my appreciation be known to my readers. I know some people comment back to each person on their blog which makes it look like the number of comments is double what it really is. I’m wondering if that is the “correct” way to handle comments? I’ve noticed that those who get hundreds of comments on a single entry don’t reply at all to the comments. I would assume it has to do with how time consuming it would be. A lot of the comments they receive are just a single sentence of encouragement. Does that warrant a thank you comment beneath it on a blog post? Any thoughts on this would be helpful.
Some blogs have tough security where you have to jump through hoops to leave a comment. That kind of drives me batty to have to go through that much trouble. I don’t have time to read all blogs all the time but now I make a point of commenting if I find a post especially moving or if it is a person I consider an internet friend I want to support. I’ve often wondered if someone leaves a comment for every entry and then quits leaving comments, do you assume they’ve quit reading or just are too busy to comment?
So much of this commenting business is over my head. My blog came set up with comments needing approval from me before posting. I don’t know if it’s necessary or not but I hope it’s not discouraging people from commenting.
There are different comment systems like Disqus which I don’t understand at all. When I’ve commented on others’ blogs, they ask for name, email and website. Whenever I’ve filled that in, it never lists my last blog entry like it does for others. I don’t know why or how to fix it. Sigh. It’s nothing to get panicked over but it just reinforces that my site is not making it out into the blogosphere.
I have also started to wonder if some commenters have an agenda to get themselves noticed and get validation by leaving comments. At times it almost seems like a type of self-promotion. That’s not necessarily a bad thing.
In any case, my opinion on comments has completely changed and I now think they are golden! My questions for all of you are:
1) What determines whether you comment on a blog or not?
2) Have you ever left a comment that was anything but nice? (I’ve never received any and would never leave any.)
3) Does the more complicated comment systems with heightened security make you less inclined to leave a comment?
4) What percentage of blogs you read do you leave a comment on?
5) Do you still continue to comment if the person doesn’t acknowledge you or what you’ve said?
I’m sure there’s more to cover on this topic but it’s a start. Anything you’d like to share about your experiences with leaving or receiving comments is welcome! 🙂