Blog Comments

There’s no shortage of blogging how-to’s on the web and one tip that seems to regularly get thrown around is the need to read other blogs and write comments.

Some comment threads are a community unto themselves and sometimes just as enjoyable to read.  Commenting is an easy way to form online friendships or get your work – whatever that may be – out to a wider audience but I’ve discovered it has some irritating quirks.

  • There are occasional criticisms regarding sycophants – you know the “you are so fabulous” and “I love you so much” type stuff.  I’m not sure it’s entirely fair making these criticisms when everybody gets told that commenting is the key to building a following.  I like to believe that people aren’t stupid and can quickly decipher who’s telling the truth (they’re usually the ones not linking up to their website three times).
  • If you’re never going to reply to comments do you think it is still worth opening up a comments section?
  • Link-ups are a great way to discover new blogs but I think cutting back is sometimes a great way to test how you stand on your own two feet.  It’s also a pretty quick way to discover who’s commenting because they want to not because they have to – not that there’s anything wrong with that.  Some link-ups are popular with good reason though and the support and encouragement can be amazing.  Others provide link-ups with no expectations other than a warm fuzzy feeling inside.
  • Be careful how and where you comment.  Some people will sit back and let others rip into you for the sake of more stats.   This may or may not come up on a google search and you’ll probably kick yourself for taking the bait.  This is why I only use “Carli” and not my site or my surname.  Familiarise yourself with a site’s stance on moderating because some take the viewpoint of “delete nothing” while others don’t tolerate nastiness.  Obviously the larger a website becomes the more difficult it gets to moderate abusive comments so jump into places like Mamamia the Herald Sun or Essential Baby with your safety gear on.
  • Beware the strawman argument – I’ve only been blogging for 11 months but I’ve already seen a handful of people misrepresent another blogger’s position, either on their blog or via twitter, in order to disprove an argument or further their own agenda.  It’s transparent.
  • Beware the lynch party.  I was once guilty of leaving a comment on a post because I felt it was particularly nasty.  I can only assume what followed was a string of similar feedback because the website temporarily shut down.  I’m not sure a lynch style method is the right way to go even if a post has hit below the belt.  Ignore.  Ignore. Ignore.  It’s my new mantra.
  • With so many bloggers commenting on other people’s blogs it’s natural that posts about blogging (such as this one) will become more prevalent.  Are you still with me??  It’s easy to forget that other people are reading and sure, it might not reflect on your stats, but I’m pretty sure they don’t always want to read blogs posts about blog posts.

 

What quirks have you found about blog comments?  Are you sick of blog posts about blog posts?  Do you disagree with my findings?  I’m open to having my views challenged :)

 

Comments

  1. says

    Yes, I agree. I’d add to your be careful where you comment with “pick your battles”. Sometimes there’s just no point arguing. Especially when they’re clearly not going to change their way of thinking.

    I’d also add: If you don’t have anything to say, don’t. Comments should add to the post, not just agree with it (although that it nice, it can make the comments a bit pointless after the first 3).

    • says

      Have to agree – although I struggle with the last one particularly where a post has left an impression and I want to say something…usually Eden’s!

  2. Mrs Woog says

    I agree with you about the blogging about blogging posts. Even though I love LOVE to read them and share experiences and ideas, they do not seem to work on my blog.

    I personally would never leave a nasty comment on someone else’s blog. I just click away if I don’t agree. Their space and their right to say what they wish. Having said that, I do delete really nasty comments from my blog. It has only happened a handful of times.

    • says

      No, I don’t think leaving nasty comments anywhere is fair. I’m a fan of deleting the really nasty stuff – particularly if the person can’t put a name to it!

  3. Debyl1 says

    I dont blog as I only twitter but I do love to comment if I feel I may have something worth saying.
    I agree with you especially about the comments.I dont understand the bloggers who never reply back.It makes the reader ask themselves have they been heard.So now I tend not to bother to comment on those blogs I have learnt over time dont reply back.
    I understand when a blogger gets a huge amount of comments they cant in anyway repy to all but then have seen others at least make a general reply to everyone or reply to some so we know the blogger has read the comments.
    To those who do reply I say a huge thankyou and that I truelly appreciate them taking the time to show their readers that they care about their comments.
    I also agree about the lynch party.I have left comments sticking up for bloggers when they have been left a nasty unfair comment by someone and then the nasty commenter has turned on me.Its a sad part of the social media world that some find enjoyment out of leaving cruel comments.I have learnt you cant win with those people.
    Great thought provoking post.Love how you write with such variety.xx

    • says

      Now I am going to sound like a sycophant but whenever I read your comments on twitter or other blogs Deb it’s like a little ray of sunshine x

  4. cranky old man says

    Hi, I love your blog…new follower from bla bla bla apppreciate a follow back…yccck.
    I often write for humor, I hate when a comment simply tries to one up me. I try and respond only when appropriate, and my comments are genuine. if I say I enjoyed a post, I enjoyed the post.
    cranky old man

    • says

      Sometimes a post reminds me of a funny story and if I try to write about it in the comment, I start thinking “Oh no am I doing that one-upmanship thing?!” Hearing you on that one!

  5. says

    I must admit I tend to be a lurker. I read many blogs, but I only comment on the posts I really enjoy or where I have something to say. I tend not to comment on the bigger blogs, just because there are 100 other comments there that say what I want to say. I just don’t feel that commenting for the sake of commenting is really all that. Also, if you blog about blogging, my eye is caught right away and I’ll usually click over, but it’s my interest; I could understand how others would be bored by it if there were too many ‘blogging about blogging’ posts.

    I’ve only just started following your blog, and I’m really enjoying your writing style.

  6. says

    I tend to comment if I have something to add, or if I really like what someone has written. But I don’t comment for the sake of commenting. I tend to think that comments like that can be seen through anyway.

    I have a walk away policy on posts that I find offensive, rude, nasty. But I am not opposed to a good debate or different opinions if it is done respectfully.

    I will sometimes leave a comment saying not much more than I agree – but only if I do and there is nothing new to add to the discussion.

  7. says

    It’s a truth universally acknowledged that if you blog about blogging (and especially about blog commenting) you’ll get lots of comments, whether you want them or not!

    At the risk if being too sycophantic, this was a very good wrap up if the commenting situation. And yes, open for comments even if you neve reply. I never have, but I like to think the reply is already in the post. x

  8. says

    Ooh, Carli, what a great post; you’re so insightful! :p

    I think choosing where and when to comment is important – especially if the post or your take on it is controversial. If I’ve had an especially emotional reaction to somebody’s post and bang out an immediate reply, before hitting “post”, I’ll usually walk away from the keyboard for a few minutes to think about it. About half the time I delete my comment; not because I change my opinion, but because I decide that it isn’t going to add anything to the (one-sided) conversation, and may just dump me right in the middle of a shitfight. And who needs that?

    Same goes for Twitter – I read some eye-popping things over there, but mostly choose to ignore. Why give an idiot more attention; it’s probably what they’re after anyway.

    And those sites you mention? I just try to stay away from them. The first two regularly post content expressly designed to upset and annoy people, purely to get more traffic and more comments. I find that distasteful, poor journalism and I refuse to add any extra numbers to their stats.

  9. Deb_BrightandPrecious says

    Seriously great post, Carli. I especially love the ‘beware the strawman argument’. And regarding your last point: precisely! BUT still so valuable to read for the portion of your audience that are bloggers. I just read a great post and link-up this morning that makes me think you should add this post to it – as it was about bloggers sharing blogging tips. It was a guest post by Al Tait on Styling You’s site – about asking publisher’s if they’re reading blogs.

  10. says

    I suck at commenting only because of time restraints and reading blogs on my iphone and iPad which consquently means that spellcheck usually makes me look like a complete moron. I am usually catching up on a like a weeks worth or more of posts when I visit a blog and then I feel kinda creepy commenting on every single post. so I say something when I have something to say, like wanting you to have a cocktail ready for me when I never get on that plane to Melbourne ;P. Seriously though commenting takes time to leave and time to reply to so I dont want to waste anyone’s time if you know what I mean with too much fluff. so if I do leave a comment, sometimes they are seriously insightful and essay length (see exhibit A) and then other times brief and to the point (do not refer to this example). I do like to let the bloggers I love know I was there and I figure commenting is the best way to leave your calling card. As for nasty comments, I just dont see the point at all. x

  11. says

    I’ve always replied to my comments as I think blogging is not about broadcasting. It’s a conversation. If someone wants to talk to me via my blog (or other social media platforms) then I will talk back. That’s the bit I like very much compared with the media game I came from.

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