Monday, June 13, 2011

Reading vs. Commenting on Blog Posts

I've read a couple of interesting blog posts this morning [Talei Loto, Jody Hedlund] about why a blog reader takes the time to post a comment rather than just read and move on. I'm definitely guilty of skimming blog posts and not stopping to comment until one really strikes a chord. I probably do read your blog. If I haven't commented, it's might be because:

1) It has a lot to do with my introverted personality. In face-to-face conversations, I usually tend to be more of a listener than a talker, unless I'm really passionate about a subject. The only problem is, when you're online a blogger doesn't necessarily know you are reading/listening (or even who you are) unless you post some kind of written acknowledgement.

2) Sometimes, I can't think of anything clever thought-provoking to say, and since another commenter has already taken my standard "Great post!", it seems redundant to repeat it.

3) There's a time factor. I read a lot of blogs and it takes time to post. Some blogs still have those verification boxes where you need to type in a nonsense word and may not seem worth the effort when all I'm going to say is "Great post!"

4) I do comment when a post sparks an idea. Perhaps, as I read more blogs, I'm becoming choosier (or lazier). If I don't come across a new way of talking or thinking about something, I don't always leave a comment. This reminds me of how an agent or editor has all those submissions to read, but doesn't respond unless one really catches their eye. It just shows that, like writing a novel or a query, showing some blog personality or originality is important if you want to get more attention.

EXCEPT, when I think about how much I appreciate the comments I get on my own blog, especially for posts where I've taken time to compile a lot of links or spent a long time working on what I want to say, I can see how, in a way, I'm letting my fellow bloggers down when I don't take the time to comment.

As a writer, I often don't know how others react to what I've written. But when I do, wow! It can just make my day. In a way, a comment, no matter how short or simple, is really saying, I appreciate the time you've taken to write this. I'm reading your words.

15 comments:

  1. It is true - sometimes it's a time factor, sometimes my response might feel glib. But I try to comment each time even with a "Loved it!" because I know they appreciate the feedback. Sometime a post will leave me pensive but then I just write "I need to think about this one" just so they know I've read.

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  2. I don't always comment, mostly because of time constraints...but you're right. I know comments mean a lot to me, so I'm going to try to make a stronger effort! Great post :)

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  3. Sometimes it feels like you're speaking to no one, or a crowded room where everyine is talking to wach other, and it can be quite lonely. A simple comment can just make the difference for some people. I always try to leave a comment on a blog where no one else has.

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  4. Whoop! Thanks for the lovely mention! ;-)

    It's true though, sometimes we read more vs. post comments. Not necessarily a bad thing but I am curious to know what makes people comment or not.

    Have a lovely writerly week!

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  5. I totally agree! I wish there was a "like" button for people's comments because often my opinion mirrors theirs. I'm also an introvert (aren't most writers?), so writing a comment and posting it on a writer's blog carries with it the possibility of being critiqued...and you can guess how I feel about that! : )

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  6. Time is a factor for me. But I usually do like reading blog posts. I just don't comment as much as I like. So I don't take it personally on my own blog as far as comments go.

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  7. It's so funny you posted this today! I was thinking of starting my post today with a comment to my fellow bloggers about how I do read their blogs devotedly even though I often don't comment. Sometimes I comment "great post" or something just to let them know I've been by. We all take time and trouble to compose our posts, and hope that people will read them and enjoy them, or get something useful out of them, so it's wonderful to get comments and know who is stopping by! I've recently added those reaction boxes to mine so that people who don't have much to say or don't want to take time to write a comment can just click a box. I like Emily's idea of a "like" button :)

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  8. Great post! Heh heh.

    I usually comment when someone makes me laugh, teaches me something new, or tells me something I kind of knew in a new and memorable way.

    Girl Friday.

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  9. I'm just like you. I consider myself more of a blog stalker instead of a commenter. But it's true. I need to be a better commenter. Thanks for the tip....great post!

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  10. It does take time to comment, and that's something that's usually in short supply (especially since writing takes up so much of it).

    Mooderino, it's sweet of you to comment on blogs where there are no other comments.

    Girl Friday, I like your reasons for commenting.

    Susanna, I like the idea of the reaction boxes. I'll have to find out how to get some! A like button would be even nicer.

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  11. You're right, comments encourage. I think of it as you stated: that a comment is a thank you.

    If I took the time to read, or even just to skim, I usually leave a comment so the blogger knows I was there and took the time and appreciated.

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  12. Andrea,
    Can I spotlight you for one of my Blogger Mentor Mondays? I hope to give other blogs exposure and get great advice for how to have a successful blog. Also, it will give you a chance to share your inspiration for your blog and talk about your writing. If this is something that you'd like to do, let me know and I'll get the questions to you! THANKS!

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  13. I remember when reading blogs was like reading the newspaper, there's no pressure to respond to a newspaper article you've read. But as the blog thing became more of a community, I felt my attitude towards it needed to change. I'm like you, that I often don't know what to say, which is why I usually don't read the other comments, until after I've written something. Then, so what, if it wasn't that original. I think the main point is what you say at the end, I want to tell the blogger that I was there. You took time to write it, I took time to read it--just want to let you know.

    (I do wish the verification boxes would be removed, such an extra hassle.)

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  14. Sorry I missed this on Monday, but I was out of town. Great post, btw. ;o)

    I'm with you. I read a lot of blogs, but don't always comment unless the mood strikes me. And sometimes I feel like commenting just to say 'great post' is me being lame.

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