Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Art of Commenting

I'm guilty of it. You're probably guilty of it. We all are, at least sometimes.

We're reading a blog post on someone's page. Maybe it's a really, really good blog post! And you think, "By golly, this is a dang good post!"*

You read it. You finish it. You mentally commend the author for writing such a well-worded post.

Then you close the page and move on.

The only evidence you were ever there is a page hit on the blogger's site stats.

On a commenter's side of things, we're busy, we don't know what to say off the top of our heads. But from a blogger's perspective, it can be a little disheartening. We see we're getting the hits. We see people are reading what we write. But when no one ever comments, it can feel like we're throwing our thoughts out into a void.

I'm horribly guilty of this. I've gotten better, but I still don't comment on every post I read and enjoy. Instead, I try to comment on ten blog posts a week. That isn't much, considering how many I read. Also, when someone comments on my blog, I visit theirs and return the favor as thanks. Give and take, right? I try to mention books I've read and loved, try to spark some sort of conversation. Writing (and reading, to a point) can be very, very lonely endeavors, so it's good for us to connect with each other.

The point of this being, let's make a resolution to reach out a little more. Hell, start with this post! Visit some of the commenters' blogs and engage them. Make some new friends.


ALSO. As an added FYI: A friend of mine (and someone who is very good at commenting on posts!) Angelica R Jackson has been hosting a fundraiser for a local no-kill animal shelter here in California. Auctions are being posted in a staggered order all week, and include some great writing stuff, like agent critiques, swag, ARCs, signed books, and some other non-writing-related stuff. It would mean a lot if you'd check it out!



*I hope you don't actually talk like this.

33 comments:

  1. I absolutely agree! I'm trying to make it a habit to comment on at least 5 posts per day. It isn't much, but it's better than nothing :)

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    1. That's a lot more than I comment on! ;) I've been trying to get better about it, but it IS a hard habit to break.

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  2. I know the feeling! I recently posted on my blog about some good news I've received (I'm now writing for a magazine; my first big step in the world of publishing) and I'm getting views, but only one person has commented. My friends on FB are being supportive, but now I'm wondering where all my internet friends are. Does no one care about my news?

    The thing is, as soon as I start thinking this, I realize I'm being hypocritical. I'm really bad at commenting on other people's blogs. If I can't take the time to congratulate someone on their new book deal, or participate in a quick blog hop, or tell someone how much I appreciated their blog post, how can I expect them to congratulate me?

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    1. Well, I think your good news (just went and saw it) is fantastic. :) I'm very excited for you!

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  3. Surprise, here I am commenting! I do try to leave comments on posts that I like, and to congratulate others, but I admit that the word verification is a big barrier for me. I have a visual learning disability, and sometimes, even if I've already typed a comment, if I have to verify it I go, "meh" and move on without submitting.
    That's partly an individual issue, but also a time issue for others. If they were just wanting to pop in and say congrats, adding another step in there can be offputting.

    All right, off my soapbox to say, Thanks Kelley, for all your help with Pens for Paws! And everyone, keep an eye out on P4P for a signed ARC of Hushed and a critique by Kelley going up on the auction later this week.

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    1. You're awesome like that. ;) And that's a very good point about the word verification. Sometimes I get ticked off if the words are hard to read and I don't get it right on the first try, so I don't bother. I've canceled a lot of comments that way!

      And you're very welcome! Glad I could help. :)

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    2. I agree about the verification. The worst is the Wordpress ones that require you to login and it's never easy - especially because I know Wordpress has a FANTASTIC spam comment blocker app. And google just made their verifications harder to read - and sometimes it doesn't pop up until after you think you've already submitted the comment. It's a mess. I always recommend not having word verification as long as you're not getting overwhelmed with spam, which most people aren't.

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  4. I'm trying to be a lot better at commenting on the posts I read. As a blogger myself, I understand how discouraging it can be to put a lot of effort into a post, only to have it get a single comment...from your mom.

    :) So thanks for blogging!

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    1. Hahaha, precisely. ;) I have a few people who are regular commenters on my blog, and I adore them for it.

      Thank you, Lauren!

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  5. If I read a blog post, I always comment. I can't see the point of reading and not commenting. That being said, I don't always have something profound to say, but I at least try to say "hi. I was here. I liked this."

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    1. And sometimes, those little 'hi, I was here' comments really make someone's day. I've gotten them before on my personal blog, and it really does cheer me up. I try to reply to every comment left on my blog, even if it's just to say, 'thanks for commenting.'

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  6. I'm a comment-a-holic; sometimes I think I might ramble too much in commenting on blogs. I personally love it when someone posts a well thought out comment, or even if it's just funny but shows they read what I wrote. So I try to do the same!

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    1. You're ahead of the game. ;) KEEP IT UP. I guarantee every one of the bloggers whose posts you reply to appreciate it!

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  7. What I find ruder than taking the time to read a post is just hitting "like." A blog isn't Facebook. I really want to know who some of these strangers are who have "liked" certain of my posts but never bothered to introduce themselves in the comments or tell me just what they liked about my posts on some subjects. It actually strikes me as a little creepy. I know more than a few of my posts are longer than some people might be used to, but I figure someone who took the time to read through a post on a serious subject, taking substantial length to discuss it, would at least leave a one-line comment saying s/he learnt something from it.

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    1. Very true. I think people have gotten used to the ease of something like Twitter and Tumblr--where you can retweet/reblog when you enjoy something--and Facebook, where you can like a post without commenting.

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  8. Sorry, that should say "ruder than taking the time to read a post but not commenting."

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  9. I'm guilty. I read all of the ones I follow in the reader but rarely comment. I'm getting better. =)

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    1. Me too! We'll work on it together. ;)

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  10. I've been improving in my own commenting, but it is SO hard! There's so many things to balance.

    Great post. ;)

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    1. I know! I think if everyone comments even on five posts a week, that's five more comments that weren't there before. ;)

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  11. I'm with a lot of the people here - I've been trying to get better at commenting, but it always seems to fall to the bottom of my to-do list! I get upset when I have posts nobody comments on, so I really should make more of an effort.

    Another problem I have is DISQS (or however it's spelled). It doesn't work on my phone and is blocked from my work computer so I end up not commenting on blogs that have it installed.

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    1. Same with me, Sarah. I get bummed out when I post stuff--especially snippets from WIPs or whatever--and nobody comments. So I've been really trying to comment on at least a few posts a day.

      That makes sense! My work uses an ANCIENT version of Internet Explorer (ugh), so for the longest time, it wouldn't even populate the default forms blogger uses and I could never comment. They've since updated, but on some layouts, it still shows up kind of buggy.

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  12. I'm an awful commenter. i want to be better. I'll start right now.

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    1. GOOD! We're all starting right there with you.

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  13. Dang, I read and now I feel obliged to comment. LOL! I've been guilted into it.

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    1. Haha. ;) Thank you for the comment, Leigh!

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  14. I know I do this too, and it's a bad habit. I'm getting better and I know that each comment counts, because I too am a blogger and it's always nice to gets comments that show that the work your putting into it really does get appreciated!

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    1. Exactly. Even if it's just a 'hey, liked this post, good job' it tells bloggers that the effort they put into their post (which was, certainly, more effort than it takes to leave a comment) that someone thought it was worth reading.

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  15. I try and comment or at least hit like when I visit a blog, but sometimes I have little to say. I try and leave at least a couple words of encouragement though, as I go along.

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    1. Words of encouragment are a great thing, Traci! Keep it up!

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  16. really nice post.... I love the cat. . .is it your cat kelly?? soooooooo... cute...
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