what’s the deal with comments?

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evey, my nablopomo partner in crime, got me started thinking about this after she posted her thoughts on comments, comments, comments the other day.

now, obviously, blogs are not run by people who cringe at the thought of writing (at least i’d hate to read one that was!) the gift of the experience is in the creation itself; the writing is the full reward. however…as a blogger, there is little to measure your success. comments provide direct feedback measuring how accurately you can express what you intend and how well you can engage your audience.

me & eves
(go falcons!)

as ms. evey mentioned, we’ve been talking about blogging, she and i. you see, back in the day, we were pretty active bloggers and we kept our pages up to date. as a result of our effort, we had two things a blogger covets:

  1. traffic
  2. interaction

not only did our blogs get a lot of visitors, but our visitors stayed long enough to offer their two cents in a conversation. this thing happens when you get a bunch of regulars meeting and convening around the content you are posting: a community is built. friends get to know other friends, other blogs are brought into the mix and soon everybody knows everybody.

since we began posting daily again, it’s been a slow climb back to the heights where we once soared. (okay, okay. soaring is a little dramatic. whatevs.) discussion is minimal and it’s not easy to build that. coming from a place where a your own virtual neighbourhood existed in your very own comments section, it’s easy to forget how much work went in to fostering that. it feels like it should just be there.

they call it the blogosphere for a reason (and i say they because i hate that word.) it’s called that because it’s all interrelated and influential. everyone knows someone else, knows someone else and so on for ever and ever.

i told evey about my belief that what you get out of blogging is directly related to what you put into it. want comments? then give ’em!

she took this to heart and examined it, namely asking her readers why they don’t comment when she can see that they *are*reading based on site views. when i reviewed her feedback, i felt familiar with almost everything her readers were saying.

  • i read blog posts from my phone = too drawn out a process to type the message, log in, etc.
  • i read blogs during lunch at work = too time consuming
  • (this was mine) i wonder if i have anything to contribute = sometimes the subject is out of my league or my interest and i just can’t come up with anything worthwhile to add
i think kristen nailed it from all angles:
maybe things have changed. sigh. i may need to get on board with that opinion since every post brings at least a few comments via email, text, twitter, conversation throughout the day. you guys are reading and i know it! so, what gives? why so quiet, my pretties?

 

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13 responses »

  1. I know how you feel. I love getting comments on my blog but they are rare. But it’s also rare that I leave comments on other blogs and for some inexplicable reason I’ve never put the two together until now. I am turning over a new leaf!

    • Evidence! I tried to comment on one of your blog posts last night, but the comments window wouldn’t open. I assumed it was something wiggy with my iPad and let it go until this morning. Now, again…from my work PC. I couldn’t possibly be doing something wrong just trying to comments, but…ack! What gives? Any idea?

  2. It’s it exactly – I’m reading through a reader or through Twitter. I get very few comments on my blog either, even when I specifically ask for them. My analytics say that there are lots of visitors though!

  3. I tend to comment more on friends blogs than I would on strangers. I think its my way of showing support, but I guess I should really support anyone who writes.

    I also find that there ends up being a lot of twitter conversation about a blog post rather than blog comment conversation. I don’t mind either, but would love both 🙂

    • I get the friends vs. strangers thing. I’m like that, too. However, sometimes I’m still challenged to post ANOTHER comment that is just rah! rah! rah! without any substance, you know? Anyway…you totally nailed it saying the conversation takes place elsewhere. I tried to make a note of that in my post. I’m shocked, really, by the number of people who will initiate a conversation on Twitter or Facebook or by text message, whatever, instead of commenting at the place where they read it. Every single day, someone i see in person says to me “I saw on your blog” and none of them will leave a comment. Not a complaint, just an observation. 🙂

  4. Yeah, between using readers/mobile devices, writing commentary is HARD. And you can’t do any comments on any blog without filling out name/email/web and the comment — but if you remove those, you remove the value of leaving a comment because nobody can link to you and it’s too easy to spam. So you’re damned there, too.

    And if you part-publish on your RSS feed to encourage click-through, people tend to just not read — instead of reading and commenting. Everyone hates a partial-publisher.

    I’d love more commentary, but it’s hard to get, and I simply don’t know what to write to encourage it. More fluff? More vapid prose? I dunno.

    • I think you post great content, Nathan. Yours is a blog that I am challenged to contribute to. (Do I have anything to add to this conversation? What can I bring to this table?) I should just let loose and say what I want to say, but I start typing and then I think and think some more and eventually I’ve wound myself so far from the original topic, I don’t know how to get back. 😉

      Like I said to Laura, posting promotes conversation in other venues and that’s great. Just an adjustment, I guess…

  5. Yeah Kristen really did nail it didn’t she. I too do a lot of my reading at night from my phone when I am in bed. So I get it.

    As much as I long for comments to keep me going, now that I know my readership (at least some of it) is still on board then I guess I am okay with it. Plus I have you to make me feel good about myself when you finally get around to commenting 🙂

  6. Yeah, even though I mostly write our blog to document our lives for us to look back on, I do enjoy comments and they are few and far between. We dont get a lot of views either. I try not to take it personnally : ). As a blog lover I know there are zillions of great blogs out there and most people just dont have as much time to devote to blogs.

    Funny I found your blog through Blogher today. Our favorite team, the Houston Texans played your team today. Great game!

    • Ugh. I was away from the TV this weekend and by all accounts that was something to be thankful for. Word on the street is that the Falcons stunk up the field. I certainly didn’t need to see that! 😉

      Thanks for stopping in and for saying hi. I was beginning to wonder if I was doing Blogher wrong. I haven’t noticed a good deal of traffic from there, but I probably just need to devote some time and attention to it!

  7. Ha.. so many comments on this one!

    I feel much the same way you do but usually I feel like I have nothing worthwhile to add, and therefore I don’t. I too see the spike (when I DO post something on my own blog) of viewership, but alas, little to no comments. I figure it’s my lack of consistency, or my boringness. Ha. I’ve just been reassured I’m way interesting and that people are lazy!
    Yay me!

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