Commenting on blogs

A lot has been written around the web about commenting on blogs. And it seems that this is an ongoing discussion which will not end soon because our attitudes and behaviours online are constantly evolving – in line with all the new technological advancements that seem to occur on a daily basis. Recently, I had a similar discussion with my friend Katina Kostova. We talked about the reasons why some people barely (if at all) comment on blogs? In our short correspondence several points are worth mentioning here, I think.

First, there is the fact that majority of active online users are only consumers of information. They are not looking for a discussion on a certain topic or to build relationships with the writers. And if they want to react to what they’ve just read, it is much easier to click on the “share” button and continue to the next post or article. To tackle this behaviour, readers need to show discipline and start to comment on a regular basis. Given enough time this activity will become almost like a habit. Leaving comments on a regular basis will leave an impression with the other participants in the conversation who will start to recognize the name of the commenter.

Second, there seems to be a trend in shifting the discussion from the blogs to other social networks like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Sharing through these platforms takes much less time, it’s easier to write a short note with the link than writing a long comment in the blog, and the chance that more people will be exposed to the note/comment is higher.

Third, there might be some psychological barriers to commenting on blogs. Some people might be afraid of confrontation or scared of insulting the author. They might prefer to share their opinion and critique privately – directly to the author, rather than stating them openly in the public. Furthermore, the person writing the comment might feel uncertain or insecure. One might not feel competent enough about the topic or as knowledgeable as the other participants who are leaving comments and simply avoid joining the conversation.

These are some of the reasons we covered in our short talk. I am sure that there are other reasons that stop people from commenting on blogs. I would love to hear from you and read your own thoughts on the subject.

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5 thoughts on “Commenting on blogs

  1. Hey,

    I’ve been thinking about this for a few days, since, for the most part, I’m one of those ‘consumers’ of info rather than a frequent commenter.I do appreciate the posts many people write and not showing that appreciation by not commenting is a little unfair for sure. I think however you should look at the types of comments posted by “frequent” posters… the styles of comments and what each style costs.

    You’ve the flippant “I agree” or “Great point” commenters. This gives a sense of being heard to the person posting, but doesn’t add anything in my view… so I don’t do it. Rarely will you see negative short posts, because it’s impolite to disagree and not explain why.

    The other commenter chooses posts to comment on because they’re of particular interest and before commenting, thinks it through and posts a quality comment which catalyses a quality conversation. This takes time. For example, writing this post is taking about more than 15 minutes as I write, delete, rewrite… getting my thoughts together. This is not something I’m going to do often. I subscribe to many RSS feeds and want to benefit from them in as short a time as possible. The other drawback for me is that conversation over the interent on blogs etc. is often very superficial in my experience. A lot of back slapping but little objectiveness/debate/sharing of thought out ideas. This is done in privare forums, between people who know each other. Should I take the time, it’s rare people comment in an equally thought through fashion – so I feel my time’s wasted.

    I do admit that as a consumer of content, I should at least let these people know there time’s appreciated. I won’t however become a more ‘frequent’ commenter since, for me, it’s impossible to post frequent, quality comments… the only comments I feel it’s worth leaving.

    Marin, I read many of your posts with interest and hope you continue posting… but what comments are you hoping for? It’s perhaps too much to ask people to frequently comment with thought and quality, because it takes time. Time many don’t really want to give since we spend far too much time in front of our laptops as it is. The other scenario is lots of suface-level, flippant comments and I’m wondering how much good that would bring anyway?

    • Thanks for your thoughts, Scotty! Great insights!

      What I have observed so far is that those who actually take part in comment conversations extensively are usually very active contributors and bloggers. Those people (and I include myself) who mostly consume information look at blogging as an additional tool to increasing knowledge on a specific topic and then, start or join a conversation in real-life, face-to-face. I personally also prefer to talk face-to-face with people. Somehow when I can see the reaction of the other person the whole conversation can become a much better experience.

      When we talk about appreciation it’s now become easier than ever to show it – by a simple click of a button you can share something you enjoyed reading/watching/listening to and even add a short comment. As I put it in the post – the conversation is shifting to the social platforms.

      I am glad that my post lead to this wonderful comment from you – how is your blogging project coming along?

      Cheers!

  2. I asked him who he was and he said Mike,
    and I asked where he was from and he said Lonestar.
    You push a lever on your remote, and your remote control plane veers to the left.
    This becomes handy during long business hours and in busy festive seasons.

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