The Manhattan Project--2016 A to Z Theme

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog...

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Do YOU Have Lazy Commenters’ Syndrome?

      Today I leave my blog in the very capable hands of a frequent visitor to Tossing It Out, my A to Z Co-host and friend Nicole Ayers:

Do YOU Have Lazy Commenters’ Syndrome?
Photo: Relaxing with his first born...
Arlee's son-in-law dog tired from reading blogs (Photo by Ada Z)

      Some people who do not leave comments on most of the blog posts they read tend to have a few lazy habits in common. Excuses are among the most discouraging habits that one can possess when it comes to engagement within the blogging community. The habit affects bloggers who have taken the time – and sometimes courage (if the blog post is revealing) -- to share a bit of knowledge, wisdom, personal experiences and/or useful resources with their readers, through the power of the written word. Here are some solutions that can help get rid of the excuses that people make for why they are not commenting on blogs.

 “I don’t have enough time to leave a comment on the blogs I read.”

    Depending on the length of a blog post, reading it takes up more time than commenting. If you have time to read a blog post that is 500-1,000 words in length, then you have time to also comment on that post. Are you still really short on free time? Consider leaving a comment during commercial breaks while you’re watching a TV show. You could also play some music to provide a three-five minute “countdown” limit, of sorts, where you write comments on blogs within that specific timeframe. When the song (or TV commercial break) is over, you will have completed a task that was once low on the priority list. The central focus here is about making time where (you thought) there wasn’t any available.

“I don’t know what to say/can’t relate to the post/am unfamiliar with the topic or subject matter”

       Ok, we’ve all been there – when one finishes reading a blog post and realizes that he or she is at a loss for words, and thus, clicks away without leaving a comment. Maybe you liked the post but don’t think you have anything further to add to the conversation. Or, maybe you didn’t like what you read at all and would rather soon forget about it like nothing ever happened. Even when neither of the two apply because you’re neutral and fall somewhere in the middle of “I can take it or leave it” land, there are always options for commenting on a blog post – just be honest.

       When you really don’t have anything to say, consider writing a sentence that expresses what you didn’t like about a post or mention one small part of the entire post that stood out to you and why. Also, I’m going to let you in on a little secret “Hack” that I use sometimes when reading blog posts – especially when I’m short on time and need to get things moving along – commenting on comments! When you’re lost for words, just read a few of the comments that are already on the blog and then either respond to that commenter, or reference what the person said by using it as the basis for your comment.

“I’m not a member of the blog/social network/third-party app that is requiring me to sign-in or complete some sort of extra task just so I can add my two cents to the conversation”

      If this scenario applies to you, there is good news – you are not among those with this particular case of lazy commenters’ syndrome. The bloggers who make it difficult for people to leave a comment on their blog have this one! Yep, bloggers are not immune to the poor commenting habits that spread through the blogging community like a disease. If you are among those bloggers who place all sorts of hoops for readers to jump through before posting comments on their blog, you have created an unnecessary barrier to audience engagement. The hoops include world verification, placing the comment box in a hard-to-find location on the page or requiring people to sign-up for third-party apps and platforms such as Facebook, Disqus, Intense Debate, Google+ and Wordpress. Keeping these barriers in place is doing a disservice to your own blog. It is also just plain rude and shows a lack of courtesy to readers who have dedicated a portion of their busy day to engage with your blog posts.

     Providing a variety of options is the best way to accommodate comments from people who use different online platforms and profiles for their commenting activities. If this is not a feasible option for you, consider at least adding an optional “Name/URL” field – one of the most general fields to grace the comment boxes on many blogging platforms including Blogger and Wordpress. Since no one owes us or our blogs any attention, if you make it difficult for people to leave comments, it could cause them to start visiting someone else’s blog instead of yours!

Have YOU ever had a case of lazy commenters’ syndrome?  What is the #1 reason why YOU have chosen to not leave a comment on a blog post, at one time or another?

MadlabPostNicole Ayers is a writer and filmmaker who hosts the Monday Movie Meme, Co-Hosts the 2013 Blogging from #atozchallenge and Co-Hosts the Post A-to-Z Road Trip. She also wrote and directed the short film “Abyss” and can be found @MadlabPost on Twitter.

The ‘Monday Movie Meme’ Listing:

Enhanced by Zemanta


  1. If I read, I comment.
    Reading takes far longer than leaving a comment. Sometimes a person doesn't write a post in a way that invites comments (which is why my posts contain a variety of topics and ask questions) but I can always find something on which to comment.

  2. I find it quite ironic that a post focusing on Lazy Commenter syndrome may end up being victim to a lazy commenter or two, I guess that just proves how much of an engaging and apt post you've written for us today. Lazy commenting to me is leaving less informative and open comments on people's posts although I'd never stoop as low as the "nice post," level some people have stooped to haha. Thank you so much for dropping in to write for us, I love the tip on doing it during commercial breaks and the such, I reckon ideas like that could even help me, thank you so much for this :)

  3. Am I guilty of this? For sure. It's a bad habit I'm trying to break, and I'm working to comment on every blog post I read. Though I've found this has led me to read fewer posts... :-/

  4. I usually fall into the category of thinking that I might not have something relevant to say. And rather than leaving a lazy comment, such as “great post”, I don’t comment at all.

    Here’s another thing I do, if I see a post which has tons of comments already, I figure it’s all been said already and therefore I won’t leave a comment.

    On the flip side, even though I write regularly, I don’t receive many comments. I have one or two loyal readers who always comment and I always comment on their posts.

    Hmmm, maybe I just stumbled onto something here. I wonder if I commented more I would receive more feedback on my posts.

    By the way, Great Post :)

  5. I really don't understand what all the fuss is about. Nobody is FORCED to write a comment anywhere. There is no rule that says I HAVE to comment on every blog I read or come across. Sometimes I leave comments, sometimes I don't. It's my choice. When you talk about 'finding excuses' you make it sound so life-changingly important to leave a comment everywhere you go, when in reality, it's not.

    I mean, bloggers love to receive comments, but I'm also aware of my silent readers. One of my best friends reads my blog religiously but has never ever commented in the pop-up box on my actual blog. So what?! I certainly don't start searching for excuses on why they don't comment. My good friend discusses my blog posts with me on facebook regularly instead, and that's just fine with me.

  6. If I choose to follow a blog. I read that blog and always comment, however there are people who "Folllow you" then you never hear from them again and you're left with their avatar on your followers.


  7. I try to comment as much as I can. I think my biggest reason for not leaving one is if what I was going to say has already been said (and maybe answered) - particularly if there are already many comments.

  8. I am guilty of all the excuses. I wish there was a 'like' button like there is on Facebook. It would at least let the blogger know that people read their blog. There are some days I really don't have to the time to comment, but I have read the blog. I always comment on those blogs who've commented on mine. And I've often thought that I would blog 3 days a week and just comment on the other two.

  9. I tend to comment on almost everything I read. When I choose to follow someone, it is because something in their writing style or topics engaged me. I like letting the writer know I read and thought a bit about what they put out there.
    I agree with the commenter who said no where out there is it written that comments are a requirement but isn't that part of the point? Sometimes I don't have much to say but I can always pull something out that caught my attention.
    One more thing- when I comment I like to know that the comment was read by the blogger. When people do comment on my blog, I tend to reply to their comment - a bit of a conversation, if you will.
    I like that.

  10. I comment when I have something to say, I don't when I don't. Although, I have noticed that there's a race to be the first on some blogs, haven't figured out why?
    Is it a competition?
    There are REACTION buttons on some blogs, few folks use them.
    I do love receiving comments, and I try to comment on most all the blogs I read, but sometimes don't have a thing to say and feel that if I just say hi, they'll think I didn't read the post and I'm a fly by commenter.
    Are we damned if we do and damned if we don't?
    Interesting post. . .

  11. Can always run my mouth about something, i read I comment, simple as that. But if there are 50 hoops to jump through, doesn't make me want to come back.

  12. An interesting post with excellent points that as bloggers and writers we have encountered at some time or another. Replying to commenters is number one on my list, and number two is 'jumping through hoops' to leave a comment. Next is the 'Leave A Link' signature...without a quick link up, few of us have time to hunt down folks to return a visit.

    Nice to meet you here on Lee's blog. Enjoyed your post and the comment converstions.

    Sue CollectInTexasGal~Today's Post~
    Wedding Wednesday...Colonial Ancestors Marriage Stories

  13. I agree. If I take the time to read it, I can always think of something to say. That being said, often there are blogs written where I know that I won't have anything of substance to comment and in that case I just skip that post altogether.

  14. I agree with everyone but the last one. I do require people to be signed on some form of application to comment and it's because I want to have a way of contacting those who read my blog. Personally it's frustrating to have a lovely comment but can't contact the writer. While i think too many requirements is crazy, having one or two because that's how you envision your blog is fine in my opinion. If that gives me less comments so be it. But I do believe word verification should just die though.

    Glad you stooped by today Nicole and nice post about lazy commenters.

  15. I always try to comment if I read a post because I know the poster took the time to come up with something to say....the least I can do is return the favor.

    If not, what's the point in following them?

    Now, that said I don't always get the chance to read every blog I follow, but I guess that's a post for another day... :)

  16. Not only do I comment on every blog I read, I comment back to every person who leaves a comment on my site. People appreciate the personal touch. And the interactive banter within the comments on my site are probably better than my postings.

    I look forward to your reply comment, Nicole.

    In kindness and hello Lee,

    Gary :)

  17. I always try to comment and make it constructive. This "nice post" and nothing else, is just ridiculous. I read all of the previous comments and had quite the laugh over several as they just about all apply to me. The box thing too. Sad? Angry? Go Jump in the Lake here has the sole check mark. Priceless. I can run my mouth as well. I get tons of views from around the planet, and I highly suspect from Neptune as well. Along with my page full of 25 Avatars (I lost a follower and am still mourning that loss, although we're still friends) I get these cryptic remarks every time I write a technical article on software. "Is such nice. Will perform up." Came from Chennai, or so the comment said.

    Truth is, I don't know if I'm a blight on the landscape of bloggerdom or wondrous to behold, and am not sure that it matters. I will continue to read and comment, constructively, I hope. This was a delightful post, as were the comments! Thanks.

  18. Unfortunately, I have sometimes been the lazy reader and lack-of-comment-leaver... but on a few blogs I like, I've encountered problems with Disqus that prevent me from leaving me a comment even though I want to! So not cool.

    On my blog, I've disabled word verification and enabled comment moderation, which means I get to see every comment before it's published (plus then I'm notified if a comment shows up on an older post). I do NOT have "Anonymous" comments enabled because I got some truly nasty comments from "Anonymous" on a few posts in the past.

    Thanks for the reminder, which I need periodically, that if someone takes the time to write I can certainly take the time to comment! (Just wish more people commented on my blog, lol!)

    Another question-- should bloggers try to reply to ALL their comments?

  19. Those are all great points. I usually don't comment on a blog if the subject is too controversial but otherwise I always try to leave a comment. I have a handful of blogs I visit nearly every time they post.

  20. I rarely just click away and when I do it's usually controversial and I want no part of the the snark.Or, as you say, the blogger makes it hard to leave a comment with hard to read captchas and if I have to sign up for something I won't be back.

    No, we aren't always going to come up with something new or witty.

    It's not a competition.

    A simple, I appreciated your thoughts on this subject, or I've thought of it in this way, or wow, interesting article, is fine.


  21. I believe leaving a comment is a common courtesy and I try to act accordingly. But I can't quite agree with your "make time" plan. I blog on my computer which is in my home office, not the room where I watch TV or listen to music. (I'm one of those people who like to write in quiet places.) I've tried writing blog comments in short bursts between my fiction writing but it's counter productive so I have to set aside x amount of time to blog and x amount of time to write and some days I simply run out of time.

  22. I comment every time I read a post unless I simply cannot access the comments section/box/space - I find that frustrating.

  23. I always leave a comment when I visit a blog and if someone pops on my blog and is kind enough to comment then I visit their blog always,always and sometimes email them a response back to them.

    Now,I very rarely return to a blog to see how they responded to my comment,I just don't have time with all my reading. I should rephrase, I do have a couple that I will sometimes peak back at because I have a good bloggy relationship with them. I would say we are bloggy buddies. We visit each other regularly.But only a few because they have taken the time to create a bloggy friendship with me, such as visiting my blog and from time to time respond to my emails.

    We are all busy but it is a social media, you 'reap what you sow'. And, I am fine with that, I do my very best to create fun, respectful bloggy friendships. In addition, I try to leave honest,respectful and insightful (meaning I read the blog post) comments:)

    Lucy from Lucy's Reality

  24. I've done them all. My biggest reason is the "I feel I have nothing to add to the conversation". My second biggest issue wasn't discussed... it has to do with some security settings on my laptop I cannot change for work reasons and a conflict with privately hosted blogs... I keep getting returned back to the comment form (and my comment erased) after hitting submit with a "unable to submit comment at this time" error message.

    However, I find it extra interesting for a blog post that talks about how making it challenging for people to comment would on a blog that doesn't have the "Name/URL" option available.

    And no, I don't think people should feel obligated to comment on every blog post they read. A blog post is an offering to the internet. Sometimes the internet says "thank you", but since it was offered without expectation, there should be no expectation of return. This is not a barter system.

  25. Oops, hit enter too soon (I wish there was a way to edit comments after the fact... on all platforms, not just this one).

    I did want to say, Lee, that I think it is good you offer an option for people to contact you directly with comments they'd rather make anonymously. Having alternatives is good.

    Have a good one.

  26. I'm like Alex, if I read a blog, I comment.

  27. I talk a lot. I comment a lot. :) Same thing to me.

    I must admit though, that the people who comment on my blog are authors of the blogs that definitely get my attention, though I don't ignore other really good blogs of people who don't comment. I don't see it as trading comments, but rather, getting to know each other. I start a conversation on my blog and bloggers add to it. A blogger starts a conversation on his/her blog, I add to it.

    Different genres, personalities, etc. makes blogging fun and interesting, and even educational.

  28. Wow! I'm impressed by the excellent comments on Nicole's post, but knowing my readers I'm not at all surprised.

    So much to respond to here and I'm sure Nicole will be here to respond later as she's good about that. I'm limited with my internet time so I'll briefly address a few points.

    Jamie-- Responding to comments is an option. I like to do it even though I'm sure 75% or more commenters don't comment back to see the responses. I do it for the ones who do or who might.

    Eden -- I agree that I like to have the Anonymous commenter option and I did for the first 3 years of my blog. I don't know what has happened in the last year but before I disabled "Anonymous" commenting I started getting thousands of spam messages and had to do something to shut it down. I've gotten some fabulous anonymous comments from people in my past who knew me or from people who knew something about my blog topic. Maybe I should try it again to see if the filter has improved.

    Thank you all!


  29. Hi Lee and Nicole - lots of comments here ... I struggle to comment on every post - but I love interesting posts, and I try and support bloggers who are having hassles or whatever ... I really can't do with negative or boring posts - so won't comment there ...

    Life is life .. I hope I'm a pretty good commenter, but I'm sure I fall by the wayside at times ..

    Cheers Hilary

  30. I was the laziest commenter ever but I've improved since. I still lurk sometimes.

  31. Lee, I wouldn't necessarily advise reopening anonymous comments given the rise in spam. You've offered an option to people who'd like to comment by not sign in directly.

    I did think of one more thing about commenting and blogging in general that has been spinning about my head these days... There is a downside of the whole commenting on people's blogs--some people comment solely to try to increase traffic to their own blog, not because they have a strong interest in your writing.

    Whatever the intent though... both people are investing time and thought into the writing.

    BTW, thank you, Nicole, for the post!

  32. I often don't comment because I read the blog posts I'm subscribed to on my phone, through my email account, and don't have the facility to comment that way (I have an OLD phone!)
    I do tend to 'like' rather than comment much of the time, because I genuinely can't think of anything interesting to say and don't want to be one of the 'nice post' people. On my own blog I enjoy 'likes' as much as I do comments, because I know that someone has read it.
    I also hate having to log into various things (particularly anything with captcha as I always get it wrong!) to comment. But, yes, I am lazy. Writing a daily blog means I actually get fewer visits to my blog because I have less time to comment on others!

  33. Usually if I read a blog I like to leave a comment. Mainly 'cause I happen to like to add my two cents, and I like to read comments on my own blog. Thanks for sharing.

  34. Here's another hint that I have done. If you feel you have nothing relevant to add by commenting to a particular post, check out other posts on the blog. You're sure to find something that you want to speak to.

  35. I always comment if I read, even if its just to say "hello, have a good day."


  36. My number 1 reason is when the writer makes it nearly impossible for me to comment. I hate word verification, but will still do what's needed to sign in.

    But if the sign in doesn't work after three tries, or it keeps timing out or anything like that, I will leave that blog without posting, whether I wrote a comment or not.

  37. This sounds all too familiar to me! Lately, I've been so far behind on reading and commenting on my favorite blogs. Thanks for reminding me to shape up! BTW, cute photo!


  38. Interesting! If I take the time to read an entry, I'll usually take the time to write a little something for the poster. My problem lies in having limited time to read them to begin with!

  39. I always leave a comment. It's the right thing to do. We all take the time to write a post, if a blogger visits, they should comment.

    But so many are lazy. I get almost two hundred hits a day and MAYBE twenty to forty comments. WAY to many lazy commenters...

  40. I will be the first to say I have failed to leave comments under the excuse of time.

    I probably over-think my comments and become too lengthy which very seldom results in a short, one sentence comment.

    And I read several blogs that I do not comment on or have rarely commented on. Take that for what it's worth but that is not going to change.

    My general reason on the time issue is there are periods where I do not read my blog reader for a day or two at a time. This results in several posts having gone by that I have not read. For the blogs I follow the most consistently, if I have missed two or three posts I will read all three and then comment on the last one.

    Now I need to go think of a post to write! :)

  41. I have lazy commenters syndrome and don't apologize for it. It's mainly that I don't feel I have anything to add, plus I didn't get the memo that everyone is required to comment on everything they read. I don't really sweat it on my own blog. I have posts that have zero comments and it doesn't upset me. I focus on my hits rather than comments. But since it means so much to people, I'll try. I have word verification on my comments because I'd rather not spend time deleting spam. Comment moderation, however, annoys me. I'd rather not have to get someone else's approval to leave my opinion.

  42. i scream all the time: for feat's sake PLEASE DISABLE WORD VERIFICATION!!!

  43. I comment if I have something to add to the conversation, or I feel the need to express an opinion to offer support or a opposing position. I won't comment just to say I was there...or if the topic did not engage me at all. My time is to limited to allow that luxury. :)

  44. Alex,
    I read and often comment but there are times when I skip the latter step...likely when I'm on the go and/or having technical limitations that do not make it easy for me to leave a comment. It takes a truly community oriented and supportive blog reader to actively seek out something that he or she can comment on during times when the post itself doesn't (knowingly or unknowingly) invite responses. I wouldn't be surprised if other bloggers agreed with me when I say that you are among the kind of reading audience that is seriously delightful to have pay us a visit.

    You are probably spot on with that irony; I also agree and understand how a lackluster comment can be viewed as "lazy" by bloggers who would likely rather the commenter not leave one at all. Hey, I guess we can't have it all now can we, lol. The TV commercial thing has been a time saver for me on one too many ocassions for me to name. Thanks for sharing your response.

    Sometimes we just are not able to cover all of the blogging bases no matter how much we want to but at least the effort is there. The times when we do comment will hopefully make up for the moments when we miss out on leaving a comment. Even if you read few posts or many, it should be worthwhile, so long as their good. Quality over quantity has to win out every time!

    Commenting on other posts does make it more likely that you'll receive an increased number of feedback on your own posts, which is a plus. As bloggers, we must also make sure that we can walk that fine line of engagement vs. shameless promotion in a way that keeps our interactions genuine. It's better to comment on a post because we like it or have something to say rather than because we want reciprocal visits/comments. Be confident in knowing that your comments will have a different spin, even if someone else has a similar comment, don't let that stop you from joining the party :)

    The two-way street that reflects the blogging community is filled with both commenters and non-commenters. I believe that many of us fall in the middle...sometimes we leave comments and sometimes we don't and the hope of this post is for more of us to get into a place where the non-blogging days do not become a habit...because if it does, that kind of habit could be discouraging to bloggers (particularly newbie bloggers) who think that no one is visiting their blog. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this matter.

  45. Just because one has time to read (or more likely, skim) a post doesn't automatically mean he has time to comment: he may have JUST ENOUGH time to do one or the other. Some of us actually read as a diversion between other tasks, such as waiting for a computer to render something. I try to make it a point to go back and leave a comment later, but I often don't.

    The biggest reason I tend to not leave a comment is when I don't feel I have anything new to say. I don't mind receiving one of those "Great post! I completely agree" comments on MY blog, but I feel like I'm somehow not doing enough if that's what I leave on someone else's blog. I'm not sure why that's the case...I guess I need to ponder that one a bit.

  46. Good question and yes, I totally suffer from this syndrome :-P
    what's really bad is that when I post entries, I tend to run long and that doesn't encourage comments but even when the blogs I follow have short entries, I don't seem to bother. Usually it's because there's nothing I feel like commenting about. I try to extend the courtesy of commenting whenever possible, but usually on the off chance someone will look at one of my entries and do the same.

  47. I fell into the category where people have complained about not being able to leave a comment on my blog. I've struggled with that for a while and you provided a solution! I will start looking for an ADDITIONAL comment option instead of an ALTERNATIVE comment option! Thanks so much!

  48. What irks me the most is that some people here speak as though other bloggers are BAD if they don't comment on their post! As though there is a blogging law written in stone that says one MUST comment on every single blog they read. That's a load of baloney! No-one is obligated to write any sort of comment anywhere. While it is courtesy to write something, it is by no means a rule. Blogging can be a tou world, nobody owes you anything. You have to earn hits and comments.

  49. Sorry, meant to write "blogging is a tough world..."

  50. Great post. It does strike me as amazing that people read posts and never comment.
    I've had some really unspeakably/ unnecessarily rude comments and some really anodyne ones with the postscript: 'Thanks for sharing'.

    I had one guy email me to explain why he didn't comment.
    His excuse was the: I’m not a member of the blog/social network/third-party app that is requiring me to sign-in or complete some sort of extra task just so I can add my two cents to the conversation.

    Yet he still didn't give me any feedback!

    The suggestion that one should 'consider writing a sentence that expresses what you didn’t like about a post' can be a minefield, as some can take offensive massively, even when your comment is couched as positively as possible.

    I think that is why many people avoid commenting so as not to offend or take sides or otherwise expose themselves.

  51. I'm completely and totally guilty of this.

  52. If its a long rambling blog on writeing I won't bother reading it so no point in leaving a comment but if I read through and find it interesting I will leave a comment. People hav edifferent interests so even though they may find your blog and have a quick look it may not be of interest to them so they will leave and not comment. Many people will look at my photo blog and a few comment which makes it worth doing.


Go ahead and say something. Don't be afraid to speak your mind.
I normally try to respond to all comments in the comment section so please remember to check the "Email follow-up comments" box if you want to participate in the comment conversation.

For Battle of the Bands voting the "Anonymous" commenting option has been made available though this version is the least preferred. If voting using "anonymous" please include in your comment your name (first only is okay) and city you are voting from and the reason you chose the artist you did.

If you know me and want to comment but don't want to do it here, then you can send me an email @ jacksonlee51 at aol dot com.