This Is Me--2019 A to Z Theme

My A to Z Theme for 2022 is My Vinyl Record Collection. This will be about the music I still have on my shelf. Be sure to check the links for samples of the albums and music I'll be talking about. There will be a lot of interesting music ahead for your listening enjoyment.

Monday, February 4, 2013

What Is A Comment--exactly?

Comment is free . . .
Comment is free . . . (Photo credit: Shakespearesmonkey)

Comments A to Z

     With another Blogging from A to Z April Challenge upon us, our thoughts may be turning to thoughts of networking.  Whether or not you use this particular term when it comes to blogging, when I think of "networking" I think of comments--the comments I leave on your blog and the comments you may or may not leave on my blog.  

       The comments are what keep a good many of us going with our blogging activity and the comments are what establishes the connections between us.  When we give and receive comments we are building a community or network.  This ongoing practice solidifies our relationships and provides mutual feedback about our ideas and writing abilities.  Bloggers should strive for good comment interactivity.

      In this post I will be touching upon not only what makes a good comment, but what a comment essentially is.  I will also express my thoughts on how you should comment and why.

What a Comment Isn't

       I can still recall feeling flattered in my earliest days of blogging when I would receive a comment telling me how brilliant my content was, how great my blog looked, or some other positive sounding review about what I was doing.  This was often accompanied by a commercial or ambiguous sounding link. Usually the sender was anonymous.  Before too long it became easy for me to recognize what we know as "spam".  

      Spam is not a comment and I wish all those spammers would go away.  

      Similar to spam is the invitation, "You are invited to follow my blog" with an accompanying URL or link.  They might throw in a shallow "Nice blog" but other than that there is no indication that they ever read anything you have written nor do they intend to.  But in their own egotistical thinking they somehow seem to believe what they have to say is so important that hordes of us will flock to their blogs to be entranced by every word they have to offer.  More than once when I've been hit in a mood I have gone over to their blog comment sections to reprimand them on their lack of blog etiquette, but mostly I ignore them as they should be ignored.  

      Egoistic invitations are not comments and they are rather rude.

What a Comment Is

      A sometimes borderline comment can be in the "Nice blog" vein.  I'll concede that sometimes, especially when it seems like there's already a gazillion comments to which you can add nothing new, a brief acknowledgement that you were there might be sufficient.  Even if the comment thread is long, if you've read the blog post then I encourage you to leave some kind of acknowledgement that you were there.  In my opinion that is better than just leaving without saying anything.

      A trite few words can be a comment.

      Also, I don't see anything wrong at all with the invite to visit your blog as long as you've said something pertaining to the blog post.  If you are trying to network and lure visitors, then you need to show a mutual interest with an element of sincerity. Try to find something to say that is meaningful to their conversation and then drop the invite bomb.  I wouldn't make this your sole commenting policy, but if the blog you are visiting is new to you or if their post relates to something you've also written, then by all means it might be appropriate to do a bit of relationship building with an invitation.

      An invitation accompanied by actual personalized communication is a comment.

     Criticism of a blogger may not win you friends, but if you are being honest then I think this is another legitimate commenting tactic.  I wouldn't encourage doing it unless you have felt strongly about what was said or were deeply offended.  Personally I will tend to aim for humor or sarcasm in cases like these so as to show that I'm still open to a potential blogging relationship.  It's been fairly rare for me to visit a site and be left without words to say.   If I can tap into something positive I'll take that approach, but even harsh criticism is a comment in my opinion.   As for my blog, it would take something truly offensive for me to censor a comment with deletion and I welcome any dissension if presented with tact and intelligence.

       Appropriately delivered criticism is a comment.

       The very best comments are those that address specifics about the blog post that has been commented upon.   If you are telling the blogger they have a nice blog, then say why and perhaps give some examples.  Respond to what has been said in the text or the questions that have been posed by the blogger.  A good comment might also draw upon what others have said, thus engaging in a conversation if all parties are monitoring the comment thread.   The best comments provide interesting information, add to the comment conversation, and elicit further response.

       Anything that adds intelligently to the discussion or expands on what has been said is a comment.

 A Final Thought

        I have been fortunate to have many outstanding bloggers leave comments of substance on many of my blog posts.   These bloggers often not only leave great comments, but they will subscribe to the comments and come back to the conversation if they have something to add.  It is time consuming, but I think it can be more productive and provide a greater mental exercise for the participants.

       Speeding through blog posts and amassing followers is not something I will condemn.  I have been a big advocate for accumulating as many followers as you can and I encourage you to follow as many blogs as you can in order to get reciprocal following.   I have defended this in the past and continue to do so.

       However--please--if you visit a blog and actually read the post (or at least most of it or even merely skim through to get the gist of it), then leave some kind of a comment to let the blogger know you were there.  Even if you feel like you have nothing to say, be creative and think of something reasonable to say.  With practice you'll start getting good at it.  

         Do you try to comment on every blog you visit?   What causes you to avoid leaving a comment?   Do you try to engage in comment conversations?   When commenting do you strive most for speed or quality?

 Some other thoughts: 

Comments are great of course! but it's not everything. There are so many reasons people might not comment - too long, too serious or brain fade. I'll rarely comment if everything worth saying has been said, it seems pointless.
Sue at
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  1. I think this an interesting topic - I find myself overthinking the whole politics-of-commenting a lot - to which the only possible response can be to stop overthinking it, and just write whatever seems appropriate for the given post. If nothing comes to mind in the first minute or so after digesting the post, I usually don't bother trying to think of something to say just for the sake of having a presense on someone else's page.

  2. I try to comment on positive things that I've read. I've written some things where people have failed to see the humor, I'll never forget how you rescued me a couple years ago when I wrote about something a family member did. You defended him in your comment, and saved the day! Thanks Lee for making a difference with your comments!

  3. And - reciprocate comments!
    If I read, I comment. Period.
    I do read a lot of blogs a day, as I have a lot of blogger buddies, but I always try to say something relative, even if it's a line of snark. (And then only with people who know me.) Sorry, man of few words, so it's rarely a long comment. I do the best I can!

  4. Great topic and a even better breakdown... I have been terrible in my comments, sometimes it's cause I just get started in my day... so the comments are from my sleepy brain. The next is the 4 cups of coffee response, I find those to be over the top... but the spelling is much better. Most of the time I appreciate what the post'r is saying and I add nothing more to it than what someone else has said.

    I am happy when someone takes the time to find what I have done interesting enough to leave a comment, sometimes it is more difficult to get a post together as at some point I feel I have reached my end... feeling it might be time to stop.

    So thank you and thank everyone for stopping over and saying anything...

    Lee, you have a great insightful place and your header is totally you :)...


  5. Arlee,

    Commenting to me is about saying you did a "grat job" and I have read your work. It is a way to facilitate new conversation and make new friends. It is the only way any of us ever know we have been heard. If no one ever left any comments we would never know that any of our posts we read and we would probably all hang up the towel!

    I am looking forward to the A to Z challenge this year!

    Aaron Brinker aka DadBlunders

  6. Ash -- I look at commenting much in the same way as though I were meeting someone in person and they said something to me. I reply with the first thing that comes to mind. I only might think it out a little more if I'm not sure what they've said and have to play the role of them explaining it to me. Clear writing doesn't require to much thinking on the reader's part to give an initial reaction.

    Julie -- I try to make my comments count.

    Alex -- And you do darn good spreading the comment love. Even though you've explained it, I still don't know how you do it.

    Jeremy -- But at least you do comment in a way to tell readers that you were there and paying attention. I think that's pretty important. And, yes, you captured the essence of me well in the header you created for me. Several people have thought that was a picture of me, including my mother.

    Aaron -- You've captured the essence of a good comment in yours.


  7. If I've read the post I always comment - I like to let the host know I was there (seems a tad rude otherwise!). Great tips for commenting Lee :)

  8. I only comment if I have something to say, and I never say something that could be critical or hurt feelings. I have only one blog I read that never fails to entertain and I don't comment on it every time. I bookmark first and then may add to become a follower, it depends. I do tend to comment more often on blogs where the owner responds, never a response is lazy to me.

  9. I don't always comment on posts I read--partly because I read so many blog posts in a day and commenting takes thought and effort, lol. But I know how much /I/ appreciate it when I get comments on my own posts, so you've convicted me--I'll start trying to do better! :)

    I do almost always comment on posts written by people whose blogs I read a lot or at least fairly regularly, and always on posts written about something I'm very interested or passionate in. I enjoy participating in comment discussions, and every so often I'll click that "email follow-up comments" button. :)

  10. For the longest time I didn't get many comments at all on my blog. Some people seemed to be scared to join Google or some other source for the ability to comment. Now I usually get some comments, Alex being a regular, thanks Alex, but on the odd days I don't get a comment I feel as though no-one has read my blog although statistically I know that's not so.

    Since I have learned how to hyperlink, its easy for people to find me and I don't have to actually post an invitation.


  11. Writing comments with substance takes time and investment, and unfortunately not something that some people have.

    As a blogger, I started approving all comments, and the spam catcher takes care of most of the unwanted ones for me. The others that slip through never make it to print.

    Overall, I just write and comment with sincerity, to the best of my ability, and let things fall where they will.

  12. Arlee, I love your blog, you always have great topics. I also appreciate your comments on mine! I understand fully the aggravation when people don't comment on your blog, I go through that a lot. It's hard to come up with something to write about every week, not to mention, twice a week. But, I strive to be consistent even if it means no comments. I do try to leave a comment with every blog I visit. I have found that a few of them it's hard to find where to comment or even where the post is lol! Thanks for all your wonderful insights and support! You're a great person to have visit your blog!

  13. Thanks, Lee. I'm afraid I am one of those who, with the different time zones, may be reading blogs later when a lot of people have already said what I might have said and therefore I don't bother.

    From now on if I've read it I will always leave a comment, even if it is only to say 'I agree with the previous comments' or is that a cop-out? Sometimes it is difficult to think of something different to say.

  14. All great thoughts about the types of comments. The one that gets me the "most" is "you are invited to follow my blog". I actually had someone do this several times on my blog. I asked them several times to not leave such a comment, removed the comment, finally I guess they must have gotten the hint because I haven't gotten any such request from them lately.

    I believe in developing friendships with bloggers so I try to leave a comment relative to what they say. Sometimes, despite my best attempts, I can't think of anything "good" to say so I won't leave a comment, though lots of times I do try to leave comments. There are some blogs I follow anonymously with an intent just to read what they write without leaving a comment.

    My worse thing is I don't follow up on comments I leave or comments left on my blog. I need to get better about that but there are just so many hours in a day.


  15. This is a good article for newbie bloggers and old hands to consider. I have commented on hundreds of blogs per day (at one point in my blogging life); that is alot of work. No wonder some people are paid to manage another's blog...
    "Nice blog" is better than nothing but doesn't tell me how (as a poet) I have inspired or what I can do to improve. So in my comments I try to be more than trite.
    BTW - Viva la A to Z!!!

  16. I try to leave a comment on every blog I visit. Sometimes it is not that I have not read it thoroughly but that I tend to seek something intelligent to say and sometimes brain is not working that good.

  17. Great post. I love comments and I enjoy making them. Of course, generally I'm so verbose my comments can turn into a blog post of their own. I do try to follow the conversation and often will make another comment, but try to refrain from the 'are you crazy' comment, even though I sometimes think it.

    I become impatient with the 'love the purse, love the shoes, aren't you cute, now come over and see just how cute I am'. Although I try to visit everyone who comments on my blog, I have a hard time with the 'headhunters'.

  18. Jemi -- I think that is a courteous thing to do.

    FMC -- Critical can be helpful if done constructively. And if I'm already at a blog site I like to comment then because I usually never make it back.

    Jaimie -- Longer more thoughtful comments does require a sacrifice in quantity of commenting. I've been leaning toward the latter and hope it doesn't affect my relationships with the other bloggers when I don't visit on a regular basis.

    Jo -- The hyperlink makes visiting back much easier when people realize it's not spam or some kind of weird link. That's why we at A to Z have been trying so hard to promote the hyperlink signature. Sometimes finding a blog takes more time than reading and commenting and anything that gets me there faster is a big help for me.

    Slamdunk -- Some people do better at comments with substance, but I think it also comes with practice. Sincerity speaks best in my opinion.

    Lisa -- Thank you for those kind words. Consistency in posting is very important I think. Blogging is so good for writers because it does push us to find things to write about and try to make them interesting. The commenting is like a free-writing exercise in spontaneous creativity. That's one reason I like to take some time with my commenting.

    Sally -- I think most comments are primarily read by the blogger whom your are addressing. A repeat comment is like a reaffirmation so I see nothing wrong with that. If you visit a blog I just think it's nice to let the blogger at least know that you stopped by. If you have more to say then all the better. Think of what you like to see on your own blog. Isn't it better to receive 20 comments instead of 10? I know I like it when I get more comments even if there is some repetition of content.

    Betty -- I understand that time issue. Here's an exercise that you might want to try on those blogs where you can't think of something good to say: Pretend you are meeting face to face and the blog post has been the other person's start of a conversation. How will you respond to that person? Hopefully you won't just be silent and walk away. This is why blogging is called "social media".


  19. This is something I have been doing a lot more of lately. I tend to read upwards of 60 blogs a day so it isn't always possible to to comment on them all. Plus, I tend to read them on my iPad and it very often has a hissy fit whenever I try to post a comment. However, I do feel it is important to let a blogger know that I have read and appreciated their post so even if I am unable to leave or comment, or don't feel I have anything else to add, I will still tweet a link to the post and include their twitter handle if I can find it.

  20. Leslie -- So true. Commenting can be a lot of work. It's all part of the job description I guess.

    Al-- I can empathize with that, Al! Also, there is sometimes the challenge of trying to figure out what a blogger was trying to say. That can take some creative thought for sure, or at least a creative comment.

    Faraway -- You are one of those whose comments I'm always glad to see arrive. You're a fun and thoughtful commenter--a good combination. I have come up with more than a few of my own posts that started with a comment on someone else's blog.


  21. Alana -- Tweeting a link or forwarding it via another method is a great way to show appreciation. Thanks for mentioning that. Sometimes my computer or internet will be doing weird things that slow down my ability to comment quickly and that can be very frustrating. But, yes, when you're trying to get through a lot of blogs, such as during the April Challenge, it can be difficult to leave a lot of substantive comments.


  22. In almost three years of blogging, I've made a circle of very dear friends. All they have to do is stop by and say hello on a post. If I've written a substantive post, I usually get some eloquent responses that are better than my post! I love it!!

    When I comment, I try to focus on something specific in the post that stuck me. Or sometimes with my closest blogging friends I leave a mini "email" if there's something I want to communicate quickly. I know they'll read it because I'm positive they're like I am: always eager to hear from a blogging friend :)

    Great post, Lee. Certain to generate some excellent and personal responses.

  23. I usually read blogs when I'm exhausted, so I just read through and don't think much about conversing through comments. I enjoy the information, but tend to forget that blogging is also a social exercise.

  24. I read this with interest Lee, many a blog I read I know what I want to say but can't express myself, however I think it all depends on the topic and how much one knows about that topic,

    An excellent write Lee,


  25. Yes, I comment on every blog I visit. I feel like if they cared to post and I cared to visit, I should comment.

    Sometimes it's a paragraph and sometimes a word or two.

  26. I d think the post has a lot to do with the level of comments. While naturally something of interest draws me to a particular post or blog, the way a post is presented also helps me interact more.

    I've learned from you for instance to end with a question or request for the readers opinion. This immediately invites me to interact with you ang get me thinking about a comment where as a post with just a picture for example invites a generic nice or great picture.

    I'm new to blogging so this is what I'm experiencing at I go forward.

    Images by Bil of the 60's and 70's

  27. "Do you try to comment on every blog you visit? "

    I actually do try to leave a meaningful comment on each blog I visit. I am not doing this to sell a book, spam or have people visit my blog necessarily. I do it because I am a fledgling writer and I need guidance from those with experience so that I don't fall into those same pitfalls when I am ready to publish.

    "What causes you to avoid leaving a comment?"

    Usually, I will leave a comment when I find some connection or an insightful/ reflective thought on the bloggers post.

    "Do you try to engage in comment conversations?"

    I find that I engage in comment conversations with the blogger but not necessarily with other commenters. I will make an effort in the future to engage in conversations with other commenters. (Thanks, I'm new to blogging and don't really know the protocols).

    "When commenting do you strive most for speed or quality?"

    I strive more for quality than I do for speed. I think that the blogger would appreciate a thoughtful answer as to a brief meaningless one. :D

  28. Ann -- The technique of focusing on a particular point in a post is an excellent idea. This reins in on the comment content to make it more personal.

    Carrie -- You may want to rethink this approach if you want to enhance your blogging experience, but I can understand how this might be a common way that many bloggers may practice their blogging activity.

    Yvonne-- But you do say something and that is very important in making contact with others. We all thank you for that.

    Teresa -- You are doing it right I think and it's appreciated by those you have visited.

    Bill -- As they say content is king (or queen to avoid gender discrimination). Using the questions at the end of my posts make a world of difference in my comments after I started doing it. The questions serve as a prompt to stimulate discussion just in case the blog content didn't do it well enough.


  29. The only time I link in to my blog is if I am commenting on a new blog that I have decided to follow and they have their comments set up in Discus. Gah. When that happens, they cannot just link back to my blog, and my picture and name don't match. It is just a disaster. I really hate Discus. However, I always tend to be more long-winded rather than short.

    I agree with everything you said about commenting.

    One of my other favorites is this gem: "I'll follow you if you follow me." This is also not a comment. All it says is that you have not read anything that I have written. You are just motoring through as fast as you can.

    Another diamond: "I love your header." Seriously? Awesome. Now, I know we are going to be BFFs. Especially since that is as far as you got into my blog and didn't even bother to READ anything. You are a pal. I can't wait to rush over to your blog and see what you have going on. NOT.

  30. Shah -- I like your style. Keep it up--you're learning well. Not many commenters actually engage in ongoing discussions and sometimes I think they are missing out on some great opportunities. Most of the time I don't go back to continue the conversation, but I almost always monitor the thread in case there is a response to what I've said that deserves a response from me or if a good discussion starts.
    You're doing a good job, Shah.


  31. Robin -- You're another one who leaves some great comments that tell me you read what I had to say. I'm with you on Discus and other hassle commenting platforms. Not the biggest fan of WordPress either. When I first started blogging I jumped into a lot of those Follow Friday things and other blog hops that were only purposed for gaining followers. It built my numbers--which is something I like--but it didn't do much to establish lines of communication and relationship. I like to read quality comments, but I'll accept a passing compliment as well. It's those "Kilroy was here!" type of flybys that make me feel like my blog was a freshly-painted white wall waiting to be tagged with comment graffiti.


  32. I love receiving and responding to comments on my own blogs, but it can sometimes be a hassle to comment on other blogs, especially ones with tons of followers, because then it becomes the wrong kind of obligatory. or so it seems. So many others have already filled up the comments section, it just seems redundant, like adding that much more for someone else to read, a conversation that suddenly has very little to do with the original material.

    But recently I went through a long exchange with someone on their blog in the comments section, because I thought they hadn't really thought out their position. I was pretty annoyed with them already, but then they compounded my reaction in the resulting exchange, and now I won't read their blog again. So that can sometimes happen, too.

    The moral of that story is that if you want to be the original blogger responding in the comments section, there's a whole new kind of tact that you need to consider. Sometimes discretion really is the better part of valor.

  33. This is a very nice blog you have with many useful informations.
    It has pretty colors.

    Would you like to buy some shoes?

  34. If I take the time to visit, I do try to think of something intelligent to say.

    Your first category made me giggle, because it took me longer than it should have to figure out those strangely worded flattering commenters were, in fact, SPAM.

  35. Tony -- I guess it's kind of like dealing with people in real life in person situations--you click, merely tolerate, or can't stand. Blogging is a bit easier in that respect since you can just quietly disappear. As far as those long comment threads, it's like I addressed in a previous comment. Your comment is not so much to merely add to the thread, but to directly address the blog author publicly. I just see it from my point of view how I'd like everyone who stops by to at least let me know that they did and not just slink away in the shadows or get swallowed up by the crowd.

    Andrew --And that from one of the masters of comment. You made me laugh.

    Johanna -- I guess when we are fledgling bloggers hoping and praying someone will read our blogs, the spam flattery is like manna from heaven. I was certainly sucked in at first, but it didn't take too long to realize what was going on, especially as I learned about commenting on the site of other bloggers.


  36. I usually comment on posts that I find interesting (like this one) and leave well alone if I don't like it or disagree strongly with what is being said. For me, the whole commenting thing is about building relationships with other bloggers. Also, it's nice to know that people are reading, so sometimes a few words just to say hi can be good. :-)

  37. I can do without spam. I do like the comment to relate to SOMETHING I wrote though.

  38. I do try to leave comments, but if the topic is something I can't identify with I do tend to stay quiet.

  39. HI, Lee,

    I ALWAYS leave a suitable comment. I couldn't agree more about, SPAM comments. They make me nuts. I also dislike when I person follows, but DOESN'T LEAVE a comment at all. Why follow? I particularly dislike it when I leave a sincere comment on their blog and try to get to know them better, and they come to my blog and just FOLLOW... nothing more.

    Thankfully this doesn't happen too often and when it does, I shrug my shoulders and continue on to one of my blogger buddies sites for a my daily fix. Lol.

    Thanks for pointing out blogger etiquette before the the A-Z....

  40. Commenting has always been the hardest thing for me to jump into with blogging. I have always felt that if I couldn't add something or say something interesting it wasn't worth it to comment.

    Last year during A to Z I got into the habit of leaving something in the comments every time, even if it was a small "Great post. Made me think about (______)." And I always let them know that I was linking up through A to Z. I am proud to say that most of the time I think I left decent comments.

    Anyway, I think a lot of people need help on this topic and this was a good concise post.


  41. Thanks, Lee, for this timely post. I agreed with every point.

    I try to comment at every post I read, but sometimes the topic is one that is not interesting enough to completely read. Also, when I get tired or the hour is late, my comments tend to get a little snarky, so I have to edit myself.
    Looking forward to the A2Z.

  42. Ermie -- I guess if you have absolutely no desire to connect with a blogger and don't plan on going back, leaving without leaving a comment might make sense. I usually can't resist leaving something behind.

    Diane -- Sometimes a personal message might be okay as long as it's not too personal, but, yes, I like the comment to relate to what was said in the post.

    Quanie -- I have run across a few of those and there have been a small few where I was almost embarrassed to have visited the blog.

    Michael -- This blog post in fact is dedicated to those who follow or fly by without leaving a comment. You pointed out my target audience for this message.

    Heather -- I know that you are not alone in how you feel. As you did the blogger just has to jump in and start making comments. It should get easier the more you do it. And the comments you receive on your blog as a result of your efforts to network should be an incentive to comment more often.


  43. Susan - Yes, it's a good idea to watch what we say since others are watching too. It's bad to leave a regrettable comment that you can't get rid of--especially when it starts popping up prominently on Google searches. I've had a few like that.


  44. I love comments and love leaving them, but sometimes I struggle with what to say. I always comment on those that comment back to me. I wish there were links on blogs so that the followers who visited a blog could make it known with their picture that they were there but didn't/couldn't leave a message.

  45. I agree with most of what you said. However I am reluctant to include a link to my blog because I want my comments to show sincerity, and I'm afraid I'll seem less sincere if I include a link to my blog. Therefore I only include links if specifically requested by the blogger. Or, if I've written something that relates to the blog post, I'll mention it (and sometimes the title of my blog post too), so people can decide for themselves if they want to look up my blog. Since most of us are on Blogger, I assume that most of us know you just have to click on the commenter's name to see his or her blogs.

    I do try to comment on every blog I visit, but if I have nothing to say, I don't. I don't leave a comment just for the sake of it. And sometimes I have nothing to say but "good point" or "I totally agree". Even though it's short, I think it's worthwhile to let bloggers know.

    I don't really try to engage in comment conversations. I don't really know any blogs that have actual conversations in the comments section. But if I did, I follow way too many blogs to keep checking up on one particular post. If I know the blogger in question replies in the comments, I usually check back. But I don't make a conversation out of it.

    When commenting I take my time to say what I have to say. Quality first. Although sometimes there is so much to say, that I leave some things out because the comment could almost make an entire blog post in itself. :)

  46. You know how massive into comments I am Lee where I try to comment on every blog my favourites write without fail. I think that so long as the comment isn't blatantly automated or done with no soul basically just advertising yourself then any comment that isn't rude or nasty is fine with me, thought provoking stuff though, I adore my regular commenters, they make it worth the blogging, more so than anything else could, comments have helped me through so much as slightly sad as that sounds!

  47. What is a comment exactly? It's like a smile given by a complete stranger for no apparent reason. It makes my day.

  48. I do try to leave a comment everywhere I've stopped. If I've taken the time to read the blog then why not comment?

    I've visited plenty of blogs on topics I don't agree with, but still, there are ways to leave a tactful comment. It's a matter of finding something you liked.

    what I won't do: If the subject is highly controversial and the comment thread is already full of irate and pugnacious comments--I won't comment. Unless I truly have something to say. Truthfully I've only been on a few of those and usually because a friend says, you gotta see this.

    One of the things I don't like aside from spammers, are those obviously didn't read the blog article just came and plopped their name and link. It's not a race to see how many comments you can make so others will comment back--altho it feels that way sometimes. Especially in a blog hop.


  49. I'm going to be very honest here. There are times when I am simply speechless after reading some blogs. It happened today, in fact.

    For some reason, there was a theme going with each and every blog I visited. They touched my heart, made me think and a few of them even brought a few tears to my eyes. I'll be absorbing what I read for quite some time, I believe.

    However, I've been making a point to comment on blogs I visit lately. This is our world, and we need to give each other positive recognition, even when it's easier to walk away - like it is in the blogosphere.

    Writers and "page publishers" - what I like to call those crafty types who share all sorts of neat hobbies and skills, but don't necessarily write, because they make how-to pages, should know that they are making an impact and influencing their audience.

    This is a wonderful post, Lee, one I am taking to heart:)

  50. "Comment of substance?"
    Oh, crap. That leaves me out.
    Seriously, thanks for all you've done. If it wasn't for you, I would have never done the A-Z Challenge the past couple of years. And I definitely wouldn't have signed up this year.
    Was that substantive? No?
    Oh, great. Guess I'll have to stick with the fart jokes then.

  51. I only comment when I have something to say. I'm the same way in real life. Sometimes, I have nothing to contribute to the conversation. I know this is bad blogger behavior, but it's my way. For now.

  52. Lee-

    I usually only comment if I have something to add...but since I am sure that's been said in the fifty comments before mine, I guess I am making an exception!

    My favorite comments inspire discussion-that's how you learn-and I'll take one of them in favor of ten "atta-boys."

    Of course, single ladies leaving e-mail addresses are also always welcome!


  53. Hi,
    I don't always comment. Sometimes the comment format is so diifcult that it never posts. Other times I read what I wrote and realize it might be perceived wrong...I have a dry wit that sometimes sounds I have to cancel my comment.

    I get you on that spammer nonsense. I usually delete their comment so don't get a free ride on my blog. Other times, I leave them up because they don't offend me too much.

  54. Em-- Yes, a visitor "footprint" would be nice.

    Sabrina -- Whew! You covered a lot there. I'm going to respond so I hope you've subscribed to the comments. From what you've said I'm under the impression you don't do that. Signature links in no way show lack of sincerity. On the contrary they are the thoughtful gesture left by a sincere commenter. There's not much more frustrating in blogging to discover a blogger who has excellent things to say and then you can't find them because there's no link. The signature link just makes it easier to find the person who left the great comment. Comment conversations (debates, discussions) are great and you will often find them in my comment section. Over all though they are rare. I have turned many of my comments and comment discussions into posts later on. Thanks for taking the time to express yourself and even more importantly, to let me know you were here.



    Do you try to comment on every blog you visit?


    What causes you to avoid leaving a comment?

    A beautiful face on a female blogger.

    Do you try to engage in comment conversations?


    When commenting do you strive most for speed or quality?


    LEE, in your reply to the comment left by FarAwayEyes you wrote this: "I have come up with more than a few of my own posts that started with a comment on someone else's blog."

    Man, same with me! I've lost track of how many times I've left an extensive comment on someone else's blog and quickly afterwards thought: Hokey-Smoke! What I wrote is actually a good seed from which I could build a blog bit of my own.

    More times than not, I've later gone on to edit the comment I left and expand on it, turning it into a new blog bit on my own blog!

    In other words, sometimes the real beneficiary of me leaving a good comment on another blogger's blog has been... ME!

    I want to add that although Andrew Leon and I have our differences, his comment above made me laugh.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  56. Yeamie -- You have said this so well, Matthew. You are among my best and favorite regular commenters. Thank you.

    Wendy -- Very, very nicely said. What a wonderful metaphor!

    Sia -- Yes, blog hops are notorious for those quickie comments, but I guess that's the name of the game in those things. I often don't do that well in the blog hops because I get hung up on making longer comments. Oh well. On those controversial vitriolic threads, that's where I try to lighten the mood by injecting humor or a dose of the absurd. Unless I'm into the issue and take it seriously.

    MJ -- Believe me, I too have been left speechless on occasion, but not very often.

    Al -- There's nothing wrong with a nice dose of humor in a comment thread. Sometimes it's a good idea to get a laugh to break up the seriousness. Laughter is good for the health of mind and body so keep 'em laughing.

    Liz -- Well, you said something here and it was worth hearing. I'm glad you left a comment to let know you visited.

    Larry -- You and I both know that you come from a blog neighborhood where discussions are welcomed and often deep and prolonged. And sometimes absurd. You run around with a good blogging crowd--and maybe a few troublemakers.

    Morgan -- Yeah, I hear ya! Those complex comment platforms can be rather annoying. I'm sometimes the same way with my wit though I usually let it sail through--sometimes with some regret.


  57. StMc-- Yes, yes, yes! You are the one who taught me about commenting and yes so many posts have evolved from my comments or the good comments of others. When bloggers complain that they don't know what to write about I just think that they need to look in their own comment section or on a blog that gets a lot of good comments. Then go with it with some improvisational free-style jazz blogging. Well, maybe that's asking too much too soon, but with practice I think all bloggers can eventually attain good commenting and good topics. Maybe? Maybe not?


  58. @Stephen T: Differences? What differences?
    "We're all individuals!"
    "I'm not!"

    If you would just see me as the plucky comic relief, all would be well with the world.

  59. I really enjoyed this post. As somewhat of a new blogger I wasn't quite sure on commenting etiquette ao this helps a lot. Thank you very much!

  60. New around, so... HI!

    I used to just read the posts I was interested in and leaving comments wasn't a priority.

    But after discovering A to Z Challenge I decided that should be my starting point towards learning discipline and finishing what I start - my problem in writing.

    I enjoy the comments I receive, I like the encouragements and that makes me keep up with my plan. Having someone already in the biz telling you to go on - it really makes your day.

    I appreciate comments - long or short - as long as they say something. otherwise I just visit back.

    I don't really know the commenting etiquette, I just comment what I like and feels in my area of interest.

  61. Hi Lee - commenting has to be relevant - I get really annoyed with some of the commenting sometimes.

    I also if I have dubious comments - they get deleted .. I check and if I'm uncertain they get removed to my spam folder and in due time they'll be deleted from spam ... I don't want others clicking on questionable links via my blog.

    I do the same with followers - there are some unsavoury characters out there - and I'd rather be safe than sorry.

    I don't comment on every post I visit ... but I try to get round and try and comment on everyone who's been across and commented on my blog.

    I might occasionally enter into a conversation ... it used to be fine - but now with many more blogging friends out there - it's a challenge ...

    Sometimes I have to think about the post before I comment - to make what I write salient ...

    Excellent that you've done this post - and a post we can always refer to ...

    Thanks so much .. Hilary

  62. ANDREW ~
    Anyone who can quote Monty Python is OK.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  63. Andrew -- The world can always use a bit more humor and lightheartedness.

    Elliot -- Glad to oblige and welcome to the world of blogging. One of my goals is to help make blogging better. Please come to visit this blog often.

    Elena -- Sounds like you're getting a good sense of the Golden Rule where it applies to blogging. If you like getting the comments, it makes sense that the blogger you are visiting would like to get one from you as well. Especially if they haven't gotten many or any yet. I almost always try to find something say on those blogs. Thanks for coming to visit this blog.

    Hilary -- Engaging in the conversations does limit the number of blogs visited, but on the other hand it can lead to better understanding of topics and develop stronger bonds between bloggers. And I agree that some of those spam links are very dubious and scary. I try to keep them off my sites.

    StMc -- You caught that, but I didn't. I don't remember things very well. Now what were we talking about here?


  64. Hi Lee, my name is Sandy Campbell and I just joined your many friends on the network blogs.

    I happened by your blog from a newly found fellow blogger that is an authoress, and she mentions your blog as a participant in a Movie Blog Hop. Naturally, my curiosity was raised and I couldn't wait to get to your blog to learn something.

    She had also provided the information for the A to Z Blog Hop which I signed up for last evening. I feel it will be challenging as a learning process as well as good old fashioned fun.

    I enjoyed reading your writings about "comments". As a fairly new blogger, with much to learn, I do thank you kindly for the many tips you have provided. Hopefully, I will retain it and implement them.

    I made note of your other blogs you have and will be visiting each of them.

    I find your knowledge and experience to be most interesting to learn from.

    Have a lovely day,

  65. Lee,
    I didn't leave a signature link!! lol.....

    I was once again....reading some comments left and I said...oh no!! I just made a huge mistake!

    Sandy Campbell

  66. I visit the blogs of people with whom I have built relationship and where there is a reciprocal volley. I consider the bloggers with whom I interact regularly my friends.

    I typically reciprocate comments from new followers, one-time commenters and people who visit every once in a while but I don't always get around to that. I intend no slight when that is the case.

    When I do comment, it's because I've done my best to engage the post and the writer. This is how I have evolved as a blogger over time. Blogging is an important part of my intellectual and emotional life and I take care of my relationships. I don't blog hop and goof around too much. For me, this is a forum of friends on the journey. That's how I see it.

  67. Good post about comments. I tend to always leave a comment when I've read the blog post, and it will nearly always relate to something that blogger has said. I always like comments that do the same, that show they have read my words and engaged with me. It's all about engagement! And it's nice to take a little time to reach across our virtual world and make connections. :)

  68. @Stephen: Other than Star Wars, Monty Python and that gang (including Douglas Adams and, by extension, Neil Gaiman) may have been the most influential pop culture-ish stuff in my life.

  69. I admit it. I am a bad commenter, by which I mean I read and don't always comment. I don't want to leave a "good post" comment if I can help it. But sometimes that's all I can say.

  70. Until recently, my practice has been to periodically check on my most current post to see if anyone has left a comment. I realize, though, that it may take days before my followers read a post and therefore, I sometimes miss some comments. One of the things I have just started to do, but should have been doing all along, is to subscribe to my own blog's comment section. Unless I am mistaken, I believe this is the only way I would be notified of a comment.
    I mention this because I think it is just as important is to answer and acknowledge each comment my readers have left on my post as it is to comment on another's post.
    I have to admit that I have been a little shy myself about leaving comments. Commenting here today is a first step for me. I'm hoping it will help to boost my self confidence a little in order to gear up for the AtoZ challenge.

  71. excellent comment do's and dont's! perfect timing for a to z coming up!

    i hate those spammers too!

  72. Sandy -- What a lovely comment! It was like getting a very nice letter in the mail. Welcome to this blog and the others. It's always nice to have commenters like you.

    Suze -- I also see it as a relationship thing. But I know what you're saying about the reciprocated comments. I usually always respond in my comment section, but sometimes it's difficult to get back to everyone who stopped by.

    Jayne -- I always figure if I took the time to read a blog and I'm there anyway, then I might as well say something. It's the polite thing to do I think.

    Andrew -- Most of my pop references go back to vaudeville. Certainly not many past 1975.

    Southpaw-- "Good post" is better than saying nothing at all.

    Lynda -- I automatically get any comment that is made on my sites. I think there's something in the settings where you can do this. I'm so glad you stepped up here and left a comment. That wasn't so difficult was it?

    Tara-- Thank you, Tara!


  73. I have some of those, but, mostly, if it isn't Abbott & Costello, people don't get them.

  74. This is a very interesting post! I often struggle with leaving comments. I mostly read humour blogs, and I get a bit stressed (yes, ridiculous, I know) because I'm just really hopeless at being witty in the comment section. I hate leaving trite comments, but I think you're right that a simple "I was here" is better than leaving nothing at all. Thanks for the food for thought.

  75. I've been a HUGE believer in the value of commenting and, as a writer, I love receiving them as well. The networking value of commenting is incalculable...I can't tell you how many great people I've connected with via exchanging comments.

    Arlee - you know that is why I formed OUR Comment Posse.

    And, look at the number of comments this blog got so far! WAY TO GO!

  76. Andrew -- I was maybe born 50 years too late, then again I guess I was born at just the right time.

    Stephanie -- Sometimes I think humor blogs can be difficult to comment on. I might tell them that I laughed, but show don't tell is most effective in writing as they say.

    Bruce-- Thanks for starting the Comment Posse (I think!). I'm having a time keeping up with Triber and everything else out there. But yes, comments are the fuel and my blog is the car. Wow, what a trite analogy!


  77. I don't always comment on every post I read. Sometimes it's a matter of time, sometimes I can think of nothing even remotely intelligent to say, sometimes I give up trying to prove I'm not a robot. (I hate those things!) But for the most part, I try to comment as often as I can and I always comments on the blogs of people who regularly leave comments on mine. That's only right.

  78. "A trite few words can be a comment." MOST of my words are trite.

  79. Commenting seems to have a lot to do with etiquette. I have not read other comments left on this post, so I don't know if someone has already said that. Also, I read your blog at speed, scanning paragraphs for main points, so I may have missed your own opinion in this respect; but people give to receive; to keep their own blogs alive. I comment if I have something to say. I don't know if I care too much about whether it strikes a cord, or warrants a reply. It is considered, delivered and then forgotten. No quid pro quo required. A moments refection upon a chance landing on a blog.

  80. If I visit a post, I comment, period. The conversation is what blogging's all about for me.

  81. LD -- The Captchas can be such a nuisance, but now I try to think of them as kind of a puzzle or game.

    Michael -- Better to be trite than ignorant.

    SK - Some of my comments are like you describe--most probably, but some I like to put a lot of thought into. It's partly why I don't make it to too many blogs, but I guess the writerly part of me feels as much need to express myself in comments as in blog posts.

    Azara -- A nice solid blogging rule. I like it.


  82. I just posted about doing a little blog roll spring cleaning and unfortunately some the blogs that had zero interaction with their readers didn't make the blog roll cut. I mean if all they're going to do is write, why not just keep a diary??

    Anyway, I wrote a funny post about A to Z and Numerology.. It was a flook that it actually worked on mine but I know there will be a lot of people rushing here to see their linky number. :)

    Here's the link to the post, that I just thought was fun. :)

  83. >> . . . Then go with it with some improvisational free-style jazz blogging. Well, maybe that's asking too much too soon...

    Yeah, maybe so, considering that most people don't even like listening to Jazz - finding much of it too challenging, I suspect.

    Of course you know Jazz is my favorite music genre. And your analogy to improvisational Jazz is a really good one, because sometimes when I'm commenting, that's really what it feels like I'm "playing".

    Just the other day I told a woman in my comment section that I'm falling in love with her and I proposed marriage. I was definitely laying down the Jazz there, but she knew that and responded in a good way.

    Mostly, I'd just tell a would-be commenter: Just say something and BE YOURSELF. That's really all there is to it for me. Everyone has their own style (Jazz, Classical, Rock, Rap, Folk, etc.)

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  84. MiMi -- Appreciate the promo! I'll check it out.

    StMc -- Often when I comment I'll just start riffing off of whatever comes to mind which is why I made the jazz connection. Be yourself is the best advice I know. Treat the comment as a conversational response to a friend and it can come much more naturally.


  85. Thanks, I am so new to all of this. It is nice to have some practical guidance so I don't stick my foot in my keyboard.

  86. Do you know how stressful it is to come up with a awesome comment when commenting on a blog posts about commenting?

    I try to comment on every post I can comment. I believe that commenting is the best way to tell the blog owner that they don't suck and what they say did make an impact in our day, if even for a moment. I am a little intiminated when there are a lot of comments. I don't want to echo what other people say, and saying "You're awesome" just looks cheap next to a three paragraph comment from someone else.

    Anyways, thanks for the awesome article about commenting.

  87. Mary --What I'm conveying here is really just natural communication. People seem to sometimes think that blogging is like a lecture or a stand-up routine. There are co-communicators out there that we need to connect with.

    Lizzy -- Commenting is not a contest. Like I said to Mary, just to be natural works for most of us. The blogger just wants to hear something helpful or at least nice. Your comment is between you and the blogger foremost and then to the other commenters who are part of a communal communication experience and most aren't.


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  89. Personally, I agree with most everything you said, except the "Criticism," but maybe I a haven't encountered any blog yet that would upset me enough to offer public criticism. I think of this word as being really harsh. A private message if it is a blogger I normally read and really disagree with is more my style. A disagreement in a point like this comment I don't consider to be criticism, but rather conversational, so maybe that's the difference.


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