This Is Me--2019 A to Z Theme

This blog is part of my life journey. I've got places to be and people to see along the way. Hope you'll join me and maybe join in the discussion...

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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Ask Arlee: Shy commenters? --#IWSG #atozchallenge

First Wed of Every Month          The Insecure Writer's Support Group has been a blogging institution for the past 100 years.  Well, maybe not that long, but it now seems like it's been around forever.  #IWSG as it is known in Twitter speak was started by Alex J. Cavanaugh.  For more information go to the official #IWSG site and that's also where you'll find a list of participants.

        My entry for this month once again features an "Ask Arlee" question:

Al Diaz said... What to do when you want to ask a question but you're too shy to do it?
February 25, 2013 

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  1. noo I don't want to be the first one commenting.
    I am a shy commentor(? is that a word), sometimes I don't really know what to say. However, I always try to leave a nice comment because I would want the same happen to me. It is a great way of connecting with people.

  2. I believe is blogging is all about community! And we build on this community by connecting with each other through our blogs and commenting is the medium for that. Certainly we cant be building on our relationship with fellow bloggers by just saying, "Nice post". It has to be a meaningful comment which adds value or shares an insight. I had done a post on commenting commandments some time back here

  3. I blogged for six months before I understood I had to give comments to get them. Sometimes I don't have anything relevant to say about a post I've read...but then I at least say "hello" so the blogger knows I've been there. Happy IWSG,Lee.

  4. If I read, I comment. I got that far, might as well go all the way.
    It is about interacting and being friendly and polite. No comment is stupid. And you can always find something to say. (The ones that don't relate to a post do make me wonder.)

  5. I comment but if I feel shy I do my best to think of something important to say anyway. Shyness is not the problem. Doing nothing is. Or running away.

  6. I agree with Alex: leaving a comment takes almost no time!

  7. You make some good points and that is good advice. And I have found myself unfollowing blogs where I leave a comment but they never once visit my blog. And the fastest way to get me to never comment again is if the CAPTCHA box pops up. I may read the blog but I have made a mental note of who is still using it.

    If I see a new person has commented on my blog, not only do I answer them but I return the visit by going to their blog and commenting too.

  8. Poke-- I see it as the "Golden Rule" as applied to blogging.

    Shilpa-- We can't connect unless we have some meaningful communication.

    Liza -- It took me a while starting out as well. Then I read some advice like I've given here, tried it, and it worked.

    Alex -- There always something to say. I just imagine having a real life meeting--I wouldn't just stay silent. That would be kind of weird.

    Sheena-Kay-- Said simply, but very well.

    Steven-- Commenting usually can take less time than reading the post. I see the comment as my investment in the relationship as well as myself.

    JoJo-- Jumping through hoops will put a damper on commenting. I try no matter what until I just have to give up. The new people are the building blocks of a community.


  9. I'm never shy about leaving comments. Except on some of the blogs about those slutty romance novels. But if the comment on my post I feel obligated to reciprocate.

  10. I'm definitely a shy person but I think if I don't leave a comment it's usually because I can't think of what to say. Of course, that lack of thought is probably somewhat fueled by shyness or anxiety. If I'm not struck by a thought right away, then it usually takes me a while to craft something worthwhile to say. But sometimes I may give up before I get to that point.

  11. This is always such a good topic, Lee. I am guilty of not leaving comments sometimes because I have nothing to add to the conversation, but you make a good point about simply letting the blogger know you were there.

  12. Google+ is so frustrating! I can never find someones blog. I kept my old profile, never updating, and I'm glad I did.

    There are times I don't comment. It's usually when the post content is difficult to comment on or I'm tired. :)

    Questions at the end are so helpful for commenters!

    --And commenting does take time.

  13. Stephen -- If the content obviously is not for me I might skim through a post, but usually don't read it. If I don't read, I don't comment.

    Sarah -- Try to imagine that instead of reading a post, you're having a face to face conversation. What do you say next? Hone your conversational skills with some spontaneous attempts at commenting. You can always edit what you say online. The more you do this, the better you get at it.

    Karen -- I always like to bring this up especially before A to Z since that is a blog building event.

    Southpaw -- I strongly encourage ending with some questions--especially if a post is long or complex or anything that might befuddle the reader.


  14. Hi Lee!

    You hit on two areas that I try not to let bother me, but somehow manage to still irk me.

    People who stop by and say, "I'm following you, follow me!" I follow blogs I enjoy reading. To me, it's each to their own tastes.

    The "nice post" comment usually means, "your turn to comment on me now." Blech!

    Every time I comment, I feel like I'm saying something dumb. Or making a ton of grammatical errors. It's okay. It's worth the risk.

    Alrighty then, this rant is over. Thanks for letting me vent!

  15. Am I shy about commenting?

    Um. No.

    In fact, I think I tend to leave such long comments... well, we'll just leave it. I tend to expound... a lot.

    As for this post... I agree. Everyone likes good comment.

  16. I'm with Liza and Alex. At least I can say hi if I've taken the time to read. There have been a few occasions, though, when an issue brought up on a blog was too *hot* for me and I really don't feel comfortable saying anything. So I admit, I'm guilty of not *always* commenting.

  17. The number one reason I won't comment is if I have to solve complicated CAPTCHAS. I have to REALLY have something to say to want to go through the frustration of de-coding those things. It usually takes me several tries.

  18. Hi Lee, I am not a shy commentor. I like leaving comments on the blogs I visit and I also like receiving comments from people who have visited my blog.

  19. Elsie -- Thanks for venting--everyone's always welcome to do that at my site. The comment that makes no reference to what I've written suggests to me that the visitor did not actually read my post. I agree that it's worth the risk of sounding dumb or making errors if the comment is sincere.

    Robin -- I like those long comments that people leave. Your comments are some of my favorites.

    Bish -- I've run across a few of those "hot" topics that I feel reluctant to say anything about. I usually try to find something to say, but more than once I've been left without anything to say.

    Kelly -- the hoops are a real deterrent. I know some people are paranoid about whatever or they are on different platforms that mean I have to figure new ways to comment, but I'm not gonna spend an hour to try leaving a comment.

    Rachna -- Those who are wondering why they don't ever get many comments need to examine their own commenting behavior.


  20. We are all shy -- just in different areas. Why, you will never find me on a nudist beach!

    You're right: blogging is about connecting. We already know what we think on a matter.

    Not reading a post and then commenting is almost as bad as reviewing a book you have never read.

    May your AtoZ this year be the best!

  21. I have skipped commenting on blogs because I totally disagree with the post and don't want to cause trouble. Usually though I try to say something relative.

  22. Good post Lee, people are really shy visiting me as I get next to nothing in the way of comments. The ones I can and do rely on meant alot to me I can always pinpoint what time of day or night they comment.

  23. On the whole, commenting is more about letting the blogger know you were there than about the comment itself.

  24. I don't understand "shyness" if you are a blogger. If you have the "nerve" to write something for all to read, why wouldn't you have the never to leave a comment. I am one of those who survives with a minimum of comments although people obviously do visit but don't comment when they do so. I would hate the get the comments Alex does, but a few more would be nice. Sorry, didn't mean to whine.

  25. Commenting is an important form of feedback whether the article is a fiction piece or an opinion piece. I take comments seriously and try to think of legitimate things to say but even in the event that I read the article and completely agree with the blogger or have nothing useful to say. I, at least, say Good article (or informative or fun) and wish them a nice day. Like Alex said I read it a few more minutes won't ruin my day.

  26. Roland -- I'm with you on the nudist beach--I mean you won't find me there either.

    Susan GK -- I might take care if I disagree, but I will usually leave some kind of comment. Now if I'm offended by the content that's a whole different taken.

    Yvonne -- One good sincere comment is better than 100 comments left insincerely.

    Andrew -- I think that's true in part, but I prefer to read something of substance that says something about what I've written. "Kilroy was here" is something, but it's not much of a conversation starter.

    Jo --If you're "out there" on your blog you might as well be out there commenting.

    Majik -- The thing about having somebody read my blog post is that I can't see them nodding their head in approval or scowling in disgust. You got to actually say something for me to know you were there.


  27. I love to leave comments. Even if I don't have anything else to add, I at least like to thank them for their post and for sharing whatever it is they shared.

    I am a shy person in real-life, but in blogs, comments, and anything with the written-word you never would be able to tell. ;)

  28. Occasionally, I run into the problem of having nothing to say about a post but only on blogs where I have no connection (people I've never received a comment from). People who visit my blog and leave a comment are my blog friends and I never visit a friend without saying hi.

  29. OK, you've caught me. I am guilty of reading and not commenting. I admit that in the case of YOUR blog, I read most of the posts but don't always comment. Often when I do, I completely hijack the place, but sometimes I don't know what to say, sometimes I just plain don't feel like talking. Sometimes I'm looking for a conversation, but the blog author never returns to reply, or simply replies with a 'thank you very much' (the other half of 'nice post').

    Anyway...I'll try to be better. I know deep down we all live for the applause.

  30. I never comment if I have to fill in one of those, leave your email forms, I dont like them.

    And I never comment on every blog I visit, I do it I like the blog or if it is a new blog or am in a cheery mood (that seldom happens) so I reckon I comment on about one in ten blogs. I know I am helping with the A to Z this year so I will try to do better......

    But its tough being a seagull


    Rob Z Tobor

    I just read the A to Z blog, you can tell.

  31. Chrys -- Writing is where shy people should excel.

    LD -- There are some blogs where there is probably nothing useful that anyone can really say.

    Faraway - the bloggers that bug me the most are the ones who neither reply to comments nor comment on other blogs. They seem to be in their own egotistical worlds. I tried to break through some of those shells but often to no avail.

    Rob -- Nice hyperlink.


  32. >>... Are you ever shy about leaving comments?

    Yeah. I'm a very shy person.

    In truth - impossible to believe as this may seem - I was considered by almost everyone (other than my closest friends, who were very few in number) to be EXTREMELY SHY up until about 1988 or '89. All throughout my school years, elementary through high school, I was considered by just about everyone to be one of the absolute shyest persons in the school(s).

    Hard to believe now, huh? Even I have to laugh about it. Boy, when I came out of my shell, I REALLY(!) came out of my shell.

    Anyway, as you already know, I don't go in for all this Comment nonsense. It's an "if I scratch your back, I expect you to scratch my back" kinda game. And I think it's B.S.

    I've said this so many times that I'm truly sick of saying it but (and it seems I'm always saying it on YOUR blog because it's a topic that reemerges about every 6 to 8 months), I don't want ANYONE feeling obligated to leave a comment on my blog just because they happened to read one of my blog bits.

    If you feel like saying something, by all means, please leave a comment (I respond to about 99.90% of comments left on my blog). If you just want to read 'n' run, by all means, suit yourself. That doesn't bother me or offend me in the slightest.

    Sheesh! It's like some weird ego thing is going on when people are trying to create some sort of "Comment Standard" that everyone ought to respect and follow.

    It's a free country (Ha! Yeah, right) so people should feel free to do what they want to do when it comes to blog comments.

    I probably leave comments on about 40% of the blog installments I read, and I feel no guilt about that.

    Furthermore, as I've said too many times, it doesn't bother me if someone reads one of my blog bits and doesn't leave a comment. If they have no comment, then that's fine with me. Why try to FORCE something?

    I realize that I am in the vast, Vast, VAST minority here, but I'd rather a person left me no comment whatsoever than to leave me some utterly useless, four-word comment like this: "Everybody got a vote!"

    Somehow, I can manage to live without a comment like that.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  33. I've been a shy commenter. I definitely comment more now that I have my own blog and see how much it means to me to get comments.
    I do occasionally not comment now if I feel like I won't have anything productive to say, but most of the time, I leave a comment, if a post speaks to me.

    I just now noticed Andrew Leon's comment:

    >>... On the whole, commenting is more about letting the blogger know you were there than about the comment itself.

    We all have the ability, through our Dashboards, to see how many people have visited a particular blog bit.

    So, I don't even need comments to tell me that someone, anyone, has visited the page.

    I don't want to hear anything from anyone unless they feel they have something to add to the conversation.

    If they leave a comment, I assume that they felt their voice added something to the topic I had addressed, and I therefore respect it and reply to it in an appropriately respectful way.

    I mean, what more is there to say about this thing?

    Well, actually, there is ONE more thing I want to add...

    EVERY SINGLE TIME an unknown (to me) blogger comments on one of my blog bits, I reply and then I immediately visit their blog. If I like what I see, I sign up to 'Follow' their blog. If it doesn't seem like my cuppa bourbon, I just move on.

    BUT... I always respect every new commenter enough to check out their own blog and then decide whether or not I think it's something I want to read more of.

    ALL OF THIS is a "respect" thing with me, but NOT an "obligatory" thing.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  35. I'm not a shy commenter but I don't comment often either, only when I have something to say. Many times, a blog post is a complete write-up, the blogger's telling us about his vacation or her dog or their house renovation. No comments spring to mind then. It's only when the blogger touches on a controversial topic or investigates something I'm interested in, I'm compelled to comment. Like here and now.

  36. I am getting much more comfortable commenting. I am actually enjoying the many new friendships. I really dislike commenting when the blogger has capcha or some other goofy thing.


  37. Thanks. No wonder I don't get many comments on my blog. Not only am I shy, but rude. I won't make that mistake again. You have opened my eyes.

  38. StMc -- I've always been very shy and still am for that matter.
    This kind of a "comment" post is kind of like a greatest hits of blog topic that I like to bring up periodically. I do think comments matter and I like to see visitors leave meaningful comments with some kind of substance. You do too. How would you feel if your comment section just went silent? I agree that the empty headed comments don't really add that much and I believe I alluded to that. And keep in mind that this post is mostly and A to Z post to encourage participants to get out of the "it's all about me" attitude and engage in some actual interactive blogging. We're talking social media. I don't see that much wrong with that. We find our friends and engage, but we don't build friendships until we've done some engaging first.

    Jenni -- A smart blogger composes a post that has the intent of speaking to readers to get them to engage in discussion. That's why using questions as conversation prompts are a good idea.

    StMc -- I agree that it should be a matter of respect more than obligation. That's why many bloggers post on this commenting topic. I'm trying to teach some blogging etiquette. It's not a law though.

    Olga-- When I run across one of those light personal type posts, if I have time I might leave a comment that add something deeper to what they said or tell about one of my personal experiences related to what they've discussed. If I can add something with more depth then maybe they'll think more about their own posts or they'll be curious about my own posts. Sometimes though I will just pass by those posts. It depends a lot on my mood and the time I have.

    Doreen -- Another reminder to MAKE IT EASY TO COMMENT ON YOUR SITE. Thanks for bringing that up Doreen.


  39. Patricia -- Please come back and practice commenting on my site. Read through the comments that others leave. You can learn a lot about commenting by seeing how experienced bloggers do it.


  40. Hi Arlee, this resonated with me as I have blogged about visiting blogs/commenting etc, which may offer up some reasons why comments aren't flowing in. Useful for the A-Z too, I'd think.

  41. The cat always comments back at his shack. People are free to say whatever they like and they do too, makes it more fun. The ones that say nice post or "followed" can stick it up their butt though, I ignore them. Never thought of people as being shy, I mean why? It's online, can get rid of people simply by turning the computer off. But if someone has Disquis or makes me jump 5 different spots to comment back, I tend to not comment much either. Make it easy to comment, say something original when you comment and poof, more will come.

  42. Now, I feel shy and want to hide!
    All of these amazing comments-what can I say that hasn't already been said! Hi Lee, great post! I was shy once upon a time ;D

  43. I always try to leave a comment, though I have problems using Disqus. Thanks for the gentle reminder, Lee!


  44. Thanks for this! I do find it hard to comment sometimes as I'm not sure what to say that would be worthy of a comment space. Anyway, I definitely need to work on this more.

  45. There are two killers for me in if I can't figure out how or where to comment and two is that captcha thing....usually I just won't bother to jump through the hoops. Plus if I am continually going to a blog and leaving comments everyday and they don't ever answer or visit me they will get dropped from my list to read pretty soon. That is just plain rude. Isn't this challenge all about getting to know others?

  46. Denise -- Fundamentals of blogging are topics that never really get old and stay relevant.

    Pat - The shyness excuse is rather strange. I think it's really more of a matter of being afraid of saying something stupid. What the heck! If you do, we don't remember long. Well unless a person's always saying something stupid and in that case they're not bloggers, they're politicians.

    Ella - I think we all have our shy moments.

    Julie -- Disqus and others comment screeners can be immensely frustrating.

    Caffe -- A small friendly comment never takes up too much space.

    Paula -- Some people are just plain rude or they are too self-absorbed to comment. Then there may be some that just don't get it.


  47. I agree that commenting is one good way to build a readership. But the key thing is reciprocating. What's the point of commenting on someone else's blog if they don't/can't find the time to reciprocate?

    Oh and the "nice" comments that someone may leave, and you the type I'm talking about people, it just another form of spam. I used to get those and I would respond accordingly. Then one day I check out a blog from one of those commenters and it was a blog for marketing some stupid product. now I just nuke those comments.

    The toughest thing, I think, is trying to build a readership from scratch all over again. Usually the only way you can do it is by commenting on other's blogs, but it's such a daunting task these days that I really pick and choose what blogs I comment on, on a given day.

  48. GB -- I'm in that same time boat. Trying to find time to do other things along with comment is a real challenge. Add to that my ridiculously slow computer which really is a hindrance to commenting prolifically. The commenting is vital for relationships and building readership, but it's not always easy. A real catch 22.


  49. True, I like to read insightful comments... comments that makes the writer feel that the reader has read and understood. It helps in strengthening the connection between both the parties.
    I am sometimes shy of commenting if I don't understand the post, happens usually with poetry blogs. I refrain because I feel I might hurt the writer by asking question :)

  50. Commenting doesn't take a few minutes when you take the time to read through all the other comments - and then check out the links of the ones that captured your attention. I can barely remember what your post was about now. I made the mistake last year of following everyone who commented on my blog - but then again even the ones I have very little in common with, have been interesting at times. I feel awkward commenting on non #atozchallenge posts, some bloggers hate links as much as a lot of atoz'ers seem to hate 'great post'
    Reflex Reactions

  51. Just my luck that I got out of the cave to be rewarded with the answer to my question. Oh, and you just have no idea how shy (or should I say anti-social) I can be. Yes, I meant the question. So ironic that I actually don't sign up again for the A to Z because it is way too many people to meet at the same time. It overwhelmed me last year. Can't handle crowds, even if on-line. One would wonder why I
    Blog at all. Maybe to overcome my phobia to people.

  52. Absolutely! Leave comments. Make new friends in blog land, as you comment back and forth on each other's blogs. Get to know people by what they write - then pick their brain, to get to know them better, with a comment. You'd be amazed how many wonderful people are blogging, and you have an opportunity to get to know them all! (The body is saying nap time after my trip, but the blogs are saying, it's only a few strikes on the keyboard. Keep typing. No one can see you slouching at your computer.)

  53. Great reminder of the Golden Rule Lee! My guess is all content creators appreciates it when someone takes the time to comment. It is a nice feeling and it fuels the writer to keep expressing their thoughts. When I started I was guilty of leaving "Nice post" comments because I figure a pat on the back is better than nothing at all. However, if you take an extra moment or two, you could grow the interaction into a connection. Win win for everyone involved wouldn't you say?

  54. Rajlak-- I also have trouble with poetry and sometimes even fiction. Personally I always enjoy answering questions so I want readers to ask me.

    Ida -- I'm kind of disappointed when I encounter a blog not blogging from A to Z in April. I'll leave a reminder for them when I'm there.

    Al -- I can understand how you feel. I'd much rather mingle with a crowd online than in person, but for me it can get tiring to be on line a lot. You can still sign up until April 1 if you change your mind.

    MJ -- Beautifully said. You should do a blog post to the effect of your comment.

    Buck -- It's nice to know if somebody read our blog post so any acknowledgement is something.



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