Guest-Post: Comments

Today's guest-post comes from the lovely Fay over at Glass Half-Full.

I was having a chat to someone the other day about comments, or in this case the lack of them on their posts.

I'm new to this blogging lark and I am just chuffed to bunnies when I take a look and see a figure which represents more people than are in my immediate family have looked at my page. I'm at the stage in my blogging hobby, that I'm just pleased I get posts out which seem to make sense and the odd person enjoys them. But it is pretty impressive when you see a post with a lot of comments on it!

Makes me wonder how many hits it must be getting, because I'm sure there is a 'golden ratio' number.

X amount of hits = Y percentage proportion of comments left

So if I wanted to grow my blog, is this something I should be aiming for rather than figures alone? Or is it simply a 'look at me, I've a lot comments, so I must be great at this' exercise?

The conversation got me thinking too, how do I know someone has enjoyed the post by looking at the stats. Did they just look at it, or was it actually read & understood? A bit like the difference between hearing and listening!

Is there a connection between me and the reader or is it a case of speed read and move on. Is that why some people care if there are comments or not? Is this a measure of someone actually reading it, and getting it…getting what we were trying to say, the message we were sending out into the bloggersphere?

Now, I just want to point out, I always try to add a comment on a blog, but sometimes its just not possible!

  1. I can't blumming sign in properly to validate something or other.
  2. I can't read the 'type this word in so we know you aren't a bot" safety feature.
  3. I haven't got the time.
  4. The iPad messes up with the settings and won't let me physically post it.
  5. I'm using my iPhone, its just too fiddly.
  6. I literally have nothing to say or add!

But the reasons for leaving a comment?

  1. They've triggered a memory, one which means a lot to me, and I want to share it with them.
  2. I feel they need some support, some virtual hugging and/or validation of the message.
  3. I feel incredibly strongly about the message or purpose of the blog, whether I am in agreement or not.
  4. I think I can maybe add something to the debate, a new angle or clever observation.
  5. I'm offering a possible solution to a problem
  6. Just a simple, 'Well done! I liked that!'

Reading through the two lists, I can see one is very task orientated, the other is more emotional.

So maybe this is one reason why some people care if comments are left or not. It's not only a possible validation exercise for peers; 'a lot of people read my blog and care enough to comment' but also the difference between listened to and being heard.

Do you agree or is my argument too simplistic? There has got to be lots of other reasons for comments being added or not or why we should or shouldn't be bothered by it. What do you think?

Can you see what I did there? Don't let me down!

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Comments

  1. says

    Excellently observed and argued, Fay. It is a question I have asked myself many times: Am I commenting on something in order to receive a comment back? I think with one notable exception in the week, I would say No. I comment on things I genuinely have a feeling about; that I feel I have something to say.
    That one exception is Silent Sunday. I've seen SS grow to have literally hundreds of contributors, many of whom post cute pictures of their children (and I often do the same) but I have become increasingly comfortable with saying: 'Aww, doesn't she look cute on the potty' or whatever because it just feels rather, well, inappropriate. I'm sure I wouldn't want a 47 year-old man I've never met gawping at my daughter in the middle of a wee, so I've reined right back from SS comments.
    As for other posts, I'll continue to comment when I feel I've got something to say.
    Anyway, I enjoyed this and will point it out to Twitter followers to have a read.

  2. says

    Good to know I'm not the only one who thinks about these things. Think I'd agree with Keith (apart from the weeing on the potty thing – but get where you're coming from!) and I'd say that I only comment if something resonates. I never feel obliged to comment. I dont' comment to boost my Klout. I comment … just because! :)

  3. Elizabeth says

    I often Don't link to my own blog when I comment because I never think of doing it just for a response, I only comment when I feel I have something to add or if I found it moving/amusing etc – to me comments are in support of the post/blogger not myself – unless it's a link up of some kind.

    I think you can also tell a comment that's merely fishing for traffic too, and the ones I had made me rethink my own commenting. I read a number of blogs daily but can sometimes go a week between comments.

    I have a number of posts with no comments at all on and some I didn't expect a lot from have a high number – I can never tell in advance. I am envious sometimes of the many comments others attract but then the comments i do get usually add something so maybe I just need to be a better writer!

  4. says

    I love getting hits and comments! When someone leaves me a comment it ay to me "I got it and this is what happened to
    Me". I have to admit that if I don't get many comments on my post I think its not done that well… I've no idea why I think that. On the flip side I write whatever the hell I want because it makes me happy. So my blog is a bit slapdash in its approach but I love the way i'm able to record my random memories. Love the post!

  5. TheBoyAndMe says

    I used to be obsessed with stats, now I realise they don't matter and I treasure comments. Comments that are actually longer than 'aw, that's cute' or 'yes I agree'. However saying that, if I have nothing to say then I won't fake it.

    A blogger's life is not an easy one.

  6. says

    Hey, thank you for the chance to write this post, it looks better on someone else's blog!

    I think we all comment for different reasons, never had thought about whether it would be appropriate before ( thanks Keith ) But it does put things into perspective, that comments aren't everything.

  7. says

    I am 'fairly' new to bloging too and think along the lines of you Fay, I comment when I feel I have something to add mainly and apart from silent sunday never comment just for a comment back, the majority of my posts pass by with no comments (yet again except silent sundays) and thats fine, when I check my stats there's one post which seems to draw in loads of traffic from google yet it never gets any comments, so I sometimes wonder if people click in and straight out or if its just one of them vagely intresting but not 'that' intresting posts lol

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