What is Your Philosophy on Blog Comments?

Editor’s Note: I discovered from a recent guest post of mine about finding writing inspiration, a writing prompt site called Write or Die. In this online software, you just write, no holding back or editing.  For some reason that day, I was thinking about blog comments. After editing the ramblings a little bit, here is what I wrote.

Do you ever wonder about the authenticity or motives of comments on blogs?  I ask this because I read a lot of blogs along with the accompanying comments, too.   I will also comment on quite a few, and I almost always respond to the comments that are made on my blog.

Popular Blogs Get More Comments

This seems obvious that popular blogs get more comments.  More traffic, more comments. But, while it may be high quantity, the comments are not necessarily high quality.  I have noticed over the years as a blogger that there will be literally hundreds of comments left on very popular blogs with things like “great blog” or “thanks for the inspiration.”

I wonder how much of that is really necessary?  What is the motivation for that comment?

It is either one of two things: 1) they sincerely think it is great and have no other words to elaborate or 2) to get recognition in hopes that others will go to the commentator’s blog via the backlink. I’m not really sure.

But, I do know the less popular blogs seem to get less comments. But, I am not sure that has strictly to do with traffic.  I really thing there is a proportion to how popular the blog author is to how many comments it gets.  This seems like common sense.  But, notice I did not say how good a blog is, just how popular.  Famous people may have crappy blogs, but people are quick to leave comments even if the post is just, eh okay at best.

Great Posts By Less Famous Blog Authors Still Deserve Comments

I have read some pretty small, low quality blog posts on super high traffic websites, with over 100 comments!  Really?  Then I have come across some lesser known, but great quality posts with NO comments.  Could it be because these quality, reflective posts do not inspire comments? I doubt it.  Maybe no one is coming to the site.  Also doubtful since they are PR 3 sites with over 1000 followers / subscribers, etc.

I have been to popular blogs with literally over 50 “great post” type comments!  What does that really add? In addition, does one think with that flippant, uninteresting comment people will really be intrigues to learn more about him or her?  I am not saying those comments are always meaningless or never appropriate.  However, when it is every other comment, it gets to be overdone.

Is it just me?

Moderating Comments Can Be Biased

Than there is the moderation of comments by the blog owner. I understand the reason for this  when it is truly spam. or disrespectful.  However, I have made some pretty productive, but not super i-love-you-and-your-awesome-blog type comments that never get approved because it may shed even a tiny fraction of introspect that makes the blogger question his post.

Why is that not approved I wonder?  Are people really that narcissitic that only you-are-the-bomb type comments are worthy to be posted?  How authentic is that?  I try to provide more than a meaningless comment and it does not get approved.  I am always respectful and productive.  I do not curse or provide any you-suck or you-are-the-worst writer, nor do I spam.

I love when I see comments that actually provide a thoughtful, yet slightly different perspective than the blogger.  This gets the ball rolling for other commentators to respond.  As I stated, it is good to always be respectful and courteous.

So, I ask again: Do you ever wonder about the authenticity or motives of comments on blogs?

What comment do you write?  What comments do you approve and what is your overall philosophy on commenting?  I’d like your comments – really!

About Julie McElroy

Julie writes for Inspired to Write where she offers tips, resources, and writing inspiration for writers and bloggers. She is also a freelance writer for various websites and blogs.

Comments

  1. I suppose, I’m like you in a way. It’s hard to tell why some comments are so simple without much detail as to why they felt it necessary to leave, “That’s great” or “I love your blog” remarks. Grant it, sometimes I fall across a blog and the only reason I am interested in the blogger is because I feel a kindred spirit with the author because she’s an author, or a home school mom, or a fellow Christian, or whatever and I will leave a comment just to make a connection with the blogger. Those sort of comments may or may not have much to do with the particular post the author made in which I left my comment, but I felt it important simply to connect with another like-minded blogger. As for commenting on comments left on my blog, I try to be as interactive as possible. I want to my readers to know that I do pay attention to what they say and I hope they are following up to see if I do. I believe in doing so, this will be build a better audience for your blog. It’s good to know others such as yourself have the same sorts of thoughts about other blog comments and the likes. Thanks for your two cents, Julie!
    Cathy Kennedy recently posted..Monday Preview of My Reviews of Our Weekend Spent

  2. @Cathy I do understand those occasional nice blog comments to connect… but when that is all that you see, it makes you wonder. I also try to interact. The ironic thing is many of the real popular bloggers hardly ever interact with their commentators. I guess there is a certain point where interacting with your “fans” because lower priority when you have book signings or speaking engagements that fill up your calender. :) Thanks for your comment!
    Julie McElroy recently posted..What is Your Philosophy on Blog Comments

  3. I don’t even mind the one liners so much, although as you say when there are loads that are almost exactly the same it is annoying. It it the nonsensical ones with a links to a really dodgy site that annoy me.
    Scott recently posted..Why Amazon Won’t Consider Apple’s iPad As A Threat

    • Well, I don’t mind either cuz I am not a famous blogger – lol, so I believe it is sincere! :) Yes, the nonsensical ones I don’t usually approve if it is spammish! Thanks for the comment!

  4. Julie, yeah being famous means you gotta prioritize things. Unfortunately, little things like wanting to make personal remarks to fans often time can’t be squeezed in. Maybe, one day we’ll know of such things. Good night!
    Cathy Kennedy recently posted..Monday Preview of My Reviews of Our Weekend Spent

  5. Hmm, yes well.. I am rather ambivalent about having to answer comments on my blogs. And actually have only had a handful of people comment on my blogs.. So perhaps it’s just the way I want it to be.. After getting rid of all the spam comments.. But it doesn’t really worry me as I treat it all like it’s just my writing & ramblings, & if people want to read it & not comment that’s actually quite OK. Also I see my blog as more like some kind of rough draft for a book on my life & my experiences etc. Coming to terms with life & it’s challenges. ie. “To be or not to be”.. And what’s it all mean then etc.. I also use my Facebook page in a similar kind of way.. like my blog. I’m trying to put out there the various things I’m doing & thinking about etc.. Although not trivial stuff, without any deeper sense of the meaning of life.. but from a deep philosophical & even mystical sense of the wonder of just being here in the first place. Also drawing on my knowledge & perpetual study of astrology or the placement of the planets, & what they mean.. from moment to moment.. year to year.. or decade to decade & beyond.. But’s it’s also about coming to terms with the ordinary everyday stuff as well.. & how the two worlds intersect. And trying to be honest with my Self.. “To thine own Self be true”.. The mind knows things on one level, but the Soul within knows us at the deepest level possible. (Hmm sounds like I’m envangelising again) Meanwhile how do we bring to two together into a greater sense of Self awareness.. Ah yes, back into the Mystery.
    Darrell recently posted..A Little Trip With Dad

  6. I like any kind of comments whether they only said…hi …nice writing…or great posting… Of course I appreciate more if they can pin point the mistake or something that drive them curious… I hate comment like… “Hi, please visit my blog…blah, blah…” without any real comment about my writing or my blog…

    I do wonder though, to those people who received hundreds or thousand visitors and they all give comments… Does the owner have the time to read and reply them all?

    • @Ria Thanks for the comments. That is the thing, it seems the more famous your blog, the less likely you are going to interact and comment back. Yes, I do appreciate all comments if they are sincere! :)

  7. well i love to read post which i can understand and if i enjoy the post ill comment or navigate from the post. being sincere is important.

  8. I do agree with the authors idea, the fact that some comments being post are not related on the topic being discussed on the blog.
    Clearwater Criminal Lawyer recently posted..Florida DUI Sentences – DUI Manslaughter Guilty Pleas Could Bring Severe DUI Penalties For Florida Man

  9. Julie,

    I try to add value to posts with comments I leave. I read a lot of blogs that are so well written, but don’t know how to get their message out. For my own posts, I’ll keep the controversial comments, but I struggle with what to do with the poorly written. I know English isn’t the first language of many of my readers.

    Seeing the spam bots gets easy over time. Askimet catches most. I need to go through the ones it quarenteens as well meaning people sometime legitimately mention their site without knowing it’s one of the parameters for my spam filter.

  10. Julie,

    I wish Trevor hadn’t said, “I try to add value.” That’s exactly what I wanted to write! I appreciate comments, because they let me know that someone cared about what they read. As far as answering comments, I don’t know how to answer “great post” or even “truly inspirational.” “Thanks for stopping by” seems just as lame. I get much better comments at HubPages (where I am now following you after reading this post and a guest post on RevTrev) than I do on my blogs. Anyway, the ability to comment and respond to comments differentiates online writing from print. It’s apparently a bit of a learning curve for lots of us.
    David Guion recently posted..Supernatural boldness from our supernatural Savior

  11. I appreciate when someone takes the time to comment, even if it is short and to the point. As a brand new blogger to the etiquette of this format though, my question is, “Are you supposed to respond to them all?”
    Teri recently posted..Put My Tears Into Your Bottle

  12. I enjoy reading blogs, moreover if they interest me or shall I say they suit to the interests I have. I love to leave comments on them especially when i have some queries or else I have some different perspective I also want to share. Same with the view of others, I agree with the discussion in this post but we have to consider also those newbies who tried their best to leave comments which are something significant. But for those who try to leave comments for nothing’s sake, well, hoping it would made them better.

  13. I think the comments posted on blogs must be written in some logical discussion, they must bring something, be a continuation of the article written on the blog page.
    In some blogs, especially blogs techniques, the software example, the use of feedback can supplement the information in the article, saying that “it works” or “in this case, it does not work well” …
    It is also the author of the article to know to distinguish between good and bad comments …
    (sorry for my English, I’m French … :-) )

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