Friday, February 3, 2012

Writing and Receiving Comments

Deep down inside most bloggers, buried next to the wish to have a billion blog followers, the most page views ever and to be able to write instant hit one line posts, is the wish to receive comments. Any comment. Just something to show that there’s someone out there reading your work and liking it enough to tell you so.

I am one of this crowd, often desperate to hear from other bloggers. Was there something wrong with my last post? Is that why no one commented? Have I bored all my readers so much they’ve decided to leave?

Every comment I get is a gift. Precious because someone took the time to stop and say something, someone who only knows me through my blog. I love all my commenters, from the ones who only have time to say, ‘I loved your post,’ to the ones who write huge long comments full of personal stories and life.

I love my commenters so much that I’m dedicated to answering every single comment I receive. I always answer, and always try to say something personal to every comment. Because I appreciate my comments.

Sometimes though, I wonder about other blogger. Especially the ones who receive hundreds of comments on every post. Do they still get a thrill from receiving a comment? Do they read every single one and think, ‘Wow, these people took time to say sometime to me’?

And then, what sort of comments do people like to receive? Do people prefer to have a short one liner? Or a long personal comment showing how the post touched the commenter?

Personally, I love this second sort. It’s good to feel that something I’ve said has touched someone else. These are the best sorts of comments to answer too. You can share so much through these comments.

I suppose that’s why I write these comments too. If I can’t say something about how this post is relevant to me then I just won’t write a comment. I don’t like to leave a comment that anyone could leave. I want it to be personal. I want it to be from me.

Today I thought I’d post some commenting questions for you. I’m interested, what sort of comments do you like to get? What sort of comments do you write? Do you like bloggers to respond to your comments or aren’t you really bothered?


  1. I love all comments and I like it when the blogger who recives those comments asks questions at the end of each post.
    Love Sararose

  2. Oh, gracious, I LOVE getting comments. They're all special to me because, as you said, some random person actually took the trouble to say something nice to me. (As you can tell, I've never gotten a nasty comment - yet.) I like the long interesting ones as well, and I love being asked questions. I feel like questions mean that the person is really interested in whatever I was talking about, and so they want to know more. Thirst for knowledge in others makes me so happy, and so proud if I've inspired it! (Conversely, someone who is unappreciative of something worth trying to understand makes me VERY ANGRY.)

    The comments that I write are, alas, not half as lovely as most of the ones I receive. The funniest thing about them is that their style varies greatly depending on the style of the post I'm commenting on. It's rather strange.

    I'm a bit unclear yet on some of the comment etiquette. Is it just ANNOYING when one comments faithfully on practically every post? Is it rude to refrain from commenting on a post one likes? Is it rude when one doesn't reply to others' comments on one's blog? Sometimes I just can't think of anything to say in reply, though I love to let my commenters know how much I appreciate them.

    Well, Imogen, it's a good thing that you like long comments. :p This one's rather lengthy, as are most of my comments here. :)

    Ooh, and would you mind if I reposted the first half of your post to my blog? (With all due crediting, of course.) I really agree with what you said, and since I can't say it much better myself it may be best to just direct my readers to your words of wisdom. :D

  3. Sararose, having questions at the end of a post really does make it easier to write a comment doesn't it? I first picked the idea up somewhere else in the blogosphere and adopted it myself when I realised how helpful it was for commenting.

  4. Victoria, I really enjoyed reading your lovely long comment. To tell the truth, very few people stop to write one as long and thoughtful as yours.

    It's always nice to be asked questions in comments as you said. I love to feel that my post has made someone think and wonder about the subject. Plus it makes it so much easier to reply to the comment if you're like me.

    I believe that most comment styles would vary with the kind of post you're writing on. Such as this post seems to be inspiring longer, more thoughtful comments, whereas a post that's full of fun and jokes would naturally inspire a different kind of comment all together. I find that I write my comments a little more formally when I'm commenting on writing blogs, unless I know the blogger fairly well. On other blogs though, I write different comemnts. It's very interesting to think about, isn't it?

    I can't speak for others, but I personally don't mind people commenting on practically every post. In fact it would please me to know that someone is reading every single post.

    As to answering comments, I don't think there has to be a hard and fast rule about answering every single one. If you don't want to and can't think of anything to say, then you shouldn't feel that you have to answer. Sometimes I find it a struggle to find something to say in reply to short comments that don't say much, and I'm sure I'm not alone in that. I think your commenters would realise that you appreciate them whether or not you answer every single comment. It'll show in the way you write back to the comment you do reply to.

    Thank you for your lovely long comment. It has certainly inspired me to write a very long comment back. I'm really enjoying thinking about this commenting business.

  5. I don't really write posts yet (in the process of setting up yet another blog), but I do like getting a response to something I've posted on the internet. I guess it just makes me happy to know that someone enjoys what I've created - plus it's good for getting an honest opinion on, say, a drawing:)
    As for writing comments, usually I want to write one on everything I read, but just can't think of the right thing to say sometimes :/

  6. This makes me ask: Is it wierd to blog for comments? I'm not really interested in wrikting posts. I actually just want to see what other people say in response...

  7. It is all sort of confusing, isn't it?
    My question is, does it bother people at all that they have no idea who is commenting when I leave one, since I don't even have an e-mail address, and can't leave anything other than "anonymous" at the top of a comment?
    I really think that "Miss Manners' Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior" should have a chapter on the subject. (Unfortunately, it was published far too early for that.)

  8. Carrie, you're going to have to tell me when you get your new blog set up. I'll come and comment on it for you!

    It is hard sometimes to think of something to say in your comments isn't it? I do my best, but I can't always find the right words to tell someone how I've enjoyed their work.

  9. JT, I'm sure there's lots of people out in the blogosphere who blog for comments. There's something so special about hearing opinions from people round the world.

    I think though, that if you're going to be blogging for comments, you always need to do your best to provide proper material for those commenters. To me, it's just common sense. I'm way more likely to comment on something well written than something slap dash with no thought behind it. I'm sure my commenters are the same.

    It's a very interesting idea, blogging for comments. It's almost like using comments as an incentive to write, isn't it. An interesting thought.

  10. MAS, you leave initials at the end of your comments, which tells me at once that it's you commenting and not some random person I don't know. If it was merely 'anonymous' with no signature or anything, then I might mind because I'd have no idea who was commenting. However initials or a name down the bottom changes an anonymous comment into a personal one, which is very acceptable.

    'Miss Manner's Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior' is such an awesome name for a book!

  11. I love getting comments too! It's like "Yippee, I finally have 10 comments to moderate!" Of course, I publish most of them because it tells me, someone is interested in my blog and they care about what I write about.

    What I can't wait for is getting a billion followers. I've learned patience is everything in the blogosphere. Followers will come if you give them time to discover a blog that may change their mind and\or life.

    Great post, Imogen!

    1. Patience is definitely the best quality of a blogger who wants to get a billion followers. I doubt I will ever get that many people reading my blog, But I really do enjoy comments, and I publish just about everything, unless it's spam of course. And I doubt I'd publish nasty comments, but I don't have any of those.