How do we comment?

2 men and 2 women holding up dialogue bubble cards

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We’ve all got our own way of approaching blog comments, both the ones we give and the ones we receive.  Various people have written about this, and even more have written about it since I scheduled this post, but I thought I’d go ahead and toss out my own perspective.

I remember a year or so ago a blogger that I followed posted a complaint about other bloggers, and in particular people that liked but didn’t comment on her posts.  I thought this seemed a bit over the top, and if she didn’t want me liking that’s fine, I didn’t have to follow her blog.

For me there are a couple different factors that go into whether or not I comment on a post I’ve read.  One is a matter of time.  I read a LOT of blogs, and if I increased my commenting time that would decrease my available reading time.  There’s also the issue that commenting requires spontaneous thought in most cases.  I don’t do well with spontaneous thought.  Sometimes I’ll want to comment on a post, but the internal gears are turning slowly and it can take up to half an hour to formulate a response.  Literally.  Whether it’s a lack of creativity or a lack of other internal resources, commenting can feel like hard work.  It’s not so much that I don’t actually want to comment or that I feel pressured to; I do want to interact but sometimes it’s just not happening.  I want to comment, but I have to budget my mental energy.

This is why I’m a fan of the like button.  I want to have some means of expressing my interest in someone’s post even if nothing is popping into my mind as a comment.  On sites that don’t have a like button, I actually feel less engaged as a reader.  Maybe that’s weird, but it’s a pattern I’ve noticed for myself for quite a while.  I know likes aren’t necessarily meaningful all of the time, but I guess it means something to me to be able to give them.

The odd time there will be someone I’ve never seen before will drop by and sprinkle 20 likes that I get notifications for over the space of 2 seconds.  It seems very obvious that those are meaningless, and the person is trying to put themself (and their blog link) in front of my face.  But to me that’s a very different creature from an actual reader, and I consider the rapid-fire types to be very similar to the types that drop their link in your comments.  It’s annoying, but it is what it is and it shouldn’t be assumed that they represent the average reader.  Usually it seems pretty easy to distinguish between spammy likers and genuine readers.

When it comes to comments I get on my own blog, I try to respond to everyone’s comments.  I never used emojis before I started blogging, but they’re handy when I can’t necessarily think up good words in response.  Legit comments that go into my spam folder can take a few days for me to notice, but I’ll respond to those eventually.  I usually check my spam a couple of times a week.

I don’t get too many spam comments making it through the spam filter to get posted on my blog.  When they do, they’re usually pretty easy to notice, but not always.  “Great post” can be either legit or spam, depending on who has left it.

If I’m reading a blog post that I don’t agree with, the majority of the time I will move along without leaving a comment.  I figure if someone wants to have a particular conversation on their blog, that’s their choice, and there’s no reason for me to get involved when I’m not a part of that same conversation.  I apply a similar philosophy when random unknown people leave inflammatory comments on my blog.  If they’re not getting involved in the same conversation, there’s no reason for me to allow their comments to show up on my blog.

I also choose not to require comments to be moderated before appearing on my blog.  I spend a lot of time on WordPress, so I’m likely to catch any unpleasant comments pretty quickly.  I’m also fairly certain that I’d fail to notice some unmoderated comments that would end up getting sucked into the WordPress black hole never to be seen from again.

And to wrap up, personally I have no greater appreciation for people who interact with my blog in one way rather than another.  Whether readers wander over and read, like, comment, or hang out for a while, I appreciate it all.

How do you approach commenting?

 

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The Mental Health @ Home Store has a how-to guide on building a WordPress.com blog from the ground up.  It’s got lots of useful tips whether you’re just getting started or wanting to take advantage of more of WordPress’s features.

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43 thoughts on “How do we comment?

  1. Author_Joanne_Reed says:

    Hi there, thanks for the post.
    For me, I probably hit like for about 50% of the posts I read, and will leave a comment for anything that instills a reaction or makes me think, guess that’s around 10%. I like the insight blogging gives, its often like being the proverbial ‘fly on the wall.’ Some of the stories really touch me and hope that a comment, rather than a like, gives a little extra encouragement and. Other posts make me think, like this one, both are worth the extra time.

    • King Ben's Grandma says:

      I spend more time reading and commenting on other blogs than I do my own. I appreciate comments and figure other bloggers do too.
      Sometimes it is difficult to kick the brain into gear enough to leave a comment. Maybe I could just comment “Big Like” or “Double Like”? Emojis are great. I use them often.

      I think its great that this topic is making the rounds. It gives us a chance to understand other people’s like/comment style.

  2. Renard Moreau says:

    🙂 I handle all of the comments that I receive on my blog diplomatically.

    I even created a “Commenting Policy” page so visitors to my blog would know what is expected of them.

    I never take comments and commenters for granted.

    It is indeed an honour to receive comments on one’s blog.

    At the moment, there are countless people who wished that people will leave them a comment.

  3. dewberryblue says:

    I’m new here, so I really get happy if someone gets my blog and post a comment. I’m pretty much like you. I only comment when I have something worthwhile to say. I can get carried away, like now, so I have to remember everything is not about me. LOL.

  4. Meg says:

    Very interesting topic!! I always appreciate comments on my blog, and I always want to return the favor! It makes me happy to give and get comments! 🙂 Over on my blog, I’m interested in inspiring people to think about the issue. Any comment like, “This really made me think about the issue, or think about it differently, or want to take a different angle than you did by looking at it from someone else’s side, or I agreed with your take, or I noticed such-and-such interesting point that you didn’t mention,”–those comments always make me happy and brighten my day! I guess there’s something about the flow of ideas and thinking through values and priorities that excites me, for some weird reason!

    One thing that peeves me is when I comment a few times on a new blogger’s blog (i.e., someone whose blog I’ve never checked out before), and they ignore my posts. Trust is such a fragile thing when I’m first getting to know someone that the relationship potential can die early on if I’m feeling unwanted. That’s happened a few times, and it hurts my feelings–especially if the blogger IS liking and commenting on everyone else’s comments.

    So I religiously reply to all comments on my blog. No reply from me? There must be a WordPress glitch going on. I’m always grateful for comments!

    I never check my spam filter! Yikes! If anyone has ever “lost” a comment on my blog, that’s probably why! Huh, I should check that! 😮

    HA HA! I’m braindead. Not enough sleep last night, and I should’ve taken more Seroquel (it’s allowed). It’s taken forever for me to write this comment! Oh my, I must nap soon!! Nappytime is at hand!

    • ashleyleia says:

      When people don’t acknowledge comments I try to give the benefit of doubt (it was overlooked, it went to spam, etc.), but if iot continues then yeah, it doesn’t feel very nice at all.

  5. sophienaylor1 says:

    I don’t see an issue with someone liking my post and not commenting at all! Not everyone has the time to leave a comment on every single post they see, liking is a much quicker and easier way to show love and appreciation for a post.

    I definitely agree with feeling less engaged when someone doesn’t have a like button, it’s so weird to me! I usually just assume they’re unaware of it, but if they purposely don’t have one that’s a little strange to me – I wonder why they don’t have one? I’ve never properly thought about it before!

    I’ve only recently started to look through my spam comments, as I didn’t realise just how many genuine comments get shoved there by WordPress! It’s so annoying because I’m a little worried it makes me appear rude. I try to reply to every single comment I receive and usually succeed at that, but some do get lost in my notifications which is a shame. I do try very hard not to let that happen though!

    Something I’m not too keen on is the ‘Great post!’ comments.. If you’re just going to comment 2 passive words like that, you may as well have just liked my post! Haha. xx

    • ashleyleia says:

      Yeah “great post” I’m okay with if it’s a blogger I know and it’s just for extra emphasis on the like, but if it’s some random person stopping by I tend to wonder what’s the point.

      • sophienaylor1 says:

        Yeah, me too! I don’t like it when it’s some random person as it feels like they’re just trying to get me to check out their blog, which I don’t mind doing if they just ask!

    • Pilgrimage Studio says:

      Great points. I often don’t know what to say. Like you said, it’s spontaneous. And I’m learning to take my time more with commenting because sometimes the spontaneous responses don’t come out quite right. I look at them later and wish I’d said something a bit differently. 😊

  6. aguycalledbloke says:

    A top notch post Ashley and one that is all the trend of late. The only likes l don’t like are those that arrive in blocks of five to twenty. Since Renard passed a comment the other day in response to something regarding the ‘liking’ of posts, l tend to look at things slightly differently aka ‘shyness’ and the like button, but a shy person isn’t likely to hit like 20 times 🙂

    Plus something you also said the other day struck a chord within and that was the mental energy level of trying to think of something to say that is ‘meaningful’ and then there is the OFFS l can’t think of anything and so ‘hit like’ as that is easier 🙂

  7. Paula Light says:

    I like likes and I appreciate comments. I don’t get many (or any) nasty/trollish comments since I left WP. I don’t get angry at the “machine gun” likes, but I do roll my eyes ~ obviously they haven’t read anything, so I feel no obligation to read theirs. Sometimes I wander over out of curiosity anyway.

    I have missed liking/responding to a few comments on my blog. Some have been in spam for a bit. That’s unintentional, of course ~ I try to like every comment out of acknowledgement.

    As far as what I do? Depends on my mood/time. I often leave a like without a comment if I have nothing to add but “great” or “yeah.” I want my comments to have some substance or be of generous, sincere praise. I try to think of a way to relate something personal rather than give advice because I dislike advice myself. Mostly I try to be funny.

    Not here! This is serious comment. 🤪

    • ashleyleia says:

      Nice to mix it up a while! And of course my response is delayed because WP marked your comment as spam. And you’ve just got to laugh at that, because taking it seriously would be crazy-making.

  8. BeckiesMentalMess.wordpress.com says:

    Excellent post, Ashley! You brought up several good points regarding comments. As you can see, I’m commenting… I appreciate your time and effort that went into posting this post. Is it time consuming to write comments, definitely! But, that’s just me… I love engaging in conversations with a number of bloggers. Do I do this all of the time? No. I wouldn’t have a blog if all I did was comment all day. LOL!
    One thing that bothers me because, yes… I comment. It slows me down quite a bit when it comes to reading other boggers entries. I’m always behind the eightball catching up. That’s the big downside to commenting.

  9. Michelle says:

    I have gotten a lot of likes when I first started from people who never read my posts. I do like all posts I read if I comment or don’t comment. I am the same way. Sometimes I can think of anything to say so the like button is useful. I always try to comment on every blog if I can even it’s just saying a simple word.

    I always reply to every comment on my posts and like them too. Even it is just a thank you, I feel like readers who comment appreciate a response back.

  10. socialworkerangela says:

    I agree with all you said. And want to add. Sometimes i wasn’t too comment but don’t know the writer well enough to know what to write that will be welcome. But i feel you can’t go wrong with a like unless it’s a super personal post

  11. denverarc says:

    As a new blogger the whole commenting / liking and generally becoming comfortable with blogging in general can be quite daunting, so your post has offered some very helpful insight. Thanks for being so frank about things and I think you have a really good, positive approach to how you both respond to others and receive their comments.

  12. Melanie B Cee says:

    My approach to commenting consists of whether I have the time, whether I have something to say and whether I feel a comment is warranted. Sometimes a thorough read and a ‘like’ is plenty. I’m of the opinion (like many others) that the ‘like’ shows one passed through and read the post, but due to one of the factors listed above, doesn’t ‘say’ anything. It’s not disrespect at all in my opinion.

  13. Ami says:

    I 100% agree with you! I never intended to blog to gain likes or comments, but each of them are a bonus and I appreciate each view, like and comment I receive. I do try and reply as quickly as I can. When I read a blog post, if I like the post but don’t feel like I have anything to add, then I will just like the post. But if I am able to share my views, for example with your post, then I will comment my thoughts. It really does depend if I have something to share by the end of the post.

  14. easetheride says:

    I used to be able to comment a lot more, but I agree that sometimes the like button is all that I can do in that moment. I think that’s a fine way for people to show their support. Sometimes there aren’t any words that can be added. When I comment, I like to try and leave thoughtful comments, and those can take energy that I don’t always have. So at least if I like, then the person knows I’m thinking of them. I’ve always been appreciative of your comments. You are one of my most frequent. It reminds me that you are there in my corner. I hope you know I am the same for you, even if I can’t always like or comment as much as I’d like.

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