No Comments from the Peanut Gallery!

How many times have you felt the impulse to leave a comment on an article or blog but then thought better of it and moved on?

Whether the piece is sheer brilliance or more internet garbage, there is almost always a section where readers can leave comments (often referred to as a combox). I have mixed feelings about the combox, but until I read Kristin Lamb’s recent post about “improving your likability quotient”, and Bob Mayer’s thoughts on your internet presence, I must admit, I wasn’t an avid commenter.

Here’s the thing: As much as I often think I have important things to say, when I see several hundred comments, I often feel like adding my voice to the fray won’t be a worthwhile contribution.

Oh how wrong I was.

I’m not sure about you guys, but I know I have a tendency to size up the world in an “all-or-nothing” mindset far too often. Here are a few of my usual inner monologues:

“If my blog post or comment isn’t going to rock the foundations of the literary world, well, then… I may as well not comment at all!”

“Oh, look at the flame war! I thought I smelled smoke over on WordPress… This fire has clearly burned itself out. Nothing to see here, folks. Move along.”

“This guy clearly doesn’t have a clue, but he’s obviously too stupid to consider anything I have to say. I think I’ll go preach to the choir where I know people will listen to me.”

Smiley from the sMirC-series. facepalm

ย No, no, no.

You see, it’s called social media for a reason. Even when it appears that your thought may be lost in an ever-deepening sea of other comments, you never know who might read it. At the very least, the blog author will get another alert letting him know that you thought his post was worthwhile reading, and while busier bloggers can’t always read or reply to every individual comment, you have just given him a digital high-five of sorts and spread some internet cheer. We bloggers like being “liked.”

Secondly, whenever you leave a comment on a blog, you are leaving a virtual trail of breadcrumbs back to your own blog. As Nicola Morgan points out, Google loves it when you make its job easier. Every time you comment somewhere else, you leave a veritable trail of metadata in your wake, making your blog more likely to show up in search engines and, in a sense, casting your nets wide into the sea of the internet.

And lastly, while the internet is a big place, you are an important part of it. Sometimes, it might seem as if your contribution to the free flow of information and ideas is nothing but a drop in an ocean, but the ocean would be that much drier and shallower without your thought. As they say, “Rome wasn’t built in a day” (an aphorism of which I am in constant need of reminding). It was, rather, each individual stone in a Roman road which comprised the network that allowed the empire to stretch across Europe. And it was each individual citizen who came to debate in the forum which allowed for the republic to flourish into the classical civilisation to which we still look today.

Ready to join the legions of intelligent, articulate blog commenters currently amassing to redeem the internet?

I thought so.

To bloggers:

  • DO enable commenting on your blogs. Most platforms have sufficient spam blockers to keep the bots at bay. If people cannot participate in your blog, then you are basically having a conversation with yourself, and we all know that writers do enough of that outside the blogosphere as it is, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰
  • DO reply to comments within your own blog. This shows your adoring fans that you do, in fact, care about them and take the time to read what they say. Nothing builds rapport between a blogger and his audience better than mingling amongst the commoners conversing with his readers.
  • DO write thought-provoking posts that encourage conversation. Hell, write something controversial if its gets people talking! You might try leaving an open question at the end of your posts or inviting a guest blogger to provide a counter-post.
  • DO take the time to read and comment on other bloggers’ posts. Far from fraternising with the competition, you just paid the favor forward and brightened someone else’s corner of the internet. If anything, he might feel indebted and comment back on your blog, but at the very least, you have shown that what you consider worthy enough of your time to read is also worthy of your time to contribute to, as well.
  • DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS!

To readers:

  • DO read articles and posts carefully and analytically. Take the time to craft a thoughtful, genuine post that shows the author you have heard what he has to say and want to collaborate with him via a shared experience or constructive criticism.
  • DO forward links from other relevant blogs in your comments if you think they will contribute to the conversation. Just be careful about appearing… spammy.
  • DO click the “Like” button if you don’t have time to write a whole comment. This will at least let the author know that you read and enjoyed his work.
  • I repeat DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS!

So, was this a cleverly-designed trap to lure readers into commenting on my blog and boosting my ego?

Perhaps.

But really, it’s not about me (although notifications are gratifying most of the time). It’s about making the internet a better place for everyone. If you have been shy about joining the fracas, there’s no time like the present! So, please, take up that seat in the peanut gallery and fire away!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on your commenting in the blogosphere and what ideas you have to improve the experience. It seems to me that one of the huge problems confronting us is the general lack of civility in the comboxes. Thoughts? Opinions? Reactions? Criticism? Viewpoints? Convictions?

I’m all ears.

489 thoughts on “No Comments from the Peanut Gallery!”

      1. Yea, and it was a great post as well. (Just so you know, when you said your master scheme is working, I was picturing you laughing maniacally)

        1. Thanks! I actually laughed maniacally to myself, but I thought it might appear unprofessional to do so online. MUAHA– er, right. Professional.

      2. Hi, Ed! I have read your blog and you really helped me out with those neat tips to make my blog even more readable. I am a new writer, and I’m starting a blog about a character of mine called Herald-X (nothing to do with other X characters). I would really like your opinion about my first storyline! It’s coming to an end soon and I hope you have the chance to read it and comment. It’ll help me a lot!

        Cheers and cool blog! I’ll be following very often!

        Miguel Salazar.

      3. You have so many comments my web browser freezes! What you say must work! It’s nothing I haven’t heard before on the millions of people writing the boring blog about their feelings, but yours is so much more entertaining, cheers Ed!

  1. Well, the proof of the pudding…
    I just found this post by following one of your comments on another authors website. S evidently it does occasionally work! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Always great to hear that what I’m saying actually does produce results and isn’t just a bunch of fluffy BS I make up to provide content ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Glad to have you here!

    2. I get so many visits from the comments that I leave. It is a major source of traffic for my blog.
      A few things I always follow: 1) I never leave a link to my blog. If someone wants to get to you, all they have to do is click on you name. I find it to be too much like leaving a comment just to advertise me and comments should be genuine.
      2) Sometimes I comment on another person’s comment, if it rings true to me. This shows you actually read and are paying attention to the writer’s work.
      3) Sometimes I will mention that I wrote a blog about or read something about the subject. Again, I do not leave a link. The interested person will seek out the info.
      4) I leave opposing thoughts and new information if I have them. I make sure to word my comments as well as I would word a blog. Comments are like advertising. You only have a few seconds to catch someoneโ€™s interest enough to make them check out your work.
      I love that you point outโ€ฆif your wordsโ€ฆ.and I mean anyone who loves to write words, even in commentsโ€ฆ.touch even one person, give someone a new thought or reminds them of an old one, it was worth the time and effort to write them. After all, isnโ€™t that what language is all about, to share learn and enlighten?
      Fantastic postโ€ฆI am going to write a blog related to this and link to you!!! Congrats on FE, good choice! ๏Š AmberLena

  2. Hahaha! Oh my…I’ve already done this about 4 times today! I’ve read posts, thought that I would like to comment, and then erase everything that I write about 7 times until I decide that I have nothing important to say at all and move on.

    Ridiculous.

    Really great post, Ed! Your Freshly Pressed status today is well-deserved!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. I appreciate the words above. Personally, if it is a post that I disagree with a lot (and not a regular visitor), I don’t post anything. Besides, personally I don’t believe a first-time visitor should burst onto the scene pontificating to the max. Which also brings to the point of keeping comments short on early visits.

    In terms of my own blog, I respond to most comments simply because if they took the time to comment, I should do the same to respond.

    Thanks for the good points and congrats on Freshly Pressed.

  4. YAYAYAYAY! So excited to see your name on Freshly Pressed this morning! Congrats on the WordPress kudos. Great article, and a good reminder for all of us bloggers/readers not to forget to share the love. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Commenting has been a huge way to get traffick to my own blog I’ve noticed. Plus, it’s been a blast to actually socialize with other writers out there. Great posting! Congrats on getting Freshly Pressed!

  6. You hooked me with the picture of stadler & waldorf from the Muppets ๐Ÿ˜€ but yes I did enjoy your article, and your plan did work cuz here i am ๐Ÿ™‚ lol

  7. Oh wow. So much to say…SO MUCH to say…

    ๐Ÿ™‚

    Comments are hugely important. They also can be a HUGE time suck. So it’s a delicate balance, and one that I attempt to reach every day. My blog has become a place of incredible comments and conversations…yet as I’m responding to each and every one, I also find myself writing less and less. Because to be perfectly honest, every moment I spend commenting, I’m not blogging. Hence the delicate balance.

    Your feedback about the trolls…oh, the trolls! I had one troll, and I think I did feed her…but with fun results. I blog about my very surprising divorce and my subsequent reinvention. And I found myself getting consistent negative comments from only two sources (IP addresses). After a little quick research, turns out: They were ALL from the same person: the woman my ex left me for. And with this information, I kinda called her out in a blog post: http://mikaleebyerman.wordpress.com/2011/03/24/i-spy-with-my-little-eye-a-blog-stalker/. (That’s the feeding the trolls part…) ๐Ÿ˜‰

    The greatest irony: At the time, they were suing me…to stop the blog. All the while, she was using the blog to try to bring me down. AWESOME!

    So don’t feed the trolls — unless it serves to highlight hypocrisy, I guess…

    FANTASTIC post. I love blogs about blogging — very meta. And I love it when GREAT posts are Freshly Pressed…

    1. “Everyday, I’m writing less and less/I have to get this feeling off my chest/Everyday, I’m writing less and less…” lol.

      But good on you for sticking it to that Little Miss Hypocrite! I kinda can’t believe she would be so ridiculous. Bitches be crazy.

      In the case of not feeding the trolls, unless highlighting hypocrisy… In this case, I’d say it’d be ‘unless highlighting trolling’, because that’s what she was basically doing, right? That’s what it sounds like, anyway.

      I guess in some cases, trolls are unavoidable. All you can do is try to neutralise them, even if that means fighting them the way you did with this ex’s girl.

    2. Mikalee, I don’t think being Freshly Pressed is official until you’ve commented on it. You’re EVERYWHERE!

      But, to be fair, your responses are always more interesting than “Heyho, awesomesauce. I like you. REEEAD MY BLOOOOG!” You always post something thoughtful and related, and usually chuckle-worthy. You are an exemplary commenter (and a pretty sassy Blogger, too)! Haha!

  8. Ahhhhhhh…a genius move on your part! You got me too.

    Being a complete rookie to blogging, I am still in that phase in which self promotion makes me cringe and break into a sweat. I also find it difficult to comment on a post that is discussing the joy of cooking in a crock pot when my culinary skills are sorely lacking. I guess I feel that the culinary enthusiasts are collectively frowning if I chimed in with something lame like, “Cool equipement! Do they come in other colors?” But I could be missing out on connecting with someone who may enjoy my blog.

    I will read the articles and work on elevating my rookie ways!

    1. Self promotion makes me cringe at any time, so I’m with you there and with you on the cooking items too. I try to comment on things that catch my eye and mind at the same time, so subject and likes vary from day to day. I enjoy the ones I comment on and always try to click ‘like’ on these articles. Tho I have to say that I have occasionally even resented the very giving of a stats count to some sites by visiting them, but they are few and far between. I’ve not been doing this long either, but I suppose I treat the visiting of blogs as a sort of homework/learning situation, not to mention just putting yourself ‘out there’ (as it were). ๐Ÿ˜‰

    2. As a newbie in this world I feel your pain. This is a totally new avenue for me, but his article brings to light a lot of interesting points I didn’t think about before and I think I might have to follow.

  9. First, made my day to see Statler & Wladorf, thanks ! Very quickly after starting my blog, Ithe comments became my fav. part – I do appreciate knowing others reactions and thoughts. I also was amazed how effective the “trail of breadcrumbs” that leads me to all sorts of great posts and bloggers of all sorts to mine….It’s like social media (facebook) with real, actual thought and effort behind it.

    Congrats !

  10. When I first started my blog, I was such a different writer. I even thought about disabling comments. Now I look forward to them. The fans of the films and musicians I cover are often more important to me than my subjects (who I do indeed dearly love). What I’m saying is, I seek to provide a connection between artists with those that admire them, and I love to read the feedback by the readers that feel I did a good job.

  11. Yeah, the Muppets worked with me, too. Was that part of the plan?

    Good article. I know I’ve gotten more visitors from people who read a comment I left than I ever did through search engines. Plus, when comments are thoughtful, they can really add to the thought stream. A comment on my blog helped me re-evaluate Twitter and I never thought that would happen. Joining Twitter, I mean. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. I agree, like Scooby-Doo, the Muppets have stood the test of time and that picture of the two guys in the balcony drew me in. I even learned their names. While it’s been suggested to me several times, I have yet to give a Twit. I also may re-evaluate in 140 characters or less. Thanks all!

  12. Hi, my name Joseph. I’m a new blogger here on WordPress and I enjoyed this article. I have a question about comments I’ve received that show up in my Spam folder. I am having trouble figuring out on some of them if they are real comments, or bots, or spammers. What is the best way to determine this accurately? Thanks in advance for any help you can give me.

    1. Yes, spammers can be really hard to identify. But the best sign that you’re dealing with one is usually that they have a link to something commercial or a link farm page or something like that, either in their comment or their username. So I always try to look for that.

      The good ones also often use words or sentences that have already appeared in previous comments or the blog post, so that can be another way to distinguish them. But it can be a bit of an art form sometimes

  13. I’m only commenting on your post so I get more people to check mine out. ๐Ÿ˜› Just kidding. I really enjoyed your post and your thoughts are very…thought provoking. I always enjoy a good sense of humor too. Keep up the good work!

  14. “So, was this a cleverly-designed trap to lure readers into commenting on my blog and boosting my ego?”

    I’d say yes! Congrats on getting freshly pressed!

  15. Interesting… First, what’s a troll?

    next – I think I’d put a caveat on expecting others to go back to you’re site after you’ve made comments on their posts. I’d say topic matter is a big factor. I have a food and wine blog, but a “Like” or congratulatory comment probably won’t work unless I say something outrageous like “Nice post, but check out my blog for nude pics of Mr. Rogers”.

    With WordPress, I’m finding quite a few of the same people commenting on the all the sites. So I’m wondering if there’s diminishing returns from over commenting?

    Nevertheless, great post. BTW – I don’t have nude pics of Mr Rogers. I have a respectable food/wine blog. I only have Julia Child…

    1. I am surprised that no one answered your question!

      For the most part, because it is easy to find out where the e-mail came from I guess; trolls on WordPress are few and far between. Basically, they are people trying to hide behind being anonymous making comments that are designed to create problems.

      Any website with a forum or even Youtube for a better example, are loaded with hateful comments…

      That is a troll!

  16. Generally speaking, comments resulting from Freshly Pressed posts are highly complimentary.
    That having been said, there is always a goofball o r two who feels like poking their fellow bloggers with verbal sticks. But criticism is a natural part of the blogging experience, or any writing for that matter!
    Great post and awesome topic to explore!

  17. I love this. Just the push I needed to start commenting. I usually just read blogs or articles and then move on. My thinking: there are already 300 comments, what’s one more? I will definitely start commenting more now. Thanks. Oh, and thanks for the picture of Statler and Waldorf, my fave characters from The Muppets. I’m sure they are the reason for my snarkiness today.

    1. I agree whole-heartedly with SueMarue (great name by the way). Why take the time to comment if there are hundreds of other comments anyway? I don’t want to repeat what has already been said, but I don’t always have the time or the desire to read through hundreds of comments. You have inspired me to comment though. Starting… here ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. Striking that balance is always hard, as Mikalee said. It’s tough to reply to each and every comment, as well as to find the time to post worthwhile comments on other blogs. All too often, I feel like people comment in an effort to attract more attention to their own blog, rather than add something pertinent to the discussion. I find myself deleting people’s blog addresses from their comments if I feel they’re just trying to capitalize on my blog traffic. Am I wrong in doing this? Nice post! And congrats on the FP ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. I think it’s totally up to you. It’s your blog, so you can run it as you please. I do agree that when we comment on other people’s blogs though, it should always be primarily about furthering the discussion and not to self-promote. That is just a happy byproduct of contributing to the blogosphere’s conversation!

  19. Thank you, thank you. The info in this blog post is so helpful! When I comment on other people’s blogs, I always try to say something nice, funny and/or thoughtful. I’ve had some very entertaining back-and-forth “comment conversations” this way.

  20. My general advice is not to engage really rude commenters yourself. If you fight back, you could make you look bad. Let your loyal readers engage the commenter instead. If you do make comments back, keep them civil and to the point and don’t demean your own character for a troll.

    1. I don’t know if you caught this one, Rae, but a particularly grumpy commenter on my blog got called out by another. Apparently the original commenter had his teaching certificates revoked for “inappropriate conduct” while at work (the call-out included a link to the official report). Needless to say, I’ve yet to hear back from him. Moral of the story: You are absolutely right. Your readers will often take care of things for you.

  21. Sometimes, i feel like the guy who joins a conversation at hte party, only to find out the discussion is something I know nothing about. Standing with a drink in my hand and a puzzled expression on my face, I imagine the entire internet thinking; “Who’se the Loser?”

    1. Awe man! Never feel that way! Your contributions are as important as mine, and let me tell you mine are the boss! Hahaha! Yea, anyways like I was saying every comment adds to the mixture of the overall conversation. If you do not throw your two cents in then maybe something will be missed.

      Besides, I not only leave my comment on the blog, but I caruse the comments section looking for interesting blogs to visit. Although that said I do not visit any blog that leaves an advert or is pleading with someone to come check out there blog. I have found some really interesting blogs that way.

      That said, if I get to the blog and I just don’t really like it or see the point or find anything worthy of saying, then I am out of there faster than lightening. I have left a few blogs because I don’t see anything positive that I could leave in the comments section.

      Oh yea, and I have been know to jump on other peoples trolls! I ignore them on my own blog, but I tromp on them on other peoples blogs. Don’t know why!

      Peace and Harmony,
      Sj
      PS Join in the conversation!

      1. My gravator wasn’t linked to my blog & twitter page. AWESOME, Jessie. Thanks for saying something, I didn’t know what the eff you were talking about at first! It’s fixed now. D’oh!

  22. I wholeheartedly agree. Before I started blogging myself, I saw no need to comment on other posts I read. Now I realize that traffic can come your way from commenting. I’m amazed when I see clicks to my blog from sites I checked out that day and commented on. I also now click through gravatars to find other blogs in the comment sections of blogs I particularly like to help me find other blogs similar to my taste. And since I love writing blogs (especially ones done well), I’m your newest follower.

  23. Love the post, and congrats on the fresh press! I have to say much of what you say is valid. I never got any traffice to my blog, other than spam, until I started to post comments and “like” other blogs. It is not to say that I am going around liking everything I see I only read things I am interested in and I only “like” things I actually like but it has made a great deal of difference. When it comes to comments I worry less about what I will say and just decide if I want to be part of the conversation. Thanks, keep up the good work.

  24. I enjoy reading other people’s blogs and commenting on them. While the fringe benefit of increasing readership to my own blog is much appreciated, I’m just glad that someone else is listening to my thoughts and that I’ve been able to listen to someone else. Writers simply want listeners (well, readers), and comments are a great way to show that there really is an audience reading what we nervously send out into the blogosphere.

    Great tips, and congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  25. As a new blogger and a longtime lurker, I can identify with a lot of your points (very well made!), especially that feeling of getting lost in the sea and “what new/interesting thing could I possibly say anyway?”

    You’ve challenged me to start commenting – at least on this post, so congrats on a new convert. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    As others have mentioned, the Freshly Pressed kudos will surely get you a lively conversation here…. ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. Hi Ed! I really liked your post! Like the above commentator, I also read it because I love the Muppet critics! High five! Also, I did nanowrimo the first time this year (winner, thank you), and I minored in French. And because of all those things, I’m now following your blog. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for the insightful post and bonne chance with your writing. ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. I am in such complete agreement! Receiving comments make my day on my blog – and, as you said, engaging in SOCIAL media is integral to the new face of international conversation. The internet, undoing borders, can be used for the powers of awesome only when we intelligently partake in its possibilities.

  28. And this goes beyond the Internet. Think about people whining about their vote not mattering. We’re individuals, so we’re basically negligible, but like most things in life, we won’t do any good whining about it.

  29. Hi Ed, great post!
    I love getting comments on my blog. In fact, I’m always trying to figure out how to get people to comment more. I have some really amazing people who regularly comment on the page, but given my readership numbers and the traffic I see coming to my page, I know there are more people out there that I’d love to hear from.
    -Kristin
    http://www.coupletastic.com

  30. Great post. Having launched a blog recently, I’ve got a new appreciation for comments that I didn’t have as a reader. I would occasionally comment on other sites, but usually not…for some of the exact reasons you mentioned. But now that I’m putting my own writing out there, I’m all about trying to get people to post comments. I was thinking about writing a post on the subject sometime in the weeks ahead. If I do, maybe I’ll link to this piece to bolster my request.

    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  31. I’ve just started blogging and have a lot to learn about…everything. Like you, I don’t want to be writing just for myself. I’d like to spread the word about things I’m interested in. But you could spend all your time commenting on other blogs and not have time to add to your own. What’s the best way? I’m trying to comment and spread the word about 5 times a day. Some people say spend several hours a day. Who can do that? Anyway…best of luck with your blog which totally caught my eye because I LOVE the Muppets!

  32. nicely written. I will admit, however, I stopped by after seeing this post on wordpress home page only because of the name of your blog since mine is aberrantart.wordpress.com ๐Ÿ™‚ I do also write at shewriting.wordpress.com but mostly poetry.

    I like what you have to say about the commenting. My dilemma seems to consistently be: too many blogs, too little time.

  33. I definately agree that people should comment more if it is on their mind. If you feel you have a valid opinion then express it. Where else can you say whats on your mind without getting punched in the face? ๐Ÿ™‚ Great post!

  34. Thank you for posting this!

    I love receiving comments on my blog. It makes my day and it motivates me to post more often. I try to comment on other blogs as often as I can, but sometimes there’s just nothing productive that I can say that’s why I’m grateful that wordpress has a “like” feature. That way the poster knows that I read their post and liked it and I’m not writing a comment that just says “I read this!”

  35. Well, Ed I am taking your advice. I have to agree that some unexpected visitors have stopped by my blog because of a comment I left on another blog that was already loaded with opinions and other “stuff”. Making Freshly Pressed may have to become my interim goal (until my book makes it to the NY Times best sellers list.) Thanks for encouraging bloggers & readers. Maybe some of them will come see what’s happening over in the low rent district.

    1. Well, hey, it’s a great start! If it makes you feel better, my blog was in the low rent district until today. But now you have a link to your own blog on this highly visible post, so I hope you get some traffic coming your way!

  36. As rookie in this world of writing your comments were very timely. I will take the advice and leave comments on blogs I have read. Until now I have read, but left no comments and rarely even a like because I felt like I would merely be a pebble thrown in the ocean.
    Thank you

  37. Its an omen, or karma, no, not karma I don’t know…one of those I think. But having just created the start of a blog, my first and only, with ZERO knowledge of WordPress or even the simplest aspects of…I am glad that I found this post. How darn lucky can I get, It tells me so very much, THANK YOU kind sir.
    I am going to attempt to create something very dark…disturbing…and I hope for some, entertaining. I hope to start soon…the ideas are forming along with the poor pathetic characters that will live…and die…with the tale. Tale…ah yes, well, I’ve heard it said that within fiction lies truths. I can honestly say that there will be that, as dark and light, hot and cold, love and hate, etc. etc, cannot exist without the other. Till I put the matter in motion….cheers, and thank you again Ed… -Malcolm, aka webrat55-

  38. that little orange/black box that says “hey-someone just did SOMETHING” totally makes my day. Thanks for the Muppet’s pic and a great post. I like commenting b/c I figure _most_ of us out here like the feedback as much as I do. After all, if we didn’t, we could just buy a journal. With a lock and key. ๐Ÿ™‚

  39. Ed. Just wanted to say that I liked this blog so much that I have written my first coent on a blog ever here. You had some great points for a rookie blogger.

  40. Wow, lots of comments.

    For the record, I actually do comment (most of the time) even when there are heaps of people who already have. (Although, sometimes I feel guilty and have to force myself to read all the comments first. Well, NOT THIS TIME!)

    I read a fair portion at the start. Mikalee’s comment was something else, wasn’t it? Imagine having the ex’s new girl come after you in your blog, the place where you’re supposed to be able to be free to be yourself and speak your mind. It’s a disturbing thought.

    But like everyone else says (too), comments are the breadcrumbs that lead back to your blog. For some, that might just be a happy side effect of commenting where you had something to say in the first place.

    So, hurray for commenting!

  41. Well, 68 comments already. Would mine make a difference. Hmm…Nah, just kidding. You brought up some good points. Usually, if I take time to read an article or blog, then I will leave a comment and/or like it (if that’s an option), like I just did on yours. By the way, congratulations on being freshly pressed!

  42. Wow! And here I thought this post was gonna be all about the Muppet Movie. Curiously, I’m really relieved it wasn’t. I just took my kids to that movie the other day and uh………….I was saddened to not “get it”. Although there were grown adults in there bustin’ a gut and I just sat there with a “Katrina DeVoort” type stink-eye from the hit film “Juno”. I didn’t even laugh once. I may have snickered or smirked…but there were certainly no GUFFAW’S.

    I DIGRESS!!!!!!

    Comments make my day. As does the traffic report in my Stats view. I get all giddy. I almost don’t even care if it’s spambots viewing my writing. ๐Ÿ™‚ *almost*.

    Congrats on the Freshly Pressed. You are clearly deserving and have given great advice. My angle is humor and a foul mouth…the latter of which I was able to tame…somehow. “What say you, dear reader?” CLASSSSSYYY!!!! I like it. I like you. And you are now being followed. Don’t be skerrd. I’m harmless. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. I have to agree with you that I was highly disappointed with the recent Muppets Movie. I just really liked Statler and Waldorf in the Muppet Show when I was little. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      And I’ll try not to be skerrd. O_o

      1. I’m more of a Fozzie Bear kinda gal, but you can have your Statler and Waldorf. WACKA WACKA! They are a good couple of fellas. In other news…I feel like you just “knighted” (or is it “Damed”?…clearly Damed…but you get the point.)me by replying to my comment and now I’m commenting on your reply. This could go on FOR. DAYS. You clearly have nothing better to do than become my BBFF (blogging best friend forever). Don’t let the Freshly Pressed recognition go to your head. Keep it real, yo.

  43. Great post. Thanks. I’ve only been blogging (and reading other people’s blogs) for a few months now. Because people post comments, I’ve discovered interesting, funny, and/or very unque blogs that I now follow that I’d never have found if they hadn’t commented on mine or someone else’s blog.

    Have a blessed day.

  44. You’ve definately changed my perspective on the topic of commenting. No longer will I decide whether or not to leave a comment on a post I like based on how many comments have already been made. If I really want to add my ‘two cents worth’, then I will do it whether I’m the first or the fifty-first or the hundred and first commenter. Thanks for a great post!

  45. Congratulations on your freshly pressed goodness! This post was reassuring and entertaining. I love it. Great way to get a crap load of comments you sneaky lil’ devil you. Just kidding, keep up the great blogging.

  46. In regards to the “General Incivility” in the comment box, I’ve come to realize that my favorite blogs invite the readers to comment (us. on a specific topic) and specify what is allowed or is not allowed etiquette-wise. So, I think it’s on the blogger to set the rules for what is and is not acceptable in their own comment box.

    For instance, as part of your post’s “tail” say, “What do you think about x? Any comments that insult others, spammers, will be deleted or lost in moderation.” Of course, you would want to say this in language that is appropriate to your blog. Like, things that are wanted x, y, z. Things that are not wanted a, b, c.

  47. (Insert virtual breadcrumb here) ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks for reminding people to actually read the blog entry at hand and leave a well-thought-out comment. Too many times, I see “serial commenters” who must have made a New Year’s Resolution to comment on EVERY… SINGLE… Freshly Pressed entry… and it’s obvious they’re just hungry for virtual breadcrumbs. I will only comment when something truly catches my eye.

    Great post, and congrats on your Freshly Pressed status!

  48. I was only about half through your second paragraph when I realized it was a ploy to get comments flowing…I’ve become a pawn in your chess game of blogging genius. Sheer brilliance, kudos my fellow blogger for getting pressed and, of course, contributing thought provoking material to the internet ๐Ÿ™‚

  49. Definitely something to think about. There are quite a few blogs I read that I never comment on which I guess is strange because of course it’s nice to get comments. Definitely food for thought.

    Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed.

    – Kali

  50. Great post. I have a mixed mind set about the whole comment thing… Like you said, a what else can you add to the conversation thing. I am a big fan, however of the like button and use it a lot, possibly too liberally. Thanks for the food for thought. And encouragement.

  51. I love internet commenting because you can say whatever pops into your head about the subject but don’t have to endure the looks of pity on others’ faces when it comes out completely inane. Or perhaps that’s just me…

  52. “DO reply to comments within your own blog. This shows your adoring fans that you do, in fact, care about them and take the time to read what they say. Nothing builds rapport between a blogger and his audience better than mingling amongst the commoners conversing with his readers.”

    It’s amazing how often this is overlooked by bloggers.

    Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!

  53. I feel compelled to leave a comment, although, having to scroll down, and down, and down… I nearly gave up… not quite as you can see! Congrats, a good read and it spoke to me as a scanner and non-commenter (new word).”Life’s a happy song, with someone to blog and somewhere to belong…”

    1. I came across someone who had a spambot essentially try to bully him into buy a house or something: “Hey, Retard. Only sad excuses for human beings don’t own a beautiful house with a busty wife. I bet you could do it! If I can, you sure can, so don’t be stupid!”

      Seriously. It called him “Retard”.

      Another spambot sent someone I follow a comment that was a two line excerpt from a review of an incredibly bizarre theater piece. She had no idea what the spambot was talking about, but I had read the review months ago, and googled it to make sure. It didn’t link back to the theater, or the review. It was just a random choice of filler text for the ‘bot. It made me laugh.

  54. Congrats on being freshly pressed. Thanks for you advice. I’ve now lost my entire life to commenting on blogs!

    As Statler and Waldorf would say –
    STATLER: Boo!
    WALDORF: Boooo!
    S: That was the worst thing Iโ€™ve ever heard (read)!
    W: It was terrible!
    S: Horrendous!
    W: Well it wasnโ€™t that bad.
    S: Oh, yeah?
    W: Well, there were parts of it I liked!
    S: Well, I liked alot of it.
    W: Yeah, it was GOOD actually.
    S: It was great!
    W: It was wonderful!
    S: Yeah, bravo!
    W: More!
    S: More!
    W: More!
    S: More!

  55. What I find fascinating about blogging is that, through commenting and replying to comments, within a very short period of time you are getting connected to complete strangers at the other end of the world. Not all of them share your opinions but as you say, dialogue is a good thing as it keeps the boat cruising.
    Congrats on being freshly pressed, well-deserved.

  56. I think you hit the nail on the head with what makes commenting daunting. Aside from the self-depricating voice in our heads, the lack of civility among the commenters can often be the biggest deterrent. I may want to pitch my two-cents, especially in controversial topics, but the mindless spam and rampant trolling that can come from people who disagree with you.

    It seems really counter-intuitive that there are so many of us with blogs, itching to share our thoughts and opinions on our own terms, while being simultaneously too shy to respond to others. Doesn’t it?

    Anyway, your ploy clearly worked, and I love the simplicity of your lists! Great post! And congrats on being Freshly Pressed.

  57. I’m adding my comment to the fray and giving you a digital high-five through alerts. I definitely agree with your present thoughts on commenting. I only became a big commenter once I got this blog, but it can be hard to think of things to say and comment as much as you should. Either way, the benefit of socializing, commenting, etc. is 2 fold — your thoughts get out there and your blog gets more traffic. Plus, the site on which you comment is getting more attention. All good things!

  58. Ed.

    You must give me extra credit for posting a comment. It took me the better part of an hour just scrolling down to find this tiny box to write these few words. I found something most interesting, or is it odd? I copied and pasted it so I wouldn’t get it wrong. At the very end, or maybe just the end, (I’m not sure the word “very” really makes a difference), you said, “I’m all ears.”

    I got to thinking of that statement, and I began to visualize your plight. After seconds of sobbing over it, I thought I would write this comment and brighten your day. Since you have no eyes to read it yourself, I hope there is someone available to do so. Maybe you can get one of those helper dogs, or a maybe helper monkey like Homer had on The Simpsons.

    My, my you are, “all ears”. I take it that the photos of yourself you posted on your blog were taken before your terrible transition to “all ears”? Then again the pictures could be like the ones we find in a new wallet, or a photo frame at one of those shops which carry such paraphernalia. (I think it’s safe to categorize photo frames and or wallets as paraphernalia. Do you agree, Ed?).

    But, I’m getting off point. I would imagine being, “all ears” would qualify you to be in “Ripley’s Believe it or Not”, or perhaps in the “Guinness Book of World Records”. Then again, we might find you as the subject of those “Mystery Diagnosis” episodes on one of those cable networks. Check them out, they could bring you fame and fortune, maybe even a cure after scores of transplant surgeries. Then again there is always the side-show at the carnival. Have you ever seen the show, “Oddities?” You’d fit right in, my boy.

    Then again, have you ever thought of starting an “All Ears” support group? Now that I think of it, that might not work. There would have to be others with your condition. I don’t know the stats on that, Ed. Perhaps you do.

    Maybe you can do a post of what life is like being “all ears”. You can tell us about the trials, the challenges, the tribulations, your first date, what school was like, how you eat, how you go to the bathroom, is your car specially equipped just for you, what do you do when you have an itch, can you have children the natural way, stuff real people would like to know. I know I’d be all over that post like ear wax pressing on an ear drum, to use an analogy you must be familiar with.

    Being new to blogging, I’m not sure how long these comments should be. I guess I’ll go now and leave you to your listening. BTW speaking of Lent, I think Saint Auria, is the patron of those who suffer from “all ears” syndrome. I’ll be praying for you, Ed. If you ever need Q-Tips, you can find me at ronyaroshauthor.com. I too have a blog called, Humorous Interludes. I’m all eyes. Maybe we should meet and collaborate?

    P.S. I decided to follow your blog now. I have to know what happens to you. I’ll keep checking “Mad Magazine” as well.

    P.P.S. (That’s also a nasty thought. PPS?) I mentioned your blog in my blog, now we can be blog brothers like in the old west only we won’t use knives, just our sharp wits.

    1. Ok, you win the award for the most entertaining and smartass comment so far. I assure you my life is quite mundane for being all ears. Thanks for the laugh!

      1. Thanks, Ed. Laughterr and fun is what I’m all about. Nothing personal. You have a great blog and mucho followers. Good for you. Congrats. I just got started. Any advice? Bigron

  59. Reblogged this on Ramblings of a Misguided Blonde and commented:
    I couldn’t agree more! Let’s try this. Any suggestions for my project here “My Life in Pop Culture”? What would you like to see more of? Any suggestions on what I could do to make it more interesting? Please take a minute to comment. I really do love reading new blogs/networking.

  60. Great post, full of really useful stuff. Blogging really is a two way street. I used to think it was just about putting my thoughts out there, and that’s fine. But, as you also point to, it about socialising, listening to others. Many people share their stories and just appreciate knowing that their voice is being heard. As I’ve learned this my blog has certainly grown also. Cheers.

  61. Fantastic! I’ve spent the last number of minutes typing and deleting…searching feverishly to secure some thick syllabication with a pocket or two of meaning and sincerity. Although I’m still comment impaired, your blog was great.

  62. Ohhhh this explains EVERYTHING lol I never actually did much reading or commenting around WordPress however once in a while I will make a comment and my views will go up or I’d get a follower or two. Because I’m stupid and lack the ability to make connections between obviously related events I hadn’t noticed why… Well thanks!

  63. I absolutely love this post, for a variety of reasons, but mostly because it really got me thinking about how important these seemingly minor contributions are. We write in order to speak and in order to share and in order to be HEARD, and nothing has meant more to me about this blogging experience than having people leave comments that prove that they hear me, that they understand. It is this seemingly minor thing that is, in reality, not minor at all. It is, in reality, everything.

    Thanks so very much for posting and sharing. We are forever connected now! (In a sweet, non-creepy way). ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Francesca, you are so right. The comments are the only feedback we get and therefore the best thing a reader can do for us. It really means a lot to see each and every comment on a post.

  64. Totally agree. Comments serve as recognition your piece had an impact. Here’s my question: when you see a post with hundreds of comments, is it necessary to read all the comments before posting one of your own?

  65. I like your suspicious non-smiling smiley face.

    And I also liked that you touched on something that I’m very, very guilty of. In my personal life, I’m careful of what I say and how I say it, generally, because I don’t want to be perceived as a blowhard or a Chatty Cathy. People who can’t shut their mouth and love the sound of their own voice really grate on my nerves. But . . . . . hey, it’s the internet, we can ramble all day long, presuming that grammatical errors and run-on sentences are kept to a minimum, right? Right. So I really will take your words to heart and venture out of my self-imposed conversing limitations.

    By the way, I really like the texture of your site. : )

  66. Well done! *applauds*

    It amused me that I found this when just earlier today I was contemplating how I should really ‘like’ and ‘comment’ more often on the different blogs I stumble across and read.

    And, well, here I am… =)

    Congrats again!

  67. Great post. So true. I often feeling disinclined to participate in the comment sphere. My fear comes from being mocked by some fool and getting in to a verbal dust-up that will waste my time and stress me out. Most of the time I don’t bother. I like positivity, I think we should encourage one another in our lives and the pursuit of happiness. There definately seems to be a more supportive vibe amoungst the WordPress crowd, your post illuminates my point. Kudos my friend, I really enjoyed and literally’ liked’ your post, digital high-five amigo!

    1. Roulette Revolver, if they mocked the greatest man that ever-lived they will surely mock you and me. But right works are powerful, but lips fools enter into contention ( Proverbs 18:6), and fools will be fools so ignore them and keep on writing…someone is reading. Brenda

  68. I just recently started reading George R.R. Martin’s Game of thrones. Quite a book. Have you read Colleen McCullough’s Rome series? The first title in the series is The First Man in Rome. They’re excellent.

    I enjoyed your post and wish you the best going forward.

    Keep writing.

  69. I am an avid lurker…this post was a good eye-opener for me.
    I often decline to comment on long threads when I don’t have the time, energy or teaspoons to read all 100+ comments for fear of repeating something.
    During my first months of commenting, I made a joke that did not go over well with the commenters who ‘had been there from the beginning’ and so I’m reluctant to get burned again as well.
    Plus I am a bovine thinker…I have to chew my thoughts for awhile before I feel prepared to share them. Commenting is such an immediate thing, I don’t always think I’ve represented my thoughts well.
    But, fake it till you make it right? Cheers on Freshly Pressed.

    1. Well, I think it would be foolish to spend all your time reading every comment to make sure you don’t repeat something, but even if you say something that has already been said, perhaps someone else who is skimming the comments will see yours instead of a previous one.

      The important thing is to just put yourself out there and help keep the internet blog ball rolling!

  70. Wow, I’ve never thought about commenting like that. But it makes sense. I’d probably have commented anyway because you’re a fellow writer ๐Ÿ™‚ Love the blog.

  71. I think what really enticed me to comment was the use of bullet points and suitable emphasis using a small amount of bold, instead of an entire sentence of capitals.

    Bullet points are like the heroin of the literary world, when used in moderation it’s awesome.

    Not that I’ve done heroin, but my neighbor often would invite me. I don’t think he could put together a blog post in the format of a cohesive essay or how-to on commenting.

    I don’t know about you but I liked your post more than Burrough’s stupid book Junkie.

  72. Having those two great muppet hecklers on the header would have got me reading even if your blog was about your barely supressed serial-killer tendencies. I probably wouldn’t have commented then though….
    Great post about why we should comment. At times I wonder why I bother and then at other times it starts a really interesting dialogue and it gets me all fired up about it again. Never thought about it as a trail of metadata driving my tiny blog to show up more in search engines, thanks for that bit of extra motivation. I really hope that people read my comments and they don’t just become white noise on a popular blog, I certainly appreciate every comment made on mine! Congrats on being fresh pressed, although being freshly pressed with a post about liking comments surely means I should be able to hear your inbox groaning under the strain from here!

  73. Entertaining and informative – impressive feat!

    I almost didn’t comment, but then I did to spite myself – I’m usually a comment snob, been trying to get out of that lately – hence the effort and comment ๐Ÿ™‚

    And good picture choice, Statler and Waldorf.

  74. I began liking blog pieces a few weeks ago. Now, if I like, I comment. Usually, I leave the author with a positive note. Positive is so much easier to write than negative. If I don’t like the post, I don’t comment.
    Thanks for sharing your secrets.

  75. I wanted to leave a stunningly clever comment, but it took so long for me to reach the end of this page to get to the comment box that I’ve forgotten it.

    Oh well. I liked this piece. It was a great read. Yup.

  76. Okay, Ed, here’s my drop in the ocean. Like Webrat55 I’m brand-spanking new at all this blogosphere or cyber-sphere writing. I have no idea what I’m dong, I don’t even have a pin name, how do I get one? Ed your post is a god- sent for me it’s just what I needed a guide on how to blog. You are doing a great work for your bloggers, abide in your calling. My site on WordPress is what I would like to call thought-provoking you are welcome to visit, and leave your comments, good, bad or indifferent they are but a reflection of you. But be kind the site is still a work in progress. Brenda

  77. The only reason I never commented on things until last year was because of the way some sites have you sign in from different accounts from everywhere else. Well, that and I discovered the joys of blogging my opinions ๐Ÿ˜€

    Anyway, I wish sites make it so you can either sign in directly on the site you are commenting on or be anonymous. It’s easier for people like me who are concerned about keeping their identity and personal information safe.

  78. great post! I love recieving a comment from people, it lets me know that I’ve connected with someone enough that they are prepared to take time out to give me feedback. Comments motivate me to keep doing what i’m doing in the hope that I might brighten a few people’s day. congrats on being freshly pressed!

  79. I’m tagging in and joining the fracas, thanks for the invite :). You know when I first started blogging, and really began to understand what it was all about, I was amazed at how many people and blogs were out there. As one person after another commented on my stuff, I felt it only right to return the favor. Before I knew it I was frantically skimming things just so I could make some kind of comment without really stopping to read and enjoy, or dislike for that matter, something that someone had put their time and effort into. Nowadays, I take my time, read when I want to and then, should the spirit move me, comment. Slowing down has helped me enjoy a lot more of what people have to say and has encouraged me to put more thought into what I say in return. I loved your post. Thanks.

  80. My web fundamentals professor, who is an absolute wiz at all things concerning the Internet, also said something along these lines concerning Internet branding. When a person is starting to get his or her name out professionally on the web, it is a good idea to post blog updates and comments frequently. However, it is even more important to make sure that what is written reflects the online image the person is trying to create. One small slip of the fingers on the keyboard can give readers the wrong impression, and some of those readers could be potential employers.

  81. Well done, Ed. I do a political commentary blog, and really enjoy getting feedback, even thoughtful pieces that strongly disagree with my position. Agreeing to disagree is something to strive for, and will often present a POV that I may have overlooked or not thought enough about.

    One of the goals of good writing is to present a point of view in such an interesting and enticing manner that it creates the thought process in the reader. Even to the point of drawing them in ever further to your piece. I believe this applies to most any kind of writing.

    What I don’t have patience for, and I think you refer to them as “trolls,” are those whose limited reasoning powers require personal insults, slurs or name calling. I say, save that for Fox News.

    Thanks for the great piece.

  82. Love this post. I am so new to all of this blogging. Honestly, I don’t even watch YouTube like most people. Don’t get me wrong, I love technology, but I am a techno-hermit. So thank you for throwing out some new ideas for me to really get started. Life goal: write a book. Gotta start somewhere!

  83. Okay, so you’re initial thoughts about commenting are EXACTLY what go through my head- even when I first read this post! But, you make some really great points. Even as a “baby blogger,” I am excited to even have one notification… extending that to someone else is just logically nice. So no more with the “oh, well.. there are already like 5 bajillion comments. Mine doesn’t matter.” I will comment away! ๐Ÿ™‚ Great post!

    1. Well, a blogger cannot and should not comment on every post. That would not be an effective use of his time. But scattering some responses throughout the combox shows that he at least reads the comments and does interact with his readers. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  84. I do think commenting on other blogs is a great way to form connections with other bloggers, but I prefer to comment only when I have something to say. I try to avoid posting a generic “Nice post!” comment as much as possible, though I’m guilty of it from time to time.

    But wow, looks like you’ve got a lot of comments to read. If you get through all of them, then I commend you.

  85. LOL, I learned the “Comment lesson” my first week of blogging, I couldn’t believe how many more people passed through my blog when I was active on other blogs (doesn’t seem to affect the amount of comments or likes I get though, unfortunely people just don’t seem to care what I say :pouting:….. not that stops me!) Cool post, thanks for putting my thoughts into words ๐Ÿ˜‰

  86. Yup, your master scheme is definitely working, because I normally wouldn’t chime in if a blog post’s comments are in the hundreds. If someone has more than, say, fifteen comments from other readers, I usually move along. The problem is: when there are hundreds (or 156) comments already made, I am at a huge risk of repeating something someone else has already said (I’m just not that original). And there’s no way I’m going to read all 156 comments made previous to mine…there just isn’t time. So…when reading & commenting, do you read every comment that has been posted before you comment, or do you risk repetition? Or are you confident that your comment will be absolutely freaking wonderfully original, and maybe you aren’t quite as paranoid as I am?

    Please forgive me if I’m repeating someone else’s comment.

  87. Thanks for the encouragement. Some of us shy types need an invitation. Maybe it’s an introvert thing but when I see a crowd commenting, I tend to say nothing, thinking my few words are a drop in the ocean. Now I know better.

  88. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! Very well-deserved. Now you know what it feels like to have people take time to show you love….even 160 comments in ;). Great blog and I know this is just a step in your even bigger successes and I am so thrilled and honored that I could be a teensy bit of that influence. Go get ’em TIGER!

    1. Thank you so much, Kristen! You played a tremendous role in pushing me toward that success, and having found your comment buried in here is like finding an extra-shiny gem amidst a treasure trove. I’m happy to have you on board ๐Ÿ™‚

  89. I know what you mean when it comes to feeling as if it’s not worth commenting when so many other people have. I also know just how great it can make you feel when I complete stranger actually likes what you’ve posted. “Oh my god someone does love me! *tear* ”

    Personally I don’t understand why people wouldn’t enable comments, we learn from each other and how could anyone grow as a writer without receiving feedback? I also had no idea metadata worked that way. Thank you for letting us all know ๐Ÿ˜€

    Congratulations on being freshly pressed by the way!

  90. Virtual high fiver here! Thank you for reminding me again how to increase my internet presence. Sometimes I feel like I’m drowning in a sea of awesome bloggers and commenters, but then I realize that I have the power. The Power is mine! (Cue Captain Planet.)

  91. I must admit if I’ve read a blog post in its entirety I will take the time to leave a comment. I might not always leave the most thought provoking of comments but I find it’s a lot more personal than merely clicking the ‘like’ button.

  92. Maybe you have not designed to take action, however I do think you might have managed to communicate the state of mind that a lot of consumers are inside. The actual good sense connected with needing to help, but is not knowing how as well as exactly where, is usually anything many of us are getting by way of.

  93. Hey Ed! This is gold – a really useful post. I have to admit I’ve never thought about such things as likability quotients. (Note – had to correct spell-thingo which kept trying to give me a lick-ability quotient, which makes you raise one suspicious eyebrow, such is the level of dodgy)

    Likability quotients aside, I have found that this blogging thing IS social and that by posting comments and responding to those on my own blog I have begun to form some great new friendships out here in the bloggerverse.

    And there is a rare genius in a post designed to provoke comment. Your epic booming voice and maniacal laugh is well deserved. Good work, Sir. Take a bow.

  94. Whenever I see articles like this with hundreds and hundreds of comments I’m usually inclined not to reply. Who will see my comment in a sea of comments? But I’ll do it just this one time. =) Good tips.

  95. I never thought of that. Well, I had instances that I retweet posts on Twitter just because I liked the content. I didn’t know that it could also build your online reputation. I really appreciate the fact that you posted such a wonderful article. I find the tips helpful especially how to combat spammers. DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS!!! LOL

  96. I was here.. I read.. I enjoyed…
    I read lots of blogs, 99% of the time I leave a comment even if the post was not particularly thrilling and do this out of respect for someones time in posting..

    so yeah, share the love..read..comment then pay it forward..
    -lynne-

    ps-Great Post!!!!!!!

  97. “mingle with the commoners” HA!
    Loved it. I’m new to the blogosphere and didn’t realise that I had just become part of a new culture that I had so much to learn about. I just figured it would be the best place to vent – that blogging would let me get things off my chest without worrying what others would think. But once I started writing, I just wanted to tell EVERYONE!!
    Again, great piece. Thanks for the tips!

  98. I agree with the point that blogs and other web2.0 media were invented to make people publicly discuss things. I just do not like the “Like” button. Good sometimes you have the opportunity to leave your comment before you post Like to facebook.

  99. Parts of your post could have been snatched from my own head. Many (MANY) a time have I skipped commenting, even though I really wanted to, just because I assumed the blogger would never read my comment and thus render it pointless. While that may be true in some cases (the more popular bloggers), its a silly way to think considering that I, at least, read and reply to every comment I ever get. Surely I’m not the only one who does so, therefore at least some of my comments must have a point in the grand scheme of things.

    Not to mention, its difficult, if not impossible, to make friends in the blogosphere if you don’t speak up once in a while. Refusing to comment is the internet equivalent of standing off to the side of the playground with your hands behind your back, watching everyone else play and refusing to join in. ๐Ÿ™‚

  100. Usually when I do have to scroll this much to reach the combox, I generally leave feeling small and insignificant, just as you mentioned. But, well, you had me at the picture of Statler and Waldorf – kudos on being Freshly Pressed! ๐Ÿ™‚

  101. “…when I see several hundred comments, I often feel like adding my voice to the fray wonโ€™t be a worthwhile contribution.” This is exactly what’s in my mind right now, seeing that this is the 179th comment to this post. But then, reading your post just changed my mind about commenting on posts and I felt compelled to share my views! I loved your post and agree with you totally. It always feels great when you see others’ comments in your space, kinda like the world has come closer to you… ๐Ÿ™‚ Great work! And congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  102. Too true!! Too true. Hoorah, hoorah. Rhubarb, peas and carrots. [Worthwhile comment here]. Peas and carrots. Rhubarb.

    Seriously, though, a thoughtful missive, and true, to boot. I was reading an article not too long ago on the series finale of Dexter, Season Six, and the article was contrived and overlooked several glaring plotholes. My first thought was “I must comment, for the sake of the readers!” but when I scrolled down to the 4,781 comments posted, I realized that someone must have said what I’ve said. So I read them; all of them. And you know what? A few people got close, but no one said it right or said it entirelyl. So I did. And you know what? It got buried. But you know what? I said it.

    I don’t think I just proved or corroborated anything. But, yeah, good post. Keep it up.

  103. Dang it, got caught again, trying to get folks to read my non-profit published poetry to serve the “Homeless Cause of Texas.” Overall a good article……but with a little too much drama queen type layout and info for me to place this in the top ten of “Freshly Pressed.”

  104. Ok, so I’ve just waded through nearly 200 comments (and don’t envy you trying to reply / acknowledge ever single one… in fact I think I’d need a strong drink after – or two – or three)

    I’m a newish blogger – I’ve had a New York themed blog for a couple of years now which has a very limited readership, but’ve recently really started putting a lot of effort into my more general one – 101 Uses For A Fork. I’ve had some really great comments on a post I published on it earlier this week that’s sort of along the same lines as yours, albeit from a slightly different perspective and nowhere near as eloquent ๐Ÿ™‚

    http://101usesforafork.wordpress.com/2012/02/21/badbloghost/

    Based on subsequent comment-linked conversations, I now try harder to interact with visitors / followers / comment-leavers and am finding my blogging experience much enhanced! My number of followers is increasing in a nice manageable way which is a nice bonus! Interestingly enough, as I read through all the comments for your post, I’ve actually gone to a few of the blogs of folks that responded, purely because the content of their replies piqued my curiosity / grabbed my interest – which just goes to demonstrate perfectly what can happen when you comment ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks for the great post – lots of things to think about (and take action on) – I’m off to subscribe to your blog and have a rummage around some of your other posts – although I may just click ‘Like’ rather than do another comment – I’ve not quite got the ‘short n sweet’ habit yet – in comments OR posts LOL – then again, I might just decide to give myself more commenting practice ๐Ÿ˜‰

    J

  105. This is a great post, and I have been reading several encouraging posts similar to your thoughts and encouragement on commenting.

    A couple things to add are, if you are first time commenter, make an effort to notice your surroundings. Compliment the blogger on site aesthetics if spurned. I am enamored with words, but it is usually the visual flow that keeps me on a site. Which by the way, I love your site aesthetics, its slick and fits the content.

    The other thought that comes to mind is treating blogging like developing a neighborhood. Some people go through life without ever getting to know their neighbors and others embrace the people around them, thereby growing their social network. Blogging is the same, you can choose to blog in your world and hope your friends comment on your contrived thoughts or you can choose to embrace those around you and grow together.

    Cheers

    1. Thanks! I rather like the parchment background and journal frame myself. It makes the cold, digital world of a blog feel a little more homey and physical, like writing on a real piece of paper next to a cozy fire with a cup of coffee near at hand. ๐Ÿ™‚

      And I really like the idea of treating a blog like a neighborhood! Hope to have you as a new neighbor!

  106. I comment about things intriguing me for one reason or another (for example this post -and the comments you got), in the same way I write about what interests me …
    I’m not that hypocritical to pretend I am not chuffed when people visit my blog and comment on the posts, but my greatest pleasure is certainly the fact of writing …
    Is to create what makes me feel alive.
    If the rest is dead, fuckโ€™emโ€ฆ

  107. Thanks so much! I’m new at this and appreciate the advice. One thing I’ve wondered: if someone likes your post, should you always go visit their blog & leave a “Thanks for the Like”? If so, YOU will be BUSY.:)

  108. I mentioned elsewhere that I tend to only comment on blogs where the blogger reveals abit about themselves. Some people thought I was picky.

    My thinking is: I want to respond to a blogger with a “face” even if they reveal and talk about their pet hobbies, topics.

    So here’s another raindrop in a big puddle out in this universe, a one hand clap in blogosphere.

  109. Thank you for making it easy to comment. I find way too many will open the door, and take a peek, without any real examination of the goods. I welcome comments myself, and love to leave my mark on others. (that’s a future blog).
    I enjoyed your hints and take. Cheers.

  110. I was lured in by the picture of the Muppets I have to say, as my blog is about puppets! And yes, I was entirely allergic to the idea of social networking at all. Why not spend time on REAL life? But I have been converted to the whole blogging thing through the lure of it being good for my business. I have to say, it’s been working so far. I’m a year on since I started now and I quite agree with you – comments are GOOD. I have a lot of visitors but not that many comments – perhaps you could have a look and see if there’s something about the layout or content that’s putting people off? Happy Commenting to you!

  111. I think the most disappointing thing about blog comments is that when someone comments on mine, I get super excited and spend time thinking about how to respond. I’m looking forward to a long conversation with a fellow blogger, an exchange of ideas. But much more often than not, the blogger never returns to their comment–perhaps they forgot, or, more likely than not, they only commented to get me to look at their blog–and the conversation dies with my reply. If only, if only!

  112. thank you for the tips.. of course its proper to reply to comments made because it means that your piece is worthy for the READ and that someone or in your case a lot of people really stopped by your blog and took their precious time just to read/comment.. i love your post and congrats on being FP.

  113. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

    This is a spectacular post. I’m also an all-or-nothing person and I get caught up in the debate about the worthiness of a post or whether it delves into the TMI/all-about-me-not-about-you realm. Thanks for putting the perspective of the blogger out there for the readers. it’s nice for non -bloggers to see our perspective and it’s nice for other bloggers to know that there are others that feel the same about comments.

    I know every time I see I have a comment, it feels like Christmas. I love my peanut gallery.

  114. Thanks so much! Iโ€™m new at this and appreciate the advice. One thing Iโ€™ve wondered: if someone likes your post, should you always go visit their blog & leave a โ€œThanks for the Likeโ€? If so, YOU will be BUSY.:)

  115. First, congrats on being FP. I liked this post very much. I was drawn to it mainly because of the photo of the old guys from the Muppets. =)

    Second, I wish I had the time to craft thoughtful, practical posts full of personal poetic prose! There just isn’t enough time in a day between work and home and a 2-year-old. But I thank you for the reminder that I just don’t know who will read my comment. It might mean something to somebody… and that’s part of why I started blogging in the first place, I guess. But since I liked your post and your writing style, I’ll probably be back. Until then, au revoir.

  116. I almost lost the urge the write a comment just from the amount of time it took me to get to the bottom of this page. The internet has ruined my patience!

    All kidding aside, thanks for writing this; it puts a nice spin on comments, something I wish more people would do.

  117. I love commenting….I started doing it a few months ago and have never looked back.

    AND

    We’re all in this together. Blogging is not a zero sum game. We are definitely better together, and happier too.

  118. You touched a chord with this post. I often start to reply then move off the page without completing my comment for all the reasons you state. And one other, I want to check my facts or something else I’ve read, but then I never go back. I guess I can always just give my opinion rahter than completely missing out on the opportunity to engage.

    Thank you!

  119. And remember to respond back to some of your commenters. It’s the new blogosphere etiquette.
    ๐Ÿ˜‰

    You did ask how to improve civility on the Internet.

  120. Thanks for this interesting post (and the Muppets pic)! I’m a new blogger and have been looking at lots of blogs/posts lately, but I rarely comment – just the occasional “like.” Especially on posts like this one that already have tons of comments. Anyway, great post and thanks for the tips.

  121. Thought all of those things you mentioned which is why I have seldom commented on blog posts. I’m new to the blogosphere but I’m learning. Thanks for the tips!

  122. Love this advice, especially the part about being generous, thoughtful and genuine in your comments. I agree — the blogging community works best when we nurture and encourage one another, not when we compete. Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed and thanks for inspiring me!

  123. I just found you on the “Freshly Pressed” page and I’m so glad I did. It was your title and the image of the muppet characters which drew me in. I’m a new blogger (6 weeks) and your tips have been extremely useful. I’ve already put a few into practice, but now I know my comments do mean something to someone out there, even if there are 1500 more ahead of mine. Lovely post.

  124. I admit.. the Muppet guys brought me in… but the content was great!! I often struggle with the “comment or not to comment” question. Thanks for the viewpoints and reasonings!

  125. Sure! Suck me in with the photo of Statler and Waldorf… I have to admit I have engaged the troll a few times, and regretted every one. My nature of my blog attracts a lot of very emotionally charged comments/comment fights and comments that are meant to bait others into arguments. I have gotten very good at deleting efforts to go down rabbit holes that derail conversations.

    Congrats on being freshly pressed. I now need to get caught up on my blogging, I have been slacking for a while…

  126. Congrats on being freshly pressed! Wonderful post, and completely true. We writers are a vain bunch. Whenever I see that I’ve had 17 people read my posts, but not comments, I get a little depressed. For godssakes, say something!

  127. When I was Freshly Pressed a few weeks ago, I could not keep up and reply to every comment I was receiving. An obvious violation of one of your DO’s. So, knowing how hard it is, I will not judge you if you do not respond to my comment. ๐Ÿ™‚

  128. I agree with your post! It’s so important to comment. People who lurk but don’t comment or like often leave a blogger feeling spied on. Just giving a quick shout out or “liking” a post is a huge help.

  129. I love this! I wish I could tell this to my readers. So many times people (in real life, not the internet) will come up to me and tell me, sheepishly, that they “stalk my blog,” though I had never gotten a comment from them. But that’s what it’s there for! To read! Comment, even! I have no idea why it’s such an embaressing thing.

  130. It’s funny, whenever I think about somebody commenting on my blog, I almost have an anxiety attack.

    For whatever reason, I just assume that someone is going to comment to denounce my views and rip me apart.

    The few times that has actually happened, I loved it. I was super pumped to give my rebuttal.

    Social Media is like being at a huge party with basically no one you know. Everybody is just speaking at random, and sometimes we hear a snippet of what they’re saying.

  131. i am scared of comments because it makes me feel as if someone is going to cut me down, tell me I’m wrong and make me feel small.
    But now because of this blog i will try to leave a comment whenever its relevant
    thankyou for giving me some confidence
    ๐Ÿ™‚

  132. thanks for sharing. what i love about blogging and commenting on blogs, is, people can choose to stay for the long run, or simply โ€˜xโ€™ the tab and move along. there are little expectations. enjoy the comments rolling in today!

  133. Thanks for encouraging others to comment – I often lament seeing hits coming in, but nobody saying anything about what they thought on what was seen or read, even if they hated it. Engagement is so much a part of what makes this whole blogging thing work – so please everyone, keep up the chatter!

  134. – Great blog post!
    I agree – it is certainly hard to make comments at first and basically start an “online persona.” I am a photographer and have websites to show my work but debated about creating a blog for a long time, wondering who would read it and who would be interested. Finally I just created a travel blog and then of course realized you have to search/read/comment on others as well – a whole new little universe. But it has been fun and I am learning a lot! I do like to get comments and see what people think and I have learned people appreciate comments as well.

  135. Great post, and well worthy of being Freshly Pressed! It is amazing how much a comment or simple “like” can make you feel better. And thank you for pointing out the importance of replying as well – I must admit that I don’t usually bother to comment on something if I notice that the author of the post doesn’t bother to reply to his readers’ comments.

  136. Also found on you Freshly Pressed this morning, and here I am following you, although believe I may have caught a comment or two from you on Kristen Lamb’s blog? Look forward to reading more.
    Karen

  137. Although I have been blogging for a couple of years now I haven’t really been getting comments. I just thought what I had to say was too boring or controversial for anyone to bother with. Also, some of my stuff is more like a diary than a conversation. I do love the few comments I get, I’d even like to get ones from people who think I’m off base. ๐Ÿ™‚ I have discovered you are right about commenting on other people’s blogs. They often pop over to your blog and check you out. Thank you for the great suggestions, hopefully I will put some into practice soon.

  138. Excellent post. After reading your insights on being social in social media, I thought of a family guy episode. Stewie has taken his family hostage and he forces his father, Peter, to give him feedback on a picture of an owl he made out of macaroni. Stewie says, while the barrel of the gun is pressed to Peter’s temple: “What do you like about it, SPECIFICALLY?” When I comment, I keep that scene in mind and it reminds me that my comments should be specific. Otherwise, they’re not much help. Great reminder on the importance of individual voices. This blog is getting a share!

  139. So, Ed, you’re looking quite youthful in that photo. Is that actually you? Your insight is suspiciously “old soul”. And you have the best assortment of smileys I’ve yet seen.

    The thrill I get from a “like” or a comment on my blog is pathetic. I was stunned and honored when a writer of an excellent blog visited mine after I commented on his. I began blogging out of desperation for real or virtual company and didn’t expect it to be so meaningful to me. I post only when genuinely inspired by something, so when I am wallowing in the Doldrums (Norton Juster, the Phantom Tollbooth) I long for the “blogger’s high.”

    I guess bloggers who moderate comments received do so for a reason, but I decided not to and let the chips fall where they might. (As yet I don’t know if you do — you must be awfully busy if so). I want to get the full experience and hear what everyone has to say.

    1. Yes, that really is me. ๐Ÿ™‚ But I am flattered that you used “old soul” to describe me, as I have very often used that exact phrase to describe myself to others.

      And I love the Phantom Tollbooth reference! I read that when I was in 5th grade.

      As for me, I don’t moderate the comments coming in because my time is limited enough as it is. I’d rather let the conversation flow, and so far, I am pleased that all of the comments (except maybe a couple questionable ones) have been positive and civil. I figure it someone wants to come crash the party, we’ve all been warned not to feed the trolls, and I feel good knowing I have so many great people who’ve got my back now.

  140. I’ll add my opinion to the list of comments, just because we have that power.
    I think that if you have the time to have an input to a blog then you should! Bloggers love to write and read, surely? Commenting is definitely a beautiful thing; it means that your personality can be shared with a section of the internet and then you end up with a connection to all the people who read it. Slightly magical perhaps?
    Overall, an enjoyable read ๐Ÿ™‚

  141. “Don’t feed the trolls.” VALUABLE advice! Great post, by the way! I am one of those people that will type a response…and then delete it! I’ll definitely share with others

  142. Congrats on being FPed! Nice post ๐Ÿ™‚

    But now I am sure that is making you break your own rule. You are not planning to reply to all the comments, are you?

  143. Haha I agree with you wholeheartedly, and do like to comment on a good article because I have really appreciated the comments that I have had on the book I’m blogging.

    We do write on here so that it can be shared with the world after all, and receiving comments proves to you that people have been reading! Commenting = winning ๐Ÿ™‚

    Good stuff.

  144. Hi Ed,

    “DO read articles and posts carefully and analytically. Take the time to craft a thoughtful, genuine post that shows the author you have heard what he has to say and want to collaborate with him via a shared experience or constructive criticism.”

    I’m glad you mention this because taking the time to write a specific and positive comment not only shows someone that what they say has value and makes them feel good, it’s also an opportunity to help them improve.

    And when you’re giving your time to help another person, you might even open doors so they can make a change which is as simple as improving a blog post, or as dramatically as improving their lives.

    Plus, when you’re genuinely trying to help someone else, it helps you as well. If nothing else, writing a comment thoughtfully helps you learn to communicate a little more effectively.

    Thanks,

    Eric

  145. Hello! I’m pretty much an all or nothing as far as commenting goes. I’ve never been one to comment unless I really have something meaningful and/or insightful to say and I usually stay away from commenting on those that have an intimidating amount of comments already. I enjoyed reading this blog because it has shone some light on the advantages of commenting that I will definitely keep in mind the next time I read another’s blog. Thank you!

  146. This is what makes blogging superior to Facebook – not just people shouting into the void, but genuine dialogue between virtual strangers …bravo!

  147. I’m going crazy trying to shoo the birds away from my breadcrums here at comment #270. Can anybody direct me to that nice old lady who feeds children candy and lives in that gingerbread house?

  148. I agree that bloggers should always be open to comments. When I see “Closed for Comments” I scratch my head and wonder why someone is putting their writing on a public blog to begin with. To me blogging is about connecting with others and hopefully expanding your audience so they will want to read more of your writing. And Ed, I am always civil when I post my comments ๐Ÿ™‚ Good luck with your writing. I’m almost done with my second children’s book {gulp}, but folks can feel free to leave their comments on my writing. That is what makes us better!

  149. So, was this a cleverly-designed trap to lure readers into commenting on my blog and boosting my ego?

    Yes, yes it was. But that’s okay, because I completely agree with you! I often have thoughts, comments, questions, and ideas when reading blogs. I don’t often share them. Perhaps you’ll convert me yet…

  150. This is a clever, well-worded post. I’m going to link it in my blog (when I eventually get around to writing a post on building your online presence). Fantastic work, and I’ll be watching your blog from now on!

  151. Very thoughtful, very good points! Not that I know much, but I think the attitude you have about it all is a sure sign that when you do leave comments, they are wortwhile ๐Ÿ™‚ This might be a bad move, but in my about section I mention that I might limit my replies to some comments. For me, that’s because I have seen too many internet discussions that are just pointless and inflammatory – they just go on and on. I wanted to start a blog – but my attitude is sort of like, people who are interested can read, those who don’t like it can move on – I’m not there to spend hours responding to some coversations that won’t go anywhere that meaningful – at least, not for me, maybe for them. But I didn’t want to get too sucked into the net – I have a tendency to be able to do that! For example, this comment itself is kind of long – ha. And one time when I replied, it was like an entire blog post – not good – next time I’ll know to just make another blog post! But if I get some kind of conversation going that’s just going to go on and on, I’m just going to stop commenting – I’m a live and let live person, everyone has a right to their opinions and beliefs, have a nice day, you know? Some folks just have an axe to grind, and I don’t want to have to be engaged in that when I’ve got the rest of my life to get to….hopefully my “about” won’t keep people from commenting at all though!

    1. Hey rebelspirit, I’m there, I’m new to blogging and a little intimidated with all the blogging wordiness, wordsmiths, and so forth. I’ll respond if I have something to say…like you I will comment on something that seems meaningful. But just to comment for the sheer pleasure of letting my fingers do the writing…well that’s not me. I was told that it would be good to other comment on what you are doing on the internet. B. I gotta get a pin name or whatever you call it…

        1. Rebelspirit, thank you for respondng, ha…ha… it does feel good like Ed said somebody is listening to me…Do you have a website or a blogging website ? Oh, by the way how did you get your pin name to show up? I’m trying to think through about the name thingy…We sign in with our real name…I guess we are using our real names, lol…anyway but a pin name appears at the beginning, so maybe we just give ourselves a name. I’ll try it by signing out with “joynthemorning” if it shows up then that’s the answer if not back to the drawing board. I do have a website it’s still in progress, check it out and give your comments-joynthemorning

          1. If you click on my photo or on “rebelsprite”, that will take you to my gravatar page, and towards the bottom you’ll see my personal page – that’s my wordpress site. You can change your display name by going to your dashboard, then going down to “users” and then “my profile”, then you type what you’d like in the display name. Hope that helps ๐Ÿ™‚

            Okay sorry folks – no more off-topic posts!

  152. I try to be an active commenter on other blogs, but from time to time, life invariably gets in the way. I have noticed that during my more active commenting phases, traffic to my own blog increases.

  153. Well, commenting on the Art of Commenting certainly seems to have worked for you!

    I have come to realize that, if you Build It, they won’t necessarily come … unless you at least give them an address.

    My weakness is not making the time to search out fellow bloggers and see what’s going on in the rest of the world. Feedback really is the life blood of blogging.

    Good job!

  154. This blog definitely gets the driving force of the types of blogs set up. Heck this could be a guide to for people new to blogging and what to start (like me for example).

  155. There totally is some part of me that is just like, “Well. That person has 400 comments and what I have to say probably isn’t that important.” Which is irrational because anytime anyone comments on my blog, I am over the moon. ๐Ÿ˜›
    This is actually an excellent guide in general. I’m really enjoying blogging lately but I’m not quite technically knowledgable enough to understand some of the the ways things work. Mostly I just type maniacally and look sadly at my empty blog. And then comfort myself by typing maniacally for a while longer. Which isn’t terrible practice as far as writing goes, but is perhaps not super productive as far as the community aspect goes.
    I will definitely keep this in mind. Thanks for the great post! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Bethany

  156. Your picture made me think of Anthony Perkins from the movie “Psycho”.

    The post was interesting and apparently worked well.

    Smiles…

  157. Smart post! I’m sure getting on freshly pressed helped your views # too.

    Would you say it’s possible to get a high # of views and comments when you’re a new WP blogger? Or is it a slow and steady progress? I’m finding it’s the latter for my case.

    1. Obviously you won’t get 1,00,000,000,000 views over night, but there are ways to help (keep in mind that I, too, am new to WP, but I have been loving it and slowly gaining more readers).

      Commenting is a greeeat way to get new readers, for all the reasons posted in the blog entry here.

      Also, don’t forget to advertise for your blog! You take the time to carefully craft your posts, so show off your work! Every time I update my blog I will alert all my friends on Facebook with a Status update (include your link!), I will post it on my personal Twitter account, and I will make a post in my Blog’s companion Tumblr. Let people know that you’re working hard on your blog and they should check it out (careful though, don’t get too spammy)

      And one thing that has brought in a whole lot of new readers for me right now is joining a “group.”
      I recently started on The Pagan Blog Project (http://paganblogproject.com/); it brings a couple hundred like-mined bloggers together and gives us a foundation for our posts, then allows us to link our blogs for everyone to peruse! It’s great because it brings people to you, but it makes it much easier for you to find inspiring posts that will enrich your own blogging! Find a similar group for the subject of your blog and see where it takes you!

      Good luck!

  158. Thank you for this brilliant post! I am definitely a no-comment offender, and reading this has made me seriously rethink my position on commenting. I want people to comment on my blog (comic, really), so why shouldn’t I comment on theirs?

  159. You know, it’s funny that often I get caught up in reading the comments and find myself angered at some dimwitted comment that I forget to respond to said comment or leave one of my own dimwitted musings on the actual post. My short attention span usually falters and I end up wandering away from my desk, mumbling incoherently…

  160. I feel like laughing out loud. (not because of humiliation, of course..!) But your post about actively commenting gets you to freshly pressed.. you’re a really smart person! ๐Ÿ˜‰ lol

    ..and a really helpful person at the same time! you gave me the confidence to comment HERE, at least ^^
    Congrats on being freshly pressed! Keep on blogging! and.. ehm. commenting. of course. lol.

    thank you for the post ๐Ÿ˜‰

  161. Hmm… I’m one of those people who reads an entire post and reads all the comments. Usually I can think of something to say, but by the time I reach the end of the bazillion comments, I tend to lose my motivation to do so. I don’t have anything really profound to say, so I’ll just say I enjoyed your post, since you say you appreciate comments like that. ๐Ÿ™‚

  162. This was such an informative post! Until recently I used to read the Freshly Pressed blogs but I never commented or liked them. I now comment more and I try to remember to “like” posts I really enjoy. It’s true that it’s so nice to see other bloggers have liked your post or taken the time to comment on it. It makes writing your blog feel worth it when you know you have an audience!

  163. Reblogged this on Holding Fast the Confession of Faith and commented:
    A great article for the blogger who is looking to increase recognition and gain higher traffic! The greatest rule is: Do unto others….the more you interact with other blogs, by leaving comments and generating conversation, the more your own projects will thrive. Common sense for a self-centered world…

  164. I make it a point to leave a comment for any blog that I either agree with wholeheartedly, or disagree with vehemently. I consider it a courtesy to acknowledge a well written blog; as no one likes for their work to go ignored. If you took the time to write something that I found the time to read, you should know about it.

  165. Well stated! All too many times I have read something and felt the same way, with hundreds of comments already what was the point in me saying anything. Next time I will think twice and even if a brief comment try to put something down. Thanks for the thoughts!

  166. Great topic. I like to go to blogs that aren’t much frequented and comment there, it’s fun to see how bloggers grow through interaction with other bloggers. It is a community experience for sure.

  167. This is a timely blog, because I have read quite a few blogs and often thought of commenting but thought better of it. You raised some great points, especially about the breadcrumbs and just getting involved. So I will endeavour to be more active in future and comment on more blogs.

  168. Great post, truly. But we’re lost on the troll comment, because we always believed it’s better to feed the trolls for luck….

    People should feel more free to say whatever they can, analytical or not.. sometimes it’s the thoughtless junk out of peoples minds that hold the true gems of though. Let’s spread some love!

    great point too on people needing to enable comments… why have it off?? people are crazy. And talk about the sometimes confusing text verification boxes that are never as clear as they need to be on some bloggers comments section.

    The Eye
    http://theeyeoffaith.com

    ps. Love those Muppets.

    1. In the world of commenting, big-name blogs will sometimes end up as a sea of
      “FIRST!”
      “1ST”
      “Ahfuck! I thought I was first”
      “FIIIIRST…I think”
      “Stop TROLLING!”
      And on and on and on….

      Also, depending on the subject matter, it’s incredibly easy for a blog entry’s point to be completely ignored and a whole new tangent to overwhelm the comments, distracting from the point. (If you write a beautiful post about visiting NYC, someone is going to start rambling about 9-11 conspiracies. Post a picture from your trip to Italy; did you visit Vatican city? Prepare for a flame war on Christians and pedophiles…which will inevitably attract gay rights/oppression and on and on and on…)
      Obviously, this happening once in a blue moon isn’t reason enough (in my mind) to turn off your comments, but I have seen some blogs where this happened consistently, without fail. It’s sad when it happens, but it is sometimes better for the health of the over-all blog to get rid of comments.

  169. Reading through all the comments, most about the infrequent comments of the commenters, I almost didn’t comment!

    These are great points you bring up that I never considered. I’m a noobie to the blogging world, so all your reasons to get more involved are well received, and much appreciated!

  170. Thanks for the informative post. I’ve been surfing through blogs a lot and my fave is the “like” button (so disappointing when I get off wordpress that so many other blog hosts don’t seem to have a “like” button) as I often like a post but don’t have anything to say. You make a good case for trying to comment more often. I have increased my numbers with the surfing, liking and comments but I’ve been hazy as to whether one has produced more than the other (I do actually get visits from people who just picked up that I surfed to their blog)
    I agree with the comment-er way above that it’s a little off-putting when someone constantly leaves links to their blog, but I do think it’s okay if they have a post that directly relates and want to point you there — it makes it way easier to get to the relevant post.
    And it definitely gives me a happy feeling every time I check e-mails and see a list of folks who’ve liked and commented. And really I feel happy when I like and comment for other people because I know (or hope anyway) that they will have a happy moment too. Again, enjoyed the insights — thank you.

  171. Wow! I had to do a lot of scrolling through comments to get to the comment box. This was a great article. I am somewhat new to the blogging world but do try to leave comments. They aren’t usually very deep, but I like to acknowledge the writer for taking the time, when I feel they’re writing or pictures has been worth my time. This one definitely was worthy of being freshly pressed :).

  172. Okay, I’ll bite… Your post was helpful and made me think. It also is a written post…and Freshly Pressed (Congratulations!)…is it just me, or do most of the Freshly Pressed picks on WordPress seem to be photo galleries? Maybe it should be Photopress? Thanks for commenting on commenting!

  173. Well done Ed and congrats for being Freshly Pressed. This post certainly deserves your place on the public noticeboard. Thanks for the perspective. You said what I have been feeling so to me you are a good writer. You put feelings in my thoughts.

  174. Being still realitivly new to blogging, at I am new at getting anyone to read what I have been writing I found this to be very enlightening. Just one question: what is a troll?

  175. To quote from your bio When he is not busy being โ€œthe next American Tolkien,โ€
    Impossible, dear sir, for in fact “the next American Tolkien” made his stunning debut no less than two years ago at a sun-drenched, small town, social soiree, (now THAT was a sybilant mouthful!!) affectionately known as Blustering Heights’ Apple-Pie and Pancakes Festival…wherein he dramatically, and with great expansive gestures, read the first three chapters of his virginal masterpiece. A piece, which, by my estimation, will shake the earth and scorch the very ground of America’s Midwestern literary traditions. If you ask me, and most people usually do, this masterpiece will rightly challenge and probably dethrone the likes of Booth Tarkington himself!!! (Extra exclamation point delineates the awesomness of the preceding sentence).
    Would that I could tell you the name of the next American Tolkien, but alas, his name is Immortal and must forever be referred to as “That Which Must Not Be Named”…so sorry.
    I trust you will be satisfied with being “the next Canadian Faulkner”, if the Canucks will embrace you…or would you settle for simply, “Son of Hemingway—the Great Return”?

  176. Yes, I also have the thought when I see heaps of comments “Why Bother”, but yes its worth it, ir merely as an acknowledgement of the effort and energy that has gone in.
    Great post!

  177. I confess it was the picture of the Muppets that lured me to your blog…but now that I’m here I like what I’m reading…thanks for your amusing and thought-provoking take on “blogging”. I must make more time from now on to read more blogs, it really can be rewarding and is certainly fun. Thanks for cheering me up!

  178. This is the danger of getting blog posts you read sent to your email. I tend not to comment when they land in my email, but when I go directly to a blog itself I’m more likely to comment. Perhaps it’s a bit of laziness when the comment section isn’t readily available?

    Thanks for the reminder about why we should comment. It looks like it worked for you ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. That’s an excellent observation!
      I know I sometimes feel I shouldn’t bother commenting because I 1)Have nothing fresh to bring to the conversation, or 2)I wonder “why bother throwing out my opinion if it is just going to sit there and get stale?”

      I don’t get very many comments, but when i do I always try to engage in a bit of conversation with the poster, because I understand the feeling of “why bother?” Maybe it’s that I used to post in a lot more forums and threads, rather than blogs, so I am used to the back-and-forth of “commenting”.

  179. It’s so true, this is my first ever comment. It took me a while to work up the nerve of FB too, but now I’ve started there’s no stopping me… Thanks for a great article!

  180. This is great, and it made me comment! It reminds me of the cheering quotation by Henry Van Dyke: ‘Use what talent you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang best.’

  181. I have luckily never come across terrifying internet trolls and I hope that I will continue to avoid them. I have tried to comment before, disliked what I was going to say, erased it, re-wrote, and then just ending up liking the post because I can’t come up with anything ‘good enough’ to say. It’s kind of silly to get yourself worked up with commenting but as you mentioned it can happen sometimes over thinking what you’ll say.

  182. 1) You casually used the word “fracas”. This has officially started my day with a smile.
    2) The word “Viewpoints?” at the bottom of your post appeared in my periphery as “Vampires?” and I sped up my reading pace just to try and figure out how the hell the subject changed so drastically.
    3) Even with the lack of vampires, this was an excellent post. I liked your honesty when it came to the “selfish” reasons to comment. We all think of these kinds of things, but it was nice to hear someone say it out loud, haha!

    Congrats on being Pressed!

  183. This is a great post and highlights something I’m guilty of. I tend to see a pile of comments and think, ‘oh well, they don’t need me to say anything, they’ve got enough people doing that’.

    I think I’ll start making more of an effort, if only so people know that I like what they’re writing about.

  184. Eek! Guilty as charged. So, in order to clear my conscience for the day, I’m leaving a comment! But in all seriousness, this is a well written piece and oh, so persuasive! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I wholly agree that something controversial gets people talking. lol.

  185. I love when people leave comments on my blog. It allows me to go visit their own blog if they have one, and it gives me a connection to my audience (whomever that may be on any given day). I’ve made some of the coolest bloggy friends through comments left on my blog.

    Great post! Very informative in a fun way! Looks like you got a few comments too. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed.
    ~FringeGirl

  186. As someone how has just set up a blog that’s sitting out there without a single Comment, without a single Like, I most definitely have a feeling of being lost in the information ocean. Quickly moving on to the next metaphor:m I’ll follow your advice and leave this comment as the first crumb n the breadcrumb trail back to simonpaulwoodward,com.

  187. Hi Ed,
    Some useful tiips thoughts here, in particular ‘don’t feed the trolls.’ However, I only comment if, in my opinion, the content has something to say to the reader, just as yours does here.

    Best wishes.

    Talia.

  188. Here’s my little “drop in the sea” of comments. I personally get very excited whenever anyone takes the time to comment. Im grateful to see my stats show several hundred visitors per day, but I would love to know who they are and what their view or reaction is to what they saw, and if they have a blog, too, that I can visit. As a performer, I liken the experience of blogging to that of being an actor or singer who spends hours rehearsing, preparing and performing on a very large and very public stage. At the conclusion, receiving no comments is like staring out at a sea of blank and silent faces. No applause? No laughter? No weeping? No boos? No reaction at all? That can be pretty demoralizing for any artist. We all have a song to sing. And we all hope for validation. Joining the conversation allows the audience to actually participate in the creative process! We can each sing a personalized song back to the original singer, and they, and others, can offer unlimited responce. The result can become noisy at times, but whether it’s beautifully harmonious, or discordant, the music gets to play on, and the art of our humanity is revitalized.

  189. Ed, very clever–you’ve struck the nerve of many bloggers. Blogging is the new literary forum for writers especially since publishers aren’t looking for good work, just a quick buck. I look forward to following your blog.

    1. Totally true! And sad too…without naming names, there’s been some wildly popular work put out, that also happens to be so very poorly written! So here we are… And I think, in my own little melonhead, that some of the best stuff out there right now, is in here, the blogosphere. Oftentimes, it’s just written, checked quickly, and then pasted & published…ripe for errors, rewrite potential and richer development. But I like it…it is a very honest way of seeing inside so many lives, stories, experiences…I love it. I’m hooked! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Dug
      http://tr4f.wordpress.com

  190. Whoa! As I read throught his post, I was thinking, “This guy is reading my mind! I think he is speaking directly to me!” I do post comments on some of the blogs I follow, but rarely on ones who, like you said, have hundreds of comments already. Why bother, right? Well, as of right now, and due to your words of wisdom, I know there is very good reasonS to bother. Thank you for thinking this through and then sharing with the rest of us in the blogosphere! This is rich information and I really do appreciate having come across it! And, I will be back!

    -Cindy

  191. Great! Just great! As a newbie blogger I get super thrilled when someone posts to my blog. The point of my blog it to have a little bit of a creative release, but the main reason I blog it to connect with people who are thinking about getting a service dog, those wanting to raise a service dog, or those who just think puppies are cute (and who doesn’t) and wants to live vicariously and admittedly less hairy than we do. I am going to throw caution to the wind and leave a comment next time.

  192. Very well put. I’ve noticed a a lot of people now force comments to moderation which is a shame. But once again, each point is spot on but none more than “don’t feed the trolls”

  193. How is it that youve been able to get so many comments, followers, viewers etc? Im trying to get more traffic flow and Im post atleast 6 blogs a day. I started 3 days ago and had about 75 yesterday but just curious as to your methods. Thanks!

  194. I read, think of what I’d like to say (sometimes even start to type it) and ultimately move on. I’m new to the blog world and I guess I just don’t feel like I’ve earned my dues enough to comment. Better rethink that after reading your post. Thank you. I enjoyed reading it very much and learned a great deal.

  195. Thank you for this article. I saw this post today, and since I only just started my own blog yesterday, this has been quite serendipitous. I have Pinned this article so it has the potential to reach even more people in that crazy world called Pinterest. I really sense a kinship with you after having read your ‘About’. Good luck and take care.

  196. Very well put. I have started writing a blog and wait patiently for interaction. I know people are reading it, but I don’t have many comments. I try asking questions at the end of my posts that are designed to help people engage in the conversation, but I think people struggle between not wanting to hurt me or piss me off by their comments or the post don’t necessarily illicit the need for response. I keep writing though because it is turning out to be a wonderful way for me to express myself and my take on the world.

  197. I really enjoyed your perspective on commenting…I’m fairly new to blogs, and mine is set up to be my home base for my recumbent bicycle trip across the country this coming August-Oct. I’ve thought about creating a “blogging” blog where I share more about myself than the trip & cause I’m riding for…but haven’t yet. :(. Also, thank you for the word re: spammy. I had been signing at least 1/2 of my comments with my WordPress link to my site, because I SM so passionate about my cause. I think I’ll cut that # down to 1/15. :). Very nice article, thank you!

    Dug

  198. I really appreciate your clear and succinct advise here. I am not “social website savvy” and continue to look for new and better ways to promote my own work. I don’t know that there’s anything new here, but the way you have just laid it out is helpful. Thank you

  199. All of this seems like excellent advice, Ed. As a writer myself yes, of course, I want people to read my stuff, follow my blog, buy my books or whatever. But I also love to share with like-minded people. To kick around thoughts and ideas, pitch in with debate, controversial or otherwise. You’ve given me some great food for thought here. Thanks!

  200. Yours is the kind of article I read and see myself in and want to comment on until I see how many hundreds of comments you already have. I’m commenting here because you’re interested, and because you like reading and writing and French. I’ve read a few good posts, usually on Freshly Pressed, but I’ve always been intimidated by the hundreds of comments they attract. On the other hand, I try to comment on good posts that have no comments, because even one ‘like’ or comment is better than none. Thank you for writing this post. I should mention that the muppets in the peanut gallery attracted my attention. An apt illustration.

  201. Nice post. ๐Ÿ™‚
    I comment on other people’s blogs only when I have something to say about the matter (i.e, no waffling). And – because I’m nice – when I have something constructive to say about what they’ve wrote. I think it’s a bit rude to directly plug your blog on other people’s sites…but fine to link to your website/blog so that people can check you out if they so wish…

  202. Superb post. And very heartening for a relatively new blogger such as myself. I initially thought that no one liked my posts enough to comment. Then I thought it was because my writing was so completely and comprehensively brilliant that no one felt they could add to my perfect posts.
    However good or bad we think we are, we are neurotic creatures who need adoration and affirmation.
    I’m going to check my stats again and go for a lie down in a darkened room…

  203. Great post – I have had comment remorse – when I review comments I have made the next day I will sometimes look and think “I could have made a better comment than that”.

    I try to answer each one and have since the beginning. Maybe ten percent of the ones I leave get answered.

    Great writing and great points; let this be the last bastion of respectful discourse.

  204. I am still quite new to actually having a blog, but I have been a follower of those of others for some time. I, too, was a lurker who did not often speak up, but I am slowly getting a little more vocal. I thought your points were thoughtful and well presented. You certainly made me feel more positive about posting more frequent replies. Thanks!

  205. Ha, at first I was just going to “like” this post, as I usually do.

    I think it’s always been in my nature to be ‘all-or-nothing’ as well- maybe it is an analytical aspect, since I don’t like posting (or saying in person) anything without substance.

    Honestly, this has been one of the few posts I’ve stumbled across that stands out from the “top 10 tips” crowd. Kudos + breadcrumbs. ๐Ÿ™‚

  206. Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed! You’ve written a great article and deserve the applause and adoration of your viewing public. I hereby commit to leaving more comments. Great photos, btw. Thank you!

  207. Ahh, Freshly Pressed, you gotta love it. Congratulations.

    One thing I’ve noticed on my blog (which has modest traffic) is that people seem to rarely (make that VERY rarely) click on links. You do mention that some people will see that as “spammy” but I think it’s more like they ignore the links completely, and I’m not entirely sure why that is…and I posted about an article I found that said you actually have to write “Click Here” or something similar to get an increased clicking response. (I’ve tried it, it hasn’t particularly worked for me, I’ll add.)

    Sometimes I leave links back to my blog in a comments section, but only when I think there is something *directly* relevant which connects the post I’m commenting on and the post on my blog.

    You’d probably not be surprised to hear how often people do think about the same topics at the same time and wind up writing about them without each other’s knowledge. Then if you look at Freshly Pressed or one of the Topics pages… voila, there is your idea, embellished and presented perhaps a bit differently, but it sounds similar.

    The bottom line though is, blogging is and was meant to be an interactive medium of communication. As satisfying as it may be to put up large numbers of “clicks” on a blog, I’d prefer to have a decent amount of well thought out, meaningful comments rather than big “click” numbers because it would mean people are interacting more deeply with the content.

    Just my two (and a half) cents…
    Carol

  208. 400 responses you say? Holy crap! Now that was a successful post. And like you say, I’m reticent to add my voice to the litany because who’s actually out there listening to the 401st comment? I’m guessing NO ONE. But you threw down the gauntlet and challenged us to comment, so comment I will.

    And I have a question for you: How many times “should” we reply to a commenter? Is it cool or not to have a conversation in the comments section of your blog? I have been reticent to reply multiple times because I figure it’s boring…silly…goofy. Feedback please. Oh, and congrats on getting Pressed.

    1. I think it’s up to you as the blogger to decide how much time you want to dedicate to interaction. If there is a particularly scintillating conversation going on, why not keep it going?

      On the other hand, it is impractical to respond to every commenter, but by responding at all, other people can see that you do care and want to interact with your audience.

      In short, it is VERY cool to have a conversation in the comments section because that’s what the comments section is all about. ๐Ÿ™‚

  209. I’m taking your post seriously and not shying away from commenting. What you wrote goes true for me usually, I only comment when I think I have something significant to add. But as a novice in the blogging world, I do agree that one more comment makes a difference ๐Ÿ™‚

  210. Your plan worked, as it took me forever to scroll to the bottom of this page and find the comment box. This was a great post. I have only been blogging a couple months now but I can’t imagine how humdrum and boring my page would be if I was only talking to myself. Also, I’ve meant some amazing and talented people along the way and am honored to be able to support their work the way they support mine. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed this was a post well deserving of it.

  211. Thank you for taking the time to reach out to other bloggers and blog readers about the importance of commenting on blog posts they enjoyed. There are so many well written blogs out here in cyber space and just not enough time to read them all. My strategy is to read as many blog posts as time allows me to in my particular niche of interest, which in this case would be nature and photography. If a post really grabs my interest and I really, really like it, then I will post a comment. Unfortunately, due to time constraints, I end up “liking” more posts than actually “commenting.” This gives me the opportunity to “read” more blog posts. In the long run, I think it more gratifying for the blogger to receive a “like” than no comment. And yes, naturally, commenting on a blog is going reap rewards for one’s own blog. What goes around, eventually comes around. And in this case, a positive reward!

  212. As someone who just started their own WordPress blog and has aspirations to make it to Freshly Pressed one day as well, congrats! Great read, glad I clicked through (and commented!)

  213. Lol, I found you on WordPress and although I am not a huge commenter I felt compelled to comment on your blog… about commenting! =) Clever dear writer, very clever!

  214. Very fun post! You’re right, getting comments on a piece of your own writing is fantastic, especially when what you’ve written is to benefit yourself, but it helps others in the process. I recently received a comment from a gentleman who said my blog had changed his life and it felt fantastic. Incredible, how one little comment can make you feel. – Roisin.

  215. So I had every intention not to comment. My plan was to read and then be on my merry…but you’ve convinced me to comment and to continue commenting on every blog I read. I didn’t realize how this effects Google searching that’s really cool. Awesome post ๐Ÿ˜€

  216. This was a great post. I have to admit I am one of those that types the comments but never hits post. If I do, I second guess myself all day about my ridiculous and possibly unnecessary comment. Did I use proper grammar? Did I spell the words correctly? Were there run-on sentences? Arrghh… Of course, my chief road-block whether writing or commenting is the ever-present “what can I say that hasn’t already been said?” Thank for the encouragement to just say it anyway. Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed.

  217. I am commenting on this post so you will feel obligated to read some of mine. ;P Just kidding. But I am a bit obsessive about checking my stats and one of the last entries I posted got like 300% more traffic than any of my other posts. It was gratifying, but also made the drop back down in readership afterwards that much more disappointing. I said to myself, what is it about this particular post that is grabbing people…and I answered myself “gee, I sure hope it’s the content and emotion I put into it, but it’s probably the fact that ‘Whitney Houston’ was one of the tags.” I don’t know, I guess my point is, I’m glad YOU think we are all an important part of the internet, but it seems like a lot of people don’t want to take the time to read anything actually thought-provoking…I do hope you’re more right than I am. Cheers.

  218. It’s so true – it’s called social networking. The blogosphere is as much a community as a theatre troupe or a yoga class. Without your readers, you wouldn’t feel the need to be a writer so do be appreciative of those who take the time to read your heartfelt or controversial words. And get involved. You won’t be a beloved member of the blogging community if you do nothing to make yourself a regular contributor – both by writing posts and by reading others’ posts.

  219. Brilliant advice! You inspire me to start commenting on everything I read. This is really going to change the way I interact with the rest of the social networking world. I think.

    Thanks a lot!

  220. As I write this comment, there are 432 comments before me. Do I feel my response will be lost in a sea of comments? Absolutely. Mostly I don’t comment in these situations, though, for fear of being repetitive. I don’t have time to read through 432 other comments. I completely agree with the feeling comments give the author. I look at my blog, and although its been read 700 times, I only have 12 comments. I wish people would say something, even if its “this is crap, don’t give up your day job”

  221. Even though my comments are not newsworthy or earth-shattering, it’s still nice to give some input here and there. I love when people comment on my blog because I feel like I am actually writing to an audience! And when I get those comments, it inspires me to post more…whereas if I don’t think anyone is really listening or paying attention, sometimes it is harder to sit down and write!

  222. I often add my comments because I can’t help myself. I’m compelled to reply and express my opinion, press the Post Comment button and then I wonder/worry if my comment will be perceived as silly or stupid. I quickly forget all about it after that, and I am often surprised when I get a response.
    I enjoyed your style of writing. You made me smile.
    That’s always a good sign.

  223. My biggest problem with a long stream of comments following a post is in assimilating the content. More power to you if you can do it, but when the original post raises “Point X,” a refutation is offered by someone commenting via “Point Y,” a defense of “Point X”/counter-refutation of “Point Y” is offered by a second commenter, a clarification is put forth by the author of the original post and so on, ad nauseum

    I’m afraid I reach a point not only of saturation but of frustration, attempting to remember who said what where, how to comment myself when I agree with half of “Point X” and half of “Point Y,” and ultimately start feeling like I’m not only not taking anything away from this discussion, but that the tattered remnants of my synapses are involved in a game of cerebral pinball, where what passes for my thought processes are nothing but the steel ball, being bounced from bumper to bumper. I typically feel no more enlightened than I did prior to dipping my toe into the discussion, but quite possibly may emerge with something close to motion sickness.

    Perhaps this is as much a generational issue as it is anything else?, At 48 I suppose I’m a member of the last part of the baby boom over the fence, and possibly I’m simply not “hardwired” to digest and respond coherently to the points, counterpoints, and counter-counterpoints that typically crop up in an extended comment thread, at least over a reasonable time-frame.

    I’ll terminate my bloviating now, more amused than embarrassed about being shaken out of the woodwork….to comment about why I typically don’t do much in the way of commenting. (But please note this is simply a personal preference. I actually rather admire those who can pull off what I cannot seem to.)

  224. I feel the same way as you (now) do about comments in blogs, however my opinions have changed a bit over the past year or so. I had a successful blog (different from my current one) that I gave up because it was eating up too much of my energy. I responded to all comments, most of them soon after they were posted, and sometimes got into discussions with my readers over things. Then I got stuck on the ‘blog awards’ bandwagon that nearly finished me as, going from blog to blog via comments in mine is fine – when one gets a lot of comments and then has to do these long award memes too, it really eats into ones life. So now, while I do still reply to nearly all comments, I don’t do awards and I have to limit myself to the number of blogs I visit each day or week.

    So – will you be replying to all the comments in this post (which has been Freshly Pressed)? And will you be visiting and commenting on the blogs of all the people who’ve commented here? Or has your own opinion changed a little since you wrote this? ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Val…I found your insight similar to my own. Just before The Aberrant Pen” posted his magnificent missive…I posted “FALLING OFF THE EDGE”….on my jotsfromasmallapt. on what I discerned to be the ethos of the blogging community as a whole. Of course…there are exceptions.

      Thank you for affirming my own thoughts albeit a wee bit skewed from your own.

  225. I have the same feelimg you described, i generally get discouraged to voice my openion when i see a couple hundred comments.
    I find you poimts very encouraging and i will now step up my efforts to build a digital footprint around the blogosphere. Thanks for writimg this gr8 post.

  226. Great post; I’m glad I saw it on Freshly Pressed. I definitely agree about the tons of comments thing. I tend to be less likely to comment on something that has a bunch of comments, as well. I’m sure that whatever I have to say has already been said a hundred times by other people when there are a bunch of other comments. Thank you for the encouragement! ๐Ÿ™‚

  227. While I know that commenting on other blogs helps to increase readership on your own blog, I usually find myself NOT commenting after reading. You’re totally right–I either want to make an earth-shattering observation or not comment at all. So your post achieved two things: I commented on your blog, and now I think I’m going to comment on some other blogs. Thanks for the encouragement!

  228. Gosh what a lot of comments – and here’s one more: I find that friends who read my blog will comment to me personally but not on my blog and I’m constantly encouraging them to do so. I also have a little gripe with the WordPress set up – which may just be because I’m relatively new at this malarky – you have to check the notification boxes otherwise you never know that your comment has been replied to. Is there a way of encouraging people to remember to check those little follow up boxes? All right, all right – don’t shout! I’m checking them right now…

  229. Congrats on your new FP status! Well deserved, for sure. As for commenting on other bloggers’ posts–I do that as much as time allows and have made some great blogging friends that way. Plus those bloggers usually check out my site to see what I write and quite often they then sign up to follow me, so it’s a win-win situation for both parties. I also love to receive comments on my blog posts and try to reply to each one, even when it takes me away from writing new posts or working on my ebooks. I think that if people leave me a comment (no matter what they have to say), they deserve to be recognized for their contribution. I do find that I am gradually building a following for my blog and I attribute some of that, at least, to the fact that I visit and comment on other blogs.
    Keep up the good work, and congrats again!

  230. Is it ironic that I almost didn’t post this comment because there are so many comments here? You’re totally right though, I’m the same way. If I’m comment #300, I usually just make the comment to myself and move on. Definitely some good advice here which I’m clearly taking to heart. Thanks!

  231. I. Love. This. Post! Excellently well written – stroked your ego enough? ๐Ÿ˜‰ – and I agree with everything you wrote. I also used to hesitate on commenting for the specific reasons you’ve stated but lately (before reading this post), I’ve been doing more and more commenting solely for the reason of supporting the blogger. I have a blog now and understand the importance of being visited and read. I’ve encountered so many casual “virtual” friends on WordPress as a result of it. Also, the whole “like” button is a brilliant idea! If I don’t have time to comment, the like button leaves behind my approval and acknowledgement.

  232. Just so you know, I found your blog on the WordPress main page, on the “Freshly Pressed” feature. Your Muppets picture really got my attention, and here I am. AND, I am commenting, along with a few hundred of OUR friends here in the blogosphere. GREAT POST!!!!

  233. Really nice…. you just made me clic on “follow”. You know, I love to read and I tried to write a couple of times too… just amateur … but I think that reading just gives you other vision of life. I don’t consider ourselves superior but lucky.

  234. Well, at the risk of sounding less than a literary “genius,” I absolutely do have to say I loved your comment “Do not feed the trolls” best of all! Very cute.

    I think the most important thing is not to *be* a troll, and it is always nice to be as positive and respectful on another blogger’s post as possible. Of course, my psyche is caught in an infinite loop of “got into the hospitality industry because I want to be nice so I got into the hospitality industry so I could continue to be nice…” I think you get the idea.

    I love the idea of adding value to the world, even if only in the smallest ways, and I especially love when others do so, as well – good job, you! Nice post!

  235. Ed, your message is great. I often do not include a Call-to-Action in my posts. And therefore I have just a few comments. My mistake, won’t do it again. Thank you for pointing to this valuable lesson.

  236. It’s so easy to just pop in and pop back out from the blogosphere…that we need this type of encouragement to become a part of community. Imagine being at a cocktail party, someone new walks over, hangs out silently with your mini-circle for a few minutes, then moves on without saying a word. Weird! Right? I agree that the “social” part of social media is so easy to lose.

  237. That was awesome. It helps because I just started ‘blogging’ and it’s very intimidating! Thanks for the encouraging words!

  238. Cannot help myself, you are indeed very clever, and I suspect have so many followers that you will not even notice little old me and my comment. Congratulations to you, continue thus, I say!

  239. Thank you! This was exactly the advice I have been seeking. How do I get my stuff out there? I am proud of what I write and want to know others are reading it. I would love comments that just say, ” I read this.” It makes sense to show others that you are doing the same and I imagine I might learn something a long the way.

    I will be casting my net, hoping to catch a few fish to share my feast of words with.

  240. As a studying journalist in the up-and-coming generation, I want to be part of the movement that you hinted at in your article. I do suffer from “should I comment?” syndrome occasionally, but I firmly believe that we can change social media and journalism as a whole if we start losing that fear of connecting, even if that means online. I often forget that we are all just people, but as I grow older, I am more confident in my gut (knowing who is trustworthy and who is full of crap) and I also have a stronger desire to communicate with different types of people. I have a friend who once thought a ‘blog’ was taboo until he realized he had been using them regularly to learn how to repair his truck. The blogosphere has incredible potential to become the most truth-centered piece of the industry. And all it takes is interacting with sophistication, passion, and perspective.

  241. Wow, talk about scrolling to get to the combox:-) Usually, even though I am one of those people who LOVE to read and will take the time to keep up with and read the post and/or comments of blogs I follow, I rarely comment because: (a) it’s easier to just press the “like” button and (b) I rarely have anything of importance to contribute after, say, 4,701 previous comments. By the way, the pictures are hilarious!

  242. What you are describing is WordPress. When I first started WordPress, that is the exact (almost) same thing they told me about commenting and how to brighten up WordPress. And after experiencing WordPress, I get it now. The internet and also WordPress is a community and people in a community just don’t let people die, right? I have had countless blogs that I ended because no one reads them and this is an example where good (or bad) blogs die because of a cruel community. Your posts will definitely open the eyes of people who still don’t understand the concept of the Internet and WordPress community.

  243. Thanks for your words of wisdom. My blog has to do with nature and natural history at Hill-Stead Museum where I work as a naturalist. I’d like to think it’s about more than that too, but at the very minimum I provide information about birds, bugs, plants and so on. I often read other blogs but have been shy about commenting. I won’t be any more.
    Diane Tucker
    Naturalist
    Hill-Stead Museum
    Farmington, CT

  244. aye aye sir ๐Ÿ˜€ you kinda knock some sense in my head, ive been ignoring comments on my blog posts, even deleted most of them ‘cuz i was thinkin im not gonna make wordpress like facebook ‘comment threads’ but those comments on my blogs were really different, theyre from sincere readers >_< thank you for wakin me up ๐Ÿ™‚

  245. Most excellent post…as you know from all the responses! My biggest worry in blogland…a blog gets its regulars, who know each other by name, etc. etc.. I begin to wonder if I should crash the party, you know, belly up to the bar and pretend I belong. Most times, I do it anyway, and even revisit if I really dig a blog. Sometimes, I make it to the prime seats, sometimes I stay in the peanut gallery. ~

  246. I couldn’t agree with you more! I think that you’re spot on when you talk about how commenting leads a trail back to your own blog. Also, we’re all putting ourselves out there by sharing our thoughts and ideas with the world, so why not give find back to our peers! Keep up the great blog, very enlightening! Following you now.

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