I began blogging in 2010. It took me a surprisingly long time to figure out that if I wanted my posts to be read, I would have to indicate to other bloggers that my blog existed. That meant doing more than “liking” posts; I had to contribute my thoughts in the form of comments. Once I began doing that, my blog gained readers, “likes,” and followers. Now I am part of a large community of writers, thinkers, and opiners.
When it comes to commenting on blog posts, this is what I do:
- I usually comment only when I have something to say (other than “Great post!”).
- It’s easier to comment soon after a post has published, rather than when a couple of dozen other readers have said it all. It’s a bit lame to say, “What everyone else said,” or “Me too!”
- I’m more likely to comment if a post has few or no comments, especially when there are quite a few “likes.” If there are lots of comments and I don’t have anything new to add, I “like” and leave.
- I’m uneasy about commenting late in the day when I’m tired, because it’s too easy to word a comment badly and offend or mystify someone. When my gut says “Don’t do it!” I listen.
- If a comment I’m about to post sounds patronizing or condescending, I don’t post it.
- If I really have nothing to add, I don’t comment, but I “like” the post to indicate that I’ve read it.
- Sometimes a “like” means “I like it!” but sometimes it’s just a way of saying “I read it.”
- If I find a post offensive or totally unrelatable, I neither “like” nor comment, unless I can come up with a civil way of disagreeing that may add to the conversation.
- I never say that a post is “fantastic,” “fabulous,” or (cringe) “awesome.” It’s theoretically possible that a day will come when I encounter a post that’s accurately described by one of these words (except “awesome”), but it’s unlikely.
- The posts I find hardest to comment on are those where congratulations or condolences are the only possible responses. It’s hard to say those things in an original way. Instead of scrolling through dozens of near-identical comments, I skip to the end of the comments queue, say something brief and sincere, and don’t worry whether it’s original.
- Otherwise, it’s often interesting to read others’ comments and even comment on them. I love it when that happens on my blog; it’s as though guests at a party are connecting without my help.
- I always respond to comments on my blog, if only to acknowledge and thank the commenter.
When I read blog posts first thing in the morning, using a tablet, any comments I make have to be thumb-typed. I much prefer a real keyboard, but I’ve developed a fair amount of speed and accuracy on the tablet’s keyboard. I was delighted to discover where the apostrophe, parentheses, and hyphens were hidden. And I must say the word suggestions above the keyboard are handy (although sometimes a bit peculiar).
Fellow bloggers, what are your thoughts on comments? Please comment!