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Who Comments on Blogs, and Why?

126
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on
March 6th, 2008
in
brainstorming, Business of Blogging

Who Comments on Blogs, and Why?: I realize there is a selection problem here: anyone who responds to my question about why commenters comment is, alas, a commenter. Which means that regular commenters will be overrepresented in the comments — unless, of course, a whole bunch of you who never comment decide to go ahead and log in and, in the comments section, tell us why you never comment. Or why other people do. I love the topic of this post on Freakonomics at the New York Times Blog. There is a lot of food for thought.

There are many reasons to leave a comment on a blog and the ability of readers to leave comments on a blog and the instant interaction and conversation that develops, is what attracted me to b2 and consequently WordPress. I tend to not comment on blogs where the comment form is hard to find or where I have to jump through a bunch of hoops to leave a comment (which is why I like extremely simple comment forms and dislike indiscriminate moderation). I also leave comments on interesting topics in the form of trackbacks and links. I gauge the success of a post and a topic by the number of comments left on it and actively try to encourage my readers to express their thoughts. I try to join in on the conversation in the comments and I consciously keep myself from modifying or censoring comments.

So do you comment on blogs? Why do you comment? If you have never left a comment on WeblogToolsCollection.com and I request you to comment on this post, would you do it?

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126
Responses

 

Comments

  1. Chris (26 comments.) says:

    You comment for different reasons on different posts. Usually it’s to add something substantive to the conversation, but sometimes it’s to joke about the topic, correct an error, or disagree. Other times you just want to thank the writer for the article. It’s not a bad idea to comment for the sake of getting a link back to your site either – though you should be very careful how you do that. I hate links in a comment that make no sense to the ongoing conversation. Shameless plugs are irritating to readers.

  2. Milan (1 comments.) says:

    It really depends on the kind of blog. Somewhere big and popular, like Gristmill, I comment in order to participate in the discussion. If it’s the personal blog of someone with whom I have something in common, I might leave a comment just to say hello or let them know that someone is reading what they write and find it worthwhile.

  3. Sue @ TameBay (5 comments.) says:

    No, I’ve never commented and I never will. Well, someone had to be the first to say it. ;-)

    I don’t comment if I have to register, and I tend not to comment on blogs that regularly have hundreds of comments per post; the commenters there tend to have their own little community and it’s very difficult to be a nooob interrupting that.

  4. Mark Ghosh (386 comments.) says:

    Sue: I am glad you said it and it makes a lot of sense. My question for you is, how does a blog with a lot of comments make new commenters feel more welcome?

  5. Hawaii SEO says:

    Yes… I leave comments all the time, all over. I do it to mark my territory like some sort of wild animal pissing on everything. (Just kidding ;)

  6. Lazy (1 comments.) says:

    i would.. because i really like some people out there who are blogging.. and the wordpress scene a lot.. so i comment somewhere if i want to.. if i`m not too lazy.. ;)

  7. sir jorge (4 comments.) says:

    I leave comments all over the place, they don’t usually garner any new visitors, but I like to give an opinion, whenever I can.

  8. elroy el 1327 (1 comments.) says:

    I’ll comment on posts from time to time, usually only if I feel that I can provide something to the topic… well, that’s not entirely true – often I’ll actually think that what I have is comedy gold, only to realise that I probably should have stayed in ‘lurking mode’ immediately after hitting submit.

    I will comment on a post to suggest a correction too, if only because I find it frustrating when I’m searching for an answer to something and come across erroneous information.

    As others have said, having to register is usually enough to change my mind about throwing my 2c in, whatever the case.

  9. Pande (9 comments.) says:

    I don’t comment here because my english is awful. I write in spanish.
    In Pandeblog just get 1 comment (or less) each 500 visitors.

  10. ezra hilyer (1 comments.) says:

    I comment on smaller blogs mostly, very little on the large ones I read everyday. Mostly because I don’t really feel that the larger ones care as much, but the small time blogger writing about a niche subject will be interested in what i have to say, as I am interested about what they say.
    -Ezra Hilyer -straypoetry.com

  11. Cynthia Armistead (3 comments.) says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever commented here before, although I probably visit at least once a week. I haven’t really felt that I had anything important to add to the conversation.

    On other sites, I seldom bother to comment if I have to register. If I do comment, it’s either because I know the person and feel more comfortable about responding casually, or because I do feel that I have something to add that’s worth others’ time to read.

    I don’t get that many comments on my entries, especially compared to the number of visitors I have. The ones I do get are usually from friends or other members of a couple of groups I’m in. I received more comments when I blogged on LJ, and I still cross-post at least an excerpt of each post there, but I ask people to comment on my main site to keep the conversation consolidated.

  12. Thom (1 comments.) says:

    I would like to know the same thing…I get very few comments on my blog but I know that is because I do not create conversational stuff. My blog is mostly about photography and there is not much to comment on about a $5000 printer article. I am also not looking for a “that is a nice photo” comment.

  13. BradBlogging.com - Increase Website Traffic With Easy To Follow Steps (1 comments.) says:

    Asking questions at the end of the posts usually don’t make me comment. I comment if there is anything that I can add to a topic of interest.
    This one however is just because I saw it on my WordPress “Updates” thing.

  14. Nemo (5 comments.) says:

    I find it curious that you profess to “gauge the success of a post” by the number of comments left. Surely there’s some other, better, metric? I suppose it all depends on how you define “success”, but I think the quality of the comments must count for something, surely. I’ve written some how-to posts that have attracted large amounts of traffic – and fairly large numbers of comments – but I certainly wouldn’t say they were any better – or “more successful” – than other popular but less-commented posts. (My most highly-commented post is a complaint about the shipping company DHL; hardly the pinnacle of my output, or even close to it.)

    If that seems off-topic… I hate to admit it, but I mainly leave comments when I’ve read something that’s provoked a (funny, interesting, or, I admit, just plain stupid) thought from me, and there’s nobody in the office at the moment to share it with…

  15. Mike (3 comments.) says:

    I comment sometimes, but most often I just read what other people have written and only comment if I like what they have written enough.

  16. TheTick (17 comments.) says:

    I am an occasional commenter. I would say that I comment most on topics that interest me, more likely if I have a joke that no one else has thought of yet. :) It’s also a way to get to know bloggers with similar interests. I blog a lot at my site about the Buffalo Sabres (US hockey team) and I’ve gotten to know several of the best Buffalo bloggers to commiserate with when things aren’t going well (like now).

  17. Jeffro2pt0 (164 comments.) says:

    I comment only if I believe I can add to the already existing conversation. The added benefit of having a link back to my site is also a slightly less important reason for commenting. I’ve noticed that good quality comments can be the source of good traffic. I find myself clicking the links of those who leave comments all the time because of what they said in their comment.

    If you wanted a somewhat cool analogy, at least I think so. Each blog on the net is like a forum. Most of them don’t require registration to participate. Instead, you fill out 2-3 boxes of info and then post your reply the the thread which was started by the blog author. Sure, there are differences between forums and blogs but there are a ton of similarities as well.

  18. Matt Wiebe (2 comments.) says:

    I don’t think I’ve commented here before, but I will because you asked so nice and this site has been a fantastic resource.

    That said, I usually comment on a post that I find interesting, or want to debate with, or just to thank an author for what they’ve said or provided. I agree with Sue that long comment threads look very intimidating and discourage posting. But the again, sometimes short ones make you feel like the post content didn’t matter!

  19. Scott (1 comments.) says:

    Ok, Sue, you beat me to it. In all honesty though I think this is the first comment I have ever posted on a blog. Maybe because the topic practically begged it from a new commenter, or maybe because after teaching myself very basic code and then Flash in order to build my website for my company, I have discovered that I now need to learn how to build a blog-type site via WordPress in an attempt at SEO. so I am working on it. ok sorry, off subject.

    Bottom line: You’re right on, Mark. Simple is best (both wording & format), interesting topic, and inviting – Beyond that, some people are just more outgoing and less afraid of potentially looking stupid.

  20. Charlotte (1 comments.) says:

    I comment on posts that interest me or that ask a question wanting an opinion. I don’t just comment to comment.

  21. Yoshi (1 comments.) says:

    I try to comment as much as I can. Because I love to hear comments, even if it’s hey there or a hello, I like to think that other people want to hear comments too.

    I don’t think I’ve ever commented on this site, but that’s not surprising. Like Sue, it’s often tough to jump in and make a comment on popular or high traffic sites. as for how to make it easier for those to comment, I don’t think there is a way. Some people comment, some people don’t. I think it’s a personality thing really.

  22. Dave (15 comments.) says:

    I tend to leave a lot more comments if I’ve had a beer or two. It makes me feel friendly and want to connect, you know? And I’m sure I’m not unique in this. Sometimes I wonder how many of many regular commenters are just lonely drunks.

  23. Darryl (7 comments.) says:

    I usually only comment when I have something to add to the conversation, or if I totally disagree with all the other comments. But, once again, it depends on the subject matter at hand, as it’s always much easier to post a comment when you care about the subject.

  24. Michelle Vandepas (1 comments.) says:

    I comment on blogs, (but I don’t think before on this one)…Normally I comment on blogs that I support, that I go to again and again and feel as though I know the blogger. I also comment if I want to add something…or even get a bit of attention… It’s true!

  25. Angie says:

    having rel=”external” attached to commenter’s outgoing links is a deterrent. At least for me. I do not spam, I post on topic comments. But the blog would have to be out of this Earth for me to invest my time on growth of someone elses blog and not get anything back in return.

  26. Phil B (1 comments.) says:

    I am the very model of the commenter you seek – I’ve read every update here since my admittedly recent migration to WP, yet have commented just once, IIRC.

    My reasons for commenting on a blog are all pretty basic and fairly discrete, not much overlap:

    1: I’m an established member of that blog’s community and so add my voice as a kind of civic duty (not unlike voting)

    2: It’s important somehow that I publicly register my passionate agreement with the premise of the post

    3: It’s a matter of life and death, for some reason, that I publicly register my vehement disagreement with the premise of the post

    4: I’m trolling for attention for my own weblog.

    Regarding the number of comments on a given post: I’ve come to realize that the relative “heat” or popularity of a post bears little relation to the quality of the writing or the argument contained therein. Indeed, sometimes the great popularity of a given post may indicate to me that the topic being discussed is merely inflammatory and shallow.

    I shy away from commenting on high-traffic blogs with clearly established communities if the tone of the comments indicates that newcomers are unwelcome – held up for challenge or ridicule, say. That’s a pretty common situation, sadly.

  27. John Baker (15 comments.) says:

    Good try. But you’ll never get me commenting on here. I’m just not that sort of guy.

  28. BoltClock (24 comments.) says:

    I comment whenever I feel like it :P

  29. Leo (1 comments.) says:

    Hi!

    I comment when I feel I must say my opinion in the discussion. I don’t like comments “Thanks, a goog article!” or similar.

    Leo

  30. V says:

    To Comment is to express out what you feel about what you read.
    I comment on blog posts which I think are interesting and which are worth comments or to be discussed. I even leave trackbacks sometimes depending upon whether I share the same post or not.
    Its just correct to comment if you are genuinely interested in providing your view.:D

  31. Jeffro2pt0 (164 comments.) says:

    Ok, here is a question for all of those who have commented already or who are waiting to comment. How many of you operate your own blogs? If you operate your own blog, I’d be interested to know what sort of value comments on your own blog are to you. I tend to think comments on my blog articles make me realize that someone actually read what I wrote. And that is a great feeling, especially if the commenting gets on a roll.

  32. AnneTanne (1 comments.) says:

    I rarely leave comments on English blogs, since I’m not a native speaker, and I don’t feel very confident when writing that language.
    I try to comment on each and every blog in Dutch, that’s covering the same niche as mine, but, as a matter of facts, there seems to be only one Dutch speaking blogger writing about more or less the same subject.
    So that leaves a bunch of other Dutch and (mostly) Flemish blogs. I rarely comment when you have to register, and when I have the feeling (as Sue said) that you have to be part of ‘the incrowd’ to be accepted.
    I must admit, that the lay-out of WTC didn’t encourage me in the past to comment: Due to the fact that I have to scroll past the side-bar to view the comment-section, made me think comments weren’t possible. I never noticed the comments before!

  33. Writer #1 (1 comments.) says:

    I comment because interactivity is crucial in the new media environment; especially regarding important facts which require further assessment from the public. That, and just to give each other support and encouragement, especially for those who are actually helping, or even becoming an inspiration for others–by blogging.

  34. Dominic (1 comments.) says:

    For me, if there is something in the post that motivates me, or asks a question, I’ll generally comment. I’m not one for just posting a “nice” comment, or “me, too”.
    And, a question for you: Do you respond to the comments that are left? That’s a whole ‘nother post, for sure.

  35. Birgit (1 comments.) says:

    Reading your blog since I started my own WordPress experiments, but never commented before. I comment when I a) feel like or b) think I can add something or c) have a question. I never comment when a registration is necessary. Love WP and am about to set up a second blog today :) Thanks for your work!

  36. badMIke (6 comments.) says:

    I only comment sporadically on the sites I visit and I read a post’s comments even more rarely. I’ve commented on this site before, probably when the topic has excited me enough to take the time in the form of a “Yeah, me too!”

  37. hernaaan (1 comments.) says:

    I’d definitely do it, because I simply love feedback. And I like to know what people think about what I write, whether is fine or not.

  38. Robert (1 comments.) says:

    Hrumph! After all this time you now want to know what I think?

    BWAHAAHAAHAA!

  39. S.K (15 comments.) says:

    I wish to post a comment here with a request to change the theme of this blog!

    The red header text causes a bit of a fatigue to my eyes. Reason_ simple. Your site is a staple visit for me almost daily- sometimes several times a day.

    I feel a redesign is due! :)

    And regarding the generic question the commenting realm, well, I am not competent to add anything since my blog holds the reputation of the least commented one amongst those running with WordPress engine!

    Thanks and regards,

    S.K

  40. Stephen R (24 comments.) says:

    I think a HUGE asset to getting people to comment is to have the Subscribe to Comments plugin installed. That sucker should be in core WordPress. If I comment on a post that does _not_ have such functionality, I can almost guarantee that’s the last you’ll see of me on that post.

    Thus, if you want to get a real conversation going, it’s best to make it easy for commenters to know when something further has been said.

    Addendum: I hate the way Haloscan does it — I get update emails that have no reference to what the original post was, and the comments page has no connection to the original post. If you read a lot, you have no recollection of what the subject was even if you do get back to it….

    Addendum 2: RSS doesn’t count either. I’m not going to subscribe to a new RSS feed every time I comment on a blog!

  41. Chris Bryant (1 comments.) says:

    I’m an infrequent commenter- I see a hazard in using a blog as a forum, which happens fairly often, but…. sometimes if I have something to say, I say it :).

  42. base2wave (1 comments.) says:

    I rarely comment on blogs simply because by the time I end up having the time to sit down and read a post, uninterrupted, there are often half a dozen comments roughly mirroring the same train of thought I’ve often ridden in my head and I don’t wanna be one of those “Yeah, what he said” commenter.

  43. Nyx Wolfwalker (1 comments.) says:

    I post comments when things catch my attention, but I find it rear that people post comments to my own blogs (outside of LJ that is), not that I feel it necessary for people to comment since I know my blog as a lot of return traffic of people who appear to like what I have to say (or i don’t think they’d come back).

    This site i have as a staple in what I read when updates are posted, its helpful and at times funny to read.

  44. Steve (1 comments.) says:

    I usually for one of these reason:

    1) The post hit a nerve and I needed to respond.
    2) There’s an error in the information and I want to add correction.

    As to posting comments to get hits back to my website/blog I may do that at times, but it usually only generates a new viewer or 2, so I don’t think it’s the best use of time just to post for that reason.

  45. Mark Mathson (3 comments.) says:

    First time commenter (on Weblog Tools) here! :)

  46. Chris Osborne (1 comments.) says:

    I wish I left more comments than I do. A lot of the time I’ll see a few new articles on a blog and I don’t want to leave a comment on 5 articles within a half hour or so.

  47. TW (6 comments.) says:

    I comment infrequently – but it depends on the blog. I agree with what Sue had to say mostly.

    If a blog requires registration, or has lots of hoops to go through I wont comment. If a blog demands all comments are moderated I wont comment a second time. I rarely comment on blogger because the way its comment popup works annoys me and CAPTCHAs deter me as much as a bot.

    Additionally, if a post has hundreds of comments, I probably wont comment as you feel anything you could say would be lost in the noise. With blogs that have lots of regular comments (Pharyngula over on Science blogs is good example), I rarely comment because, as mentioned, there is a big tendency for cliques to form which are almost impenetrable for newbies. I have no idea how you could change that though – maybe more interaction by the blog owner might help but I have never seen a blog which has managed to overcome the problem…

    Overall, I suppose my main reasons for commenting on a post are:
    1 – the post inflames me (in a good or bad way) and I feel I have something to say about it.
    2 – on personal blogs it can be nice to say “hi” and let the blog owner know people are reading it – basically if it is a blog I want to come back to, I will occasionally leave encouragement…
    3 – If I feel I can add to the ongoing debate.

  48. Ann (1 comments.) says:

    I recently started commenting on the blogs I frequent. Nothing profound – just makes me feel part of the “community” of readers. I live rurally and work independently from a home office. For me, it is conversation and being “part of”…and this includes everything from “this is my life” blogs to hobby to technical to business blogs – whatever I’m interested in.

    I enjoy reading comments on my own blog…

  49. Frank (6 comments.) says:

    I read your blog pretty regularly, however I never comment on it because (honestly) I don’t usually have anything to contribute. When I comment, I like to either contribute or at least pose a question to the group or original poster.

    Regards,
    Frank

  50. Trisha (16 comments.) says:

    @Dave – LOL! I am possibly your twin sister separated at birth! As a rather extreme introvert I rarely imagine that anyone would be interested in my comments unless I REALLY have something to say, however, after a couple of beers I find that I am MUCH more intelligent, insightful, witty, and interesting and tend to comment somewhat promiscuously across the internet. Of course, the next morning I sometimes re-read my comments and wince, thinking “what did I DO last night!?! I can’t be THAT much of a link-ho!”……sigh……..at least I try to keep my seductive comments relevantly seductive. I hope.

    For the record, WP Candy is one of my favorite places to visit, drunk or sober :)

  51. Anca (1 comments.) says:

    I’ve read somewhere an advice that I’ve decided to take: if you bother to read a post, then why not also leave a comment? That way you can make yourself known to the huge blogging world out there, plus it will help the author of the post with feedback from the readers. So I now try to do just that, leave a comment on every post I read

  52. Edward (4 comments.) says:

    Since I have read the post on a blog so why don’t say out my own opinion? That is the reason why I left my comment :wink:

  53. trench (30 comments.) says:

    I try to be as proactive on blogs I visit regularly and comment. Its also a great way to make an introduction!

  54. Ainslee Hooper (1 comments.) says:

    I leave comments on blogs where the author seems to have a similar interest or opinion of my own. I am still trying to work out how to get more people to comment on my own posts. Although topics are of interest to me, I tend not to have worked out how to make them of interest to other readers.

  55. Wess Stewart (1 comments.) says:

    I have never commented on a blog, and I never will.

    Oh snap…

  56. BlaKKJaKK (10 comments.) says:

    I don’t comment to pimp my blog. I leave that to forums related to my theme. ;) But I will comment if I got something to share or just to say thanks. People forget how important is to give thanks for something cool, that took time to create. That is largely the reason I have comments on my blog so I keep that in mind when I am looking at others. But I am also guilty of not surfing other blogs very often.
    Nemo

    Nah, comments do matter. Does a post become gold just becomes of a bunch of comments, no. But blogs that habitially have no comments are just not loved or have not yet connected enough with their audience. I got two measuring sticks, # comments and # of views. The numbers equal interest. At the end of the day, your content don’t mean a thing if no one cares about it. Its gotta be push and pull between what you think is good and what people tell you is good by commenting/viewing.

  57. Ronald Huereca (66 comments.) says:

    I can relate to all the non-English speakers who don’t like to comment on English-speaking blogs. I’ve been learning Spanish for a little over a year now, and I still have yet to leave a comment on a Spanish blog :) – Simply because I’m afraid I’ll make a stupid mistake, and come back a year from now and re-read the same comment.

  58. eenx (1 comments.) says:

    I give comment in my friends blog or the post which I’ve known about the truth and fact.

    I never give comment on post or blog which has more than 100 comments in it. Cause, the author or other people won’t read my comment.

    I give comment here cause I love the topic.

  59. Sherrilynne Starkie (1 comments.) says:

    I think if you read a post right to the bottom you owe it to the writer to acknowledge the effort that went into it. That’s why I comment on blogs.

  60. staticbrain.com (1 comments.) says:

    I comment on blogs regularly. I comment because something the writer said struck a cord with me generally. I commented on this post because you asked. Ha Ha. I wont comment generally if I have to register. I don’t care if comments are moderated or not. The only thing that irks me is when a person doesn’t specify whether or not your comment will be moderated. If it will, please say so. Because if I post and I don’t see the comment immediately, and I have no warning of moderation, then I have no idea my comment went through. I might be tempted to comment again at that point. It would save double and maybe triple comments if people just added a line in the comment template that there would be no need to submit again because comments are being moderated. This would be helpful even without moderation because Akismet which most people tend to use to fight spam tends to catch a legitament comment and send it off to spam hell everyonce in a while, anyways.

  61. Tomas (1 comments.) says:

    Comments we leave depict our morality and are our passport that nobody can steal or falsify. That’s we ourselves, but without the masks.
    The answer we are leaving reveal the state of your health and real well-being. Therefore I am reading your post as the article on spirituality, on health. Thank you.
    The post was needed very much. It’s the medicine to the current world that is concerned with the amount of dead stats so much that throws away all other personalities. Comments demands thinking but that’s the greatest luxury in the modern world. Such way you make us the rich. Thank you once again.

  62. David (1 comments.) says:

    yes, I am guilty of leaving comments to get linkbacks but I dont leave comments like “Great Post”. I only leave a comment which add something of value to the conversation.

  63. manny (1 comments.) says:

    I comment on anything that interests me or gets me riled up (which unfortunately is a lot of things :) )
    I don’t mind having to register either. It normally gets rid of a great deal of ‘buy boner meds!’ comments which can be a HUGE pain in the ass to sort through.
    Being a blogger myself, I especially like to comment on blogs that I have quoted on a story and stuff just a little way of saying ‘thanks’ and adding to their community (well a “thank you” other than the original link to their post of course). I wish more people would do the same when quoting material from me. :)

  64. Da' Buffalo (1 comments.) says:

    Noting the fact that comments are sent to moderation (hopefully promptly moderated) and not posted immediately is important to prevent dupe comments and frustration which causes the commenter to not return to the comment form again.

    Trackbacks? Nothing but splogs nowdays. I no longer think trackbacks are a constructive tool and shut off the function.

  65. Get Out of Debt Squirrel (1 comments.) says:

    I used to never comment on blogs but now I do. I think the hurdle for me was not giving a damn what the poster thought of my comment. That way I was not hurt if the disagreed. On my own blog I actually enjoy people that disagree because they bring a new dynamic to the discussion.

    When I first started blogging I did require people to register to comment but after being beat me up by my readers and then figuring “screw it” I no longer do.

  66. Michael Tefft (1 comments.) says:

    I seldom comment but when I do it is usually to provide positive feedback or express my interest in a particular topic or just to let the author know that I enjoy their writings.

  67. Arun Pal Singh (1 comments.) says:

    I was not in habit of leaving a comment. But lately I have decided to leave a comment on posts that I like to read.
    And this happens to be one.
    It is not easy to change a habit.but I am trying harder. :-)

  68. Ozh (88 comments.) says:

    I have never, and won’t ever, comment.

  69. Carabus (5 comments.) says:

    Whenever I feel like I can contribute to the discussion.

  70. Stasmi (1 comments.) says:

    I feel that commenting on blogs is kind of a ‘karma’ thing. Why would anyone comment on my blog, if I can’t comment on other people’s blogs? I do try to find blog posts that interest me so I can leave a real comment which involves thought and opinion – as opposed to a borderline spammy “Great job!” comment. Leaving comments is kind of like blogging for me, you have to set your mind to do it. So, I try to leave at least one comment out there somewhere each day. And I will admit, it also gets my URL out there.

  71. Donna (7 comments.) says:

    I commented for 3 years before I started my own blog this year. I’m considered a great commenter!, and have had people request me to comment, if I stop visiting for some reason. I write to disagree or to be funny, or sometimes to praise, if it’s exceptional.

    I never register. I just figured out that I had to fill in the Subscribe to Comments plugin myself, to make it have text next to the box, after 8 months of having it! That is definitely not clear anywhere.

    I’m very sad to hear that you consider comments a mark of success on a post or blog. I hardly get any comments, but I do get editors, media, and city officials reading me frequently, so I feel like I’m doing something right. But it gets lonely without any comments at all!

  72. Keishon says:

    I read this blog regularly but never feel compelled to comment. I just have nothing to contribute to the discussion.[shrug]

  73. Luke Gedeon (2 comments.) says:

    I comment frequently, but I am a little less likely to comment if a lot of people already have, because I do not always have time to ready all the other comments. I am afraid if I do not that I will just be repeating someone else. I have never had that problem on my blog though :)
    I also think more people would comment if they could do it directly from Google Reader.

  74. startupnames.ca (2 comments.) says:

    to express and share feelings, beliefs and experiences
    to educate, inform, help you, warn the community about important things
    to show that im here, stay connected?
    to show that i care, that i love you, that i support you
    and ofcourse to spam, spam your existence with mine

    by the way, i entered the wrong email on my first try of commenting , and i got a message about being a spammer or something, not very nice

  75. startupnames.ca (2 comments.) says:

    to tell you what a great blog you have and that i linked to you etc.
    i love comment boxes.
    In fact i wish everything was commentable,
    an uncommentable article is finished, in a not good way. being commentable is good for business, if i could enter someones head, i would, and would leave a comment ofcourse. salut

  76. Daniel (1 comments.) says:

    I usually comment, if it’s nothing more than, “Nice Blog”; unless I have to register.
    I really don’t understand why the author would set their site up like that, it seems that defeats the whole concept of web2.0

  77. Gemma (2 comments.) says:

    I currently run 2 blogs and quite often experience people commenting on a post just so they can advertise their web address [or URL] which I find most frustrating. When people do this, I tend to just delete their comment anyway as I do find it a little bit rude. You can quite easily tell these people apart from genuine visitors as their comment will be ‘nice blog’ or ‘cool site’ and that’s it. No reference to the post they have actually commented on or any other part of the web site. Grr…

    When I leave a comment on another persons blog, I do so because their post was interesting enough to comment about, which in my mind is the whole point of the commenting system but I guess as with everything, people try to abuse it.

    [Wow, and I just realised I used the word ‘comment’ or ‘commenting’ 9 times, including these 2! Yikes!]

    Gemma

  78. JTPratt's Blogging Mistakes (2 comments.) says:

    I comment all the time. Usually when I have something insightful or helpful to add, although for some reason I can’t remember every commenting here on weblog tools. =)

  79. Slevi (7 comments.) says:

    Not sure if I ever commented here before or not, but overall I do tend to comment on blogs every now and then. It sort of depends on how much time I have available though whether I do it or not because when leaving a comment I like to add something, not just leave my name and url to my blog or anything and just say “nice entry”.

    Even before I had my own blog I already commented to other’s as well, I never really saw it as “commenting” though; more like replying as if you’re on a forum.

  80. Sennin (1 comments.) says:

    It’s always nice to get some feedback. Nonetheless, as it was mentioned above, the number of comments on a given post is not any realistic quality measure. Yes, it certainly reflects the popularity of the post, but this doesn automatically mean ‘quality’.

    Unless of course the blog is created with the sole purpose of attracting audience.

    Personally, I comment only on blogs maintained by people that I know or in the rare occasion of having something relevant to add.

  81. Liquid Egg Product says:

    Usually, I comment to complain that no one’s demonstrated Godwin’s Law and it’s 84 posts already.

  82. Liquid Egg Product says:

    Er…I mean 84 comments, not posts. Tired.

  83. MarkFu (1 comments.) says:

    I comment when I find something useful and certainly treat it as if the blogger were speaking directly to me, (Now if I could figure out how to get comments to my blog!

  84. Stephen R (24 comments.) says:

    I’ve had a blog since before I’d ever heard the word “blog” (it was the “News” page). i also frequently comment on other blogs.

    The irritating thing to me is that I think much of my best writing is in comments. Dang it, why didn’t I make that a blog post???

    :p

  85. gene (2 comments.) says:

    I rarely comment – I don’t have much time to read, let alone write, but when I find something of interest and have an opinion I comment. I welcome comments on my own site but do moderate them. I see from comments here that people don’t like that and I don’t disagree. When I first put up my site, I had it completely open and after a month one afternoon when I got home I had like 60 fake comments from a variety of sex sites. So, reluctantly, I engaged the “must be approved” feature and installed Askimet. If that prevents people from commenting, so be it. My reason for being isn’t comments anyway, it is writing. I enjoy the comments and respond to them but I’m doing what I am doing as a personal exercise, not a group one. I do participate in several forums from time to time and I guess I see those as a better format for exchanging views than a blog. I don’t see a way around moderation and allowing free entry to trolling sexbots. So I opt for moderation – I don’t care about registration, but the comment needs pass muster before I approve it. I don’t want spam and I don’t want “veiled” ads and I don’t want sex sites using my bandwidth, you know? :^) gene

  86. Ari (1 comments.) says:

    Sometimes I feel shy commenting. But if its a heavy subject aligning with my genre of thoughts, I’m all comments..

  87. João Leitão (1 comments.) says:

    I’m always anxious to participate in nice comment conversations. I often comment other blogs when I find something interesting or that got my attention. As a blogger, I find this type of interaction between people that write articles very healthy and really fulfilling when I see people actually read and respond to whatever I post daily.

  88. Britgirl (10 comments.) says:

    As a blogger who is very interested in what others have to say about the topic(s) I blog about I read every comment and I comment on other blogs where I feel I have something to say. I believe that as bloggers, if we do not comment on others blogs we really have no business expecting anyone to comment on ours. Since a blog (at least to me) is like a conversation, interaction is good. To me, the comments from both new and regular readers have been, and continue to be so illuminating and informative that they have often given me ideas for new posts. I learn so much from my commenters and I ensure I periodically thank them for taking the time to comment. I don’t take it for granted.

    I read every comment – yes, every one. I reply to most of them where I (as the blogger) have something additional to add. I leave comments on other blogs whenever I can (if I have something to contribute)because I know how nice it is to get comments :)
    I don’t force people to register, but they do have to enter their email address in order to comment. Leaving comments on blogger is a PITA… time consuming and frustrating – so I find myself unable to comment on Blogger blogs. And as for Live Journal… forget it.

    I believe comments are the lifeblood of blogs and that they are a gift. Comments make the conversation – that’s why – time permitting – I comment.

    Thanks for this post.

  89. Pete (1 comments.) says:

    These days, I leave comments very rarely. For one thing, I do most of my reading through an RSS machine, so I spend a lot less time back at the author’s website. Furthermore, I almost never leave comments on sites that have captchas, or require JavaScript, or cookies, or the creation of a user account. I also don’t tend to leave “I love this post” or “Me too” style comments.

    Most of my comments tend to be either “I find your opinions to be abhorrent, for the following reasons…” or “You have made a huge error of judgement, because…” or “It seems that spammers have hijacked your blog template and inserted loads of nasty stuff into your template.”

    I’m also not as interested in driving traffic to my site as I used to be, so whereas I’d once try to scatter comments far and wide, I’m now much more reserved.

  90. Rachel (1 comments.) says:

    I very rarely comment on blogs outside of my 3-4 blogs that are personal friends. With more popular sites I feel my comments go unnoticed and rarely do I have something to say that hasn’t already been said so I don’t see the point in repeating somebody else’s comment.

  91. Rebecca (1 comments.) says:

    For years I lurked. It wasn’t until I started my own website a couple months ago that I decided to overcome my Internet shyness and post a comment. The first time I did it, I actually wrote it in a Word document first, spell-checked it, and edited it several times over a couple hours before pasting it into the comment box. I held my breath and pressed “post.” Now I can comment without hyperventilating.

    I think the reason many people don’t comment is just plain bashfulness. Now on our website, I wish more people would get over it and comment. I keep waiting for the trolls to come out and express their disgust over our ideas. Maybe one day my dream will come true. (Not that I prefer trolls to thoughtful commenters–but as a blogger, sometimes I just want some sort of reaction!)

  92. Joe (1 comments.) says:

    Comments can add so much more depth to a blog. I wish more would participate, instead of just spectate.

  93. cole (1 comments.) says:

    Interesting question. I comment to reciprocate as I tend to hang aroung the smaller, personal blog scene. I answer questions, like this. I also offer advice and tend to comment if I can somehow relate.

    With that said, I think your focus is wrong. I think you need to ask “Why don’t you comment.” Most of your replies are the same and it seems that many of the commenters are from the same community (WP) and you might have more interest replies if you reached a different demographic.

    With that said, I also don’t comment if I have to register – unless it’s at a large site like LJ. I don’t like to have too many accounts floating around online (even though I already do). I don’t comment if the entry is asenine, a list of things “I did today” or simply doesn’t interest me. I don’t comment if I have nothing to add and I don’t comment if I don’t read it which leads me to my next point.

    We all lurk here and there but most blog followers comment ocassionally. Commenting helps to solidify a site or blog in our minds. I wouldn’t read blogs if I couldn’t comment and I think many would agree. I think most people who don’t comment on bogs are simply people who don’t read them.

  94. Iron Fist (1 comments.) says:

    Since you asked, I will!

    I comment on blogs if I really like what they had to write, or I have something witty to say, mostly because in the blogs that I follow I get along pretty well with the bloggers who write them.

  95. Paul Roe (1 comments.) says:

    I comment to opine, emote, and promote! :O)

  96. John (4 comments.) says:

    100th comment! Woot!

    I comment for a variety of reasons — for example: if I have something to add to the post, if I really really liked the post, if the post is a discussion starter (like this one) and I have something pertinent to say, and also as a traffic strategy.

  97. deuts (1 comments.) says:

    yeah, and I’m starting to hate blogger (blogspot) because of its so conventional commenting structure!

  98. Dawn (1 comments.) says:

    I’ve been a blogger for six years or so, but I don’t comment. I guess I have had enough people make unwanted comments on my blog that it has discouraged me from doing the same. I read my favorite blogs in my feedreader but I rarely take the time to click on the link unless I really want to congratulate on something.

    I have this regular troll who hits my blog (a former friend) who always manages to find a new IP address that I haven’t yet banned, and he just leaves vicious, personal remarks. I hate it that my readers have to see that kind of garbage. So back to the question of why do people comment? In that case, to show some sort of smug, self-superiority because they have to force people to listen to their useless opinions. They know someone, somewhere will have to read what they had to say, and it makes them feel special apparently.

  99. gene (1 comments.) says:

    “I have this regular troll who hits my blog (a former friend) who always manages to find a new IP address that I haven’t yet banned, and he just leaves vicious, personal remarks. I hate it that my readers have to see that kind of garbage”

    I agree completely Dawn. Only mine wasn’t a friend, it was just a jerk with a zillion hotmail addresses who’d leave a “nice post” comment and a link to a porn site. It forced me to turn on the moderate feature to prevent my readers from seeing or dealing with that junk. Aksimet, actually does grab ALL of that stuff, I get that free with my hosting service package from BlueHost. But I still have to go look at it and manually delete everything that comes from bots not people. And it is hard to tell sometimes. I had one I let sit a couple of days that seemed a nice enough comment but the mail address was someone@workfromhome or something like that, I eventually decided not to allow it and deleted it. It is a pain but there’s no other way to keep the crud off your site or your blog but moderating comments that I know of. :^) gene

  100. Stephen R (24 comments.) says:

    “I still have to go look at it and manually delete everything that comes from bots not people. And it is hard to tell sometimes.”

    When in doubt, I’m not above removing the link but leaving the comment. ;-)

  101. hso (8 comments.) says:

    I comments only when I have something to add to the ongoing conversation or if I am really pissed with the content of the post! The comments on my site are mostly WP related, seldom otherwise.

  102. Macerella (1 comments.) says:

    Up to about a month ago, I rarely commented, as I didn’t see the point. Now that I started two blogs, I’ve realized the benefits of receiving comments. Now, I try to be more proactive about leaving comments on blogs. When I comment, I try to be positive; sometimes, I have more to add, sometimes not. If I do not like the post, I don’t waste my time leaving a comment.

  103. jabberfrog (1 comments.) says:

    If I feel like I have something to contribute to the conversation, I comment. If I don’t… I don’t. But I confess to months of lurking before deciding to actually join the exchange. BTW… this is the first time to comment on weblogtoolscollection.com. And I commented b/c you asked me to. Guess it works.

  104. nathan (5 comments.) says:

    Long-time lurker…
    So now I follow your instructions and comment.

    I do as you say…

  105. Walter says:

    I comment on most blogs that don’t have “nofollow” to get the link back :)

  106. Brian (1 comments.) says:

    I rarely comment as well. I tend to agree with some of the above, if there are lots of comments, I don’t really see the point. I assume most people will have said whatever it is I have to say. Most of the people I do see comment do so for two main reasons I see. 1) to argue or defend the post, or 2) get their URL listed. As an experiment, post two seperate but similar topics. On one, post that url’s in comments are not shown and on the other allow url comments to be shown (if wordpress even allows that). Compare the difference in comment quality.

  107. Angeline (1 comments.) says:

    I comment on every blog I read. Be it I know the topic or not. To me, the mindset of bloggers is not just write a diary of their thoughts but also would like to share them with the readers, if they never like comments to be made on their posts, then they would have disabled the function to comment.

    I have regular readers everyday, but they hardly comment. Its sad.

  108. ..: JJP (1 comments.) says:

    This is the first time I’m actually commenting on your blog, but I’ve been acticely reading it for the past 2+ years. Mostly for some insights into WP theme/plug-in related stuff, as well as getting the occasional pulse on the WP community in general.

    I tend to comment on blogs that have topics I find engaging and worthwhile. I also comment on my friends blogs when they send out a general notice of something “noteworthy” on their sites. Every so often I comment on non-friend blogs, and when I do it’s usually to add a useful perspective or insight into something (political debate, review, or a how-to), add a funny quip of my own, or to break some rude commenters balls out of principle.

    But what motivates me to drop comments at all is a sense of interactivity and open community. When a blog puts to many obstacles/restrictions upfront to participate then I don’t even bother coming back to the blog again in most cases.

  109. Niles Gibbs (1 comments.) says:

    @#10

    I too, tend to post on smaller blogs, because I know how it’s like to have a new blog (or a blog under a different name), and not get any comments.

    Usually, I only write a comment if what I have to say is short, if the post inspires me to write something longer, then I write a post on my own site with a pingback.

    I don’t want to put a 5000 word essay in someone’s comment stream. Won’t get read anyway ;)

  110. R. Hiebert (1 comments.) says:

    Some topics are magnets and therefore lend themselves to inviting responses. It it’s technical in nature, the scientific types will be drawn in but social butterflies types tend to just like seeing themselves on screen with their friends. Generally, if one can offer something new, someone else with a new idea or widget will reciprocate.

  111. Ted Clayton (31 comments.) says:

    I came to WordPress in hopes to use it as a ‘better CMS’. I pay attention to a few blogs like this one, to learn & better-gauge how & if that can happen as I hope. So I’m not a blogger really: I comment mainly as a ‘student’ or apprentice.

    Blog-comments are not structured or organized, except chronologically. They are like the P.S. or Post Script in a traditional letter, inserted by readers. A few of them can add to the body of the post, but to have many is tiresome, even if they are relevant … because there is no ‘composition’ to them, like there is to the body of a thoughtful post.

    Most folks’ blog shares their life with many other roles & demands, so 1.) their own blog is not being tended all the time and 2.) they are not interacting with other blogs on a closely-regular basis, because other parts of their life have them away from the blog-scene.

    It seems pretty conspicuous, that many of the better-known blogs are blogging about blogging, and about particular blog-ware, especially. This blog is a good example.

    That suggests to me, that really many bloggers are like me: they want to use blog-ware skillfully, but not necessarily as a blogger: their interest in blogging is mainly a matter of gaining knowledge & skills to pursue their basic interests … which aren’t blogging per se.

    There are some people who are close to the computer most of the time, and these folks at least have the option to engage in blogging in the true sense. Many of us, though, are either away from the computer a good portion of the time, or must keep our focus on something else even if the computer is handy, to be blogging in a serious way.

    I think blog-ware, especially WordPress, is changing so that it will be better-able to support those of us who really aren’t bloggers, either aren’t all that interested, or are too involved in other things that prevent paying proper attention to be much of a blogger.

    The changes are making blogging more CMS-ish. Comments should become more like content, and less an activity that is the end in itself. Comments should tend to have enduring value, rather than disappear into an Archive, in many cases never to be seen again (this is tied to the nature of the Post, too, of course).

    Better structure will help. For example, comments could be tagged. We could have several classes of tags for comments: the contributor can attach tags to her own comment; the Post author can go through comments and apply tagging based on what the motives & aims of the Post were, to him, from the start. Thirdly, visitors could be enabled to tag comments. We have some of this already.

    This and other tactics could also offer value-added track for comments, whereby they acquire more value, and new relationships with other comments.

    If posts are to attract comments over extend time (which is a way of increasing their value), then it may be that the Post should also grow & change with time. Be update, edited, and so on. Ultimately, this could lead to Wikipedia-style mechanisms. I have dismissed that level of detail and tracking … but maybe I am wrong on that.

    The plugin Blicki was intended to endow WordPress with such capability (Wikipedia tracking & rollback, etc.). These features could make comments a far more robust facility, and open the commenting-phenomena to many who currently can’t really play.

  112. Dan (1 comments.) says:

    I like to comment to encourage the bloggers who write that they aren’t the only ones reading their own material…I am too.

    So, I am here to tell you that I have read your material and you are not alone.

  113. stopnepacorruption (1 comments.) says:

    don’t want to promote, especially since the site is a very niche site, but http://www.stopnepacorruption.org used to get over 15 comments/day on various articles and topics, some of the comments got to the point where people were bashing and borderline libeling other people in the community so we turned on the need to register function.
    Since then, we get 2-3 comments/week.
    People who are under the illusion that they are anonymous will rant, rave and do whatever. The moment you put some restriction on their identity(they didnt realize their IP address was always posted) they wouldnt be so quick to post.

    thats some practical insight from experience.

  114. Cynthia (1 comments.) says:

    I comment as a form of networking – I’ve even developed a circle of blogging “friends” if you will and regularly comment. I’ve even met some of my blog friends in person which is nerve wracking but has ultimately been very rewarding.

  115. selif (1 comments.) says:

    Like many here, I comment occasionally to throw in my 2cents on something or take part in a conversation (if there’s one going on) and shamelessly… getting backlinks is also part of the reason which is why I’m a lot less likely to comment if a blog has their comments set to nofollow

  116. Stefan (2 comments.) says:

    Usually I don’t comment articles with over 100 comments. Maybe a good idea for a new plugin: a comments countdown, which may enforce readers to comment more often – since it could be too late if they hesitate. :-)

  117. Rusty (1 comments.) says:

    I’ll comment on friends’ blogs as a form of encouragement. If I don’t know the person, I may comment if the subject matter is interesting and encourages comment.

    What I find about commenters on my blog is that they tend to come in two varieties: those who really enjoy the content and the discussion it engenders, and those who have been snarked and go ballistic, leaving me nastygrams. Either way, I get a lot of comments, and they’re generally more interesting (and funnier) than the entries themselves. A few lurkers will read voraciously, follow my links to source material, then report the “news” on a forum board as if they had discovered the original source for themselves (“Look at ME, folks! Look what I found!11ELEVENTY1!”), which I find amusing.

  118. ara (1 comments.) says:

    its nice to know what a lot of people whom you do not know sharing with you your thoutghs :)

  119. stephen (1 comments.) says:

    I comment whenever I think I may add to the conversation, sometimes by focusing on a trend I see within previous comments. Such as now. I am curious why the requirement to register is such a deterrent for some folks. On my new site (still in the making) I require registration as a security measure and to filter out those who may be idly typing just for the heck of it. In other words, it seems to me that if what a commenter has to say is worth someone’s effort to read, it is worth the few seconds of effort it takes to register.



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