Hi Virtually Readers! Recently, Heather wrote about post about commenting back. You should go and read it here. It made me have some of my own ideas (and I’d also been thinking about this for a while). Specifically, what I want to talk about is the reason why we comment.
As Heather kind of acknowledged, things like the Bloggers Commenting Back movement helped commenters by giving them more traffic. Essentially, it’s a promise that if you read and comment on someone else’s post, they’ll read and comment on yours. Widgets like Commentluv encourage the same thing: comment readers, especially the author of the post, are given an easy way to go and read your last post. (This gets complicated with coblogging: often a post Shanti wrote is linked in my comment, or vice versa. It doesn’t really matter and this is off topic). Because most bloggers like people reading their posts, these kind of things help people to comment more: there’s something in it for them.
On one hand, this suits everyone. More comments on everybody’s blog=more happy bloggers. I definitely like getting comments, and I definitely get more when I comment on other people’s blogs. It also helps you meet new friends. I would say I found most blogs I regularly read through comments.
BUT. While I like the idea of commenting back, I’ve never done it formally for some reasons:
- I’ve had comments which are like ‘great post now go read mine’ or the like. To be honest, if someone is only commenting on my post because they want me to read theirs, then I don’t really want their comment. It’s not particularly rewarding to get empty comments.
- Generally, self-advertising just doesn’t work for me. I guess I said this in the above reason, but I feel like comments should be about the post/post writer, rather than the comment writer.
- I’ve had lots blog comments from blogs that are entirely different from mine. I don’t believe in giving empty comments about content that I quite frankly am not interested in. In general, I think it’s a good policy to only comment on things where you have something worthwhile to say.
- I’m a busy person. So are most bloggers. Saying two random lines just to promote your blog isn’t worth your time, nor is it really worth the post writer’s time.
- I like to think I (at least partially) blog for myself. Obviously I like comments because it makes me feel somewhat famous (hahaha) but I don’t want to only get comments because someone else feels like they have to, just because I commented.
If commenting back is about acknowledging the comment writer, then replying to somebody’s comment (which I attempt to do, although it often takes me too long) is, in my opinion, enough. I want to read (and comment, and acknowledge) posts that I enjoy, not the ones that I have to plough through because of some self-inflicted obligation. Basically, I want the reason I get(or give) comments to be that people like what I write, not that people want me to like what they write.
Am I excessively harsh?Do you comment back? Do you think it’s worth it? What are the pros? Is it self advertising or common courtesy?