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Are You Committed To Commenting On Blogs?

by James Ball on December 30, 2009

If you blog, then you know how wonderful it is to have engaged readers who frequently comment on your thoughts and ideas. You may not own a blog, but are instead the type of person who leaves comments on the blogs of others. Either way, the chances are that you realize the value of the participation and conversation that takes place on blogs.

Perhaps you are not the commenting type, and this is o.k. too. If you are like me, shyness is not the issue; it’s just something you don’t do for whatever reason. I challenge you to make a change today. Before I became comfortable as a frequent commenter, I really didn’t understand the game, so to speak. It took some time and explanation before I looked at it as more of a responsibility and privilege. Below are some interesting articles on the topic. Take a minute to read through these, see if it doesn’t change your outlook a little!

How to comment on a blog – A beginners guide

Is Commenting on Blogs a Smart Traffic Strategy?

I Came, I Saw, I Commented: Was It Worth It?

How to comment like a king (or queen!)

10 Reasons Commenting is Good For Bloggers

 I comment on blogs, and I will admit that there are times when I have to force myself to do so. Why would I do this? Because in my own mind, I think that commenting is an important part of an equation. Therefore, I consider it a responsibility. I’ve made a commitment to it. Comments are the voice of the readers who are impacted by the thoughts and ideas expressed in a blog. A blog is a broadcast channel, to be sure, but I feel like a blog as a two way conversation is a much more effective tool for all who may be involved.

In this space, the social media circle, I know that influential bloggers and thought leaders shape some of the movement and changes that occur on a daily basis. I can only speak for myself, but imagine that others are influenced by the reactions that they receive by way of the comment section. Comments and interaction in general, often shape the things that I write about. Comments provide almost everything I know about the audience that I address. Topics are sometimes born, and are often affected by the input that I receive.

Blogs in any industry are a vital part of the ebb and flow of the industry itself. This becomes more evident each day it seems. I feel that powerful commenter’s also play an important role in this. It is a system of checks and balances to some degree; accountability exists largely due to those committed to commenting. Do you have such a commitment?

**UPDATE: The page mentioned below has been removed. Leaving the comments open has somehow invited 4000 spam bots EVERY day! I’m working to get this resolved with the great folks at WordPress and IntenseDebate, who handle my comment system.

Today, as I wrote, and read, and commented…I had a few ideas. This post is primarily to satisfy an inner voice that tells me to act. I felt that I should speak to the importance of commenting. And so here we are. This seemed too little actually, so I went to the drawing board, quite literally. I’ve created a badge, and I’ve come up with some guidelines for a committed commenter.  I added a whole separate page here on my blog to house these.

I invite you to partner with me to make blogging and commenting all the more valuable. If even a few shifted from commenting by happenstance to committed commenting, I feel that it would have an impact. Please visit the page I’ve created and see if this simple project is a good fit for you. I can only offer the words and a badge, but I assure you that you will be rewarded in many ways for making the effort.

Maybe today it goes without saying, but just in case…Leave me a comment with your thoughts. I’d love to know what you think about my thoughts!

Heather December 30, 2009 at 8:33 am

I comment! 😉

you make some awesome points! I’m just so proud of you!

Jim Jarrell December 30, 2009 at 12:39 pm

I am posting this comment in the spirit of what this blog speaks so well about!

WarpSpeedErrands December 30, 2009 at 5:24 pm

Believe it or not, I’ve been trying to comment on blogs, but I get tongue tied and my fingers freeze up. Thanks James for posting this. I have commenting on others’ blogs as a resolution. Not a lot, just 3 a month. That should help free up my fingers. Thanks for the info too!

Jeff December 31, 2009 at 1:25 am

I agree. Commenting is important, if for no other reason than to let the person know that you read their blog post and thought about it. Well said.

DaveMurr December 31, 2009 at 5:03 am

When I first started this whole blogging thing, I didn't have much to say, let alone anything to contribute via comments. However, I did promise myself to say more than, "Great post!" I felt I owed the author much more than that. Leaving a question within the comments is a great way to build a dialogue and a relationship with the blogger. For example, why do you think it is difficult for some to leave a comment as WarpSpeedErrands mentioned above?

James Ball December 31, 2009 at 1:49 pm

Some do comment from time to time, just not enough to be what I’d call dedicated to it. I think that it takes more than a few comments and reaction to become comfortable as a participant. A commitment, to me, seems like a great way to bring many past their reservations, whatever the individual particulars may be.

@Brandon101 December 31, 2009 at 3:19 pm

Thanks for the post James. I've found that commenting has helped me connect with many other bloggers and thought leaders, and these conversations have been extended across multiple platforms. I enjoy the dialogue that happens in the comments sections of good, thought-provoking posts – it provides a way to engage with many others on a given topic, and it's also a great way to learn from the experience of others who are willing to share their perspective.

Thanks again James! I hope you have a very Happy New Year!

Christina December 31, 2009 at 10:18 pm

I've been thinking about the value of commenting a lot lately, so I really enjoyed reading this post!

To tag along on the "why don't people do it?" question, I think at least for some, they don't know if they might inadvertently violate some rule or code. When I was new to blogging and commenting, I really was a little nervous about how to add to the conversation.

Do you think some of us should come up with a tutorial? Even if there were several versions, I think it might help people feel more at ease. :-)

Davina K. Brewer January 2, 2010 at 9:04 pm

Like Dave I don't always comment on a blog just to post "I totally agree." I want to add a bit more to it than that, try to really give something of value to the conversation. I comment pretty often, and it's usually the blog and subsequent discussion that motivates me to post.

That typed Jeff makes an interesting comment, about letting the writer know you read the blog. I think adding RSS feeds and RTs do that and yet.. as a blogger I wish I'd get more feedback on my own posts. Something to think about I guess. FWIW.

James Ball January 2, 2010 at 10:18 pm

Thank you Davina, I appreciate you taking the time to comment here! I agree that RSS subscriptions and tweets are a great indicator that one’s blog is indeed being read. Still, and in addition to the warm-fuzzy it gives, commenting is important to more than just the blogger, the commenter, and the non-commenting readers. Comments add to the post, be it a new thought or idea, direction to the writer, or an entirely new point or direction…ALL of which is archived and SEARCHABLE.

Blogs/comments do have an impact beyond the publish date. This places blogs into a “building block” category for any given topic or industry. Some are in fact cornerstones to the communities that they serve.
By being a committed commenter, you truly help to shape the future of any chosen topic, industry, business, or ideal. Therefore, a commitment to commenting is a meritorious one!

On a personal note, you have a great blog Davina! I also noticed that you link to your Google Profile from LinkedIn, I think this is brilliant! Stop in here anytime, you’re always welcome.

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