Friday, March 19, 2010

What I've Learned Re: Comments

Okay, so last week I asked you what prompted you to leave a comment. The results were so so interesting to me. I'm going to list the top three that came up and my response to them. And I may be revealing more about myself here than I intend, but I only expected one of these to be an issue.

So here we go.

1. Time

Dudes, I so feel this. Many many of you said you might not leave a comment if you don't have time. I get this. I was expecting it. Here's a tip for those of you who want your blog to be easy to comment on. Go to SETTINGS, and COMMENTS. And make your comments a pop-up window. That way your word verification doesn't have to load AFTER I've made my comment and want to post it. That's what I find the most annoying about leaving comments. Just when I think I'm done -- bam! I'm not. And it just takes so. much. more time the other way.

2. Google Reader

I have Google reader, but I don't use it to read blogs. I got several comments from people saying they read the blogs in the reader, and to actually leave a comment is several more clicks.

Guys! I had no idea.

But I get it. It's faster, which relates to time. It's also sometimes the only way to view the blogs if you're say, reading at work or something. I just wasn't expecting it. I didn't know Google reader can actually affect commenting. But it can.

I feel ya. No problemo.

3. Large Numbers of Comments

This one shocked me the most. There were a kazillion of you who said you actually wouldn't comment if a post already had a large number of comments. There were a couple of reasons for this:

A) You figured someone had already said what you would've said.
B) There's no way the blog author can get to every comment if there are a lot.

Dude, you guys. I don't get this. And here's why: FOR ME, the reason I leave a comment is to make a personal connection with the blog author. I don't care if 5 or 50 or 500 other people have said the same thing. If I don't say it, the blog author won't know how I feel, and we won't have that connection. We won't have that starting point to get to know one another.

So FOR ME, I leave a comment on every blog I read. For a few reasons, but the biggest by far is the fact that I want to build a relationship with that blog author. And if I don't comment, that will never happen.

So maybe I just have a big head and expect people to want to read what I have to say? I don't know. But I do know that the number of comments has never deterred me from leaving my words behind.

Secondly, I respond to every single comment because I want that personal connection. I want you to know that I've read your comment and hey, maybe we have something in common. I've started using my email to do this, because it's much faster and I think, more personal. I mean, how many of you come back and read through my comments AGAIN to see if I've talked to you? Yeah, I don't do that on other blogs. Takes too much time.

But here's the thing: You have to set your blogger profile to show your email, or I can't respond to you. So go to EDIT PROFILE and click the box next to SHOW MY EMAIL ADDRESS. That way, when you comment, you'll get a reply from me in your inbox. I'm still trying to get to the blogs of every person who comments on my blog, but let's face it. Sometimes that doesn't happen.

And there you have it. My thoughts on some of the reasons people don't leave comments. I hope you read something eye-opening. Your comments from last week were awesomesauce, and I wouldn't expect anything less of you guys! You rawk!

I guess it comes down to one thing: What are you trying to accomplish when you leave a comment? For me, I want the blog author to know I was there, and open a door for a relationship to grow. If I don't comment, that will never happen.

So...what are you trying to accomplish when you leave a comment? Are you like me, trying to get to know other bloggers? Or...what? I hope I learn a plethora of new things today too!

141 comments:

Natalie Aguirre said...

Yes, I do want to develop a relationship with the blog author. And especially since I don't have a blog myself yet, I think it's a way to create a blog presence. There's other bloggers who I recognize in the comment sections and I think this is a way to get to know each other. So I will start commenting even if there are lots of other comments.

I am so impressed how you e-mail everyone. It's such a personal touch and I do feel we're becoming friends from all your comments.

I am so glad to hear you don't use Google reader because I don't either. I've been thinking I'm behind the times, but when I hear of the extra time it'd take to comment, I'd rather just use my favorite list.

Laura Pauling said...

Two things at times I hope to accomplish - one, reach out to other writers, or two, I have an opinion on what they wrote and want to comment. Okay, and I like to show support to my writer friends. That's actually a big one. :)

lynnrush said...

Great post. I'm with ya. I leave comments because I'm trying to get to know the blog author better. Plus, I'm usually interested in what the other commentors are saying too.

I've been able to become friends with some fellow blog commentors because I've followed the link from their comments on other blogs.

:-)

Happy FRIDAY!

Piedmont Writer said...

I probably should have rephrased my comment last week. I don't leave a comment if there are too many on a "work" blog, you know those authors who have 500 followers, or agents, or even sometimes a critique blog from a 'friend'. I feel that my response will just get passed over.

As to my "friends" blogs, I'm usually all over that. I don't care how many people have commented I have to throw in my 2 cents.

Also, I have something for you on my blog.

Cheree said...

Great post, now I feel guilty about not leaving comments (don't worry, I'll get over it).

What I'm hoping to achieve is to get to know the blog author, and I want to show my support for the time and effort it takes to post.

Jay said...

I have to leave a comment. LOL Thanks to you, I've gone and changed my blog's comment settings to do the popup thing.

To be honest, I don't always leave a comment, because sometimes I read a post and realize I have absolutely nothing intelligent to contribute.

And I don't want to be caught speaking authentic frontier gibberish like Gabby Johnson in Blazing Saddles.

Now, where's my eMail? ROFL

The Alliterative Allomorph said...

I'm definitely trying to get to know other bloggers! And I never answered this question about why I comment. So I am now. I want to start relationships with other authors. I want to learn new things. And the only way I'm going to do that is to connect! Tell me Elana, is it really a good idea to make one's email visible? It kinda scares me a little to give somebody such an easy way to contact me if I don't know them! I'm willing to give people my email I've already established some kind of relationship with, but for initial introductions I'm a bit weary! Is that bad? I'll email you my email so you can respond :)

Corey Schwartz said...

Elana, I am a little embarrassed to be asking, but how do you get Blogger to allow you to email a response to comments? I am so tech unsavvy!

Ian said...

Elana - you really email each commenter on your blog? - you loony masochist!

You're right though, I suppose a blogger absolutely deserves a comment - even if it's just a well done or thumbs-up.

After all, they've taken the time to write something informative and interesting (and in your case something cool or funny), it's only right they get a response.

So, consider this my declaration: I promise to leave comments on all the blogs I read from now on. (people might regret this - having to read my babble)

Jill Kemerer said...

Great post! Google Reader can be efficient even when leaving comments. I just click on the arrow to the right of the title and it brings up the actual blog. Leave a comment as usual, exit out of the blog, and you're right back in reader. Quick!

I agree with you about leaving a comment to build a personal connection with the blogger. I long ago gave up trying to keep up with all of my favorite blogs on a daily basis, but I can usually find time to check in at least once a week. Connection is vital to me.

And there are some AWESOME blogs out there!

Natalie said...

I've been a bad commenter lately, but I've been a bad blogger too, so at least it goes both ways. I comment mostly to show support. I want to let the writer know that I've read the post and that it made me think/made me cry/made me throw my book at the screen. I think for me it really is about the conversation, and if I don't keep up my end of the conversation I can't expect others to.

Kristi said...

I usually comment just to let the person know I was there and enjoy their blog. I love making connections with other writers and feel blogs are a great place to connect. Plus, it's fun. Happy Friday to all! :)

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Until your recent post, I didn't realize some bloggers weren't linked to their emails. I spent 15 minutes one day writing a reply after an author left a comment on my blog 'cause I'd gushed about her book on characterization. Later on, I realized she never received it. :( Now I double check before responding.

Btw, I love getting your replies to my comments. I feel loved. :)

Jemi Fraser said...

#3 surprises me too. Like you, I like blogging because I get to "meet" so many great people. Otherwise, what's the point? There wouldn't be one for me.

I don't know how my comments load - I'm going to have to go check. I haven't really thought of this before :) Thanks!

Charity Bradford said...

Good to know. Here's my take on #3. For better or worse, I skim or skip (if time is an issue)all the other comments so I can make my comment. This is good because I can work on my relationship with the blog author, but sadly I can miss out on catching some other great people I would enjoy knowing.

I elect we vote to make Friday--Stay at home so you can read and comment on blogs day--every week. Who really goes into the office on Friday anyway these days if they can help it?

Summer said...

I'm with Piedmont--if it's someone with whom I feel like I have a personal connection, I'm going to comment no matter if 5 kazillion people already have. I mean, I like to get 5 kazillion comments on MY blog, and I take each and every one to heart, so I figure even if someone has 1000 followers, they still like to receive validation. SO, I comment to encourage and support. I rarely have anything witty to say, and I don't go out of my way to try and be witty.

Thanks for the tip on the comment window pop-up! I changed that on mine.

Amie McCracken said...

That's exactly why I leave comments. To show support for the blogger and hopefully open a door. But I won't leave a random comment if I have nothing to say. It has to have meant something to me. I'm not a big talker, I don't spout air.

lbdiamond said...

Great post, Elana!

Firstly, I leave a comment to show that I am reading the blog. AND to give a high five to the person who wrote it (cuz they're hard work and positive reinforcement--yes, the pat on the back--works!)

Secondly, if I'm inspired to say something, then I'll share my thoughts.

Thirdly, I comment to "meet people." ;)

Mia said...

Whilst I get where 3. is coming from I was surprised by that too...For me the more commments there are, the more fun there is to be had on commenting. For example Nathan Bransford's comment section frequently hits the three digit figure but I ALWAYS want to join in because of the way the comments turn into more of a discussion. It's great fun. :~D

I thought I'd comment today because I do tend to hover silently around sometimes and now I feel bad for not saying that I really love this blog :~)

Crystal Cook said...

First of all, I love how you email me a response back to the comment I left. It makes me feel all special like I just got a gold star from the teacher (LAME, I know!)

And this was a very interesting post, I've wondered that same thing why some people leave comments and others don't. I do like to form that connection with the blog author, that's the best part. I leave a comment most of the time because I know I feel good when people leave comments on my blogs and I want other people to know they were heard and appreciated.

Jonathon Arntson said...

Unfortunately, I was unable to comment on your poll post, since it was during my Unpluggage. I did read the post and, well, I almost always comment. The main thing that prevents me from commenting is if I am in a bad mood or if I just don't have anything cool to say. My motivation behind commenting is varied. I like the idea of networking. I am very opinionated and am genetically inclined to think people care about what I have to say. Also, I like to receive supportive comments and I really like to give them.

Faith said...

I think I also comment for the whole relationship/connection. If I have something to say, it implies some sort of common ground with the blog author, and I want to share that.

If it's a good post, or there's good news being shared, I also think it's worthwhile commenting -- true encouragement is often lacking in our profession (we spend so much time getting rejected!) that I think it's important to share in the good things... helps build community :)

Janet Johnson said...

Wow, I'm in awe! You reply to every single comment? You are utterly amazing.

And as always, you make a good point. :) Relationships and all that.

Nisa said...

I comment for two reasons. The first is the same as yours. I love getting to know people and I love forming those connections. The second reason is that I know how good it feels to get comments (whether that be 1 or 500) and I hope my comment will help someone to feel good about themselves and what they've done. I never have anything unique or enlightening to say, but I don't let that stop me. lol!

Jen said...

I love this post! You made some amazing points and I am honestly floored that people don't take the time to comment because of the number that have spoken! I take time to read each and everyone of my comments, granted I don't get 100 but I get quite a few and I make time to make a connection because they took the time to make one.

I love comments, without comments, views, opinions I would really have no reason to blog. I like to hear others views good or bad I want to know them and like direction on where to go!

Jody Hedlund said...

Yep. You nailed it. I want to connect with the blog author. It's about building relationships and community!

Jody Hedlund said...

Oh, and I had to turn back on my comment word verification after I continued to get huge amounts of spam. Since I did, the spam has completely stopped. So, that's the only reason I have it on now.

JEM said...

Thanks, Elana! I actually changed my comments setting in the middle of reading the article, I didn't even know I could control that. As always, great advice!

Girl with One Eye said...

For me, time and then #3. But I'm hear to learn from fellow writers and journey with them. But ultimately the kiddos need me and my "writer stuff" including blogging and commenting come second.

Like right now. The boys are needing their breakfast and I need to stop writing and get them out the door to school.

But I stalk you, even though I don't always comment.

Southern Princess said...

I am much like you. I want the connection with the blogger. There is something quite special about all of us on here, how we approach our problems, how we hone our skills, how we embrace each other even when the opinions are so different. I have learned so much from you & all the wonderful blogs that I am discovering so I want the blogger to know that they are impacting someone.

I comment whenever I read an entry and every time I do it makes me feel as though I have just texted a friend.

Thanks for the wonderful Friday post! ;o)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

You DO respond to every comment and I for one appreciate that!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Yes, yes, and yes! I wholeheartedly agree with you on all of it, especially the irritating word verifications - I hate those!

I have an award for you today! :-)

Katie Ganshert said...

Interesting findins, Elana! One of my wishes is that Google REader would allow you to make comments. Wow...tons of time would be saved! I'd prefer to read blogs off Google reader but don't because you can't leave comments. Grrr!

VR Barkowski said...

I skim probably 300 blogs a day on Google Reader - I can't visit them all, but when I do visit, I vow to leave a comment even if I'm doing no more than reiterating what others have said. Thanks, Elana. Great information!

Yvonne said...

Thanks for these tips. And I meant to respond to you yesterday about your post on growing your blog, which I found very helpful, but I didn't have time!

For me time is the biggee. But I must confess to number three. I've done that. I look and thing geessh 55 comments? She/he'll NEVER even notice little ol' me. So....that said, Thank you, Elana, for pointing out what should be obvious. I should leave a comment to let the author know I was there.

I was here. I often am.

Suzyhayze said...

What I really wish is that there was a quick like button. I like this post.

Jessica said...

So I’m totally guilty of #3. I do want to grow a relationship with the people whose blog I read; I just never knew that you read all the comments. I will do my best to leave comments from now own. I love getting emails, it make me feel special. Sshh don’t tell the other bloggers, but your blog is my favorite. Sshh don’t tell!!!!

Carolyn V. said...

I'm trying to get to know other bloggers too, but I have a question for you. You have tons of followers, do you read everyones blog? How many blogs do you read and follow? Just curious. =)

Faith Pray said...

Thanks Elana! I figured that when a blogger has a zillion comments, they don't really care to know what I have to say. Sometimes I have braved the waters and written when something resonates strongly, but thanks to you, I will try harder to make that connection regardless of numbers.

Bish Denham said...

Excellent Elana! Thanks. I can't possibly read and comment on every blog, but I can certainly make an effort!

L. T. Host said...

I'd say pretty much I have the same aims you are. Though I am also guilty of not commenting if someone has already said what I would have. I just feel like I'm not adding to the discussion that way :(

I'll keep this post in mind though :)

Tara McClendon said...

Time is always an issue. I want to read each and every post from each blogger I follow. And I want to comment on them. I respect the effort it takes to blog, and leaving a comment is one way to show that. But I've had to realize sometimes it's important to take a step back. If leaving comments (or blogging) prevents me from working on my writing, then I need to reevaluate the use of time. Thanks for the tips to maximize the time I do have.

lotusgirl said...

Part of my leaving a comment is to get to know the other blogger better and have that dialog. It's great building those relationships with other writers. Writing is hard alone. It helps to have that camaraderie.

catwoods said...

I always wondered how to get the pop up comment thinger. I love it so much for its ease when I leave a message.

Great tips. And great findings!

Jean said...

Good points on leaving a comment. I think too, it depends on the topic and whether the blog author invites those replies. Sometimes there is simply nothing to say in reply. Other times, the blog author opens this whole can of beans where you just HAVE to wade in.

I like 'awesomesauce' by the way.

:)

Portia said...

I usually leave a comment because something the reader wrote struck a cord. It's also been a great relationship builder, and I've found so many great resources through others. I've even found critique partners (read: solid gold).

Olivia Carter said...

I read blogs in google reader but I still almost always click and go to the actual blog. At least I try to.

I agree with building a personal relationship- I'm surprised by the "already a lot of comments" concept too. Interesting.

~Jamie said...

I actually comment for a totally different reason than that.

I only comment when I have something to say. I mean, sure--on occasion I have friends starting new blogs or whatever and I might comment on them, but most of the time it's only if I feel like I can add an actual point to the conversation.

Fairway Fiction said...

Great post. You've definitely changed the way I think about leaving comments. I see that it's important to building those relationships and participating in a community of fellow writers/bloggers.

Glynis said...

I like to leave a comment, especially if I have learned something from the author.
I click the email box, so I can read a response,(if there is one, I then unsubscribe to that comment.
I love seeing comments, I am quite envious of those who have a ton and a half!
I would never be put off by a lot of comments on a blog. I always find something to say,even if it is just hello. Hello - lol.

December said...

I love when people comment on my blog - and I always make sure to check out theirs, even add it to my reader. I agree with some of the peeps above, I comment when I feel compelled to say something, or add my $.02.

Rebecca said...

This is insightful! I have a question for you, but instead of posting it here I'll email it.

Tara said...

I actually had meant to comment on that post, but I was in a hurry and forgot to come back to it. I fall into the 3rd category. I feel silly repeating something 10 other people have said ahead of me. But, you know what? Your have some great points in your reply :)

And, look at that, I learned something here today. Always wondered why some blogs have the pop-up for comments and others reload - which half the time I forget and click out of the blog without doing the word ver., thinking I left a comment. *sigh* I will go make mine pop-up now if it doesn't already...

Em-Musing said...

When a blog, such as yours, speaks to me, I'll comment. I may not comment every time (I need to manage my time better, but sometimes I get so excited when someone's blog post connects with me, that I have to say something.

Kris said...

Ok, Ok, I'll comment. ;) I'm trying to get more involved in the writers-blog world, but sometimes don't feel like I have anything to contribute.

And a couple of times recently, I made an intelligent comment and the comment box went blank. Spending time to comment and then losing it is wicked annoying! Then I get nervous that I ended up commenting multiple times and the person will think I'm a moron...

Thanks for your insight, Elana!

bookaholic said...

I agree with you wholeheartedly...even I comment to make a personal connection with the blog author! I love sharing my thoughts with the author,agree or disagree with the post,etc. I think it helps widen my horizons and thoughts. Thanks for summing up the comments!

Christina Lee said...

VERY INTERESTING. I do "get" all of the reasons too. It's prob. true that on some bigger named blogs (where the person is a ginormous star)people never hear back from the blog author. They may respond back in the comments but like you said, it's hard to come back and read them. And so, if you don't get that personal connection at least some of the time, you stop commenting--I can see that.
You're doing a fantastic job here, E! Glad to have you as a bloggy friend!

John Sankovich said...

I agree with the second option as that is what limits me to commenting. Google Reader is awesome and reading blogs on my phone make it impossible to comment. I figure my blog doesn't get a ton of comments for this reason. I hope at least anyways. Great post like usual Elana. I read it everyday.

paulgreci said...

I comment to connect with people. I always try to leave a comment at every blog I read. Since I started my blog I've developed an appreciation for the energy it takes to keep a blog afloat in the cyber sea and I think meaningful comments help keep a blog from capsizing.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

I leave comments in order to connect, as well. And I like conversation with other bloggers, that's one reason I blog.

Solvang Sherrie said...

I do tend to go back to the blogs where I feel a personal connection with the blogger. So even though 60 people commented ahead of me, I'm leaving you a comment, because I feel you :)

Jana Hutcheson said...

Thanks, Elana. It's posts like this that keep me coming back. I'm learning so much.

arlee bird said...

Wow you have a lot of comments already on this but I'll comment because it's you and it's an interesting topic.
Time is a big one for be because I like to leave a somewhat relevant comment. I've been finding that more and more of my time is getting taken up by reading blogs and commenting or responding to comments on mine. It's starting to get out of control.
Another reason for not commenting is I'm just not interested in the topic or I don't know what to say. And if I can't say something nice or something relevant, I'd rather not say anything at all.
Question --I've noticed you respond directly to commenters via email. Isn't that far more time consuming? And how do you feel about the bloggers like me who respond to commenters in the comment section?
Lee

Kim said...

Wow, 63 comments in less than 4 hours. Every blogger's dream come true. As a blog author, I will NEVER complain about getting too many comments. They light up my day.

It was nice to meet you the other night, at the Valor book launch. And now I'm a follower of your blog!

Stephanie Thornton said...

I leave comments on writer blogs with a lot of comments, but I don't leave comments on say, Nathan Bransford's blog. He's got a gazillion comments and I know he's not going to respond. I like to save my time for writers.

I had no idea about Google Reader either- I don't use it.

Emily Ann Benedict said...

Great post, Elana.
I agree, not leaving a comment because there are already tons is selling yourself short. Not only is it a chance to connect with the author of the blog, it's a chance to connect with other bloggers. I've had people find my blog through a comment I left and vice versa.
Oh, btw, I got my query letter critique! Lol, I totally got chewed up and spit out, but that's okay. I've never written one before so it's good to start out with a professionals opionion. Thanks again for the opportunity. :)

Mary McDonald said...

I'm like you, I leave a comment when I read a blog. If I don't, it's a rare thing. Sometimes it might be just a generic comment, but it let's the blogger know that I did read it.

Angie said...

Thank you for the settings advice. (I had no idea about that email thing.) I usually comment because I know how much I love getting comments and because I want to connect with the author of the blog.

Theresa Milstein said...

I also leave comments on every blog I read with rare exceptions, since I like feedback on my blog. If I write a comment that interests another reader, and that person wants to check out my blog, all the better.

Recently, I realized that my Google Reader didn't have my e-mail, so I just fixed that, which is why I never heard from you before.

It's a good idea that you comment via e-mail. I've always wondered how many people bothered returning to see what I wrote back. If I start getting more comments, I may do the same. Thanks for the tip.

Karen Lange said...

Interesting stuff. Going to have to head back and check my blog comment settings. I forget how I've got them set up.

I like what you said about making connections with the blog author. I agree, and frequent blogs that I feel that I have that connection. Spread out a little to new ones if there is time. Ah, time! I need more to do everything I want to do. Sigh. Guess I just need to make due, huh? Good post. Happy weekend,
Karen

Elle Strauss said...

Elana, you rawk, rock, ro(with an umlaut)k!

I do try to leave a comment if I read a blog, because, hey I took the time to read the blog, I should let the blogger know this. I will never let the number of comments deter me again. *grin*

Especially with you.:)

Kate Karyus Quinn said...

You are so right - having the comments in their own pop-up window is so much easier for leaving comments, but did I have my blog set-up that way? No, of course not. Except now - thanks to you - I do. Sometimes the obvious just needs to come up and slap me in the face for me to get it;)

Liza said...

72 (!) comments later, I'll add my two cents. I like what you say. I want you to know. Oh, and thanks for the tip about the window. I'm not sure how I'm set up, but I'll check!

Mary Aalgaard said...

It really is intimidating when someone has this many comments. But, you said it so well, it's about building relationships, and letting the blogger know you stopped by. I see it like they used to do in the olden days, when someone stopped by unexpected, knocked, and no one answered, the person would leave a note stuck in the door or something. Might say, "Sorry I missed you. Hope all is well. Love the new flower pots on the porch."

PS: I'm eating way too many GS cookies, and wondering, Do you go to the commenters blog to reply? How do you do it via email?

Shannon Whitney Messenger said...

Another great post Elana--and a lot of things I never considered. (PS-I have since changed my comments setting to a pop up window)

I'm like you, the main point of blog hopping is to get to know other bloggers--not because I think then need to know me, but because I want to know them. And comments are the best form of communication available at that point. Plus, when I read an amazing post (especially one that I wish I'd thought of, like...most of yours) I want to make sure the blogger knows I enjoyed it. Blogging is a time consuming thing, so it's nice to know your efforts weren't unappreciated.

Alison Eckel said...

Elana, you've enlightened me. You are right. I really thought my comment would just get lost amongst the many. But I agree with what you said - it is about connecting with other writers and how can I do that if I don't comment? I guess now I have to figure out the whole time thing - which is another issue.

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

Great post. I was always a little apprehensive about leaving comments but reading how it helps to open up a relationship with the blog author made sense. The reason I love to write and read blogs is to feel connected to the writing community but if I never left a post then I'd be missing out.
Thanks for converting me Elana.
You rock :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

If I enjoy a post, I want to encourage the blogger. Without feedback, it's lonely in cyberspace. :)

Blessings,
Susan
susanjreinhardt (at) gmail (dot) com

fairyhedgehog said...

When I leave comments, I tick the little box to get email notification of further comments. Then I can see if I get a reply!

I prefer to comment when there are fewer other commenters because I usually read what they've written. I see it more like a forum than a one to one conversation with the blogger.

Jon Paul said...

Elana--Thanks for putting these up. Fantastic and informative set of posts. I included them in my Friday Link Love feature.

Gail said...

I leave a comment for a few reasons:

1) I want to let the author know how much I connected with that particular post

2) I think it's a great way to start relationships with other writers not just in one's own community or SCBWI region

3) I'm a fairly newbie blogger and the more blogs I comment on, the better chance I have of getting those authors to read and follow my blog!

Love your posts, Elana!

www.writefromthesoulvisualeyes.blogspot.com

Maria I. Morgan said...

Great insight, Elana! Thanks for doing the research - I've often wondered what made some people comment while others didn't. Have you found that people leave a comment on a shorter blog, rather than a longer one (going back to the time issue...)? Anyway, good food for thought! I've found some of my readers prefer to leave me a comment on FB rather than on my site. It's all good!

Beside the fact that you're an awesome writer, I'd love to know how you've attracted so many followers?! Have a phenomenal weekend. God bless!

Krispy said...

The pop-up window kind of annoys me, which is why I don't do it, but I had no idea it made the word verification thing easier! Something to consider. Hmm.

I sorta get the not commenting when there's a lot of comments thing. When I have nothing extra to say, I don't feel the need to say anything because it doesn't add to the conversation, I guess? It also feels like a comment could easily get lost when there's already a lot of other comments. Not everyone's as great as you are about reading and reply, after all. :) Your building a relationship perspective on this though is much better. I like it.

Jenn Johansson said...

I'm so with you on this one. I always leave a comment (unless blogger is giving me fits, which is a whole separate issue that happens far too often). I do it because I love the feeling of community in the blogosphere and let's face it...these people are cool. :)

Melissa said...

I'm one of those people who reads a lot of blogs, but I'm guilty of not commenting sometimes because of the time factor. I was surprised, like you, to find that some people don't comment because of the number of prior comments. That doesn't bother me at all - if I have something to share I will do so. I think, for me, it all comes down to whether I feel a connection with what the author has to say. And I hope you know I absolutely love your blog:)

Krista said...

Thank you, Elana, that was very interesting. I guess my point in commenting would be to connect with the blogger, share something we have in common. I don't know, it makes the world smaller!

Carol Kilgore said...

I don't think I actually said time, but yeah, it does come down to that. Especially when I'm on deadline, like I have been this week.

Steena Holmes said...

OMG have you looked at your comments so far? 84 people have replied - and I know they've said what I'm gonna say ... but you hit a nerve - if I want to build a relationship, I need to comment ... so while eating my new found chocolate treat (swedish berries covered in milk chocolate called DOBS) I'm writing this :) oh - plus I'm celebrating (its on my blog) and I wanted to read some blogs to get me in the mood - love reading blogs!

Kelly said...

Great run down!
I love how writers are so supportive of one another!

Nichole Giles said...

Okay, so I totally skip everyone else's comments anyway, because you always have tons and I don't have the time to read them all unless I really NEED to see those replies.

BUT.

I vow, from now on, to always leave a comment when I can--as in, the computer doesn't kick me off or I'm not reading the blog on my phone, which also deletes my comments after I click send. Deal?

Great advice.

Andrea Franco-Cook said...

Thanks for sharing Elana. Interesting post, lots of food for thought.

Caledonia Lass said...

I usually comment if I don't have like 30 other blogs to wade through. Time is an issue sometimes. Other times, I'm right there with everyone else thinking that what I want to say has already been said. I guess I don't want the blogger to be bogged down in repetitive nonsense. :D I do like hearing back and have just figured out in your post that you actually send an email to my response. I was going to my blog page to post responses... silly me. I like to be heard in my responses, connect with other people, sometimes I just don't know what to say.
I love your blog, I think it is cool and I learn a lot from it. I go away feeling like I have a new weapon in my writing arsenal and am able to tackle the next hurdle. Thanks Elana, for being an awesome blogger. :D

annerallen said...

For me, it's all about time. A blog with a lot of comments takes longer to wade through. I guess I feel the strongest urge to respond when there's a question asked, or if there's something emotional going on where maybe the writer needs reassurance or help. Or if a commenter has made a wrong or hurtful comment that needs to be refuted. But I especially make a point of commenting if the blogger has left a comment on MY blog recently--then I really want to connect with them and keep the dialog going.

Sandy Shin said...

Time is the biggest factor for me, followed by the large number of comments. Admitting that makes me feel guilty. I do love to build connection, a relationship, with the blog author. However, psychology makes me think that, with so many comments, mine will only end up sounding generic and won't add anything to the conversation at all. That says more about me than it does anything else, though. :]

Annika said...

Thanks for all the info and inspiration! Oh and I got an award for you over at my blog! Cheers!

B.J. Anderson said...

Wow, so interesting! I love little studies like these. It's like a science experiment or something. I comment because I want to. If the post moves me, I comment. Or if I "know" the person through repeated blog commenting back and forth, I try to keep up that relationship by continued commenting. Sometimes life gets in the way and I have to drop out of blogland for a few, but I always love getting back into it. :D Great post, Elana!! As always.

Brenda said...

Thanks for the hint about enabling your email address. Very helpful! And the information here...and the response to it... is very interesting! I wrote today about nods of encouragement we give to each other and comments are definitely one of those. Happy Friday and hope it's spring where you are!

Joanne said...

Okay, I'm #98, and I'm still leaving a comment! I do so for much the same reasons you do, that connection, letting the blog author know I stopped by and wanted to add something to the dialogue. Which is what I think of blogs, they're dialogues, conversations, where everyone jumps in with something great to add.

Lydia Kang said...

Changing the settings will definitely help. THanks for the post, really helpful stuff!

Amber Tidd Murphy said...

I will admit that I have sometimes decided not to comment on your blog due to the enormous number of comments on your blog, but that's really only because I'm super jeals.

Secondly, sometimes I comment because I noticed that when I comment on your blog you often come over to mine and leave a comment there for me.

And that makes me smile.

Liz H. Allen said...

I am definitely one who does not leave a comment on a blog with a bazillion comments already. Also, I rarely comment on blogs that are more the how to or tips type thing (like copyblogger say) because I don't think I'm connecting with anyone really. It's like commenting on a news article online - the author probably isn't reading it. But in personal blogs (like yours) I try to post a comment to make a connection. Why else start a blog unless you can't get to know other bloggers. I don't expect people to just happen across my blog and immediately follow it. I want friends, I want to know people by name. I want to eventually get to the point where, if a bloggy friend came to Seattle, I would meet up with them for a coffee and sandwich.

Kimberly Franklin said...

I'm so with you on all of that! For me, time is a huge issue and I find myself reading blogs more and more on my cell phone and for the post part it is great. But when it comes to commenting I can only comment on blogs that have pop up window comments. (so weird, I know!) So then I have to make a mental note (which, lets face it, I will forget the second I move on to another task) to go back and comment later, when I get home from work. That sucks!

I comment on every blog I read to make personal connection. And, I always comment on the blogs of the bloggers who comment on my blog. It's a "getting to know you" type of thing and I love it!

This was a great post! Thanks for revealing all of the answers. : )

T. Anne said...

Great advice! I'd like to echo the fact that leaving a comment does enable a relationship to grow. It's invaluable to let someone know you were there. Otherwise you're wasting a great opportunity. As always, you rock Elana.

Christine H said...

Most of the time I leave comments because I have NO ONE to talk to about writing other than my Internet friends. Literally. Not. One. Person. In. Real. Life.

So I'm just talking to hear myself talk. But, that's okay. It's like therapy, right?

Peggy Shumway said...

I love your blog! You have sooooo much helpful information. And sooooo much energy. I've got a heap to learn when it comes to writing and blogging.

SB said...

okay. First. I love all your advice. I have fixed my comments page. Done. I am feeling disheartened at the lack of comments as of late. And yet I am getting hits...so I feel you about the whole: leave a comment thing. It's important if we want the blogosphere to remain a sphere, no? goes around comes around!


not too serious i hope

Bethany Wiggins said...

I typically only comment on short posts! So sad to say, but I don't have time to read the long ones.

G said...

Since I changed my blog reading habits, I've cut down on the amount of commenting I do.

Mostly for the reasons that you listed, with the biggest one being lots of comments. If I see a post that has about 50 or more comments, I don't even leave one unless I'm looking to pull an extra reader or two to mine.

As for listing e-mail in my profile, no way no how. I spent three years in the chat rooms and the last two were spent being harassed, stalked, bullied and threatened, and a good portion of it was due to private e-mail corresondence falling into the wrong hands (which is the main reason why I moderate on my blogs).

Karen Akins said...

I've noticed several people have changed to an e-mail follow-up to comments. I love it. I almost never personally go back and re-read a comment forum, so it's rare that I get author feedback to my comment unless they e-mail.

Lisa Nowak said...

I'm also trying to establish a relationship by commenting, and hoping to attract readers to my blog.

Like so many of your commentors, I'm also influenced by the number of comments. If someone has a lot, I feel a little intimidated. Like why would anyone so popular ever notice what I have to say? It's good to know that you value all the comments you get. But look at someone like Nathan Bransford. Sometimes he gets 400 comments. How the heck does he read them all? His blog seems like a full time job.

TirzahLaughs said...

I like it best when there is a give and take but I do find that once a blog hits about 30+ comments, you rarely get a response. Sometimes it feels that no one reads what you commented on so you just don't.

Perhaps it is all perception.

But one reason I don't always comment is that sometimes I have nothing good to say. If someone is writing one of those blah-blah fake optimism, rah for the home team entries, I won't comment.

That fake kind of smile or die attitude drives me mad.

But why should I ruin their day? I just don't comment. Real happiness and contentment show in your writing, when you fake it---we all know. Fakeness in a blog is a waste.

I feel like I'd be supporting a lie.

Other times, I'm just not interested in the topic. Really what can I offer on a discussion of nipple discharge in lactating mothers? Not a thing...lol.

Anyway, HI!

Tirz

arlee bird said...

Wow! -- there's so many comments here now that I've forgotten that I've already left a comment.

Terresa said...

I leave a comment on most nearly every single blog I visit. That's just the way I roll. I'm a people person and like the connectivity I feel with blogger peeps by doing so.

I also comment to share my opinion/thoughts/awesomesauce. ;)

Eva said...

I leave comments for the same reason you do, I want the blog author to know I was there and read what they had to say. And I agree about the pop up window, I love it :)

Tracy said...

Often, I'm sort of reading on the fly and don't have time to comment, but it's so fun to be able to get to know others through the comments, so I generally try to comment if I can.

Melanie Avila said...

I like that you've been replying with email. I sometimes go back to see if the blogger replied to my comment, but when there are tons of comments it takes too much time.

I tend to comment when I feel I have something personal to share. If it's just an opinion on a common topic (writing, etc) I won't comment if there are already lots of other comments, but if it's a personal story I will.

Talli Roland said...

Great observations. Thanks for sharing!

GoogleReader does make commenting harder, because you have to click through that many more times. I've stopped GoogleReader because I've found it too annoying when I do want to comment.

Shelley Sly said...

Thanks for sharing these stats on comments. It's funny to see that many others gave the same reasons I did!

It's really neat that you email responses. :) But I have a question: How do you, personally, find time to email everyone? Do you email-as-you-go, basically when you first see the comment, or do you wait and respond to a bunch later? Just curious, I know everyone has a different way that works for them in the blog world.

Oh, and I'm with you, I'm all about the personal connection with the blogger.

storyqueen said...

I was going to comment, but there were already so many comments I decided not to...oh wait, I'm commenting now, aren't I?

For me, commenting can be summed up in this simple equation: time + something to say = comment. (Sometimes there is NO time and sometimes I have to search and search for something to say...in those cases I won't post.)

It is all about connection, for me.

I want to connect with other writers because writers are the coolest.

Shelley

Southpaw said...

I do want to get to know the blogger when I comment. When people have left comments that need responding, I respond in the post and if appropriate go to their blogs to comment. I don’t want to show my email address. I wish blogger had a message center instead. But now you have me thinking. Maybe I’ll create a new blog just for contacting. Hum…

Kerri C at CK Farm said...

I like having a ton of peeps! Blogger buddies are the best!

Jessica Nelson said...

Wow, very interesting. I've heard that about Google Reader too. I pretty much leave a comment on every single person's blog I read. It just feels like something I should do to let the poster know what I think but also that what they wrote mattered and was read.

myletterstoemily said...

here's the thing about letting
everyone have my email address,
it frightens me.

i like the anonymity of blogging
and the separation from my
'other' life.

your perception and compilation
of reasons people comment was
so interesting.

i can't keep myself from saying
a few words. OCCD (obsessive
compulsive commenting
disorder)

Christi Craig said...

Okay, I'm a "there's so many comments already, what more can I say?" kind of lurker.

But, even though you have 123 splashes of fun, I'm posting a comment today.

I get a lot from your posts. When I do comment (here or anywhere) I guess my goal is to connect with a writer. I think that's the reason I shy away when there are so many other readers commenting.

But, you mention you read every one. I suppose other authors do as well. Thanks for the encouragement to leave my mark when I visit blogs.

Amanda Borenstadt said...

Usually to contribute something useful to the conversation, but sometimes just to connect.

Joan Crawford said...

I comment because I want your attention. (Said the sad flower). I have no idea where that came from. Have you ever seen the Brave Little Toaster? I hope so or else my following statement will make no sense. Remember when the Sad Little Flower was hugging the reflection on the toaster and then the toaster had to leave and the Sad Little Flower slumped over and its petals began to fall off? A knife in my 7 year old heart, I tell you, a knife.

Sharon Mayhew said...

Comment number 127 here...I will do a better job at letting the blog writer know that I stopped by. I tend to leave "better" comments if I think what I have to say would be of interest to the blog writer. Great points, Elana! I'm going to check out my profile now. :)

beth said...

So does that mean you do all your blog reading and commenting through email? I.e. you get your comments by email, and respond to them and click on their blogs through that? That may be kinda efficient, now that I think of it...

Sliding on the Edge said...

If I leave a comment it's because I've learned something from the post or enjoyed it. I can't imagine not leaving a post because there are already a ton ahead of me. That would be like going to the polls and not voting because I was last in line.

kimberlyloomis said...

Great post! I leave comments for the same reason you do, Elana AND (gasp, shock, shudder) I do not use Google Reader either. I succumb to perusing my blogroll or, and this is the most effective means I have, I subscribe via emails. When a post appears making me want to say something I just hop on over and, voila, I comment.

Donna Hole said...

Sheesh! Talk about comment intimidation factor. This is also one of the reasons I frequently don't leave a comment; so many to read through, an I'm one who enjoys reading others comments also.

I like to let the author know I stopped by and got something from the post. But since I get around to so many blogs, I don't always have the time to comment.

If I remember where I've left comments, I frequently go back to see the response from the author. Doesn't bother me if there isn't a response; but sometime the author might have additional shared info or questions. Or, other commenter might have something to say.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. They were most interesting.

.......dhole

Melissa Sarno said...

Interesting findings... I'm curious about what content interests people most and makes them feel engaged and want to comment. It seems there no rhyme or reason to the type of posts people comment on my blog. The only correlation I can find is if I comment on someone's blog I'm almost guaranteed to hear back from them on my blog... So, if I'm in a google reader or find a post that has a ton of comments, I will comment anyway :-)

AchingHope said...

Huh... I usually don't comment when I see that there are already, say, 132 comments. (Like now.) Unless I already "know" that blogger. But I think I'll start commenting just because I want to, and because I too want to have cool blogger friends.

Dominique said...

I'm with you. I comment in the hopes of building relationships with some of the great, interesting people there are on the blogosphere.

Chasing the Moon said...

Thanks for the tip on the comment pop-up window! I've noticed some blogs have that and others take a while. I didn't realize mine was set that way, so I fixed it. Thanks!

Alyssa Kirk @ Teens Read and Write said...

I too tend to shy away when there are lots of comments but I'll try to be more...bold!

I've been trying to comment back to our comments directly by email. I hate it when the person doesn't have an email to do that.

I always appreciate when I hear from you Elana. But don't try to keep up. I think I'm comment number 448 at the moment. And it's the weekend. Hope you're having fun!

Deb said...

How/where do you read your blogs?

Carolin Seidenkranz said...

Lovely post, I couldn't agree more with what you said. I, too, comment in order to get to know fellow bloggers, ask questions and just to find a community of writers to chat/switch experiences with. I also know how amazing it feels to have people comment on your blog post, and that's something I like to give back when I comment on the posts of others.
I'm new at the whole thing, so I'm at the start of this endeavour, but I couldn't have more fun doing it. =)

Btw, you just earned yourself a new follower, hehe.

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Elana--I linked this post to my blog today...I'm having this blog party with Jackee at winded words and I've discovered how few people have their bloggers set to receive comments via gmail replies... UGH! Hopefully, some more people will get on board. THANKS!

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

Great post. I leave comments so I can build a relationship with the blog author too. I sometimes worry about saying the same thing. But, like you say, the important thing is that you say it. :)

Martha Ramirez said...

Awesome, awesome post!! You know that ur blog has kept me from writing my blog post I am supposed to be working on today?
I am so absorbed into all the great info you shared. Thanks, Elana!

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