Commenting on Blogs
Friday July 1, 2011 | By Hieronymus Hawkes | Blogging
I’ve been wondering what makes people respond to blogs. There are several that I check almost daily, and some gets hundreds of responses and some get almost none. One of my favorites is Charlie Stross. He has a robust and regular posting that is usually thought provoking on purpose and he has a very intellectual group of followers that love to mix it up. I don’t feel smart enough to even post on his site, but I love to lurk. Another of my favorites is new author Mary Robinette Kowal, who is also very regular in her postings, but I don’t think I‘ve ever seen more than a handful of responses to her posts. She isn’t fishing for responses and it doesn’t seem to matter to her. I have no idea how many hits she is getting, but whoever they are rarely engage with her. I think she’s fascinating.
I love it when people post a response. It feels strangely validating. I see some bloggers respond to every response, that’s nice, but unfortunately I don’t have access to my blog from work and I travel and work long hours some days, and sometimes I can’t access the site for a day or two. I like to give back the love to the people that respond, I really do appreciate that they took the time to come to my blog, read it and reply to it. Know that I really love to see responses and if I were able I would reply to all of them. What I do try to do is reciprocate but following back and retweeting their blogs on Twitter. I like to help promote my friends.
One of my favorite bloggers is Jami Gold and she did something this week to celebrate her 1st anniversary as a blogger and started a contest. She actually had more people than ever before post a reply on her blog. I think it surprised her, but I know she is happy about it.
I come full circle back to why I put stuff on here. The idea was to have a destination for people to come to when I actually publish my book. I know I like interacting with my favorite authors and have been fortunate enough to engage with a few of them. One of my all-time favorites is CJ Cherryh, and she’s had an internet presence for a very long time. She started her own website maybe 15 years ago. She now has a very active blog and has even started her own company, Closed Circle, to release her backlist and some new content with her partners, Jane Fancher and Lynn Abbey. They aren’t nearly as well known to the world as JK Rowling, but they beat her to the idea of selling their stuff directly by a year.
Anyway, I wanted all this laid out in advance because I’m hopeful of some limited success and a follow-on career as a writer, and wanted to have my readers have a place to come and interact with me. With this place already established I could focus on writing more and making new internet friends. I wasn’t sure what to blog about and it’s been all over the map, but that’s ok too. I’m just trying to share stuff that I’m thinking about. I’m happy if it strikes a chord with others.
Why do you blog? How do you feel about people responding to your posts? The funny thing is I think you have to have a blog to respond to this blog. I wish I could see everyone that reads, even the ones that don’t have a Blogger account. Just curious.
I’m travelling this weekend to visit my parents. My Dad is having some health issues, and I want to see him before he has surgery. It may be a few days before I have internet access again. I hope you all have a wonderful 4th of July weekend!
I like getting comments, nice to know you aren't just talking to yourself, but I especially enjoy back and forth with someone which happens less often. A lot of poeple who leave a comment never follow up. Everyone's busy though so it is understandable.Thanks for the RT by the way.regardsmoodMoody Writing@mooderino
I've really only had the back and forth thing happen a few times,and I agree that people are busy, so even a hello is fine. I lurk on a lot of blogs so I get that too. Thanks for coming by Mood. By the way Mooderino and I are not the same person. =)
Hi Todd. Sorry to hear about your dad. Hope he gets better quickly.As for your comments … a person doesn't have to have a blog to respond, unless you have restrictive settings. On my blog, anyone can comment and view. Doesn't matter if they have an account or a blog.Happy Writing 🙂
I started blogging for a few reasons.First,I figured that writing quasi-regular public posts would be great practice. I practice saying what I want to say as succinctly as possible (which isn't very succinct at all). I have stuck with it because I've made friends out here in the blogosphere. When someone comments on a blog, whether I've written about an issue I'm having with writing, or to offer condolences on the passing of my dog, I get to connect with people that I would otherwise probably never know, and I love that! I don't know that I will ever publish anything–heck, I can't even finish anything! But if that day ever comes, I'll have a small, teeny tiny platform that I can work harder to grow, if necessary. I'm seeing it happen for other first-time authors!
Ivy, you are right, I changed my settings, I was worried about Spammers. I can change it back later if I have to. Thanks for the well wishes.Teri Anne I'm enjoying the new friendships too! I never expected that part of Twitter and Blogging, its great! Thanks for commenting!
I love responses to my blog, too, but rarely get them. And that's okay, too. I know how busy everyone is (because I'm usually very busy myself). I wish I could visit all the blogs I follow on a regular basis, but it just ain't possible (not until I'm retired, I think!).I think in order to get a response, you usually have to ask a question. The biggest response I've ever gotten was when I asked what my readers liked to read. Very popular topic. Of course, not every question works, either. I guess it depends on the stars alignments and who visits!I hope you have a nice holiday (and that you get to relax on your day off)!P.S. Sometimes I really wonder about Blogger. I was signed on at my blog, but for some reason I wasn't signed on at yours and had to re-sign in. Very strange…
Hi Todd,I'm late getting here, but I think you have a great question. Sometimes I comment on a post for the whole networking, let-them-know-I-was-there reason. More often, I comment because I have something to say. So that means that if I don't have anything to add to the discussion (or the blog isn't set up to encourage discussion), I don't comment.
Sometimes I comment just to let the author know I appreciate their post, even if the post hasn't sparked a discussion, per se. I know I appreciate comments, if only to know that someone is reading! Hope your dad is doing well….
Thanks for your comments Stacy, Jami and Cheryl! I know I make comments on others people's blogs because I am interesting in the topic and enjoy letting them know that I liked it. It rarely becomes a conversation, but I guess I'm curious why so many people don't comment. It's not like I don't lurk on a few blogs, there is one that I am too intimidated to make a comment, but I can't imagine that anyone would feel that way on my blog. Thanks again everyone for stopping by and for commenting!
Everyone loves getting comments and acknowledging who comments is just a common courtesy but Jody Hedlund recent had a post about commenting on blogs. Most people responded that they 'didn't have anything new to add.' As writers isn't it our duty to provide different insight and perspective?
One thing I'll add is that I think it's normal for only a small percentage of readers to leave a comment, so don't take the fact that most people *don't* leave comments personally. :)My posts average a 10% participation rate. That is, one comment for every 10 or so page hits. I know that's better than *many* other successful blogs out there. If I had to take a guess, I'd say 5% is \”normal.\”
PW I agree with you that someone needs to push the envelope and offer differing points of view and if not us then who? Thanks for stopping by and commenting!
From what I've seen Jami it varies from blog to blog depending on the type of people that are following. Some are really boisterous and others are like church mice. It probably has something to do with the personality of the blogger and what kind of audience they attract. I'm so glad you came over! =)