I very rarely do follow up posts. More often than not I forget that I have already written about a subject and write a second, different but substantially identical post a few months later. Does that count as a follow up? If it does then I’m an expert on these!
This is a follow up to Reading and Writing Blog Comments, in which I asked readers if they would like me to summarize the comments I got in order to give us all a general impression of what the thinking on the issue is. Fell free to go read the comments for yourself as they are all very well written and worth your time.
In the original post I was basically just talking about my own views and struggles (that is not the right term, what would a baby struggle be?) with keeping up with comments both on my blog and on other people’s. It’s a subject I hadn’t seen discussed that much yet and I was gauging general opinion mostly from Twitter which is something no one should ever do for any reason. So I asked for a bit of feedback from the readers and I’m happy to say they really delivered. It was wonderful!
It’s simple enough to sum up as just about everyone felt the exact same way. Bloggers are happy and grateful for any type of interaction be it likes comments or even just views but a thoughtful comment that is actually relevant to the post is something special that everyone gets very excited about! This said, any comment at all is more than welcomed and exciting in it’s own right as long as it isn’t spam.
As a side note, a lot of people noted a decrease in interaction compared to a few years ago (I do as well). It seems things are a bit quieter for everyone right now. Even professional sites are getting less comments. People are too busy watching anime to comment about it!
However, even though pretty much every blogger stated that a simple great post is more than welcomed and they love receiving it, they also all said that they don’t leave comments unless they have something meaningful to add. It can be difficult and even intimidating to comment on a great post and it’s not uncommon for people to just shy away even if they really loved it. I know exactly how that feels!
No one seemed to mind at all if they got repetitive or slightly shallow comments either. To the contrary, it’s a very nice sign that someone cares enough to read the post and show is even if they don’t have anything specific to add.
Like I said, these sentiments were almost unanimous! And I share them all as well. Both the enthusiasm about getting any sort of sign that someone is reading and the awkwardness at leaving comments myself.
I’m thinking you can see the little issue here. We all want comments but we’re all a bit too shy and busy to leave them. It’s sad since some bloggers do tend to measure their success by those comments. I get why. I have days when no one comments on my posts and it feels a little lonely. It’s normal to want to feel like your not just talking in a void.
It’s a bit of a pickle isn’t it. There’s no real solution. Fact is, most bloggers hardly have time to write their own posts so even with the best of intentions and ironclad confidence, no one is going to be able to comment on everything just on a purely practical basis. If you add in to that normal human nature and the perfectly reasonable desire to make our comments meaningful, and the number of posts one can comment on becomes even more limited.
Look at me trying to come up with a “solution” as if this was an actual problem. Please don’t look at me for solutions, you would be better off with Twitter. No wait, I take that back. Don’t go to Twitter with your problems. If you really don’t have anyone to talk to, tell me. I’m probably not qualified to help in any way but I want to believe I’m better than Twitter for that. I’m not sure why I’m being so mean to Twitter today. It’s a fine platform once you figure out what to take and what to leave.
Instead of trying to make the WordPress world a better place or whatever, I’m just going to see what I can do for my own issues.
For one, I’m going to accept that there are a lot of reasons a post doesn’t get any comments and it being bad or boring is just one of the possibilities. It’s attracting views from people who aren’t on WordPress and can’t just leave a comment without an account but they totally would! Maybe the reader app didn’t catch it. It happens from time to time that posts don’t feature in reader and you loose a lot of blogger audience and the comments that come with it. Posts that are very academic can be difficult to reply to without research and posts that are very emotional can feel too personal to intrude on. Or maybe I just wrote a great post about a popular subject everyone has been posting about and my readers have already commented on 4 other blogs before they got to mine and now they are out of comments to make. You can only say the same thing so many times.
And I’m sure I’m forgetting a whole bunch more. With all these reasons it’s getting really unlikely that my posts is just boring… yeah…
As for the other side of the issue, I’m going to try to train myself to leave more comments. Even non-consequential ones. Just don’t get mad at me if you get a series of “cool post” replies in the coming months. I’m not saying I will comment on every post I read because I know I won’t be able to and besides that sounds a bit silly and forced. But next time I think, huh, that was a great post in my head, I’ll take a few seconds to type it out as well.
And there you go. Thank you to every single person who took the time to comment on the original post and that gave me their feedback. I really appreciated it. I hope you enjoyed this post as well. Is it what you expected?