Tag Archives: commenting

My Article for BlogHer: Is WordPress Scaring Your Commenters Away?

I wrote an article for BlogHer today inspired by Stumbling Gracefully, about how difficult WordPress is making commenting.

Have you noticed a drop-off in comments since the changes WordPress has made?

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The Art of the Comment

Don’t worry: this isn’t another long treatise about the etiquette involved in commenting. But rather, an expression of my admiration for those who comment exquisitely well.

When I began blogging, I didn’t think much about commenting. But soon I realized that the community of bloggers I had stumbled upon was as valuable to me as my writing. Maybe more so. Participating in ICLW was a crash-course in empathy and also an illuminating lesson on how diverse and challenged and hopeful the ALI community is.

I’m not the commenter I wish I was. There are a few reasons for this. Sometimes the emotions that bloggers relate are so despondent that I feel I don’t have anything to say that could possibly alleviate their suffering. Sometimes I feel words don’t have enough power or currency. Sometimes, shamefully, someone’s joy makes me envious. That’s not to say that I haven’t absorbed many posts and celebrated with you or cried with you. It’s with a sense of failure that I admit that I haven’t commented at all.

Here We Go Again wrote a really useful post about how to comment. It made a big impact on me.

Which brings me to this: some posts I never commented on are the posts I remember the most. The words you wrote reverberated in my soul and stuck in my brain like rubber cement. Your words were sticky and true.

Here’s a few posts that moved me beyond words:

Stink-Bomb on “Fitting In”
Write Mind Open Heart on Death and Dying
Wistful Girl on “Carpe Diem”
Mrs. Spit on “About Gabriel”
Dragondreamer’s Lair on BlogHer
The Bloggess on Beyonce the Metal Chicken. Just kidding! But if you want a laugh, go. Right now.

There are some writers in the blogosphere who are immensely skilled at commenting. They have a gift for empathy. They take a lot of time to tap into the pain or joy of others. I wanted to take time to thank you and honor you. Here’s a few comments that have lifted me up, made me laugh and made me think.

Pick-Me Up

I KNOW that you are an amazing and talented writer and I know that whatever you put out there in honor of NIAW will be worth the wait because it will be honest and thoughtful and from your heart.

Esperanza

For Laughs:

I decided years ago that philosophy was invented by men with too few household chores.

Lut C

Learning From Others:

Do I think you should continue to try and seek joy? Absolutely! I think we all should – but I also don’t think you should feel guilty if you don’t find the positive in every single situation. For lack of better words, life sometimes sucks.

Maura

AND

There was a time when I believed that everything happens for a reason, but I don’t anymore. I now believe that we can (and should try) to make some good come from everything that happens to us in life (especially the challenges and trials we face).

Kathy

But I want to empathize that EVERYONE who has ever left a comment here on my blog has made my life better, more bright and sometimes you have given me a necessary kick in the butt. THANK YOU, ALL AND EVERYONE.

Are there posts that have ever moved you beyond words? Please link to them below. Which commenters do you admire?

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Filed under ICLW, writing

Blog Etiquette: When Bloggers Ignore Comments, Part Two

The discussion provoked by the topic “When Bloggers Ignore Comments” proves that commenting on blogs is no simple matter. Want more? There’s at least ten more fascinating points of view on Prompt(ly).

What I’ve gathered: it seems like there are two different types of bloggers, who have different motivations.

1) The Conscientious Commenter: This can be a blogger, like Stumbling Gracefully, who responds to every comment they receive, whether they respond to a comment on their own blog, or whether they go to the commenter’s blog and respond there. This can be a blogger like Mel or Lori who are both inundated by comments but who try to do their best to involve their readers in conversation in some way, whether by email reply or re-tweeting someone’s post. This can be a blogger who responds to some comments, but not all. This can be a blogger who FEELS there is a reciprocal relationship between themselves and their readers, even if they don’t do a lot to engage their audience.

But, as I suspected, a few have confirmed to me that there is, indeed, another type of blogger.

2) The Connoisseurs: these are bloggers who blog for themselves. They write because they want to clear their heads and make sense of events. They write to keep an online record of their writing, trace patterns in their lives through their writing. They want to perfect their writing. If they receive comments, that is a plus, but getting comments is not their raison d’être. Now, when this particular type of blogger DOES comment on someone’s blog, it’s not because they feel obligated to, or want to reciprocate. A comment from them is the ultimate compliment: it’s their way of saying you’ve done something to kick ass. They appreciate your post like they would a glass of fine wine or an object of art or a piece of s’more pie. Or because you really are that damn funny. Among the big bloggers, I’d probably classify Julie of A Little Pregnant in this category. Do you agree? FoxyPopcorn has confirmed that she is this type of blogger, and has asked for peace between the two categories 😉

There should be room in the blogosphere for both type of bloggers, obviously. I think there are also bound to be misunderstandings between the two categories. I think I assumed that all bloggers were bound to reciprocate my admiration for them. Why? That’s not the way things work in the real world. Chris Martin may think that Thom Yorke is an unparalleled genius, but that does not guarantee Thom Yorke’s affection. In actuality, Thom Yorke doesn’t much care for Chris Martin. The unnamed bloggers who provoked the original post (neither of whom are Julie or FoxyPopcorn, BTW) probably liken my writing to Rebecca Black. They are not wrong.

I’m sure I’ve grossly oversimplified these categories. Maybe many people are a hybrid of these categories? I don’t want to set up some stereotypical buckets to put people into. I hate that. I don’t fit into any particular category myself as a human being.

I think maybe it’s MOST important to understand that there are different INTENTS behind blogging.

From Foxy Popcorn:
I think that acknowledging that my motivation for blogging could very well be different from someone else’s (is important). Maintaining a flexible set of guidelines that allow for and celebrate those differences is important to me.

My hope is that understanding this can lead to maybe better relations between bloggers? Now that I wrote that, I’m cringing a bit. I sound pretty grandiose. I AM listening to the “Inception” soundtrack right now 😉

There’s more! These bloggers have written great food for thought:

1. Hannah Laughed, Sarah Wept (Part One)
2. Hannah Laughed, Sarah Wept (Part Two) Complete with the most hilarious photo I’ve seen in weeks
3. Beyond the Wallpaper
4. Project Progeny
5. A Separate Life

Have you been writing about commenting? Let me know in the er, comments, below. I am reaching Blog Within a Blog Within a Blog levels…and Stumbling Gracefully and Bodega Bliss know that I take my Leo movies VERY seriously. BTW guys, he’s 36 !?!

Do you agree with all this? Or is this all a gross oversimplification? Do you hear “Friday (…comes before Satuuurdaay)” as your read this post?

Next time: Do you want to have an easier time replying to your comments? I have talked to some smart people, and therefore have some ideas…

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