Tuesday, November 21, 2006

What's Up With Comments?--Part 2

Well. Twenty-three comments on comments. Thanks, all.

Here’s what I gleaned from the discussion, and what I think it all means:

1. In general, folks agree posts that tend to garner the most comments are either controversial or hit on some personal issue with which people can identify—like a confession or a weakness.

2. Lurking ain’t personal. Either Blogger’s acting up, or people are just busy, or they have nothing to say, although they may have enjoyed the post. Sometimes another person has already made the point they would have made. Posts on craft and industry often present a lot of information, and the reader needs to go away and think about it.

3. Some people are typical comment-leavers. They do this to show the blogger they’ve showed up for the day, and because they feel the blogger appreciates the comments (which they appreciate on their own blogs).

These quotes particularly struck me:

“Yours is a regular, daily visit for me, BC, because it's informative, humorous, emotional, and thoughtful.”

Thank you, Nicole. It’s the combination of the four words that stood out to me. These four words seem to sum up the various things readers look for in a blog, whether they choose to comment or not.

Patricia: “I think the more conversational posts get more comments because it's more like having a conversation, even if it is in Cyberspace.”

Kristy: “I like blogs where the author(s) responds. It lets me know the author cares about what his/her commenters say.”

Eden: “It's hard to leave comments if you are not emotionally touched.”

These last three comments touch on what I’ve discovered lately from my own blog reading. Cyberspace has become the new community. It is a place to gather, to reach out to others, especially for those who work alone—like writers—or for folks like moms who stay home with their children. Me—I’m a hermit most of the time. Sometimes I’m in my house for days on end without leaving (except to go jogging). But through the blogosphere I can still converse with friends. And I can make new friends.

Lately I’ve made a concerted effort to do just that. It’s akin to deciding you’ll visit a new church, or attend a neighborhood picnic, or go someplace you’ve never been just to expand your outlook. I’ve followed some links and found a whole community of blogs from Christian moms. This is how I found Susanne’s blog. From hers I found many others. I’ve stopped to leave a comment at numerous sites. It’s my way of reaching out to meet someone new, see a little bit of life that I don’t usually see. (Many of these moms have young children, and I’m beyond that now.) My husband and I are extremely busy. We’re certainly not out partying to make new friends. But I can read blog posts. In this way I can meet a Susanne or an Eden—people who live around the country and who I’d probably never come in contact with, were it not for a little blog surfing.

And so my own behavior on visiting blogs fits with all your comments on yesterday's post. It’s about community. It’s about exchanging thoughts. Expressing opinions. Making new friends. That’s why the “personal type” posts are the ones that get the most comments.

Posts on craft and the writing industry are important—after all, that’s what F&F is all about. I’ll continue those. But these posts won’t tend to receive lots of feedback, for all the reasons already discussed. That’s OK. They’re about information, not conversation. And that makes all the difference.


michael snyder said...

No comment.

Nicole said...

There are new friends to be made. Friends who "get" the writing thing and need the personal and professional networking. Friends who desire prayer, and friends who will let down their guards since time and space pose no threat to them.

Pam Meyers said...

Hi Brandilyn,
I like to leave comments, but until Blogger has us all on the "same page" and I can easily leave a comment without resorting to be an "other" I don't. If I see the blog I'm reading is a Beta Blogger I leave a comment. Blogger has made it less user-friendly for leaving comments. Last I checked Angie Hunt and Charis are both on beta...the rest of my blog reading is on the old system. **Sigh**
Pam Meyers

Air Force Family said...

Hi Brandilyn! I'm glad to hear that you will continue to write your informative blogs. I admit I enjoy your more personal, humorous blogs; but I do appreciate your informative blogs, as well.
Have a great week! Happy Thanksgiving!

Anonymous said...

"Visiting" my cyberfriends on their blogs is something I wouldn't trade for the world. Besides, if it weren't for Internet friendships, I would never have met my husband - I was in South Africa and he was in Houston! And Brandilyn, I am also a hermit, just like you! The advantage of technology is that I can visit with my friends in the middle of the night, while they are fast asleep! I never need to find a time slot for that - so I can have more friends than any "normal" person. And the BEST of all: I will probably never meet most of you on this side of heaven, but we will have an eternity together to get to know each other really well!

C.J. Darlington said...

Isn't it weird how we can make friends online without ever having met face to face? I am still amazed by it. I have "met" so many wonderful people online, and the cool thing is when I do sometimes get to "meet" someone in person as well, it's like we're old friends. Well, I guess we are ...

Cara Putman said...

I have certainly noticed a transition in my own life. More and more of my friends are online folks I get to see maybe once a year. And these people know me in a very different way than people I know here.

Susanne said...

I am very glad you decide to take a "walk around the neighborhood"! I've very much enjoyed coming back and visiting at your place. This blogging community amazes me. Last Christmas I had no idea what a blog even was and now I've met so many wonderful people and have made some real friends that I hope to keep for a lifetime. I've been encouraged, I've learned, I've prayed for others and I've laughed & cried along with so many others. I don't know what I'd do without this community in my life now.

Patricia W. said...

Recently spent a few days for business purposes in the company of three other women. Had a blast! Realized I miss "girlfriend time", since I have three sons who keep me hopping. So I've prayed about this. Yet, through this discussion, I also realize at least some of that need is fulfilled through the online relationships I've made. Blogging is a big piece of that.

Kristy Dykes said...

One more comment about comments, and then I'm done commenting on the comments subject. :)

I only have time to read a few blogs a day. They're my favorites of all the blogs in cyberspace. Yours is at the top of my list. I, too, have to have a fix of F&F every morning, as somebody already said. :)

So I frequently comment on these few blogs. A reader could see my comments (or another person's comments) and think 'Kristy (or Whoever) has time to comment on all these blogs?', but what they don't know is, these are the only blogs I read on a consistent basis. (I do, however, read others as time allows.) I guess that's how it is with other commenters.

There's only so much time in the day, and you can't read all the nifty blogs, let alone comment on bunches of them.

~ Brandilyn Collins said...

Michael, you make me laugh.

All of you, thank you. I am grateful for you commenters. :]