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:
Nicole: “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.