Is There Such a Thing Like a Comment’s Guide for Blogging?

Is there a guide to post blog comments?  During the courses Blogging 101 and 201, we wondered what’d be the blogosphere etiquette and exchanged ideas on that. We shared what we individually accepted as the right behaviors and moved on.

I for one, felt at ease to leave comments on the blogs I follow, and learned to appreciate that I derived more pleasure from the commentary left on my blog than the post I have written. Comments brought life to my words, and the interactions with readers created a community of minds, as well as it built strong bonds with like-minded people.

Some days ago, this subject was brought to my attention by two bloggers, who inspired me to write this post. I would like to share their posts with you, as they bring new perspectives to commentary, which is worth checking out.

My fellow blogger Deborah Drucker wrote the post  The Dust Has Settled; it starts like that:

“I had no idea when I made a comment to one of my fellow blogger friends that it would stir up such a hornet’s nest of controversy. It turns out many people have an opinion on the subject I had raised. It had to do with making connections with other bloggers when you are a new blogger. And should the more established bloggers reciprocate with their commenters and go and visit the commenter’s blog? and comment? Then this lead to another comment from me about the Big bloggers and how they attract new bloggers to their sites.”

Some days later, another fellow blogger, The Occidental Reader, who blogs at Something To Say left a comment on one of my posts that went like that:

I censor myself much too much…I don’t always allow myself to convey a feeling or thought in the moment. It makes it into words on the screen, but then the analyzing begins. I ask myself, how will these words be perceived, did I perceive what I just read the way the writer wanted me to perceive it, question after question until the words become covered in blue, then turn into blank space…There are times for more thoughtful comments or replies, but so many opportunities for connecting are missed when I indulge my senseless censoring.!”

Their thoughts made me ponder and here is my conclusion:

I write a post or a comment without knowing where I will end up with my thoughts and emotions. The inner drive is to express the ideas evoked from what I read. The ideas come out fast; I borrow meaning from words – connected as verbs, adjectives, substantives. To get them out from my thought processes to the world in the format of phrases, is not a precise process though.

Even if I may not ever know if the words used translated well the truth of the first thoughts, how could I expect the reader to perceive what I did and make comments with perfection?

The same goes the other way around. How could a reader expect the blogger to have read his or her thoughts and write precisely what he/she wanted to read?

I think that we will never know before commenting, how that will come across and what people will make out of our words. Individual perceptions are complex and I wouldn’t attempt to read it precisely from anyone; I already struggle at times, making sense of my own…

As bloggers, either when writing a post or commentary, we need to be prepared to hear opposite views and command the same respect to them, as we would for those who agree with us.  Conversely, we shouldn’t ever be afraid of commenting for fear of judgment. If our comments stir controversy and are not well received, there is always the possibility to at least learn from the experience.

Thanks, Deborah and Occidental Reader, it was worthy to once again reflect about that.

There are at least two angles, two sides, reflecting what we see as the truth.

What do you think about this?

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Sharing sights & insights captured with diverse angles. Ex-corporate slave, now my own boss. Cycling, hiking, cooking, reading, yoga, writing and photography, are no longer only hobbies listed on my resume. It's what I do, when I want.

29 thoughts on “Is There Such a Thing Like a Comment’s Guide for Blogging?

  1. If there are already many comments, I’m unlikely to add my thoughts, unless I feel that I have something new to say. But, if I have time and the post sparked a reaction, I usually comment — and hope that the poster will forgive me if I say something odd or unintentionally offensive.

    I recently came across a post on Sammy D’s site, bemuzin, that had some great tips about how to encourage other bloggers. Ironically, I didn’t comment on that post. Here is the link: http://bemuzin.com/2014/07/18/readers-reading-and-beyond/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing your views, Sandi and also for the link. I’m also a bit reluctant to comment when there are many already on the post. I don’t read them though and just leave my thoughts there. Sometimes when I read them, that discourages me.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I see what you mean — kind of like feeling discouraged when you see so many great responses to a Photo 101 assignment before you yourself have had time to do it: then you feel, what can I add? It can be the same way with comments for me. Maybe I should try your approach when there are a lot of comments.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Now I cannot leave without commenting. Right?! 😀 Well written. Even at times I do think, should I say it or not; Is it right or not; will it make a positive effect or not. But after all by leaving our comment we letting the author know that we have read and understood your point. So I think commenting is always good thing to do 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Thanks Lucille for mentioning my post. I almost wish I could bury the whole thing. I hope it is ok if I comment here without sounding like I want to call more attention to myself. It is kind of crazy to me how it all started. But I had told another blogger that I thought the other bloggers in our little group should read each others posts. I made a comment on my own blog in my own comment section that the popular bloggers are kind of full of themselves and don’t feel they need to bother reciprocating. He came over to my blog read my comment and then put my statement on his blog and that started a bigger reaction. I think what I learned from it was that even if I make a comment on my own blog someone could get hold of it and publish it. It is strange but it is like our written words are almost more powerful than spoken ones. We can say things when we are a bit frustrated and it can kind of blow up. The blogger who reposted my comment and I have discussed what happened and are back on good terms I think. Blogging is new for me. It is kind of surreal how everything we say on social media is out there for anyone to read and react to.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Deborah, you make a great point: our comments are as public as everything else that we put on WordPress. Unlike our posts, we can’t edit our comments or delete them or change them, after the fact. Once or twice, a nice blogger has fixed my typos, which I appreciated. But we’re not talking about typos here, are we?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes you are correct we can not edit our comments on someone else’s blog. I know what you mean about typos 🙂 Argh! I feel I look inarticulate with those typos 🙂 It was my own comment on my own blog that was a bit provocative. I could have taken it off but the person read it and asked me about it. That is what is a bit new for me. We can be having a conversation in our own comment section and make statements that others can and will read. It was bad timing because I asked him to read my blog by a comment I made on his and he came to read mine and saw my comment. It’s all out there. So yes as Somni said I guess we can’t worry about it too much. We are human beings and can misspell or say things. Isn’t there a quote “The moving hand writes, and having writ moves on. Neither all your tears, nor all your wit, shall lure it back to erase half a line, nor change a word of it.”
        I wonder if this is an apt description of how we can feel?

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Thank you, Deborah, for providing the inspiration. I had no idea on what had happened but from the little I know about you, I was on your side. I grasped that someone took it personally and most likely made it too big an issue.
      I appreciated your reflections on what we need to be aware of as bloggers. It is indeed true that we feel home and safe inside our bloghouse but in fact it is an open house and there are no fences around it. What we say is public and can be reused without our knowledge.
      Once more, many thanks. It was a wake up call that from the comments here, I see that benefitted many.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank You too. Well someone commented to me again about the whole thing of what we say on our blogs today. I have come to some conclusions at the end of it. What we say on our own blogs is for us to decide. Some people may not like it. Some people may not agree. But it is our blog. We can not take it personally or let it get us down. We might make some mistakes in our commenting. But in our posts and in our comments we have to remember we are human and not perfect and forgive ourselves as well. It has been a learning experience for me too. Thanks Lucille for you comment. I appreciate it. 🙂

        Like

  4. I feel that a person should never feel obligated to reciprocate a comment or even a visit to my blog. Having any sort of expectations is just unrealistic especially on the Internet so I consider myself lucky to get any sort of attention whether it be a visit, like, comment, etc.

    In regards to controversy and such, I know that people will read things in their own internal voice which may not reflect the actual message being communicated. In that case it’s best to be direct but tactful at the same time as an initial show of respect, not censorship. There’s nothing “edgy” about being just another asshole on the Internet. I feel we should always write and say what we mean but in the end, people will only hear what they want to hear. If it results in an argument, well… people like to see drama and all that so it’ll make for good views regardless of who “wins”.

    In any event, I feel that an honest first reaction is most important. Whether it’s direct or I have to read between the lines to decipher it is irrelevant – as long as it’s your own opinion and not what society has forced you to say, I can accept that 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Some well known bloggers have chosen to disable comments altogether to avoid spam and the horrible sort of discourse that sometimes occurs in the comments. They use a different system for thoughtful commentary.

    The write a blog post with their commentary and link back to the original post.

    Here’s what prominent writer Matt Gemmell had to say in 2013.

    Comments encourage unconsidered responses. You’ve just read an article, you feel strongly about it, and you have a text field just waiting there. When disagreeing, people tend to be at their very worst when writing comments. They use language and tones which they’d never use in email, much less in person. If your blog allows comments, you’re inviting people into your house – but sadly, some of them don’t conduct themselves appropriately.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the insights Khürt. I don’t imagine a blog without a comments section, though. We can always set comments for prior approval, anyways. Perhaps for people who have thousands followers that might be a necessity, as they can’t manage it easily.

      I agree though that there are people not conducting themselves appropriately but there are many others who do. Lets hope we get only the latter as visitors.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I think we can try to treat each other with civility and kindness, even as we allow ourselves to think out loud. It’s a delicate balance. Thanks for considering this! Love the Khayyam poem.

    Like

  7. I love comments, and I love commenting, although I don’t do the latter often enough. Sometimes I just don’t have things to say, and I show my support by liking. As for guidelines, some bloggers write a policy page but I don’t feel the need for that since those who will respect it are already likely to write respectful comments and those who won’t, aren’t.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Maybe after NaBloPoMo, we all will have a life again, and our time back, for reading AND commenting. Thanks for making time to comment here. I appreciate that very much.
      It is a good point about the need or not of a policy. I agree with you and wouldn’t have one.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. All of the comments above carry great insights that I feel I can hardly add more. Grammar Police lurking around the internet are sometimes source of irritation for many. We all make mistakes, native speaker or not. About people misinterpreting what we put out there in writings… it reminds me of a quote that says: I am responsible for what I say but I am not accountable for what you understand. Or something like that. Great article. One of the best I read in a long time.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I love comments. For more than a year now I’ve had the like button turned off in my blog, to encourage people to comment instead of clicking like and moving on.
    But, the like button is back again for a trial period on my blog now.

    Like

    1. It’s a good idea. I prefer comments too but respect those who prefer not to. Sometimes it’s lack of time, as people have to choose to see many or just a few and comment. Use of mobile data also restricts going beyond a like on the reader, when abroad. What are your findings from the experience?

      Like

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