Some Comments About Commenting

June 15, 2010 · 18 comments

The principal difference between socializing in the real world and socializing online is manners. I don’t mean the occasional flame thrower who goes off like a weapon of mass destruction. I’m talking about the more subtle, self-important types who want to do all the talking, and don’t have time for common courtesy.

I read comments on blogs. Sometimes a commenter has added real value to the conversation, or a point of view that contrasts the subject at hand. Great, I can see another side to the issue.

Other times, someone merely wants to say thanks. Whenever I read something like this, point number 5, I cringe to think I could be banned for saying thanks.  Worse than that, most of the commenters agree with this.

In the real world it is common courtesy to say thanks when you have received something of value. In the virtual world it can be construed as annoying

Issuing warnings above the comment box is just plain rude. Even if I have something to add, I won’t do it. If what I have to say doesn’t fit the mold of the clever terms of service, I could be banished, vaporized or afflicted with biblical torments.

Anyone who reads this blog knows I recently installed Comment Luv. After using Disqus for a period of months, I realized that it was making things difficult for commenters. If you own an A-List blog then Disqus may be exactly what you need. Some high-end bloggers are removing comments altogether.

In fact, this is better than warnings of banishment or the arrogance of ill mannered rules. Either way, I see this as a gettin’ too big for your britches.

In the real world it is common courtesy to say thanks when you have received something of value. In the virtual world it can be construed as annoying. Splain this to me Lucy.

Feel free to say whatever you want here. Obviously, spam, foul language, flaming or nasty behavior can’t be tolerated.

NOTE: I wrote this post several weeks ago. Last week, Debbie Kipp wrote a wonderful article, Your Thoughts: Do You Comment on Blogs? I believe her post is more relevant to the ordinary blogger than anything said by those with too many comments.

Photo courtesy The Morgue File

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Randy Murray June 15, 2010 at 7:23 am

Commenting, or the lack of commenting, is something I puzzle over. I like a thank you, but I really like questions and alternatives.

It’s too bad more don’t take the time to respond.

Randy Murray´s last blog ..Songs Stuck In Your Head – And A Solution

Hal Brown June 15, 2010 at 4:39 pm

I think we all feel that way. Sometimes thank you is all I can think to say. Obviously, this annoys some people.
Thanks Randy.

Karen June 15, 2010 at 9:48 am

Hi Hal,

I try to respond to all the comments left at my site, but sometimes it does get hard when people just leave “great article”-type comments. However, I’ve never had to ban anyone, either. I think it’s up to the individual blogger to decide what’s appropriate on their site.

I’m not in favour of turning off comments on blogs, but that’s a personal decision.

Re: Disqus. I don’t know how many times I’ve read a fantastic article and was excited to leave a comment, only to find it not working when i get to the end of the page. So frustrating! I can’t stand it. So, thank you for seeing the light and adding CommentLuv :-)

Karen´s last blog ..How To Heal Your RelationshipsMy ComLuv Profile

Hal Brown June 15, 2010 at 4:41 pm

The worst for me is Blogger and some other proprietary comment plugins. I’ve registered just about everywhere. Even so, there are times when it seems like you have to jump through fire just to leave a comment.
Thanks Karen.

Jonathan Elliot June 15, 2010 at 10:52 am

I don’t yet have a problem with over-abundant comments. I hope to one day! ;)

As Diane mentions in her blog, most of us love comments. It encourages us to know someone out there’s getting some value from our efforts.

Hal Brown June 15, 2010 at 4:44 pm

As you can see, I don’t have that problem either. If the day ever comes when it is a problem, I’ll simply reply to only the most pertinent comments, or not reply at all.
Thanks Jonathan.

Jonathan Elliot June 15, 2010 at 10:54 am

Argh! Diane = Debbie Kipp. Sorry.

Debbie June 15, 2010 at 8:24 pm

Great minds think alike? Seriously, I can understand why, if you have a TON of comments with every blog post, you might get picky about what you value vs what annoys you with regard to comments. But, I can’t understand why you wouldn’t just leave them alone. At least the “great article” comment means they read it, and took the time to say SOMETHING. Sure, adding to the conversation is ideal, but not everyone has something to more to add. As bloggers we wonder why more people don’t comment more often. Maybe we’ve found one answer — they’re afraid to! A little gratitude and appreciation can go a long way . . .

BTW – I don’t have that problem, either. :))
Debbie´s last blog ..Your Thoughts: Do You Comment on Blogs?

Hal Brown June 16, 2010 at 5:15 am

I think you’ve summed it up nicely Debbie. AND, thanks for commenting. :-)

Kissie June 15, 2010 at 10:27 pm

Hey Hal, I said my piece about this some time ago ….I think it was the only “rant” post I ever did. Unfortunately for me, the Celtics are down by 20 points right now and I can’t concentrate well and long enough to make a sensible comment…..see I’m the type of commenter who makes it bad for the good ones.
Kissie´s last blog ..Um, Clever

Hal Brown June 16, 2010 at 5:17 am

Hi Kissie. Hey, you took the time to say something. AND, you never make it bad for anyone.

Missy June 16, 2010 at 7:09 am

Great article! Thanks for the post. ;)

JK – I just don’t have the capacity to reply to comments left right now, except maybe once a week – and I think it’s a bit ridiculous to block comments that say “thank you.” It seems like a sign of using anonymity to be rude.
Missy´s last blog ..Oh, Poop!

Hal Brown June 16, 2010 at 11:10 am

We all get busy, especially in the summer. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment here. I’ll take all I can get. :-)

Karen Olsen June 17, 2010 at 4:38 pm

Thanks! :-)
Really, I agree with this. I wouldn’t leave a comment on chance of being banned. And I would never ban anyone for saying thanks. That’s just stupid.

Mari June 21, 2010 at 12:03 pm

Courtesy might just be a favorite topic of the courteous. I jest, but relinquishing thank-yous to the Trash sounds like a step towards the erosion of interactive communication, the counter ideology to those of us who sit in solitude before our monitors for a good deal of our days. I wonder if the bloggers who dismiss comments or the readers who don’t comment are also free from habitually checking for incoming email, text, and voice messages. I’m with all of you who know how to give thanks and appreciation for the presentation of mindful subject matter.

Hal Brown June 21, 2010 at 12:44 pm

Hi Mari.
Well said. I can’t add anything to your comment. You have beautifully summarized what I said. And as always, no sarcasm intended, thank you.
BTW, I hope you had a wonderful trip.

Mari June 21, 2010 at 3:12 pm

Thank YOU, Hal, for what you write and who you are.
My trip to L.A. was a fun time!

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