The amazing power of comments. We want to know what you think. Television news stations are practically begging to hear your opinion. After virtually every feature story, the news anchor makes it clear that your comments matter. Do you care what others are thinking? It makes no difference, you will probably watch the comments whether you agree or not.
If what people are thinking matters so much to the news media, it matters on the Internet as well. Again, agree or not, people will read what others have to say, if for nothing else than to see the general reaction to a post.
Some obvious things about commenting
- Don’t leave a “Great post” comment. Sometimes this is tempting to do, even by seasoned bloggers. There are great posts, and your reaction to a good thing is to say thanks, that was great. Nevertheless, this adds nothing, and as with any form of writing, if it adds nothing remove it.
- Don’t leave links back to your blog or website. I think this is bad form even if the article you reference is relevant to the post. It is good enough to simply say “I wrote a post that is related…” and let the reader decide whether to look or not. Comments in general have a link to your site under your name, assuming you left a link.
- No matter how angry you are, don’t leave something you will regret. You can strongly disagree without using profanity, flaming the blogger or another commenter. At best you will go unnoticed, and at worst you will be banned from that site. Tolerance of other comments is a virtue not to be taken lightly. Ignore those who countenance argument.
Some not so obvious benefits of commenting
- First, do leave a comment wherever it it appropriate. Take a moment to add what I like to think of as a mini-post. People do read comments. People are prone to curiosity about what others are thinking. Whatever you can add to the general knowledge matters. The key to this is mini. We have all seen comments so long they should be posts.
- You are adding something of value to the discussion. This is important to remember. Everyone gets a piece of the action when you leave a constructive comment. You may get some link love, the blogger gets the value of your knowledge and you are sharing with the world. You don’t, or at least you shouldn’t leave a comment with expectations of praise or importance. Comment with the idea that you are giving something of value, your perceived value to the community.
- Thousands of blogs are waiting for you to read. Many excellent bloggers are posting great content every day. It is easy to subscribe to far too many blogs, skim the posts and leave nothing of value behind. It is doubtful, no it is ridiculous that you would subscribe to hundreds of paper magazines. Consider, if you had to pay for all your blog subscriptions. Would you do that? Far better to read a few, become involved and comment with purpose and quality.
Guest author Hal Brown writes about the psychology, creativity and writing of blogging. A writer photographer, he has written guest posts and technical articles for paper publications. See his current blog at WeblogRedux.com. You can also write guest articles and share your tips and tricks.
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