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The Great Commenting Experiment

I’m generally a bit of a lurker. I’ve been a member of online communities for years, spending hours a week on each one reading other people’s comments, absorbing their knowledge, and selfishly not commenting. My instinct is that whatever I’ll try to add to the conversation has already been covered, one comment is a drop in the bucket, and, really, who has the time to construct intelligent, pertinent comments all the time? There’s so much else to do!

All this was fine until I started running a decent content blog (no, I don’t mean this one — I mean the Flippa Blog). Then, comments became part of my tracked metrics, and a boatload of comments overnight could make my day.

Even as social media grows in importance (and yes, I’m still a huge fan of Google Plus for conversations!), commenting is a big part of online community building. That’s why I’ve set myself a new challenge: comment on every article I finish.

That’s had three excellent side effects:

  • I’m much more selective about what I read, since I know I’ll have to take the time to comment at the end,
  • I read much more closely, since I’ll eventually have to find something to comment on,
  • Surprisingly, I’m a little bit more detached from my comments: this is an exercise in “good enough”, not in crafting the perfect comment every time.

What’s your philosophy when it comes to blog comments? Do you systematically leave them on every post? Do you only leave them when you disagree with the post?

4 thoughts on “The Great Commenting Experiment”

  1. No and no. I only leave them when I’m inspired by the post, and what I feel hasn’t already been expressed. I never see much point in a me-too comment—it’s a comments section, not a petition 😉

    I’m intrigued by your new-found selectivity in reading. I try out a lot of posts and find a lot of them are dross, but I can only find that out by giving them a go. I wonder how you’re deciding what to read and what not to read before you give the post a go?

  2. I think it’s a great experiment. If the article is good enough to finish, commenting is a way to pay tribute to the author, even if it’s just to say that you enjoyed it. The outcomes sound rewarding enough to give this a go. So, now you know I liked your article, since I’m commenting 😀 thanks Ophelie!

  3. This is a great idea. I’m going to try and do the same thing. Well, you’ve got me writing at least.

  4. I think it depends on the blog, as some blogs if you just comment because you want to show thanks for the article, You may get pseudo-intellectuals leave a negative comment that your comment was not deep enough for them.

    Some blogs the comments are equal or better than the article, I have read comments on some SEO articles that the comments were very educational.

    Personal blogs I always try to be complimentary or just say thanks or nice job, if I don’t agree I will usually not comment on a personal blog.

    Using comments as a metric has to exclude all trolling comments imo, some domain blogs before they actually made commenting transparent and not anonymous had a ton of comments, I actually stopped reading comments and missed out on the good ones because I was not going to give the time of day to the trash.

    I just found your blog tonight I never knew you had this here. You are much too modest and that’s a good thing but you should never be anxious before hitting publish, you are an upcoming star in this industry and you will only be limited by how far you want to go.

    All the best

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