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?