What Stops You Commenting?

I am loving Twitter at the moment … I am coming in contact with more and more people who have fascinating blogs, great insight and, well, a brilliant sense of humour. It is always a joy to dig into a newly discovered blog … to find out about what interests them, how they interpret their passion (or their work), and how their readers respond to their writing.

Chris Hambly has a great blog that looks at new media … with some great recent posts on the state of the music industry. But digging found I found this great question … "what stops you commenting?". It made me think. I get a lot of visits here and a mostly regular core of commentors … but what about the casual reader? What about the feed reader? What about the lurker?

Really, I am interested to know … perhaps there is something that I can do to invite you into the conversation. A change in tone. More seriousness? Less?

Go on … let me know. As Chris says, "lose the comment fear".

5 thoughts on “What Stops You Commenting?

  1. Gavin
    I am a feed reader – probably about a dozen or so. I also blog. I have commented maybe 3x in a year. (Couldn’t resist disagreeing with Tom Peters.)
    My comment is a general one – does not necessarily apply here; but at the risk of being run down in a dark alley:
    Most bloggers fall into one of two categories:
    The serious Web 2.0 types who are so up their arse in how they are changing the world and how important their little world is.
    The other type are the traffic whores who will say anything, do anything to get traffic, including commenting on everything, running multiple blogs in their incestuous network of domains etc. (They live for a Top 200 Digg).
    Now, to each his own. Maybe someone is changing the web, maybe someone is making a lot of money, but the truth is that by and large neither group is particularly interesting, so what’s to comment? A blog comment is only one kind of conversation, and only meaningful on a rare occasion.
    And I am sorry to say, I just don’t get Twitter – I tried, but without exception (to date) I have found those conversations inane in the extreme. I’d rather talk to my dog.
    I don’t mean to offend anyone with a different view: if that is one thing the net has succeeded in doing is showcasing a wider range of nutcases than you’d think exists; to the extent that normality is now a pretty fat bell curve.

  2. Dennis … thanks for commenting! Most of the folks/blogs that I am interested in fall well short on both traffic and blog revenue (unless someone is not telling the whole truth). But in a world where “time to market” is collapsing, the “big ideas” is less relevant. What is more important (in my little world view) is organisational resilience and flexibility … and the ability to follow through. My favourite bloggers/blogs engage in debate around HOW you actually do this and what it means for both businesses and their customers.
    Many people are with you on Twitter. And it really does not appeal to everyone. But take a look at both Jeremiah Owyang’s and Ann Handley’s MarketingProfs articles on Twitter. There is gold to be had …

  3. Hi there. I’m mostly a lurker so I pop in and out of blogs at random. I don’t really have a fear of commenting but maybe if we look at why people actually do leave comments, you’ll find you answer. For starters, I comment when the entry is really interesting. Sometimes, I just want to comment in order to applaud the writer. Or when I have a similar experience to share, I comment. When the entry engages people to participate (in a friendly and simple way), that also makes it fun for lurkers like me to leave a message.

  4. I tend to comment only if I feel I can add something to the conversation, and that I’ll get something out of participating. I find that I frequently write comments and then pause to decide whether or not I really want to post the comment. More often than not I end up killing the comment.
    Part of the filtering is: do I want to participate in further discussions, responses to my comment? Is there any value to me in doing so (either in spreading something I believe in, answering a question , generating business or networking contacts)?
    Another thing with commenting on blogs vs. something like Usenet newsgroups or even discussion boards is that it’s not easy to get updates, you typically have to return to the page you commented on (and thus have to remember where that was). Some sites are set up to subscribe to comments as a feed, but that’s one-way, you still have to manually return to the original site to post a response, there’s typically nothing in the feed to click on to take you right to a commenting form.
    When I first started blogging circa 2001, it was a bit easier to comment about another blog by posting to your own blog due to trackbacks/pingbacks. But because of the combination of trackback spam and comment spam, the utility of that has dropped to near zero. You can sort of find out about blogs commenting about your site through technorati and other tools, but they’re external, not part of the little ecosystem of your blog world, so they’re not as useful.
    p.s. your typekey integration is broken.

  5. Jen … thanks for contributing to the conversation!
    Ed … I agree — I often don’t comment because I have no additional value to add. But then, sometimes I want to ensure that the writer knows that I am reading, so I leave a comment. I have been using CoComment for a while to help track the conversations that I am participating in. It is not perfect, but it helps.
    BTW … Typekey seems to be working again (its all managed by Typepad for me – not much I can do).

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