Blog Comments

I eavesdropped a really interesting discussion on Twitter over the weekend.  One that really made me sit up and think for a minute.

Commenting on blogs is something that all bloggers have an opinion about and that many worry about.    I have often seen the odd grumble that says “I just don’t get the comments on my posts anymore I must be a rubbish blogger” but is that really the case?

Does a lack of comments indicate a crap post?  I don’t think so.   I just think commenting on blogs is generally declining.  Why?   I am not sure but I a couple of reasons might be that with the increase of blog reading being on mobile devices it just isn’t as easy to comment.  And with complicated anti spam things like spawn of satan Captcha it is virtually impossible from a mobile.

Or is it something more than that?

And why do we care about it at all?

Why do we judge the success of a blog post on the number of comments received?  My most read blog post is found via Googling “should I wash my hair before I go to the hairdressers”.    Yet that is by far not the most commented upon.   So how do I judge that post in terms of success?

Many of us like to get comments on a sponsored post so that it demonstrates interaction to the brand.  But are twenty comments saying “this is a great idea” better than four people on Twitter who see the link read the post, and then tweet “Love this, off to buy it”.

A lot of us do feel passionately about being a part of a community and visit the blogs of other bloggers who have taken the time to comment on our blogs, often finding new blogs to read in the process.   Yet many others disagree with that.

Seems commenting is certainly a hot topic.

This article was linked to in the discussion I had over the weekend (I wish I could credit the person that linked to it, I have a memory like a sieve, but if you know who you are, please make yourself known so I can say thank you):   CopyBlogger:  Should we turn off comments

One of those pieces that I read and that really does make me sit up and think.     Please do take two minutes to read it.     I am not going to paraphrase it here, it makes too many good points for me to repeat them.

I would love to know what you think though.

Or is that just defeating the object of this whole post?  Tweet me maybe?  Write me a letter?

Either way, I would genuinely love to know what you think about this subject.

sits and waits for this post to have not one single comment

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • Oooo now I actually personally think the whole ‘removing blog comments’ is only something that can work on a really successful site which already has a strong following and who are using some form of social media account really well… but ultimately one that did have comments for some time before.

    When I started blogging I didn’t know anyone and I wasn’t that hot on social media so for me comments were a nice way of validating that someone was reading – and still are for me since I went the other way and turned off stats!

  • I think it is a really difficult topic, especially when working with brands who expect to see engagement.

    I still get amazed when someone refers to a blog post I have written because they didn’t comment on it at the time and I think that we assume if there are no comments, there are no readers but it simply isn’t the case. (she says)

  • Sometimes we huge stats on a post, great comments on Twitter and lots of RTs & Facebook shares, but few or none on the blog. With SNJ I think it’s that we’re bringing new information and people perhaps don’t feel they know enough to comment, or don’t have the confidence. It’s a shame because I find other parents’ experiences to be the really interesting and valuable and I love having parent guest posts.
    We get most when people are particularly moved or outraged about something to do with the government…lol

    • Ha, your last line is so true. And certainly from a brand perspective I think it is that engagement that they really seek, not necessarily the more one dimensional comments. Well that seems to be be the suggestion of that article. Maybe it is only bloggers that want comments? Thanks for yours!

  • I was OBSESSED with comments when I started out, because I felt they validated my blog and showed I was popular. I’ve gradually taught myself not to obsess about them – which was hard as I’m the kind of person who seeks the approval of others.
    The way I look at it, everyone’s busy and there are so many good bloggers out there.
    I hope for comments/shares when I write something I’m proud of. But I don’t cry about it if nothing is forthcoming.
    Joining social media forums where bloggers share each other’s work and offer support has helped me feel I’m not being ignored.

  • I follow over 100 blogs and read quite a few posts, however I only comment occasionally on posts where I feel I have something to say – I just don’t have time to comment on every post I read unfortunately.

  • A very thought provoking post on something that I was musing about in my blog last week. As a new blogger such as myself, I think perhaps comments on my blog play a more important role than when one is more established – but possibly not for the reasons that you may think. I have plenty of comments on my stuff on social media, in particular Facebook and Twitter, and interestingly a lot of my followers are novelists and authors, who thrive on giving and receiving feedback. But for me, the few comments actually on my blog are generally made by other bloggers, which means that other bloggers are reading my stuff and to an extent validates my writing, and that is nice to know. There is no doubt that a number of people (myself included) don’t comment on blogs directly because they access the blogs via an ‘iGadget’ which doesn’t allow, or makes it very difficult to, access. But my feeling is that if someone has taken the time to write something, and I’ve taken the time to read it, I should make the effort to comment.

  • I love getting blog comments so I set aside time most evenings – half an hour or so, to read and comment on blogs. If I read a blog post I like to comment. If a blog has captcha I won’t read it as I find it so hard to comment. If a blog had comments turned off I probably wouldn’t bother reading either! x

  • I’ve been thinking about this and there is one thing that I love about blog comments that you don’t get on social media – that thing you get when you publish a really emotional post, maybe one that touches on personal and difficult issues, like that rape post I wrote recently. The comments of support are wonderful but there’s comments where others share their experiences too – things that wouldn’t happen over social media. I know I always leave comments at times with things in I wouldn’t say on Twitter or even my own blog (my mum reads it!)
    See told you I had been pondering!

  • Hmmmm. I think I’m just needy! I hate it when I get no comments. It makes me think what I’ve written isn’t worthy of being read.

    However, lots of blog post don’t require comments – craft posts or recipes for example. Not many people bother to write “this was great I’ve made it and it turned out brilliantly”.

    I do agree comments are declining too because of mobile devices, because some platforms are not easy to comment on, increased use of social media and I genuinely think people don’t have the time anymore.

  • I am one of those that couldn’t turn off comments, I love them too much. Mostly because I like to feel like I am not just talking to myself – which is very much usually the case! 😀

  • I agree with Liz it depends on what the post is. If it’s a discussion and you’d expect comments I would get disheartened if there weren’t any.

  • LOVE comments! I always stupidly feel cheated if someone replies “fab post” on Twitter! Like that comment could have been used better! And Mammasauras makes a fab point about joining the conversation and then adding other posts. I love when people do that x

  • I love getting comments! I hate that thing where you publish a post that you think is really good and for some reason it misses the mark it doesn’t get any engagement. I always want to take it down when that happens! But it’s about quality rather than quantity – I’d rather have two genuine responses than twenty meaningless ones. If i’ve really loved a post but don’t feel like I have anything to add to the conversation then I’ll share it on Twitter or include it in Tuesday Treats instead. I also need to make more time to reply to comments on my own blog. But it’s difficult isn’t it – if you only have a set amount of time to spend on your blog are you better off replying to comments, or creating new content? Ho hum. Great thought provoking post T xx

  • I like getting comments, but am still guilty of reading more than I comment on. I often read on my phone and the combination of fat finger typing and awkward comment systems means I am less likely to comment on posts I have read that way.

  • I’m sending a carrier pigeon with my comment.

    But in the meantime, I rarely comment – it’s just a time thing, nothing personal. Plus, it’s so much easier to tweet someone ‘Great Post’ than actually leave a blog comment. So the common theme here is I’m just lazy. x

  • I couldn’t turn comments off either. I love getting feedback and hear about other people’s ideas, experiences or opinions. I think it’s important to not take it personal, if we don’t get comments. People are busy, they read on mobile devices or they just get distracted. It doesn’t mean that they value your content any less…

  • This is a fascinating post. I’d feel really quite sad if comments got turned off, I found that I ‘met’ kindred spirits much more through the interaction of comments than through Facebook (I’m just too self-conscious that real life people will be reading) or twitter (too constrained by the word limit).

    I read a similar article on an academic blog the other day,where the issue is partly that the comments have got so much about one-upmanship that they’re just replicating the peer review process. It’s sad if that’s the case, and if the blogging community loses that reciprocity then something really special will go.

    I think what you say about the physical difficulties of commenting are very true too, it’s quite disheartening when you get riled up to comment only to find that you can’t for technical reasons.

  • I love comments and always make an effort to reply on my blog when I receive one and post my own comments on other people’s blogs too. However it is a time factor, you can’t comment on everything, and sometimes a quick tweet to show the blogger that you have read their post has to suffice! I reckon it’s better than nothing at all. But sometimes I do read posts and say nothing at all – due to time! So no- lack of comments doesn’t indicate a crap post!

  • When I started my blog social media was not a big thing so leaving comments was the way you ‘met’ other people and interacted; that need has reduced as there are now so many other places to interact. However, on some sites I will read the post and then the comments as they add additional value to the topic.

    I love getting comments on my posts because I appreciate the time someone has spent to write to me, it is like getting a letter in the post. Plus that comment is now saved on my blog so I can refer back to it if I want to, whereas comments through social media are likely to be forgotten.

    I often don’t have time to comment on posts at the time I read them so I mark them to return to in the future. I hope the author appreciate comments later after the initial rush. One example is your Honest post, I want to write something but haven’t worked out exactly what yet. I also agree about the technical problems with writing comments, such a shame when it is difficult.

  • Well, as one of those who started off in the discussion that that led to this post and then got pointed back here by Mammasaurus’ No comment post, I am totally on the fence:

    It’s this sort of interaction above that follows your great post MummyBarrow; it adds so much more value to an already thought-provoking post. I really enjoy that. I love reading the comments of others and seeing their point of view. I love that interaction both on my blog and on others.

    I love a genuine comment, question, even contradiction on my own posts.

    On the other hand the boom in pretend genuine comments, ie those who only comment because they come as part of a comment circle, or something alike and don’t really read what you’ve written, but to add their own link …. well that is disappointing!

    I hate a hashtagged comment!

    That’s how I’m on the fence.

  • This is really interesting. As bloggers – how are we measuring ourselves, and really…should we be measuring our worth anyway?? Once blogging and/or commenting becomes a chore then I think that it is time to turn it in. I don’t always comment on posts because I am usually short of time, however, I like to spend time re-tweeting posts, or making time to go back and comment.

  • I love comments, but it is interesting that many of the most viewed posts have none – usually because they’re the ones found via search engines where people (non bloggers) are searching for info, they find it, then leave.

    I prefer blog commenting myself as I can write more, and get a bit of interaction going, where on twitter, you’re limited, plus it’s really hard to go back afterwards if you want to refer to something.

    I hate commenting on someone’s blog where there’s poor grammar, spelling, bad formatting or it’s hard to read – centralised text, small font etc. The post might be great, but if I hate reading it then I’ll not want to comment.

    I have to say, I’m quite enjoying all the commenting on the commenting posts – interesting discussions.