I was having lunch with some bloggers the other day and the conversation turned, at one point, to how difficult it is to leave comments on some people’s blogs.
I’ve been wanting to mention this for a while, but thought maybe it was just me that was irked by this so I decided to leave it alone. But hey – seems that I’m not the only one after all.
So, let me preface by saying that while I enjoy writing and spewing my thoughts into the blogosphere, probably the best part about blogging is the comments and discussions that result from the blog post itself. Do you usually read the comments after you read blog posts? On this blog, I think the comments are often the best part. The people who comment here have so many interesting, intelligent and just plain hilarious ideas, thoughts and stories. It would be a damn shame if you didn’t read them.
I will assume, therefore, that other bloggers also enjoy comments on their blogs. Some of you make it really difficult though.
While I try to get through most of my blog-roll at least once a week, I always read the blogs of people who’ve left comments on my blog, first. It’s helpful, therefore if your comment links directly to your blog. People often forget to provide their url when leaving a comment or somehow end up leaving a link that leads somewhere else. So I have to go find you in the blog-roll. It’s not a big deal, but it takes extra time.
Then when I do make it to your blog and leave a comment, I want the process to be as quick and painless as possible. For most blogs, I arrive there from my blog, I can usually just type my comment, click submit and away I go. However:
- Some blogs require me to go through all manner of acrobatics. I have to type in my name, email, url – sometimes more than once since it only accepts certain “styles” and I can never tell which one is required.
- Then, when I think I’ve got it right, up pops a “captcha” thing and I have to type in some word or set of words that are all messed up and difficult to read.
- At this point the blog sometimes just eats my comment and I never see it again.
- Or some people have a screening process that doesn’t publish the comment until it’s been scrutinized by the blog owner. While I guess bloggers have a good reason for doing this, it makes having a discussion very difficult.
- Then when I try to leave the blog and go back to my own, sometimes it won’t let me. I get trapped in some people’s blogs and I have to sign out and sign back in again to get home. What is that? Some business blogs do that, too, to increase the length of their hit times or something. I think it’s mean.
I assume these are all choices bloggers make to earn money or to avoid spam or to fool their enemies or something, but it makes a lot of busy people reluctant to try and leave comments or even visit the blog in some cases. Producing a relevant and half-way intelligent comment already takes time and thought. It shouldn’t take twice as long to actually get the comment published and get back to your own blog, should it?
And on the topic of comments — and this is just my opinion – I like blogs where the comments are acknowledged by the blog owner in some way. I always respond to comments because I think of the blog not as a “here’s my post now give me comments” exchange. I think of it as a discussion:
- Here’s my point.
- What’s your point?
- Oh interesting! Here’s my response.
- Maybe you have a come-back?
- Maybe someone else wants to argue with you?
- Maybe I have something else to add?
- Maybe you do?
When I visit other blogs where this type of back-and-forth discussion happens I tend to visit the same post several times to see what other people have to say or to see what the blog owner has to say in response to the comments. It also makes me much more interested in leaving a comment in the first place because I know it will be part of a bigger discussion. But again, that’s just me and this stuff might not be important to everybody.
So, in conclusion, if you’re not getting many comments, perhaps people are having too many technical difficulties and maybe you could make things easier for them? And, if anyone experiences any difficulties leaving comments on this blog please let me know so I can fix whatever needs to be fixed. You can let me know by email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.