Archive for the Category »Comments «

Every time I write a post about comments and how to receive more, it becomes a popular one. The most recent one, Five Ways To Increase Blog Comments, is no exception.

What this tells me is most bloggers WANT comments. Bloggers like to have their thoughts validated. Bloggers also like to communicate with their readers and via comments, ideas can blossom into great discussions which can lead to bigger and better ideas or solutions. Comments create community on blogs and it’s through comments, online friendships are often made.

Comments are what makes a blog interactive and is why many people enter the blogging arena.

To be heard.

Today’s Lesson

When I commented on Betsy’s post Life Skills: You Don’t Have to Explain Certain Things I went back later to read her response. In a comment that followed, Betsy wrote, in part,

“…sometimes they’re just not that into us”*

Her words reminded me how with blogging, as much as we love receiving comments, one of the reasons we may not not get any (or very few) is just that, our readers are just not that into what we’re posting.

Ouch! That’s a blow to the ego.

In fact, when we hear that, our first reaction might be “Then why do I bother to post?”

And in truth, that’s a good question to ask ourselves. “Why do we blog?”

If it’s only to receive validation or to PROVE our point(s), we could be setting ourselves up for disappointment.

Maybe, no one cares.

Or maybe, as Betsy eludes to in her post, our readers don’t feel the need to explain themselves on the issues we’ve written about.

So that leads to the question, “Does a lack of comments mean our readers are just not that into us or what we’ve posted? Or might our visitors be reading but feeling they don’t need to explain their viewpoints to us?”

Since bloggers are usually the readers who comment most often, for today’s lesson, let’s take the commenting discussion further and share what inspires US to comment, or not.

Today’s Assignment

When you read a blog post, what inspires you to leave a comment?

Also, what hampers you from commenting?

Care to share?

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*A book with a similar title, He’s Just Not That Into You: The No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys was popular several years back. (*affiliate link)

Sample of wordpress dashboard - commentsUntil comments begin to show up, new bloggers often feel like they’re in an echo chamber – talking to themselves.

For some blogs, it can take months before someone comments. For others, a matter of days.

It’s when we feel what we’re sharing isn’t being read, we think of giving up.

After all, blogging is supposed to be interactive.

Today’s Lesson

I feel fortunate that I receive the amount of comments I do. Comments inspire me to continue on. Comments inspire new posts. And via comments I get to meet other bloggers.

But it wasn’t always that way. My audience (or lack thereof) remained silent for quite some time.

I’d publish posts, but no one seemed to care.

But I didn’t give up.

What worked for me were five things.

  1. I visited other blogs and left comments.
  2. Not every blogger reciprocated with comments on my blog, but some did, as did some of their readers. HINT: Comment on new or smaller blogs. Generally, A-list bloggers do not reciprocate comments.

  3. I linked to other blogs, but I did it a little different.
  4. I set up a series which I named, “New Blog Of The Week” (NBOTW) and hunted for new bloggers (usually under four months old). I used Tuesday as my NBOTW day and would write a post showcasing their blog, including excerpts from three of their posts/pages and included links to them.

    This was a slow process, but over time, I began to build my readership, as well as my blog community.

    I’ve discontinued this series, however, the list of 90 blogs remains here.

  5. Another important aspect to receiving comments, ASK questions.
  6. Even if you feel your post is complete, it doesn’t hurt to ask your readers, “Did I forget anything?’, “What are your thoughts on this topic?”, or ____fill in the blank___.

    Give readers a reason to comment.

  7. I answered the comments I received.
  8. Although I occasionally miss comments which show up on older posts, my goal is answer all comments I receive on this blog.

    Unfortunately, due to the amount of spam I receive, I closed the comments on posts older than 90 days.

  9. I asked a comment expert for additional advice.
  10. Liz Strauss, of Successful and Outstanding Bloggers is known for the huge amount of comments she has received over the years so naturally she was the one I approached for advice.

    In a two part interview, I asked Liz, How to Maximize Blog Comments and How To Get Readers To Join Your Community.

    The information Liz shared is priceless.

For some bloggers, comments aren’t important, but for others, they become the real reason to continue on.

Today’s Assignment

What technique(s) do/did you use to entice your readers to comment?

Care to share?

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“The pen is mightier than the sword.”

~Edward Bulwer-Lytton

Nowadays, this quote has been changed to “The keyboard is more powerful than a gun. “, which to me means, some of the words which are posted online (or in texts and emails), can, in some instances, hurt another person so badly, they decide to end their life.

When I hear stories of children committing suicide because they were bullied, it breaks my heart.

Because of words, and possibly the inability to defend themselves, the self esteem of these children ended up in the toilet and they (probably) felt like life wasn’t worth living. Maybe they felt worthless. Or felt they were a burden on society. That no one cared about them. Maybe they didn’t feel loved, wanted, needed and/or heard.

Because I haven’t walked in their shoes, I can’t say exactly why a child would take their own life, but the world won’t be the same without them. They will be missed.

Today’s Lesson

Cyber bullying is on the rise and as more young people sign on to social networking sites or start blogging, the problems will undoubtedly escalate.

Cyber bullying won’t go away, but it can be minimized.

When I analyze social networking sites and blogs, I see how problems can emerge.

Let’s look at Facebook. They utilize a “like” button and label those we communicate with with as “friends”.

Most adults can differentiate between real friends and online friends, but can children?

We enjoy the “like” button as it’s a quick and easy way to give a thumbs up to what others are sharing, but children may feel if no one “likes” what they post, then they’re not liked either.

Sites like Twitter with their “followers” and Google Plus with their “circles” use different terminology, but it still comes down to who “accepts our request(s)” and follows us back. Who likes us, so to speak.

It also makes me wonder if bloggers contribute to the problem.

In my travels around the blogosphere, I’ve seen where some blog authors let their commenters rate other comments as “winner”, “loser”, “spam”, and “like”. Although this gives others a chance to quickly share what they think of other comments, it also lets fellow bloggers be the judge and jury.

Instead of verbally disagreeing with the opinions of others, we can instantly place a virtual “loser” stamp on the comment/author.

If children observe adults doing this, might we be teaching them to do the same? To label others?

Although some will say it’s solely the parent’s job to be a good role model and monitor what a child does online, a parent cannot realistically be with a child 24/7. Plus, even if we are doing everything right to raise well balanced, self confident children, a child is more apt to listen to the words of their peers rather than those from a parent.

With cyber bullying, it’s words which are killing or negatively affecting our young people. Words which hurt. Words which others don’t take responsibility for. Words which are often published in haste.

I wish I had a sure-fire way to stop cyber bullying, but I don’t.

What I do have though, is a blog; a place where I can ask you for your suggestions.

Today’s Assignment

How do you think we can help solve the cyber bullying problem?

Care to share?

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Cyber bullying resources:

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