Have you ever noticed how when you write your thoughts on paper it helps to clarify your feelings? It’s no wonder keeping a journal is so popular.

Blogging is the same. We often write (blog) about that which is on our mind.

It’s not just posting to a blog that can be beneficial. So can commenting.

We all know commenting is a great way to get our blogs found. Commenting builds community, both on our blog, and on others.  Just like writing a blog post, commenting can also give us a voice.

Today’s Lesson

When a blogger writes a post on a subject that interests me, I get to thinking and excitedly leave a comment that basically says, “Yeah, me, too, etc…”  My hope is my comment adds value to the post, and in the process, I feel I’ve been heard.

Other times I may read a post on a subject I’ve avoided thinking about. It could be on a life, business or blogging issue. Maybe what the author wrote strikes a chord with me and I realize I need to make a change. Perhaps the post is on the subject of death; an issue that occasionally haunts me.

On those type of blog posts I’m hesitate about admitting my weaknesses to the world, and/or telling others how the post may have opened up an old wound.

But, by reading the post, thinking about how it affects me, and leaving a comment saying so, I find I gain clarity, which in turn, begins the healing/learning process. By sharing what I’m feeling/thinking, I realize my words may help others, as well.

When I think back to the most memorable posts I’ve read, they are ones that were hard to read. In fact, oftentimes I was typing my comment with tears in my eyes. Looking back, the process of was extremely therapeutic.

I like when a blogger asks questions in their posts. They make me think. The thinking process opens my mind to other possibilities. When I share a comment, I get closer to finding answers to unresolved issues and/or gain clarity on a subject that eluded me.

What about you?

Today’s Assignment

When you read other blog posts, does the act of commenting on them bring you closer to finding clarity?

Does reading posts or comments on a post, open you mind to more possibilities?

Do you ever hesitate to leave a comment because the subject hits too close to “home”?

Please feel free to share how commenting affects you. I’m guessing I’m not alone on this issue.

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  1. Joanna YoungNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara, what a fascinating post. I agre with you, though I’m not sure I’d thought it through so clearly as this. Maybe this is why I continue to invest in commenting – I would start to lose those connections and learning points not just with othehr people, but in my own head (and heart)

    Joanna

    Joanna Young´s last blog post..Simply Experimenting: The Results of My Writing Experiment Group Writing Project

  2. brianlburnsNo Gravatar says:

    Yeah, Barbara… my experience is similar to yours – not only does my commenting help my blog, but it helps my blogging (and my writing in general). It helps me form ideas, and refine them.It’s fun and it’s helpful. One of my favorite things to do online.

    brianlburns´s last blog post..Perfection – part 4

  3. Nick CernisNo Gravatar says:

    It’s refreshing to see someone write about commenting as a means of self-exploration rather than self-promotion. Hooray!

    In spite of any personal epiphanies rooted in the act of commenting, I’ve found that I comment much less than I used to. In part, I think it may be because I arrive at posts too late to squeeze into the jostling conversation, to grab a word with the host, or to break up the fights! I also recognise that — increasingly and for many — commenting has become an act of ego, which rather puts me off it.

    Where blog comments were once a way to take up the debate, now they are encouraged as part of a “marketing mix” or some other obtuse promotional strategy. I am guilty of using them for exactly this reason in the past, but the increase of noise to signal these days often makes me feel that my own thoughts would only dilute those of others and add to the din. Overall, I feel that the ratio is still too high, and can understand why high-profile bloggers such as Steve Pavlina and Merlin Mann have turned them off altogether.

    Whenever I do comment, though, I’m often delighted by the benefits. Which, oddly enough, only makes me want to comment more…

  4. J.D. MeierNo Gravatar says:

    One mentor told me that thinking is just asking and answering questions. Ask better questions and get better answers.

    I’m a fan of thinking on paper. I’m also a fan of whiteboarding or sketching ideas out.

    I know I’m off when there’s a disconnect between what I’m thinking and feeling, and it seems like putting it down on paper, forces me to reconcile the differences. There’s a beauty and precision in language that can capture the finer points.

    I think it can work both ways though. While you can act on impulse or talk yourself into something or write yourself into something … I like the checks and balances of answering “what’s your gut say” against thinking it through on paper. More often than not, I intuitively know the answer, but the writing process helps tease it out.

    J.D. Meier´s last blog post..4 Types of Problems

  5. Barbara,
    I just finished posting about how unreliable the current blog ranking systems are and the actual rank of a blog lies in how much interaction the readers (between them – not just with the author). Comments are what makes blogs (and online publishing systems) different from offline publishing right? So the real success of a blog lies in the reader engagement part reflected mostly via the comments.

    As for your questions, I pour my heart out only on less than 10 blogs that I really like. Rest of the places, I do comment for traffic and/or backlinks :)

    Ajith Edassery´s last blog post..Right Time to Start Your New Self-Hosted Professional Blog

  6. NaturalNo Gravatar says:

    oh yeah, i’m hesitant to comment when the subject hits too close to home. if i have been to the blog several times, i’m more likely to open up.

    we’re not the only one who may be going through something. it does help to open up and not be ashamed to have feelings or even admit that things are no so great with you in that area.

    we all struggle with different things and it doesn’t make us weak to say so.

  7. Barbara, great post. I could see you sitting at your computer with tears in your eyes, somehow though, I don’t think any of those tears were shed while reading my blog LOL, unless things like SEO brings you to tears hehehe.

    I have yet to come to a blog article that really hit close to home in a way that has gotten me emotional. I suppose maybe that’s because the kinds of blogs I read tend to be informative tech blogs or entrepreneurial blogs. I suppose I do get close to tears sometimes when I see how much I have to learn (and will always have “much to learn”).

    Joining in on a comment section does bring a little more clarity for me, but usually only when the author responds (which unfortunately usually means the blogger is not an A Lister). I suppose when other commentators join in and respond to my comment, too.

    John Hoff – eVentureBiz´s last blog post..My Favorite Kind Of Website Statistic To Have Is . . .

  8. Hi Barbara – you’ve expanded on the single most relevant aspect of the blog – its interactivity and the opportunity not only for the writer to engage, but for the reader to strengthen the connection.

    I’ve struggled with writing on certain subjects, sometimes because it’s too personal and sometimes when I feel it’s not personal enough. Some of my not-so-great posts (what do I know?) have resulted in the most comments, and others that I thought were swell, not so much.

    Recently, our comment section had some direct engagement between commenters, which I’ve seen happen on other blogs. I was just breathless about it! Yay! (I don’t know if they even saw it after it happened, but I hope so!) I think that’s a success factor, too, when the conversation evolves alongside the original post with additional ideas and references. So, like Ajith and John have pointed out, it’s the back and forth that spawns more thinking, which is what I’m all about and for.

    Betsy and Pete´s last blog post..PANIC

  9. Being quite a private person I would find it difficult to open up too much in a comment. But what I will say is the act of blogging and reading other blogs has definitely made me a lot more open about expressing myself. My blog is not about life the universe and everything but it is still a great outlet for being funny, serious and generally feeling like I am contributing to a corner of the world we live in.

    the three dog blogger´s last blog post..A Howling We Will Go

  10. Mike GoadNo Gravatar says:

    When you read other blog posts, does the act of commenting on them bring you closer to finding clarity? Sometimes — and on a rare occasion, I’ve had a real epiphany that challenged me to change my views and even my values.

    Does reading posts or comments on a post, open your mind to more possibilities? Sometimes.

    Do you ever hesitate to leave a comment because the subject hits too close to “home”? Yesterday, I did just that — literally. A local blogger who writes editorials in a small publication had posted an editorial she planned for print publication sometime soon. It was on ethnic, racial and sexual epithets and innuendos in public places. Before posting my comment, I deleted part of it that talked about a family members response to a homophobic business owner, because her blog is specific to an area close to where he lives and I always use my name on comments.

    Mike Goad´s last blog post..Preparing for Christmas – 25 Days of Christmas: Day 3

  11. LanceNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara, commenting definitely brings me clarity. In fact, just the other day I was leaving a comment on another site – and I realized by the time I finished, it was long enough that it could easily have been it’s own post! As I wrote, more thoughts kept coming into my head. Which led to more writing. And more thoughts…you see the pattern here.

    And, on the other hand, yes – sometimes I haven’t commented, because something hits too close to home, or is maybe too personal for me to feel comfortable talking about it openly. Most things, though, I’m good with. And, it’s been a process for me to get where I’m at. When I first started, I would be much more likely not to comment – fearing I’d open myself up too much. The more I’ve been doing this, the more comfortable I am opening up. But then, the places I visit are all wonderful, supportive bloggers!

    Lance´s last blog post..A Simple Holiday and Life Hack

  12. Avani-MehtaNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara, if the post opens an old wound (an unhealed one) then I might not comment at all or let some time pass by before commenting.

    Avani-Mehta´s last blog post..Top 8 Productivity Hacks – #5

  13. LindaNo Gravatar says:

    Ahhh…. commenting is just as hard as posting in my eyes. I have learned so much in the blogspere that I find that I type, delete, retype, etc before I publish as I may have to tone down what I have said or ratchet it up a notch. Heck, I write better than I speak!

    Linda´s last blog post..Vu1 Technology

  14. Eric HammNo Gravatar says:

    When my comments are in regard to a post that really touched me, I find myself pouring out pent up energy and feelings into my words. When this occurs, yes, it can be very therapeutic.

    Excellent question, Barbara! I connected with THIS one. :-) Eric.

    Eric Hamm´s last blog post..Open Your Heart Before The Sun Goes Down!

  15. To answer your questions
    When you read other blog posts, does the act of commenting on them bring you closer to finding clarity? I only comment if I can relate to the post. So yes,

    Does reading posts or comments on a post, open you mind to more possibilities? It depends on the post and the type of comments really..

    Do you ever hesitate to leave a comment because the subject hits too close to “home”? Hm… so far I have not come across such a situation

    Shamelle -EnhanceLife´s last blog post..Are You Constantly At The Mercy Of Circumstances?

  16. Cath LawsonNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – I sometimes find commenting useful, especially if the post asks a question. Also, when I’ve learned something new.

    The newness thing almost always happens on Robin’s blog. And after reading one of her posts, I’ll often see something which confirms what she’s said, so I’ll got back again and tell her.

    Sometimes – especially if the post is something I’ve just learned about – I need to go away and think about it, before I come back and comment.

    On this blog, I often find the comments section useful to come back and read as new comments are added, as you ask questions that bring some interesting answers.

    Cath Lawson´s last blog post..Affiliate Commissions – Is Your Anti-Virus Eating Them?

  17. RossNo Gravatar says:

    I’m definitely more inclined to comment on posts that mean something to me or that struck a particular chord.

    It’s only after I started commenting more that I realized its quite a reflective exercise, and commenting helps me get more out of a post. As I type, I think more about what I’ve read. I’m even doing it right now!

    Ross´s last blog post..So you’ve heard it all before? Part 3: Destiny

  18. SalNo Gravatar says:

    I think that commenting works two ways. Not only does it help the writer of the comment gain clarity, closure, whatever it may be, it also helps the writer of the post know that they are not alone, building confidence and a deeper connection with those who comment.

    Barbara, this is an excelent post, and one I definately needed a reminder of. When I comment, I am not only adding to the community, but also adding value to the person who wrote the post. You rock!

    Sal´s last blog post..Story Time

  19. Writer DadNo Gravatar says:

    Adding a comment, especially at the right time or place, can help to crystalize my thought – there’s no doubt about it. I liked today’s assignment a lot Barbara. Thanks.

    Writer Dad´s last blog post..Writer Dad in Rough Draft

  20. More often than not I hesitate to comment for fear of revealing too much of myself in the comment.

    And yes, commenting on blogs helps me to define my thoughts and often inspires posts on my blog as well!

    Kathy @ Virtual Impax´s last blog post..Web Terms You Need to Know: Landing Pages

  21. UrbanVoxNo Gravatar says:

    I think I only comment when the subject is “close to home”…
    or one that intrigues me… or one that I can aport with something.
    or when is so funny that I need to say something… :)
    or when I feel the person needs encouragement…
    I think I like comments… they are a reason to keep writing some days… they give you some sense of achievement…
    they build bridges…

    UrbanVox´s last blog post..Drinks are on me!!

  22. Absolutely. I commented on this post by Marelisa today and it really clarified things for me. Happens all the time.

  23. I find I am sometimes prompted to write such a detailed comment that I then turn that comment into a post of my own. Here is an example (from a LinkedIn question not a post, but the same idea): Six Sigma v. Common Sense.

    John @ Curious Cat Investing Blog´s last blog post..USA Manufacturing Output Continues to Increase (over the long term)

  24. I’m learning so much about myself from leaving comments that I actually started an offline running log of the comments I leave on other blogs. I create a new comment document for each month so all my comments are in one location.

    Stacey / Create a Balance´s last blog post..Life Balance Quotes

  25. NeilNo Gravatar says:

    Commenting on posts is as much an intellecutal exercise as writing a post. If a post is well written and engaging it will draw readers in to the conversation for the benefit of all. The conversation that develops in comments are often one of the best parts of blogging. It’s a medium that allows idea’s to be shared and for conversations to develop.

    Neil´s last blog post..Surviving Black Friday With Your Wallet Intact

  26. JodithNo Gravatar says:

    For me, the hard to read or thought provoking posts are ones that will generally end up generating a post of it’s own on one of my blogs. The more it makes me think, the more likely I’ll end up blogging about it.

  27. I am usually rereading the post again as I’m commenting – to make sure that my comment adds to the value of the entry instead of just letting them know I was around. Upon my reread, I usually catch points and ideas that I missed the first time around.

    I don’t think my mind is any more open – but I think I learn a lot from what I’ve read – and I never hesitate to leave a comment is something hits close to home – because then I think perhaps I’ve found someone who thinkgs things on teh same level as me.

    Commenting is the best kind of community building anyone can do.

    Matthew Dryden´s last blog post..She Was Gravity Twisted

  28. This is an excellent post. When I first joined the blogosphere, I was hesitant to write comments on people’s post because I was afraid to disagree too strongly or agree too readily, so I guess I was a bit self-conscious about the whole thing.

    Now I comment all the time. I feel more connected to what the blogger is talking about, and then the blogger sometimes comes back to my post, and it’s nice to have those short “conversations” on topics that interest you both.

    You can learn even more about people from their blog posts/comments than in person, too. I have friends who still keep LiveJournals, and it’s amazing how emotional people can get in their blogs when they NEVER would have made themselves seem so “vulnerable” during in-person conversations.

    Diana Freedman´s last blog post..Facebook Connect: Spreading Your Identity Throughout the Web

  29. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Joanna – I like how you put that, “this is why I continue to invest in commenting…”. Commenting is an investment, isn’t it? Used correctly it holds tons of value.

    Hi Brian – Welcome to the BWAB community. Yes, commenting does help to improve our writing. Just as when we write a post, we’re having to think when we comment.

    Hi Nick – Welcome to the BWAB community. You’re right. Commenting is often promoted as a way to help others find us. And, for a new blogger, its’ often the best way. Like you, I’ve used this method, too, but the more I read blog posts and think about my reply, the more I realize commenting aids in my growth.

    Hi J.D. – Yes, the writing process can bring out the right answer. Following out gut is also very important. The two are a great combination, aren’t they?

    Hi Ajith – That’s correct. Blogs are interative and allow communication between the author and/or commenters. It’s not something we can engage in with offline publishing. Undoubtedly, a lot of off line publishers are probably glad they can’t “hear” what their readers are saying.

    Hi Natural – You’re right. It does not make us weak to admit to our vulnerabilites. Many are in the same boat.

    Hi John – LOL. No, SEO doesn’t bring tears to my eyes, however, if I used SEO and it brought me tons of traffic, then I might shed tears of joy. :)

    The interaction between bloggers can be very beneficial, especially when they share what’s working, or not working, for them.

    Hi Betsy – Oh yes, those conversations between bloggers is great to see. It shows the author that the visitors are not just reading the post, but the comments, as well.

    Hi Three Dog Blogger – Blogging does that – makes us more “open”. I think when we see others opening up, and see a positive reaction, we realize it’s okay to show more of our soul.

    Hi Mike – Ah yes, deleting part or all of a comment. That’s something I know I’ve done. There’s nothing worse than hitting “submit” only to reread what we wrote and say “Ooops, I should not have said that”.

    Hi Lance – Haha. I hear you about leaving comments that could be a blog posts by themselves. I’ve actually cut part of a comment and pasted it into my “write” screen as I realized it was the start of a good blog post. Who knew?

    And yes, we do get more comfortable being open when we surround ourselves with supportive cyberspace friends.

    Hi Avani – Yes, sometimes it’s best to step away and think about what we read before we comment.

    Hi Linda – Yep! Type, delete, retype, etc…. Who knew commenting could test our writing skills so much?

    Hi Eric – When I read the post about your Dad, I was moved to tears. More so because I knew it took a lot for you to share what you did. That is one of my memorable ones. :)

    Hi Shamelle – When something in a post resonates with us, don’t you find yourself nodding your head, saying “Me, too”?

    Hi Catherine – Like you, I often read, and reread the comments left here. The quality of the comments and what the readers are sharing is simply amazing. Like you said, the comment section become a useful resource.

    Hi Ross – Don’t you love when a post makes you think? That thinking process can lead to great learning and understanding. Who knew that would be a benefit of blogging?

    Hi Sal – Thank you. You’re right. Comments help the author of the post in more ways than we can imagine. Building confidence and a deeper connection with others are just two of the ways. Thanks for bringing that up.

    Hi Writer Dad – You’re welcome. Isn’t that wonderful how that works?

    Hi Kathy – I know what you mean about revealing TOO much about ourselves, and like Mike said, we have to be careful not to reveal too much information about friends and family. It’s a fine line, but appears to be one most bloggers eventually walk.

    Hi Urban Vox – Yes, it appears you love comments. They do build bridges, don’t they?

    Hi Vered – I just clicked over to Marelisa’s post and read your comment. I see what you mean. As soon as I have time, I’m headed back over there to read the post in it’s entirety. I KNOW it will get me to thinking. Thanks for the link.

    Hi John – Aren’t those comments turned into posts great? I’m glad you linked to your post as I noticed you changed your theme. It looks great.

    Hi Stacey – What a great idea. I’m curious to know, what do you do with the comment logs? It almost sounds like they could become a journal of sorts.

    Hi Neil – Definitely! The comment section is a great place to frequent. The ideas shares are phenomenal, aren’t they?

    Hi Jodith – Isn’t that amazing how that works? We read something that really makes us think and we KNOW it has the makings for a blog post.

    Hi Matthew – I agree. Commenting is the best way to build a community, and like you said, in comment sections we can often find others who think like we do.

  30. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Diana – Welcome to the BWAB community. I hear you when you say how in the beginning you were hesitant to agree or disagree too readily. I’m guessing that’s a problem many bloggers face. Just like writing a blog post, commenting does take practice, and to some degree, a level of self confidence.

  31. Linda AbbitNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I often mull over a post before I head back to comment — even if I’m late to the party (ahem, ahem).

    Sometimes I don’t comment if a subject is too close to home, but not always due to the subject matter, but due to the connection I feel to the blogger and the community spirit they’ve created on their blog. For example, here. It’s the comfort level, and not the topic, that gives me the freedom to talk about more personal questions in public.

    Yes, writing comments also helps me clarify my thinking — all the time! Words really matter — here and in the real world.

    Linda Abbit´s last blog post..Inspiring Quotes for Caregivers: On Community — 12/3/08

  32. DavinaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara. The comment section is where the life of the blog is. That’s my favourite part.

    “When you read other blog posts, does the act of commenting on them bring you closer to finding clarity?” The reading gives me clarity rather than making the comment. And as I read other comments different perspectives come to mind. Lots of ah-ha moments!

    “Do you ever hesitate to leave a comment because the subject hits too close to “home”? Actually, I’m more apt to leave a comment when the subject hits close to home; that’s when I feel I have the most value to add.

    Davina´s last blog post..When Fear Closes In, Take Action

  33. Commenting on other blogs ALWAYS brings clarity to my own ideas and it always sparks ideas for new posts!

    The best is when the comment thread really gets active on the discussion (author included); kinda like here. Or when the conversation(s) move from comments to email. Or, when instead of a comment, your reader turns a reply into a post of their own while linking back to you. To me, these are the most engaging types of conversations! They always bring value and clarity and pave the way to new ideas!

    PS. I need to speak with you Barbara :-)

    Ricardo Bueno´s last blog post..Need More Web Traffic? Let’s Talk SEO with Naomi Dunford on Dec. 3rd, 12:15pm PST

  34. PatriciaNo Gravatar says:

    I do my best thinking on paper no doubt about it – I think the brain chemistry just gets whirling around and just puts together odd ideas and concepts or habitual ones and I can’t get clarity or resolution.

    I love reading blogs because everyone has a bit of a different slant and that can expand my thinking also even if it is something I already know about.

    Without the back and forth dialogue and all the ideas there is the possibility of getting stuck and believing that the world is flat?

    Made me think today. Thank you

    Patricia´s last blog post..Is It All About Food?

  35. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Linda Abbit – Mulling over the post is a great idea. That gives us a chance to collect our thoughts and leave a meaningful comment. Words do matter, don’t they?

    Hi Davina – Those ah-ha moments are great, aren’t they? Commenting on issues that hit close to home do add a lot of value to a post.

    Hi Ricardo – You’re right. Comments can lead to other opportunities, and like you said, “pave the way to new ideas”. I love when that happens.

    Hi Patricia – I agree. For some reason putting our thoughts on paper stops them from spinning in our heads. Then we can see them in black and white and reread them and gain clarity. I also like what J.D. said – “ask better questions” and follow your gut feelings.

  36. Yes, definitely – commenting helps me bring focus to my own “mission” – it’s by seeing what’s out there that I learn what’s important for my own blog. And I get to see what else everyone is doing, which is a great way to keep learning myself because everyone has a different perspective and highlights something different with each post.

    Alex Fayle | Someday Syndrome´s last blog post..Fear, Unique Pathways & Self-Awareness: Lessons from the Lab-Rats

  37. melanieNo Gravatar says:

    I want to comment but feel too shy usually or intimidated. There are a few people that I have become familiar enough to comment on their site but most of the time I think too much like ” do i belong here, is my opinion or comment important on this subject?”

    melanie´s last blog post..Vintage Keys. Trying to unlock my inspiration.

  38. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Alex – I agree. It’s a learning process when we read what others say or are doing. I also find it amazing how willing many bloggers are to share that which they know.

    Hi Melanie – I know exactly how you feel. I was that way for many months after starting my blog. I knew I would have to break myself of those feelings so I would branch out a little further each time. Before long, I built up enough confidence where I could comment on any blog. It was quite a feat, but I’m happy I took those steps.

    I will say, if you want to “meet” a group of wonderful fellow bloggers, just click on any link of those who comment here. They’ll make you feel very welcome and they always enjoy a new visitor.

  39. Karen PutzNo Gravatar says:

    I often find that I’m reading blogs during a time when I have little time to spare and if I can’t formulate a thoughtful comment, I end up with a “drive-by” comment just to let the person know that I was there. Others may frown on those short comments, but I know on my own blog, I appreciate any comment that is left because I know that someone took the time to reach out, however short it may be.

    Karen Putz´s last blog post..Uncovering Written Memories

  40. Evelyn LimNo Gravatar says:

    Most definitely, I find that I am helping myself by sharing and writing down my thoughts and feelings. My article may reveal how vulnerable or weak I am. But I feel that there is a lot of learning in my challenges and it may just help someone else out there go through his/hers. We are all here to help and inspire each other. I am as much a student or teacher as everyone else.

    Evelyn Lim´s last blog post..How NOT Embracing The Truth Causes Knee Pains

  41. Do you ever hesitate to leave a comment because the subject hits too close to “home”?

    No, actually, these are the ones I am most excited to leave a comment about. It maybe through tears, as you say, but I am very happy to say to the author, and the other readers “Hey, me too!” I think that’s what blogging is all about. It’s about ‘shrinking’ the world and understanding that we all go through the same trials and tribulations to one degree or another.

    Urban Panther´s last blog post..Letting go of friendships

  42. Dennis EdellNo Gravatar says:

    I too comment when I have something useful to add. As for caring what others might think…I never have. 😉

    Dennis Edell´s last blog post..UPDATED: Would You Like To Sponsor My *Best Blog Review* Contest?

  43. Regardless of whether I contribute or not, comments are one of my favorite aspects of reading blogs (as opposed to newspapers, etc.). I love reading a post and then getting to see dozens of alternate viewpoints, or just getting a sense of how many folks agree or disagree. That’s one of the big unseen benefits to me–the 360 degree view.

    Sara at On Simplicity´s last blog post..Lower Expectations Can Sometimes Be a Good Thing

  44. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Karen – Just like you, I’m guessing most bloggers like “drive by” comments. It lets them know you were there.

    Hi Evelyn – Exactly. “We are all here to help and inspire each other.” It doesn’t get any better than that.

    Hi Panther – I love how you worded that. “It’s about “shrinking” the world…..”. And like you said, we all go through similar trials and tribulations.

    Hi Dennis – Adding our thoughts to the comment section does add value, doesn’t it?

    Hi Sara – Isn’t that the truth? When others share their viewpoints, we begin to see the whole picture.

  45. Hey Barbara,

    So I know we chatted via email :-) I’ll whip something up over the weekend. Thank you!

    Enjoy the rest of today and I’ll talk to you soon…

    Ricardo Bueno´s last blog post..TypePad Gets A Facelift: some cool new community features!

  46. Yes really good posts do sometimes give me avenues of thought to explore and I love following a brand new trail. It’s the pioneer in me.

    Tom Volkar/ Delightful Work´s last blog post..Grounding Your Small Business Vision

  47. Dennis EdellNo Gravatar says:

    Usually yes. I may be a fly in the ointment here, but most (experienced?) bloggers realize the “drive-by’s” are nothing more then link seekers….especially if you have a do-follow blog; even more so with CommentLuv.

    Please realize that’s a general statement, I’m not implying anyone here is inexperienced (don’t hurt me). :)

    Dennis Edell´s last blog post..UPDATED: Would You Like To Sponsor My *Best Blog Review* Contest?

  48. Until I started blogging, I found it difficult to leave comments. I did now and then when the author said something I cared about but I felt like I was imposing. Now after just dipped my feet in the blogging world, I realize that you need the comments to know that someone actually read and thought about your words.

    Both of the blogs I write have a publicity vein but I can’t write anything for either of them unless I care about the topic. Once I care, then I know others may care and talk back.

    The largest problem I have lately is that I am reading so much, learning so much, and meeting so many people on Twitter than I run out of day for blogging. I will work on that next!

    Julie Walraven´s last blog post..Postcards from the road

  49. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Thanks Ricardo.

    Hi Tom – I hear you. I think I have a tad bit of “pioneer” in me, too.

    Hi Dennis – Haha! I won’t hurt you, but I can’t speak for the others. :) I think it depends what a drive by comment is defined as. If it’s “great post” and nothing else, then yes. Those are also the ones I consider to be spam and I delete them. But if it’s a regular visitor who is dropping by to say, “Hey, I’m here, but don’t have time to elaborate…”, then I don’t see that as a drive by comment.

  50. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Julie – That’s interesting how you said you felt like you were “imposing”. It makes me wonder how many others feel the same way and are hesitate to share their thoughts.

  51. Commenting may help me to have greater clarity on an issue – because it forces me to make a cogent statement about a newly formed argument.

    Bamboo Forest´s last blog post..7 Greatest Strikes of All Time

  52. The act of commenting brings me closer to their community. My clarity is pretty much the same.

    Almost every blog I follow opens doors to new ideas. I love when I read a comment and it’s just as good as the post. When that happens you know the author of the blog is creating something special.

    Karl Staib – Work Happy Now´s last blog post..So You Want a Boost to Your Career? Try Seth Godin’s MBA program

  53. Sometimes it’s easier to “spill it” in a comment on somebody else’s blog than it is on your own. I try to keep my own blog positive and upbeat overall, just like I try to keep myself positive and upbeat!

    If there’s something that’s getting me really down, it won’t be on my blog, but it might appear in comments on somebody else’s. Just like it’s easier to share some things with a therapist than with your own family. Like you said – it can be therapeutic.

    Deanna – Adventurous Wench´s last blog post..Reflect upon your present blessings

  54. MayaNo Gravatar says:

    Great post Barbara!

    I cannot keep up with reading all the blogs I LOVE to read because I really want to comment – for a very selfish reason – which is the experience and learning commenting brings to me.
    I sit back and think about so many things – about my life, my past, my ideals and so on ….it is like a beautiful journey ….

    And yes, in the blog world it is a great way to know another person – and I love that too:)

    Maya´s last blog post..Slideshow: My Story – The Happiness Habit

  55. AndrewNo Gravatar says:

    Babera,

    Yes. Amongst the many benefits of commenting on other blogs, I find that it does have the effect both of helping me to clarify my thoughts on the topic concerned and also opens my mind to new possibilities for what I could write about on my own posts.

    Personally, for me, the act of commenting, as opposed to merely reading, invokes a process in my mind which crystallizes, focuses and clarifies my thoughts on the topic concerned.

    With respect to sharing more sensitive issues, provided that the blog concerned is appropriately chosen, one in which you feel is a safe environment in which to open up a little, then a problem or issue shared is a problem or issue halved. I would think that the mere act of sharing can in itself play a large part in the healing process.

    Andrew´s last blog post..Why firms should pay bills on time

  56. Debbie YostNo Gravatar says:

    I have gotten ideas from commenting on other blogs. I just have to remember to jot down the idea so I don’t forget it.

    There are times that I do refrain from commenting. I did it a lot during the last political race. Sometimes I might actually disagree with many of my fellow moms on an issue about special needs. I don’t want to alienate anyone and really don’t think voicing my opinion will change theirs or make a difference. However, there are other times when I feel a dissenting opinion is necessary and I won’t hesitate to speak up.

    Debbie Yost´s last blog post..Are We Texting Away Our Compassion

  57. Dennis EdellNo Gravatar says:

    Hey Barbara, thanks for not clipping my knees (keep an eye on your readers). 😉

    I meant to add that actually. If someone who is already a regular just feels like giving me a, “awesome post dude, love it!”, that’s fine…I do that from time to time on my regular reads also, and it’s always accepted for that reason.

    However! (LOL) there is a problem there too…..the next commenter, who’s on my blog for the first time and doesn’t realize the “garbage” I’ve let through above him/her is from regulars and thus they feel said garbage is acceptable.

    Never mind the fact that no one reads comment policy’s. :)

    Dennis Edell´s last blog post..UPDATED: Would You Like To Sponsor My *Best Blog Review* Contest?

  58. Tammy WarrenNo Gravatar says:

    Oh yes, I love commenting. I always seem to be at the end of the comment list since I am usually two days behind. It is kinda nice down here. Not only do I have the post in my mind but different takes and views by others.

    I love blogs that make me think and ask me a question. I am not sure why I never do that. You see, comments does make one wonder.

    Tammy Warren´s last blog post..A Glance Into a Year of Blogging

  59. Wow, you certainly had a lot of responses to this one! You are one amazing lady! I’m so glad we got to know one another over at my blog when I interviewed you.

    This is an important topic – commenting on other people’s blogs – because it’s a selfless act of sharing your love with others, letting them know how much of an impact they’re making on you. Not only that but there are sometimes unforeseen surprises or opportunities that can come of it.

    It’s a good way to find your way around the blogosphere and get to know people. I love it when people leave comments on my blog so why shouldn’t I do that for others?

    What goes around comes around!

    Stephen Hopson´s last blog post..Stephen Hopson Interview with Himself….Again

  60. […] week when Diana Freedman of U Stand Out commented on “The Unseen Benefit Of Commenting” post, she said, in part, You can learn even more about people from their blog posts/comments than […]

  61. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Bamboo – Isn’t it great how that works? Commenting does make us focus on the issue at hand.

    Hi Karl – I agree. Comments can often be better than the post itself.

    Hi Deanna – Welcome to the BWAB community. Yes, sometimes it is easier to share our feelings on another persons blog, especially if it’s on an issue we wouldn’t normally discuss on our own.

    Hi Maya – Thank you. I know what you’re saying. Blogs do make us think about an assortment of issues. How wonderful it would be if we could comment on all of them.

    Hi Andrew – Welcome to the BWAB community. How perfectly you put that, “a problem or issue shared is a problem or issue halved.” Sharing does aid in the healing process, doesn’t it?

    Hi Debbie – I hear you. At times it is better to refrain from commenting. Like you said, others often have their mind mad up and not amount of argument is going to change that.

    Hi Dennis – Granted a visitor who follows a “great post, dude” comment, might see that as acceptable, and just ditto it, but in most cases, if a post resonates with someone, they’ll take the time to form a more constructive comment.

    Hi Tammy – Yes, even if you’re “late for the party” as some say, the great thing about most comment sections is that they never close. I like what you said about showing up later. It does give us a chance to read the post AND the comments of others. Hence, it gives us great insight into the topic.

    Hi Stephen – Thank you. And yes, I am also happy to have gotten to know you, as well.

    Well put, “what goes around, comes around”. Comments have tons of benefits, don’t they?

  62. […] lesson came into play last week when I was working on my “The Unseen Benefit Of Commenting” post. The words flowed. Within a short period of time I had the whole post written. I hit save and […]

  63. I liked this post, Barbara. I get lazy, or maybe I just run out of time, or maybe there is still that last post I have to get up before week’s end. But I don’t comment enough, and I know that is a weakness of mine. Thanks! I needed that! G.

    Grace Kleppin´s last blog post..Reframing the red roof

  64. RobinNo Gravatar says:

    Hi there Barbara – I’ve definitely had the experience of typing away in the comments section and then thinking hmmm… this could be a post! – and then doing one, on it.

    I’ve also found I could not comment on some things – for me it has been when it has been about elderly parents, and their issues, and about intimate and family relationships – I do not want to share all my experiences with these online.

    Robin´s last blog post..Festival Of Life

  65. Wow… the sheer number of comments on this blog post spells utter cathartic bliss for your readers! I agree wholeheartedly that commenting on blog posts that reach us… impact us in some way… is a great way to fine tune what it is we feel we received from reading them. Great stuff! Thanks so much for keeping these points in front of us!

    Kevin Sandridge´s last blog post..Help Make Christmas (for) “Purdy” This Holiday Season