The Art And Science of Commenting!

July 30, 2010
First thing first, WE ALL LOVE COMMENTS!  Some accept it, some declare it on their blogs and some remain stoic on this issue. But the fact remains that we bloggers love it when someone notices our blog, reads it patiently and leaves a comment for us. Or else, we all would be writing in our diaries!

Jokes apart, Here I am to discuss the Art and Science of Commenting !!


DO YOU REALLY COMMENT ?? I have often scratched my head over this question! I have seen a beeline of commentators under a very ordinary post of a young 20 something girl (an established blogger), the usual ranting "oh i have so much work to do, (read i have better work to do than blogging!) and "just not getting time to write in my blog" (as if people are dying to know what did you have in breakfast!) and "you know these meetings and this schedule is getting me crazy" ( ah! i wonder is this a post???!!). 

And you have to believe me, there were 30-40 comments saying "Oh girl, take care!" I was aghast!!! As if there were no better posts to read and comment. Why do we comment on such silly meaningless rantings? Just to make our presence felt? Just to tell the blogger, when you are fine, please come to my blog, since I commented here?

Talking about good, informative, funny and thought provoking posts. i like when people think and/or feel and write. The best way to comment there is to READ it, have your opinion, your views, your thoughts put in that comment box, instead of just saying "good post". What is the harm in showing your ignorance about a topic, ask your doubt. the blogger will love it. Disagree, a mature blogger will handle it well. Give constructive feedback, any blogger will appreciate your effort.  And do you know people always, always know when are you honest and when are you saying "pl check my blog also now since i came here" !


Now if you are a new blogger like me, there will be a strong chemical reaction in your mind and you would go gaga over the comments !

But, If you are one of those established bloggers, where people queue up to comment.... then you would say "well alright, people comment, but I would like to hear something beyond the normal (mind you, normal!) adjectives like "great thought/post", "Excellent", "amazing", "wonderful", "very beautiful" etc etc.

So it depends where are you on the number-line of the blogosphere. I call it number-line (just coined this term in this context!) because everyone has a space in this blogosphere, but the more visited and commented you are the higher is your number, and the more people line up to you! (was that funny?!)



I have serious doubt on this issue.

Recently, I spotted a post of a blogger (which was a  weekly "pick" by a forum, which is supposed to be very interesting).  Out of curiosity, I also read it. I found absolutely NOTHING in it to laugh/smile/enjoy/ponder/think/get inspired in it. 

Since I believe in being honest (For God's sake at least be honest in the blogosphere, nobody will stop your promotion, or deduct your marks!), so I wrote a comment saying that 'I have really not found anything interesting. Moreover, the incident which is the focal point of your post is.......... '.  I cannot tell you the details here, dear reader, as it can reveal the identity of the blogger.  The comment moderation was on, so I decided to check her response the next day, and to my surprise, she conveniently deleted my comment!!  The question is- Do we have the grace, humbleness and  maturity to handle a comment which is not sugar coated??  We should have.


Then there are bloggers suffering from Celebrity Syndrome (another term coined by me, catching up with Sarah Palin, I guess!)

OK, you have a nice blog, people like to read it, comment about it, appreciate it, but has it not brought out the celebrity like symptoms in you? Better cure them sweatheart! 

Dear reader, two prominent symptoms of this disease is either not reply or replying to comments of all the people in one go, single stroke ...... "Hey all! thank you so much....mmuuuaahhh!"; "Hey people! thanks for your comments.... cheers!".  (There can be more, please add if you know such stuff in the comments.)

If you lack the basic courtesy of acknowledging a comment of a reader one to one, then you surely do not deserve to be commented at all.  Having said that let me say, sometimes there is a slip also, if you have commented on an older post, it might not catch the attention of the bloggers. So don't drag me there please!

Ask the reader's views, opinions and thoughts about the issue. Encourage them to share their story and then reply appropriately. Blogging is about reciprocation. Do visit the blog of the commentor to know him/her better.

Make your comments setting user friendly.
Disable the Word Verification on comments in comment settings, it wastes time and is irritating for the reader.

Consider removing Comment Moderation.  You can always delete a spam, when you see it.  And it does not speak bad about you, but the spammer. The stern message that Comment Moderation gives makes a reader feel like an intruder and he/she really do not relate to the blogger.  Also, a widget or a message saying that you like/love/appreciate/value/look forward to the readers' comments gives the right environment for the reader to comment. 

I may have left out on some points, please feel free to add anything and anything related to this topic. I do not have comment moderation and word verification!
Happy Blogging!


Disclaimer : Not intended to pinpoint on a blogger specifically.
Images courtesy : Google Images

PS: Since my blogger pal advised me to have comment moderation on, as it guards against spam, I have stricken off some text about it. and now i have comment moderation on!


"just a pen in my hand" said...

ahem ahem ! feeling a bit weird commenting on THIS post ! haha dnt mind...u knw wat , u r absolutely write , we bloggers love comments , n those who say they dnt , mite jus b a bit shy to accept it !
great topic u wrote on , i mean , we overlook this simple act of commenting so often...stopping by a blog , reading te post n leaving an honest opinion..every blogger asks jus this much frm his/her readers...
and love ur style , putting in subtle humour here n there , keeps te reader interested...
u hv gr8 talent...keep up te good te best...

Bhargavi said...

arreyyy ... really awesome take on the comments part of blogging ... I have been wanting to talk abt this .. but laziness got better of me .. so this is also the subtle ''visit and comment on my blog'' from me... great job .. hugs ...

Divyanshu said...

i dont know as if for the first time someone has braced my commenting skills, i think i need to follow the rules...from now on this is declared by me the doodler as a guide to commenting volume -1 please refer to it before commenting on any post.

Anu said...

Writing this post, I understand how much time and effort you have taken to analyze on "the comments". I have to admit, sometimes, I have given such lustrous "adjectives" as comments. And it’s time to realize, start contributing and add value to the blog comments. After all, now I have a good set of guidelines to follow.

Neha said...
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Guria said...
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Insignia said...
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Anonymous said...

I like reading your blog, and as with all blogs that I read, I dont usually comment on it unless I have something to say (a very very important rule of commenting, dont always comment for the sake of it, comment when you have something substantial to say, even if the substantial thing is "great post" if you really really feel it is great). Unfortunately my first comment is a negative one :)

I feel somehow that unlike earlier posts, this post is not an honest one, it reeks of burnt hands and burnt other-things. When writing in public and pretending to write about a topic, I feel it is a tad immature to use it as an agenda to take out ones anger on a rejected comment or some other incident.

I remember a very very honest blogger write in her profile description "This is my space, I write about myself, call me self obsessed, but dont complain, you always have the choice of not reading this space or leaving halfway". The point is there are no rules of blogging, thats why the blogosphere is called "free territory". You can write meaningful stuff, or you can write gibberish (I fall in the latter category mostly). Some gibberish attracts attention, some doesnt (mine doesnt) so if it doesnt, dont be a crybaby. Pack your bags and move on (Oh I did shed a few tears about not getting followers and comments then I moved on) For more serious bloggers like you, perhaps it is more important to respect the writers creative independence and not judge the matter. One can write rants, and some rants are popular. I have sometimes even said that girl blogs get more hits than guy blogs, more specifically pretty girl blogs get the maximum hits. Welcome to the real world. Dont expect the ideal situations and people to be saints.

Chemical reactions, well rightly said. A thought provoking comment is something I ALWAYS appreciate. But a motivating comment like "great post" or "you write well" or "you are handsome, i dont care what you write" always brings a smile to my lips. And hell yes, thats some chemical reaction. Motivating or appreciating someone can be a good reason to comment. As a guy friend once told me, dont look for depth in every hole and every sentence, sometimes its just a shallow pothole which is blatantly funny.

(Continued in next comment..... I write long comments :P)

Anonymous said...

(.... continued from previous comment)

LOL and about mass comment replies, well, girl... gimme a break. I am a busy busy guy, and i am unashamed and unembarrassed about it. I have 5 comments per post, and 20 followers so clearly I am no celeb, but guess what I am sorry but I cannot give individual replies. If someone needs individual attention, please add me on gtalk and FB, and if you are pretty you will get lots of attention. Jokes apart, thats unfair. Bloggers can be busy, and choose not to reply to every comment. I dont mind if you dont respond to my most elaborate comment!

The last and not the least. I am an IT professional, one of the things I do in my profession is advice clients about internet and online security. It is absolutely CRAZY to ask people to disable word verification, it is there for a purpose. Unless of course you want porn links on your comments section. Of course you dont have to worry if your blog is not getting hits, the porn and virus guys target only the ones which get hits. So you and me dont have to worry :) (but mine is on just in case i get famous someday)

Same for comment moderation. I do get some chinese crackpot having an automated bot which posts porn links on comments. I try not letting him do that, comment moderation is a safety feature.

And I will understand if you delete this. My intention is not to let the whole world know about what I think. It is just to give you "constructive feedback", as long as you have it, you can delete this comment.

And oh yes, I forgot to tell you, dont give me "revenge" comments on my blog, they wont get published unless they begin with "your blog is awesome" and end with "you are handsome" (I am believe me, apart from being rich, living abroad as a NRI, and being extremely intelligent LMAO)

No offence intended. Keep writing honest posts :)

PS. My name is Merlin. For some reason I am not able to sign into my account, hence anonymous. Dont go around writing a post on why its cowardly to put anonymous comments, I am not worth that much attention

Niket said...

Well Well Well! Some Cat...err comment-fight going on I guess! :P
Anyways, since I am relatively new to blogging, I try my level best to advertise my blog in whatever way I can. Guess what, I often make my friends forcibly sit, read my blog and comment...hehe :)
And I find no problems whatsoever even if Restless has used an established blogger to promote her blog...appreciate the creativity!
And as far as Word Verification and Comment Moderation is concerned, I think it's one's personal choice!

Manish Verma said...

@restless....just a real home-worked-post... nice observation dear.....but even the establish bloggers like to read comments about their post...

keep blogging

girlsguidetosurvival said...

That was a good one. But I did not know it could ensue a war on this scale.

I do agree with some people's need to rant in this anonymous blog world. Let them be... But it equally is disturbing when they have a cotrie of comment writers to write sweet nothings. At times it feels it is like mutual appreciation club - you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours. I even wrote that on some collective desi women's forum.

Person has to be selective in reading. There is a whole genre of recovery or healing blogs where people document or journal their everyday lives. It is ok. It is not my cup of tea :) .

About comments, moderation is a good and safe idea. Because if I let it go I'll be bomarded with more ad for viagra and penial implants than ever.

If someone edits my comment they definitely loose me as a reader. I spend a good time on writing mile long comments both analytical and critical in nature. I am honest and brutal. I value my time and words.

Rather I should be complaining, I have numerous hits and very few comments. It is ok, I keep ranting as usual believing in Ekla chalo Re...

Anyway, Kuchh to log kahenge...

keep going matter comments no comments...

Desi Girl

A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...
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A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...
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A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...
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A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

@ Anonymous ( Merlin) - just loved your comments!! loved each and every word! i feel so sorry that i am getting ur first comment under these circumstances.

No way will i delete ur comments, i should be able to handle both bouquets and brickbats with style!!

hmm I like ur style of saying things, this was constructive feedback for me. About moderation, i think i must put it now, since got a lot of advice on this, and from u too!

I absolutely agree with u that everyone can rant and complain and do blah blah on his/her blog, choice is hers, and should not be judgemental, I am not, that's ur space. But, as i said was trying to tell new bloggers that what value commenting is. That doesnot mean i have never left a "good post" thing ever, but we should learn to appreciate/ agree/ disagree properly, because that's all a blogger wants - honest reading and opinion.

Anyways, nice that u wrote a long comment, I like it. let me know ur blog url, would like to see, I always go back to see what the blogger is like and what he likes to write about.

lastly, u found it not-so-honest, i would say, i wrote which many were thinking to write.

Thanks again dear for writing for me!

Take care, Restless

A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

@ Niket - Thanks for liking my creativity. I think u meant to say by talking about such trends of blogoshere i have generated people's interest in my post. thanks.

@ Mag - thanks dear! i know.

Neha said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Merlin said...

Thanks for taking my feedback constructively. Now I am able to login and hence able to post comments from my profile.

Rashmi Nair said...

You Know What! The first reaction of mine after reading this post was that "You simply nailed it" :P. I swear loved the post.
In every field, its more like marketing. You present a good package and it sells. Mostly 90% of the cases are like that.
And then comes the other strategy of blind voting. The others are voting on and on, so even the rest will. They don't give a nickel about what people write. Frankly, no one's even got the time to read more than 20 post max a day and they end up voting for like hundreds. (except for professional bloggers, they read like hell!)

If I tell about my case, the main issue with me is that I rarely come online via lappy. Mostly I access my mails n tweet via phone. So I end up reading a comment way too late. In some cases it was after a week even. Seriously, I am way too lazy in the virtual world. And yes, I have been true to myself when it comes to voting for post. I always read and then comment on it.
Its more like having a true conscience.

It's a number game and an addiction to get noticed. For the blogger's with experience, either it wears off with time or else they get more addicted. For the newbie's the adrenaline does the whole work. Even I am a newbie only. But way to exhausted and busy. In the end, the whole number game is some how suffocating. Virtual world hasn't been that attractive for me, yet. :)

And yeah, I found your blog via the comment you left me. Read it today only! :P So see people do read each other via comments. And once "You nailed it" :D

A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

@ Desi Girl - first let me say, i just love the way and the content that u write, amazing! Recently read ur "what do u know parents".

Dear Desi Girl, u have exactly said what i was trying to convey that let commenting not become a u scratch my back.... thing, I missed out on writing this and u completed it! thanks.

But i am very sad that i am being misunderstood. While i tried to say what things should be avoided, has started a war of words, people taking it personally. Why do ppl think only they rant?!!

Anyways, i have followed the advice of all and have enable comment moderation. Thank u so much for understanding what i said. I value your comments, i know u mean what u say.

Thanks again,


A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

@ just a pen in my hand - thanks. am glad u liked my post, come on u don't have to feel anything!

@ BEE - Hi!! thank u so so much dear! tk care, sure will do that, subtly!!

@ Divz - so bro u got a good sense of humour too! am happy at least someone found it useful! thanks dear!

@ vaish - hi dear! u got the crux of the post... value commenting! thanks for appreciating my effort.

A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...
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A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...
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A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

@ Rashmi Nair - Hey welcome dear! It feels good when such words come from bloggers who are not your friends really, and yet they stand by you. Thanks, there would have been no better time to express these views. am glad u understand what i am saying.
In fact all new bloggers understand what i am saying. But truely, i was very upset today, after reading ur comment, and desi girl, I am feeling better now.

Somehow had started feeling guilty of something which i didnot do ( that's copying someone!) for God's sake, i have my skills with me, why would i copy ??

thanks a ton dear for writing for me, and u wrote ur heart out, i know.

Take care


varsha said...

THE Post and the Reactions!!

Shows what you said struck a raw nerve and raw other things:))

A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

@ varsha - LOL!!!!!! It was a chain reaction!!!!

RS said...

Hi Restless,

this is one blog where the comments were as long and interesting as the blog itself!

pity i came late and missed the 'removed/deleted' posts.

keep at it lady - you are doing good.

A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

@ RS - LOL! Oh really u missed something!!! jokes apart, sometimes ppl misunderstand things, i clarified in the best possible manner.

But i liked ur comment, set me laughing.. !!!


Purba said...

Whoa!!! I missed the party. And why did you delete those "vitriolic" comments? Would have loved to read them.

But what a cracker of a post and it made so much sense.

It's up to you, what kind of commentators you want, the mwah-mwah club or a coterie of sensible readers. Your call entirely.

And may I add...YOU ROCK GIRL!

A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

Heeyyyy!! yes Purba, u missed it! even i missed a few of my blogger pals, who seem like friends to me, including you, when these girls were accusing me of stealing the publicity by FEATURING one of these bloggers! Featuring!

In fact, what i wrote was to bring out that we should try to give better comments, if ppl learn it then everyone is at gain, we get value feedbacks to what we write. that way all of us are in a win-win situation. I thought, this should have been supported, but instead, I was being accused that i should tell who exactly i am trying to pinpoint and kind of humiliate.

That was not my purpose at all. so i feel the girls missed the point. anyways, don't want to say anymore on this. although, merlin, one of their friends made sense to me, so i kept his comments.

Ah, now let me soak up in some joy, its a huge compliment for me when u say "cracker" of a post!!!! u know i am smiling ear to ear and my eyes are twinkling with pride and joy. and i read u comment again and again!!

Thanks a ton Purba for making my day!!!! feel like saying mwah......!!!! thanks again!

Sakhi Shah said...

Hi Restless,
Great post. Definitely worth commenting on. :)
People not replying to comments, and deleting comments they don't like, is simply beyond me. Okay, if you don't agree with what a commenter is saying, and they said it in a respectful manner, and you're still extremely upset - then you might not reply. But deleting the post is extreme and weird!

Also, I don't think comment moderation helps so much. If you do get spam, one can easily delete it.

I also had a question - when you receive comments that say something along the lines of 'nice post' and then basically seem to be promoting their own site, what do you with them?

REALIST said...

a touchy subject: comments
your post was interesting. I liked merlin's comments. There are indeed no rules and i don't think we need to educate anyone on how to comment better. what is better? it can vary from person to person.
I like all comments. from a simple smiley to nice post to long sentences, most of all i love constructive criticism. the fact that someone read and made an effort to comment means more. The line "We all Love comments" may not be true, not everyone likes negative comments or criticism. Reality Check - its not a perfect world.

A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

@ Sakhi - true, if SOMETHING HAS BEEN SAID RESPECTFULLY, then a comment should not be deleted. I agree with that.

Ah! about your question, my personal opinion is that its ok if ppl leave their links. And I would check the blog, its possible that the blogger is new and is looking for other good bloggers, so no harm seeing his blog and then the choice is yours, if u like it, go ahead, comment or follow, and if u don't just leave it. But I really don't mind it, because blogging without a feedback, can get boring after sometime. and commenting helps bloggers connect.

@ The Realist - welcome! and wellsaid, its not a perfect world. thank u, am glad u liked my post. Yes i also liked Merlin's comments, as they were a constructive feedback to me.

Now, I have not tried to lay down any rules, these were mere suggestions or observations.

When i said, we all love comments, contextually meant good comments, but they may also be criticism. I am sure u will like comments which are constructive in nature and not mere accusation and trying to put u down, those are the product of ppl who don't know how to say and what to say, so we can leave that. But, feel good types, appreciative or otherwise, we love comments, let me know if u differ!


Sakhi Shah said...

Haha, Restless, I saw this weeks ago, but right now I will reply to it.

I do not agree very much. I personally feel very repulsed when people send me something like "hi, nice blog, check out mine" and when I see copied and pasted stuff everywhere. But anyway, to each person their own opinion.

REALIST said...

we are one the same page then :) its funny how we all interpret things... after reading ur post i understood it to be more of frustrations on reading comments. i too only offer my suggestions and opinions.... which we all know is a better way even on disagreeing.....
and about "We all love comments" part.. think it has to do wit perspectives.... can i say ur view was optimistic... meaning good comments.... im more towards realistic, at times pessimistic :)thats te reason i wrote - most often ppl don like criticism...te otr end of the spectrum.
as i hav said earlier i like all comments.... even the "Haters" if thr r any... we can learn a lot frm them too.
btw readin tat u kinda disliked 1 and 2 word comments, initially i wanted to reply to ur post with jus this " :) " wonder how u wud have reacted to that :)

Chicky said...

Hi Restless!

Was busy with stuff, so couldn't check out your post earlier! Looks like I missed a lot of action! :p But for a new blogger, this post seems like good work girl! I wonder what awesome pieces of creativity we'll see from you as you grow into a veteran!

Well, I have had my share of really wonderful comments, and some really crappy ones! I have even had to "Reject" a few comments because of the amount of negative potential they carried.

The thing is, AND THIS IS MY PERSONAL VIEW ONLY, such debates/discussions (or whatever you choose to call them) in comment threads on blogs/forums are rarely productive. We aren't a task force on some assignment, that we have to reach a mutually acceptable solution/decision on everything. We bloggers are just voicing our own views, experiences, rants mostly. So if a blogger shares a bad experience in a rant, that doesn't mean anybody needs to take it personally or feel attacked in any way. If I don't relate to someone's post, I simply move on without leaving a comment there. Obviously, that's his/her space, and s/he is free to vent out in any way! I personally would rather NOT add more fuel to the fire, or disturb the person even more.

But then there are bloggers who deliberately leave annoying comments, just to make the comment thread longer. They obviously have a different view - that more the number of comments, the better it is. Well, to each, his own. All kinds of people in this world, all different colors of the rainbow! :p

By the way, comment moderation is good. I remember a few bloggers left their email IDs, even telephone nos in the comment thread when I was planning the bloggers meet in Delhi! But since I had comment moderation on, I did not publish their comments, at the same time got their contact info for my use.

See u around then!

A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

@ THE REALIST : Hey pradeep, its nice to c that u took the trouble to come back and chek what i wrote, many ppl don't bother, I like this! :-)

Oh God, u know u r absolutely right, its our perception only how we take things, when i said We love comments, i meant good ones, and u thought oh comments.... hmm... I like ur honesty when u say sometimes, i tend to be pessimist... forgive me dear, but this seems to be a perfect example of that.

chalo, alls well that ends well, i cleared it, u understood. I really really value the comments of ppl who take the trouble to read, and give their frank opinions. Thank u so much Pradeep, keep visiting my world my perception!



A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

Hi Kaddu!

first of all congrats for ur e-mag Kadzilla's Lounge! great effort, great results!

I know u were keeping busy with it. Yes, it was quite a party here!

and thanks for the wonderful words u said for me, I am so happy, shall be blogging better with each passing day.

ah so true, there's no need for everyone to reach at one concluding point, but honest opinions make a blogger feel good.

and no need to take things personally too, well said!

yes, i learnt from others and have comment moderation now!

Thanks a ton for taking time out for me, Please say connected to my world my perception.


Anonymous said...

hmmm.... now I have to post something here, than my usual comment "good one"... he heh eh eh...

What am I supposed to say, when I have nothing to say tp the author but just a Thank you?.

and about celebrities, its quite impossible for them to reply to each and everyone, who comments... think about it this way... if he gets 100+ comments in a day when he makes a new post and consider 1 hr to reply to each one of them... Would you really take time to do that?....

I would prefer the author to write another blog which will benefit the readers than wasting time in replying to all... I repeat.. Its a waste of time to reply to all of the readers comment & I hope the reader understands the authors like I do.


The Ampelophilosofer! said...

I don't know if i blog just because when i write it comes out as if i'm talking to somebody out there! But the second i start getting regular readers and they start leaving me comments, i kind of freak out! I try to continue, but at some point i always stop posting...But when i read stuff, or view pics, i might not know what to say, but when i realize that someone, the person posting, needs the attention...i just give it to them! It makes them happy, and costs me nothing! On the other hand! Some times i do wonder why do i post if i'm scared of people reading it? Maybe deep inside i like the thought that i don't know it, but someone is reading all my stuff...And i don't really like it when people feel like celebrities just because they've got 100 people reading their stuff! I mean big deal! Get over your self right? So...i don't know if i agree with you or disagree! Or maybe it's a little bit of both! I don't know...

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