Saturday, 20 March 2010

A commentary on commenting

I've recently started listening to the Gamers Lounge podcast, which I've got to say is really good and I'm enjoying it greatly. If you haven't heard of it, I'd really suggest checking them out. In the first episode HuronBH gave my blog a shout out and said one of the reasons he likes my blog is the fact that I reply to comments, and it got me thinking about commenting in general.

I've really got into blogging, and I especially like the community that we've got going here on the blogosphere. Like many of you, I'm a refugee from the various forums and so when I found the blogging community, it was a really refreshing change to find somewhere where everyone was so friendly and supportive. The only downside to blogging is that there's a lot less interaction between people than on forums. I often see lots of blogs that go without comment, and it's a shame as I think not getting comments is one of the biggest reasons people stop blogging.

I consider myself lucky, people seem to like what I do and I'm blessed with a lot of regular commenter's but I do follow a hell of a lot of other blogs and being a big believer in Karma, I like to do my best to comment on other blogs as well. Each night if possible, I checkout FTW and my google reader and open up all the blogs that have posted something that day that I'm interested in reading. I have a quick scan and if it looks interesting, I leave it open and if not, I close it.

Once I've got all the ones I'm interested in, I slowly start going through them and at the end, I ALWAYS comment, even if it's only a 'they're really nice mate', just to let the poster know that someone's read it and liked it. At the end of the day, if you can take the time to read it, you can take 30 seconds to say thanks for posting. I'm not saying that people comment on my blog because I comment on theirs, but I do think it has something to do with it. So, next time you read a blog, consider clicking that 'post comment' link before moving on to the next blog, it only takes a mo!

Also, if someone takes the time to comment one of my post, then I take the time to reply. Personally, I think it's just good manners. Normally I'll leave a post for a day to give people a chance to comment and then I'll reply to everyone in one go. It does take a little time, but normally it's only 5 minutes and if I can spend an hour typing a blog, I can spend 5 minutes replying to all those who've taken the time to comment. Occasionally, if people post after that day, they slip through the net but it the main, I'll reply to everyone who posts.

So, that's how I handle comments and commenting, how do you handle it?


Cawshis Clay said...

I'm terrible at it. I try to leave comments on every blog I read, but often I'm reading the blogs on the go (curse you iphone) or I get pulled away or I just don't do it cause I forget by the time I get to the bottom.

It's terrible. I think I'm getting better at it, so there's that, but I'll admit that I'm not the best commenter. Often, I'll comment on all the blogs I read on the weekends and during the week...I just can't manage it.

I did set up email-notification for anyone who comments on my blog so I can be sure to reply to them though. So there's that.

I'm getting better! I promise. :)

Brian said...

The Meta Comment. I love it.

Hugh Walter said...

I'd better comment or that thing will have a go at me!...what the hell is it, a cat? a dog? a killer girbill? a gremlin with its ears cut off? a gonk (who remembers them?).

I whish there were more comments, and used to try and get them? sort off! Little hints and stuff, but realised that my blog is a minority interest, and I'm greatfull for the comments I get. Comparing my traffic to you say, or one of the action-figure or Doll House blogs made me realise that it's different horses for different corses!

I have noticed that some will get several comments, and then none for a few posts, then another little 'flurry'. Now I could look at all those which have garnered more than 1 comment and try to tailor my blog to them, but then I'd be publishing for other people, a slave to an un-saleried market, while the whole point of blogging is to do what YOU want to do, for free, because you enjoy it?

Was that enough? Or is that fiendish thing still comming for me?

WQRobb said...

Thanks for talking about this. I love getting comments, but I rarely leave them which is kind of hypocritical of me. I'll try to be better about it.

Ed Mlynar said...

Well, geez, Corbane. I guess I better leave a comment after that one!

What you wrote is true and 99.9% of us are guilty of not posting a comment. OK, we've been slapped.

I like where bsmoove is going with this: we have the metagame. Everyone is tired of the metaforum. Now we have the METABLOG!

Da Masta Cheef said...

'The Meta Comment' -AWESOME!

I tend to reply back after individual comment, but we're dead slow @ work, once we pick up, it'll go to a reply en-mass as you suggest. I'm with Maverick as well, I'll get a bunch of comments on one post, then will trail off a bit, and then another bunch.

Such are the whims of the blogospere (or was that the Chaos gods?).

Hal'jin said...

A great post, I wholeheartedly agree with it!

I know from my own experience that sometimes it can be a little disheartening when you've just posted something you're really proud of and there's not a single person commenting - even though most likely quite a few read it!

Point is, the comments are pretty much the only way to gauge interest. There is no "times read" counter available easily on blogspot, so you have to rely on the number next to "comments"

Admittedly, I do not follow a lot of blogs, definitely not as many as following me. I should fix that! I try to comment whenever I can, but sometimes something else desires my attention at the time and then I just forget. Or sometime it's on a subject that I know nothing about (like Warmachine posts) and I simply cannot think of anything to write there. But I sure do read all posts on the blogs I follow!

HOTpanda said...

I'm big on Karma and as such I feel that if I want comments then I should comment as well. I do this both on my blog and other people's blogs.

I log on two-three times a day to FtW and pick several random blogs. I have found quite a few that I really like by doing so. I have also found quite a few that are not comment friendly, FtW being one of them. I wish every blog would use the pop up comment feature. This is the only way some of us can make comments. So if you are reading this and don't use the pop up comment feature please switch over if you want more comments.

Soundwave said...

I try to comment on most blogs I read but I put myself off sometimes by thinking too hard for something to say, and worried I'll look stupid. It is a really silly thing I know!

I don't get many comments on my blog, other than from my local gaming group. I think this is because I write the blog mainly for my own interests rather than aiming for a specific audience. This means it does get a bit random. It doesn't put me off from posting though, but it's like Christmas when someone does comment :D

Soundwave said...

Also I think the only reason why I might feel silly for making a comment is because of something you mentioned in the post - forum refugees. There's always something in the back of your mind bracing for the impact of spiteful hate-filled comments haha.

Karitas said...

I've got to agree with you.

I try to comment when I read something, and I try to be cobstructive, or offer an opinion. sometimes i end up retreating into "thats nice mate" because I feel I've nothing to offer but support.

When I dont comment, its becuase of my own personal curcumstances.

Let me explain.

sometimes I graze, indulging myself in strolling form new blog post to new blog post, and leaving happy little comments in my wake.

other times, I'm dashing about and have a scant few moments to check these sites on my work laoptop or blackberry. in those cases, i often wont comment.

I need to make a deliberate descision to oly look at the blogroll when i have the time to comment.

but i fear if i did that it would be epically long by the time i get to it.

Kuffeh said...

A very good post. I'll freely admit I am not that good at commenting. I see something I'd like to, and then leave it to view others. I eventually forget about it. =/

Max said...

If I take the time to read an entire post I try to leave a comment after it every time. Sometimes the comment system asks me for too many security blocks or I have to run, but most of the time I do.

On my blog I try to reply to comments in a timely manner. Sometimes I'm swamped at work and won't get to it in time or will forget, but once again trying trying trying...

CanolliCrusader said...

Ahh, commenting on it.

This 100% spot on brotha! amen amen!

I try to comment on all of the blogs i follow as I am used to a forum environment but am slowly coming off that since discovering the blogosphere(which is so much more rich with content by the way) Blogs by nature are nurtured with more content since people tend to put more "love" into it is a good idea to give some positive reinforcement to our fellow bloggers even if it is just a "good job dude"

C Trudden said...

I try to repond to everyone who comments on my blog, and leave comments on any blog I find interesting. Constructively even, I hope.

Sytus said...

I don't comment as much as I should, and my blog is really a reflection of that. I very rarely get comments. My views keep me going, though.

Flekkzo said...

I comment quite a bit:) But the one thing that the blog-o-sphere doesn't cater to, that forums do, is an equal readership. I feel that sometimes I want to ask a question (like how do you mark your squads?) and with my limited readership it is harder to get answers than if you are one of the "big boys". Places like FtW do help, but not for questions really. Been meaning to see if I can come up with a solution and propose it somewhere. Maybe by bringing it up here I can inspire someone to come up with an answer too.

Dark Apostle Drazilek said...

I must admit that I do fail in this area, I mean I try to post a comment on every post I read, but sometimes I forget. Other times it's because I'm reading them on my Smartphone on the fly while at work when I'm not meant to, so don't have the time to post, then when I get home I've forgot.

However, due to developments I feel that if I'm to succeed I should do as I'd like more to do on my blogs, so I'll be making more of an effort while at the pc to make comments when I can.


jabberjabber said...

Its mostly about a time factor for me. I try to comment on about 4 or 5 blogs daily -- or at least, that's the goal. Sometimes I hit that goal, othertimes real life gets in the way. I always try to comment on items that grab my attention and are pertinent to me.

Anonymous said...

I know what you mean.There are two people who say hello and take time to chat with us on a daily basis. It has been a running joke for us to pretend that we're all alone in there. So I really appreciate when I saw your comment to let us know there are people out there who still reach out and make connections.

Blitzspear said...

I nearly always comment even if it's just "nice" but you have to imagin the strange jazz presenter from the fast show saying "nice" well thats how it is in my head lol. I dont get many comments as most of my followers are wargamers and i tend to lurch from IG to random space ships made from junk to trying to sculpt 1/20 scale ma.k figures so thats to be exspected. I do link to my blog from posts at SFM:UK and get Lots of feedback there Nice bunch of guys and a few lasses too, with an eclectic mix of modeling intrests but all Scifi and none of these nasty or put down comments. The only other forum that had wargamers on was the hobbyshed( on hiatus)and again no nasty comments so not realy a refugee from the established forums. Last time i played 40k was Adaptus Titanicus and i dont think the net had been invented then lol.
I do very much appretiate comments and like the colonel will always try to reply to them. Hells im replying to this and it's 2 am im just back from my bar and i think i've got a glass splinter in me finger feth!

CommissarHarris said...

I am quite a shy person and find even blogging comments quite difficult. I am a long time lurker and post comments rarely.

I pledge to mend my evil ways.

Tnoussis said...

You're definitely right on the whole reading and commenting part. I go through my blog list everyday, so I usually read all the articles, and a quick comment is no big deal.

Col. Corbane said...

Ok, I wasn't expecting that sort of a response to a lazy Saturday post. I suppose I kinda put my foot in my mouth with that 'I'll reply to everyone who comments' comment - lol.

@Cawshis Clay - I think as long as you try, there's not much more anyone can ask matey.

@Bsmoove - Taking blogging to a whole new level mate.

@Maverick Collecting - I have no idea what it is, I just wouldn't like to mess with it, it looks all fluff and teeth mate. I don't think there's much you can do about people posting on your own blog, I wouldn't tailor my blog to get comments, I just do what I do and blog about it. I think the important thing is on how often we comment on other peoples blogs, if we all like it, we should all do it. Now more comments or I'll set it on ya!

@WQRobb - Good on ya matey!

@Inq Lord Aki - I didn't intend to slap anyone mate, just comment on how I handle commenting. Please don't think I was having a pop! I'm just being a master of the metablog! lol

@Da Masta Cheef - LOL - you do what you can do mate, people can't really ask for more. I've noticed the fluffies of comments aswell, still haven't figured out what it is that gets people interested like that.

@Hal'jin - I'm with you on thr gauging interest comment mate, I think that's why I take the time to comment, just to let the blog poster know that I've read it and liked it.

@HOTpanda - Cracking idea mate, I normally only stick to those that interest me which is mainly guard. I might start hitting up some random one's myself.

@Soundwave - I wouldn't worry about posting mate, I haven't seen anything like the issues on forums on blogs, we're a far nicer bunch of gamers - lol

@Karitas - Just do what you can do mate, no one can ask for more than that.

@Kuffeh - Cheers mate, at least your honest about it matey. It's the first step you know ;-) lol

@Max - I'm with you on the security blocks, sometimes there's just too many hoops to jump through.

@CanolliCrusader - Cheers matey, blogs are far better IMHO than forums for content, they just lack the community you get on forums.

@C Trudden - Good on ya mate.

@Sytus - What goes around comes around mate, it might be time to get commenting - lol

@Flekkzo - I know what you mean, but then forums are a place to dicuss things. It's a shame, as if blogs had the same interaction as forums, they'd be excellent.

@Draz - Nice to know you're keeping a sharp eye on work matey! - lol

@Jabberjabber - I don't think it matter how many you comment on mate, as long as you try, good on ya!

@mismuse - I think if everyone commented on everything they read, we'd have more postings than most forums mate - one day hey!

@Blitzspear - You get girls commenting on your blog???? I'm envious mate. Hope your finger gets better mate, those drink related injuries can be dangerous!

@CommissarHarris - Just do it mate, what have you got to lose!

@Tnoussis - Thanks mate, I hope it's inspired you.

Well, that's all the comments commented on, ironically, I think it's taken longer to comment in reply to all the comments than it took to type the commentary on commenting blog. Say that five times when you're pissed!

Thanks for commenting guys!

timeforacatnap said...

totally agree, its great to get comments as a blogger, but you got to dish some out if you want to expect some back!

jmezz382 said...

I am glad you take the time to read and respond. Getting comments is fun .... but forming blog friendships is what makes blogging and our hobby of minis so fun

Col. Corbane said...

@Rband - What goes around, comes around mate

@jmezz - I'm just trying to do my bit matey

Hugh Walter said...

I never answered the other questions, I comment regularly, If its a subject I don't know much about like this GW stuff you guys are into I'll give a "Awsome Paint job" or something, if it's something I know about I'll try to add something constructive (not destructive like the forums! Totally agree with CanolliCrusader's point about quality!), or something humerous?!!

And I always try to answer those comments I do get unless it's an obvious exercise in getting third parties to click on their hot-link nickname/title out of curiosity to 'drive traffic' to their own site, I either ignore them or deleate them!

Hugh Walter said...

P.S. is that a 432B your stood in the hood of? I used to drive them in Berlin, they had a colour scheme not far off your 1st platoon!!!

Phatsquirre1 said...

I have the same problem as WQ Robb. I really need to work on commenting. Haha I used to have problems painting armies, and now I have trouble posting little typed messages...(sigh) :p

Phatsquirre1 said...

Oh, and scary dog. He's extremely motivational...

suneokun said...

Great post Colonel ... commenting is something I take very seriously. I work from home, so its blogging actually form part of my 'if I work solidly I'll go mad!!' escape hatch.

A comment here and a comment there... it's all part of the entertainment. The feedback is what we all do this for. When you get a post that 'hits a nerve', and commets flood in, then its really positive. The irony is that we do so much ... and (mostly) expect so little in return.

The positive thing is that blogging (unlike forums) is usually inhabited by a higher quality of clientelle... and isn't as prone to flaming or spamming as forums. Also blogs give us a real chance to 'present our wares' and showcase our mini's, ideas and creativity... all good positive stuff.

TheKing Elessar said...

Good article...I completely agree.

Problem for me is, I tend to add the blogs of so many to my reading list that I simply don't get around to reading half of them even as often as weekly. While I try to catch up as much as possible, it's then often too late to post a comment unless I have something significant to add. I do have about half a dozen I try to get on daily, but I should try for more I suppose...I know how disappointing it is to load my blog and see there are no new comments, lol.

Brent said...

...this is me leaving a comment!

Good post mate; I'm going to try to emulate your habits, see if I can't pass along the encouragement.


Chumbalaya said...

Yay, comments!

Getting comments is fun. I tell ya, it feels good to know that somebody else is able to follow the meandering paths of my thought process.

Jwolf said...

I tend to comment fairly often, but not all of the time. If my comment has been given repeatedly by others, I don't feel the need to chime in with the same comment.

I also tend not to comment on negative posts; I view that as a form of "voting with the pocketbook" against negativity.

Col. Corbane said...

@Maverick Collecting - Must admit, I tend to avoid those that post for attention aswell, especially those who include their blog url in their comment. I mean, if I want to check their blog, I'll look at their profile but don't use my blog comments to advertise yours, that's seriously bad form IMHO.

On the 432, it is a 432 but not the Bulldog, it's a standard with a modified fox turret on it with a 40mm paintball cannon from our tank paintball sessions.

@Ninjaman - and they say this blogging lark is supposed to be fun - lol. On the dog, it's amazing what you can find on google images.

@Suneokun - Totally agree on the higher standards comment. I'm also a home worker, so I'm lucky that I have plenty of distraction time. My wife calls it lazyarseitis!

@The King Elessar - As I've said earlier, as long as you try, I don't think anyone can expect more than that. The bloggings supposed to be about the hobby, not a hobby itself.

@Brent - Nice one matey, although I have some nasty habits your wife won't want you to emulate - lol

@Chumbalaya - We all love them mate, you've just gotta share that love - lol

@Jwolf - I like the idea of not commenting on negative posts, I might nick that. Positive posting for the win! (Ironically, I'm working on a negative rant type post at the moment, so I'm a bit hypocritical - lol)

Well, this has officially become my most commented on posting, you've got to love the irony of the most comments on a hobby blog been on a post about commenting. Perhaps I should give up the hobby and take up blogging about blogging - lol.

Eric said...

I tend to only comment when I feel I actually have something to contribute to the discussion. This includes commenting on my own blog, where I rarely get comments since I only have 3 followers currently.

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