While the challenge is for the 2015 Discussion challenge, this post is actually inspired by Parajunkee with her 31 days to better blogging challenge that I am also (slowly) working on.
To kick off the New Year, she started day one's topic with one that has been on my mind a lot lately.
It hit on two parts. One is the more selfish part, wishing people would comment on my blog more or engage with me on social sites (twitter, goodreads, etc). then the other half is that I have been lacking in the same thing. I am not getting out and reaching out.
It is sad how we read posts, tweets, forums, etc yet say NOTHING. We just read what others have to say and quietly slip away. Most of us do this fairly often. And when we do comment it is so quick and short. The main reason seems to be that we don't have the time. That is the main excuse I hear (and yes, have even given).
The second one is we feel like we have nothing to say. While this is sometimes true, I doubt it is as true as the lack of commenting seems to indicate. When you read a review it did nothing for you? It didn't leave you wanting to know more, you didn't look into the book, nor did it repel you? while sometimes I can read a review and just go "Meh" and have no opinion one way or another, many times a good review will at least have me jumping on goodreads, checking out other reviews or maybe adding it to my 'want-to-read' shelf. Othertimes I have read the book and may agree or differ on an opinion shared in the review. Those are things we should say.
While a comment like "great review" is nice to see giving just a tiny bit more "Great review, I am so adding this to my wishlist" or "Ooh, I think my friend has this and now I want to go borrow it. Or even a question delving further into the book can mean so much to the blogger. I know it does to me. Even if it is to say you disagree with what is said, that can be better than silence.
Also, how can a blogger improve their content if you say little or nothing. "good review" doesn't give much away. Is there something there you wish wasn't or do you wish they had gone over a character more in depth etc. At least this is how I feel. Others may not but I want what I post to have an engaging feel to it. Then I feel conflicted with I get those two famous worlds. I stop and think: 'Well, they like it but didn't want to talk further. So was it good or are they just saying it out of an obligatory feel. Should I change it? Did I say too much or too little?'
I can keep going but you get the idea, I hope.
My points in this is to:
Inspire others to comment more. Not necessarily on here (although any comments are surely appreciated and brighten my day) but in general. Talking to your best blog buddies is great but I encourage you to go and say something on a blog or profile that you are normally less chatty with. You might end up with a new friend or book buddy even! You'll likely bring at least a smile to their face. Isn't that worth a few seconds of your time?
Most comments take under 60 seconds to make and can be genuine and engaging. So if you stop and comment on just 5 extra (above and beyond your regular blogs and friends) posts that you normally would just read and move on, it would take less than 5 minutes. Most of the time 5 minutes a week can be spared, especially if it can be in pursuit of friendship, camaraderie or even just in making another person's day just a bit better. So that is my challenge to you. Take a few extra seconds once in a while to give.
This brings me to the next point:
I need to take my own advice more! I am just as much at fault as the next person. Well time for that to change. I am stepping out more. Not just reading more posts and keeping up on goodreads forums or twitter, etc. but actually speaking up and responding more often.
That includes on here! I was striving for the longest time to respond to comments others made and then started to fall behind last summer. My goal for this month is to catch back up and start respond to all those who take the time to leave a well thought comment.
Before I move on the the final bit, I want to touch on one last catch. The EVIL CAPTCHA. If you have this up on your blog, I will be honest here and now. I will comment on these blogs a lot less often. Why? One, it can double the time of a comment. Two, the blogger can spend a few minutes and filter their comments. Blogger here even does most if it for you. It filters spam comments that I go through for my blog 1-2 times a month. Takes less than 3 minutes to do. Outside of that RARELY has a spam comment slipped through. And even then, as a blogger I feel it is our duty to read comments. If another takes the time to write, we should take that time to hear them. So if something slips through the cracks, bloggers should take that 30 seconds to delete the comment.
So if a blogger isn't willing to do this, I am less inclined to offer my extra time on their blog. Just read and move on. What are your thoughts on this?
And now the fun bit!
To help encourage comments I will start here. For the rest of this month, any comment made on a discussion, review, etc I encourage fellow bloggers to leave a link back to a blog post of their own. If you take the time to leave an insightful or engaging (something I can genuinely reply to) comment I will swing by and hopefully leave a comment in return. All I ask is be sure that the post you send me to is something you think I would enjoy. For reviews, maybe you reviewed the same book or a different one by the same author or maybe just one you think I might like based on the genre, etc. Discussion posts are also great. Just be sure the link you leave relates and that you said something meaningful on my post.
This is what I will do in addition to stopping by other posts and commenting more often.
Feel free to use this challenge yourself and let the commenting begin!
*For more on commenting I highly recommend Parajunkee's post!*