Saturday, January 3, 2015

Bounteous Comments

2015 Discussion Challenge3  

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!*


  1. What a great post! I think we all would love more comments and it is true that a thoughtful comment only takes about a minute or so to write. Then we have let the blogger know that we have read their post and given them some feedback. What a wonderful challenge you have given yourself to start the year. I always try to make it back to someone's blog if they comment on mine. I might miss one once in a while, but that is do to human error on my part. :)

    Wishing you a Happy New Year and lots of comments. !

    Looking at your sidebar- you might be interested in my review of The Graveyard Book

    1. I wish I could even be that dedicated to respond comment on their blog if they did on mine. I can at least respond here though and occasionally on theirs as i have tim and work on getting better at visiting back.

  2. I comment on a lot of discussion posts, and on reviews if it's a book or an author I like. But so many people have their comments set up 'forcing' people to login in order to comment. For those blogs, if they don't have a name/url option I tend to just skip the commenting altogether. More often than not, the choices they give for logging in, are platforms I am not a member of. And have no interest in signing up for just to be able to comment.

    1. Hmm, for some blogs that does make sense. I guess as a blogger i have profiles on most sites so I don't think too much on it. But that does make sense.

  3. Commenting more is something I've definitely been trying harder with lately, as I kind of went through a phase where I was just posting on my own blog and kind of forgetting about it. I think commenting more has made me a lot more enthusiastic about blogging, as it feels like you're getting more involved in the blogging community, and I guess that's what blogging is all about.
    And I definitely agree with Silvara - blogs that force you to login to all sorts of different accounts usually means I won't comment. I like to just use the Name/URL option if it's there, as it's so much easier.
    Great post!

    1. I think having your own blog it is easy to get caught up in it and you do less visiting. I am very guilty of that at times. Between you and Silvara now I am wishing I knew of an easier way on blogger for commenters. I know there is anonymous options but still.... But yea there are a few that link to G+ and while I have that, I am not fond that I have to unselect a button to keep it from posting to my overall profile.

  4. I agree! I sadly do the exact same thing, read and move on. I'm going to be commenting a lot more this year. Not only to say how I feel but to help encourage other bloggers! We have such a great community!

    I'm doing the discussion posts this year as well. I'm going to try to hit all 52 weeks! I put my link on there today and will each week. :D By the way, I love your background!

    1. It really is encouraging. I cannot express enough what they mean to see them here. And this is a great community and I hope to get to know more out there by being more social :)
      The twin dragons image has been a favorite of mine for years plus fantasy is my favorite genre so I had to have the backround. Thanks!

  5. When I first started blogging I always believed the comments would come as long as I made good content, gradually I realized I had to reach out as well. Commenting on other blogs really helps in getting more comments on your own as well, although ofcourse not everyone will comment back, commenting does get your blog out there and the chance someone checks out your blog as well.

    But yes commenting takes a lot of time, so I can understand why not everyone can do it. Also with reviews it can be hard to come up with something to say, especially when you aren't interested in the book. If I have read a book or plan to or the review convinces me I have to read it I do know what to say. I do often say great review, although I try and add something beside that.

    And indeed captcha are annoying, although if I really want to comment captcha can't stop me, but it's nicer when it isn't there. Makes commenting more fun and easy and there are lots of other ways to protect against spam.

    1. Yea< I was doing really well for the first half of last year, then got caught up in other things and it fell apart so i got a lot of rebuilding to do in the connections department.

      With the second part you mentioned: Why bother reading a review if the book already doesn't interest you? There are too many reviews and posts out there to red to read something that does not pertain or interest me. But to me if I take the time to read it, a few extra seconds to say SOMETHING isn't going to make or break my day.

  6. Great post! I love Parajunkee site. Although it sucked a year ago when i was sick over New Year's, I would have never found her site (full of such valuable information!) which was just like 2 weeks after I started my blog.

    I try to respond back to every comment I receive. And the commenting system I use, Disqus, allows me to respond back via email. So even when I'm at work or on the go, I can respond back to people.

    Terri M., the Director
    Second Run Reviews

    Oh, and since not every commenting system offers a good way to link back to my blog, I created a text file that lives on my Desktop that has my name and a link back so I can just copy and paste. ;)

    1. I am not a huge fan of disqus myself. It clogs up my email way too quick but as long as it works for you :)

  7. I also agree with all of the points you make in this post! I always find I blank out when I start writing a comment and then just write something boring. It's one of my goals this year to try to write better comments. I'm always shocked (and annoyed) when I come across Captcha on well-established blogs. Maybe they don't know it's turned on?

    1. With captcha, maybe. There are times I have been tempted to say something but that would be rude.
      Although I love to here how I can make my blog more user friendly.

  8. I pretty consistently make an effort to comment on other people's blogs. Usually, if I stop long enough to read, I'll also comment (unless I really don't have anything to say). I also reply back on my commenters' blogs 99% of the time. This is just something that I have always done - I find it's the best way to build readership.

    Good luck with your commenting!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    1. I hope to be as dedicated as this one day. I am striving for it but still have a long ways to go.

  9. Agree it's not always easy to comment if there's a CAPTCHA required or the blogger doesn't offer other commenting options


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