Why Don’t We Comment On Blogs?

I had an interesting exchange last night. While on Twitter I ran into one of the members of Collaborative Women Connect and she, as we all do, cleverly mentioned a post on her site with a link. Cheerfully, I responded, “I will see your tweet and raise you with a comment,” and then invited her to leave a comment for me. It was a short, simple exchange, pleasant and fun and that was it.

But it leads me to ask, why is it we are so hesitant to post comments to blogs and sites even as we’re looking for comments for our own? I admit it’s rare that I comment on blogs. Even before I had a site of my own I would gladly post comments to others’ but only if it was something that really, reallyreally stimulated me to do so whether or not I knew the owner. And never would I merely post, “Great article!” I almost feel like that’s an insult to the poster. Not that everyone needs to be verbose but I’d rather have no comments than a bunch of comments that don’t clearly indicate the reader actually read what I took the time to write. I also believe other readers like myself may suspect those lazy comments are left by friends and family.  Still, others may feel any comment’s better than none.

What perplexes me even further is that many will take the time to send a personal message expressing kudos rather than posting the same kudos right on the site. Of course, that’s appreciated, too, but I often end up taking the time to respond to those individuals asking them to say what they said to me on the site.

I’m thinking there must be some psychology behind this because, again, even though we all want comments for our own sites, it’s unlikely we’ll leave any for others. Is it that we’re just too busy promoting ourselves that we won’t promote others? Or is that our attention spans are diminishing? We’re probably quicker to click a button to vote than read an article and then write something, too.

Now here’s something I find even more interesting. Do you remember my old blog on BlogSpot? Probably not; I quickly outgrew it and moved to my own domain. Still, I have 57 comments on one particular post. But I worked my butt off to get them. I’d posted it on LinkedIn initially and got tons of responses throughout the groups I’d posted it in. So, I asked those members if they’d simply cut and paste the comments they’d already generously left. Now out of the hundreds (plural!) of comments left on LinkedIn, all the members individually contacted, I reaped 57 comments. I appealed to those I asked to leave comments by suggesting it serves us both well. Those who leave comments get to leave links to their sites so it stands to reason they just might get some traffic themselves. It was an interesting exercise and I definitely don’t regret it, but I certainly don’t have the time nor the patience to do that for every single post, although a mere 50 comments for each post would look darned good. Although I do plan to contact each one of those members again individually to invite them over to the new site, that’s a job in itself, but I digress.

Those of you who have blogs, let’s talk about comments, even your reasons for leaving or not leaving comments for others. Clearly this is a code many are trying to break and with all the time we spend marketing our blogs and websites, this seems to be the missing link.

I’ve considered turning off the comments altogether as the traffic is consistently meager.

We’ve all heard the phrase, “No one wants to eat in an empty restaurant.” Sometimes all it takes is a few comments from others to stimulate more to follow suit.

Is this just a side-effect of our desire for instant gratification? Are we more likely to use or even pay for an automated service that promises to increase traffic (hoping it will lead to comments) than we are to actually leave a simple comment for someone else and just ask that they do the same? Could it be we think networking is more about empire-building than just joining in the conversation?

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