Today I received an interesting newsletter from The Content Strategist, published by Contently. The topic was blog comments. You remember comments? That little link on the top right of each of my posts where you get to express your opinion about what I’ve said?
The Content Strategist explained that some websites have removed their comment link. The reasons are varied, of course, but top among them are the maniacs who frequently express their hostility on any subject, with no regard for the feelings of others. There’s also research that indicates less than one percent of readers actually even look at what other people have said.
I like the comment option at Southern Exposure. I like what you say and have only rarely had to ignore (not publish) a comment because it verges on spam. But not everybody is that lucky. Just look at the comments on any site with a faintly political twist, especially now, when election rhetoric is so heated I expect flames to leap out of my television screen whenever I turn it on. Or how about religion? Or global warming? The comments can be a head-on glimpse at a world where people ditch civility and humiliate strangers because nobody knows who they really are.
I’ve noticed another problem, particularly on recipe blogs. A warm, chatty post is followed by 95 comments, 16 of which ask specific questions.”Could I substitute low-fat coconut milk for regular?” “Would this work with quinoa instead of rice?” And the questions hang there forever, because the blogger never visits the post again. Warm and chatty turns into cold and uncaring. Never a blogger’s intention.
A blogger can’t judge the success of her blogs by the number of comments. She may be preaching to the choir and leaving nothing to disagree with. She may not be controversial enough to need correcting. Personally I comment rarely on the blogs I visit. I read the blogger because I want his/her opinion and not because I want to give my own.
How about you? Do you appreciate the chance to add your thoughts, or could you care less? Are you worried your comment might be misconstrued or passed over, so you’re afraid to add it?
Do you read comments that follow a blog, or would that bore you?
I plan to leave my comment option just as it is. You are unfailingly polite, and I read every single word you write.
But if you ever turn into raving maniacs? Well, there’s always this. No-holds barred controversy on this page would probably triple my readership.
Now, isn’t that a scary thought?