Wednesday, March 17, 2010

On commenting

I have been thinking about this for awhile. Each and every one of us has the power to make someone feel noticed. You can make someone's day. You can encourage them to keep going with whatever it is they're doing. All it takes is a moment, and a few thoughtful words.
And of course, each and every one of us also has the power to crush and maim and hurt...all with a moment and a few words.
I've been thinking a lot about the positive power of commenting. It's really amazing and wonderful that we can touch someone who lives very far away from us, who we've never met in real life, and probably never will.
A lot has been said about commenting on other blogs as away of getting people to come to your blog. I'm not talking about that. This is commenting as a form of reaching out to people authentically.
For those of you who blog yourselves, or have Flickr pages or what have you, you know how good it feels when someone comments. It's practically life affirming. "Hey!" you think, "Maybe I'm not wasting my life online!"
Oh, those lonely, commentless posts. Practically deserts. When you first start blogging, you know it well. (Unless you're one of the lucky ones!) And sometimes, you still know it well, after years of blogging.
Finding blogs to comment on is easy. (Etsy forum posts like "Who blogged today" abound.) We may not be as polished as the big guys who have been doing this for years, but that doesn't mean we won't become polished later. Little words of encouragement along the way help so much.
I'm not the best at leaving comments, but I want to get better. I've set it on my daily task list - comment!!
What are your thoughts on commenting? I'd love to hear what you have to say.


customdesigns4ubynan said...

I agree wholeheartedly. I love comments. You're right - a person feels noticed and appreciated when there are comments. I envy some bloggers who get lots of comments, and wonder why I don't? It's almost impolite to just read and run without engaging the author. (sigh) I'm just being cranky - I read and run too, after all.

Plushroom Soup said...

Hear, hear! I adore comments, especially thoughtful ones that extend the conversation and allow you to make true connections. If I believed in heaven, I'd say there's a special place there reserved especially for these kinds of commenters.

Since these are the kind of comments I like best, I try to leave only these kinds of comments on other people's blogs. But sometimes the brain just isn't there, and I have to remind myself that even a short encouraging phrase will do, just to let the blogger know I appreciate what they do.

Here's to comments all around! And validation! And encouragement! And exclamation points!

Crooked Sister said...

I completely agree with you. When I receive just one or two comments, it really makes my day! I try to check my blog reading list at least every other day and I comment on at least a few. I'll admit I sometimes feel a little silly when I am the only person commenting, but I can't help it when I love a person's blog!

Thanks for this nice reminder! I'm off to comment on a few blogs!!

holly e. said...

agreed! i try to read blogs and comment, it's good to give encouragement and offer feedback and let someone know you're listening!

found you on the promo boards, new follower =)

Kristina said...

Great post! I used to feel down when noone commented on my blog until recently. Now I've gotten to 'know' some other bloggers who comment regularly on my stuff and I try to comment as much as possible on other blogs I read regularly (and some I only come across once, by chance).
It only takes a few minutes and you know the other person will be happy that something he/she wrote mattered to someone!
Needless to say it also is so much fun meeting people from all over the world like that!

sassypackrat said...

I love to comment! I do usually lurk for a while until I feel comfortable on a new blog before I comment. When people comment on my blog it can make my entire day. I know silly, but true!

Teddy Started It said...

No comment.

Hahahaha...just kidding!

I love getting comments, although I've gotten a few that have led me to believe they didn't read a word of the post. But whatever. Comments are like the little ring-a-ding bell on the shopkeeper's door -- they let you know someone stopped by. I could do better. I lurk sometimes - when I'm not feeling so clever, but I'm not usually at a loss for words. But then I think you know that;p

Dolly Cool Clare said...

A nice comment can really brighten your day! Spot on post and Im giving my compliment of the day to you :)

Net said...

Fantastic post! Any comment can make your day and not only that, it turns out that reading a post about commenting can make your day too!

Absolutely Small said...

Wow, thank you for all the comments! Guess I struck a nerve. You all made my day! ^_^

Customdesigns: I read and run sometimes, too. It's simply not possible to always comment!

PlushroomSoup: Yes!! Here's to exclamation points, indeed!!

Crooked Sister: Those are my favorite times to leave a comment, when no one else does. ^_^

Holly E.: Awesome! Thanks for following!

Sassypackrat: You know, I lurk for awhile on some blogs before commenting, too. Thank you for commenting!

Teddy: Ha! I get awfully tongue tied with comments often, too. As you well know. :)

Dolly Cool Clare: Agreed! And thanks kindly!

Net: Aw, thank you! That's very sweet! And day-making, indeed!

Now, off to try and comment on all of your fabulous blogs!

Anonymous said...

I love reading pretty much any comment left on my blog or FB wall. I don't do much else online except work on my handmade business, so I live for that stuff.

Juli said...

A nice comment from somebody I don't know just makes my day. In fact, that's how I found out about your wonderful, kooky part of the world, when you commented on a gingerbread recipe of ours, and my co-author/daughter and I were totally jazzed. After reading your post today, I'm going to make a point to comment more on other, smaller blogs--not the gigantic ones that get hundreds of comments daily, since they hardly need the encouragement!

ClareBears said...

You're so very right. I should make more of an effort to comment.

Swirlyarts said...

Interesting! I did an experiment one day where every single blog I read I left a comment (bear in kind that my reader often has over 100 posts for me to read!) I'm terrible at replying to comments left on my own blog though (doesn't help when not everyone has email set up so you can't reply!) That is going to be one of my resolutions for the rest of March :)

Tattooed Lady Body Art said...

Agree with what you say. Comments are a little sign that someone cares enough about what you have to say, an appreciation for your work or your art.

cabin + cub said...

Great post. I love leaving comments.. there are so many great blogs out there! ;)

Absolutely Small said...

Scrivener's: Me too!! It totally keeps me going through the day, for better or worse.

Juli: I had no idea! That is so neat! ^-^ Thanks so much for telling me.

ClareBears: It's a habit worth building...I think. :) (Can be a little tough, though!) Thank you for your comment!

Swirly: How did it go? Did you blog the results? :) I gave up on personally replying by email to comments...especially since there's often no email to reply to.

Tattooed Lady: Word. :) Thank ou for commenting!

Cabin+Cub: Agreed! And thank you for commenting on mine. ^-^

Jessie Mae said...

I need to get better about leaving people comments regularly. I know I love getting them, and clearly other people do too.

I think my problem is that I lot of times I either feel like I have nothing to really say, or I feel like I'm intruding. Which is stupid, because if people didn't want comments they wouldn't have comments on their blogs.

So yeah! Thanks for the kick in the commenting butt!

Absolutely Small said...

Thanks for the comment, Jessie Mae! You're never intruding here. ^-^ (Or anywhere bloggy!)

CMZ Art/ Rustic Goth said...

I agree. I try to read the blogs on my list, at least once a week...and I comment on each one I read.

I remember when I first started blogging..some 5 years ago seemed like 'forever' that I was the only one reading my blog. But..I kept it going here I am..3 blogs later..and still 'blogging'.

I still don't get many comments..but I do get visits..and that is something! At least I don't feel like I'm just talking to myself anymore:)

Absolutely Small said...

CMZ: Without Google analytics or some other sort of counter, it really would be hard to keep going, wouldn't it? Is anyone out there??
Anyway, thanks so much for the comment!


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