Care to Comment Or Not?

24 Hour Blog Question directory

It’s funny you know?

No of course you don’t how could you, because that statement by itself could mean something , everything or nothing at all. In this case it means something, however without any knowledge as to what, it means nothing. I will explain further … the other day l was having a conversation with a friend about my blog and they suggested that it must be fun or even entertaining conversing with that many people? I had to correct them and say, well actually, l am not really conversing with anyone. I write or produce some content and then those who read it choose to either comment or not. Comments in my eyes is not true conversation and so therefore, no one directly converses with me at all.

Same thing they said. Again l had to correct them with a gentle, we may have to agree to disagree here – there is a chasm of difference between the terms. One is to exchange conversation through behaviours and emotions and sentiments and so on whilst the other is to pass an opinion or express a reaction to a statement presented towards them.

The conversation continued for a short while, before the subject was changed, but it ended with the other person remarking that as far as they were concerned converse/comment are mostly the same anyway. Of course as is the usual case with me, l walked away pondering upon this conundrum of whether it was true or not?

l would still say from my perspective there is a big difference, but of course then we have the likes of social media and those engaged with Facebook and Twitter might further suggest that they are in fact conversing with each other whilst l might simply answer with , we are not talking, we are writing and you are choosing to comment or not.

Then l started to think on why do people comment in the first place? Research tells me that there are many reasons for people to leave a comment or a series of comments to something that they have read, equally as there are many people who choose to never leave a comment at all.

I like reading comments from people and not just on the content l have created myself, but from all over the place and from other blogs and other social media platforms, because sometimes they are relevant to the published piece, sometimes they are not, sometimes l have no idea what they are referring to or how their mind has produced their thinking.

Some times people answer completely differently to how you might expect them to, people also answer questions in an abstract fashion. Some challenge content, others ridicule, many can relate to the content and the list of reasons why people comment is long and probably as long as the list of reasons from those who do not. Out of 100% of people who may read a published piece of content, the actual percentage who then go on to ‘comment’ is very small.

Also l find especially today that we have people who seemingly on certain media platforms love to give their two penneth worth of their divine opinions – l sometimes look at them and think, these are wannabee journos and l see this lot mostly in the ‘comments section’ of my Homepage Feed on so called newsworthy stories – as to how many of these stories are considered news is beyond me, and yet still we have thousands of readers who cannot help themselves and leave a comment – a real slice of life reading some of these – and many a time a real nasty bunch, better known as soon to be trolls!

In my experience and of course yours may differ, but l have come across of the many different types of commenter or is it commentator – five distinct styles …. – The Honest One, The Skimmer, The Everybody, The Wise Ass and The Know It All or …. more simply put – those who can relate to the published content and wish to express that or add to it their experiences, those who haven’t read the published content fully and leave a comment that is a bit confusing and many a time telling to the author that they haven’t either read the content or don’t fully ‘get it’, those who just want to say something even if it is nothing to do with the content but feel compelled to make a comment because they can.

Then there are those who believe they know better than the author and love to point our errors or mistakes in the content or they like to share their wisdom with the author and the other readers and then we have the ones who are better than the authors and like to prove it, they don’t like to be wrong and can be remarkably pompous at times.

People comment on published content for all sorts of reasons and then there are as l said above, many who never comment at all … but the questions today are …

Do you think there is a difference between the terms ‘commenting and conversing’ or are they the same to you?

What encourages or motivates you to leave a comment on content in the first place and on the other side of the coin If you don’t leave a comment why not?”

Let me know your thoughts below – thanks

42 thoughts on “Care to Comment Or Not?

  1. Comments vs. conversing? Sometimes a comment becomes a conversation – a written conversation but a conversation nonetheless – an exchange of opinions/experiences. I like when that happens. It has happened often for me via my blogs. But yes, there is a difference between a comment and a conversation. A comment is a stand-alone, a conversation is a continuing exchange. I comment only when I know a comment will be welcome and I stay away from saying “Nice post”. I comment if there is a factual question asked and I have a helpful answer. I don’t comment anywhere but blogs – newspaper articles and such I don’t bother with. Some people (again talking about blogs here) just seem to be safe places to comment, others you get the feeling that keeping your opinion to yourself is the wisest choice. And one never ever says anything negative in a comment. I read a post yesterday that was beautifully written but there was nothing to say about the content except “You’re a lovely writer” – that person has a way with words I appreciate but I left no comment, no point to it really. And that’s why I like the ‘Like’ button. But also in the last few days another blogger and I have been going back and forth in comments, to my great delight and I hope theirs. And yes, I consider that a conversation, talking about real things.

    Does that answer your questions?

    1. Hey Grace 🙂

      Yes of course it does, l agree with you also … principally conversing is different to commenting, but if the flow is continuous, then the commenting becomes a textual conversation.

      Something you have written here made me think of something else as well and that was when there is nothing to say but you want to say something just nothing horribly generic like ‘nice post’ and also when does the commenting stop and what are the end comments supposed to look like?

      Example would be when content comments run a course, but at times some commenters remind me of labradors [as in a dog who always loves to have the last bark [ever had an argument with a Lab? if you have you know what l mean].

      But when the main bulk of comments stops, there are those that continue and l then stumble and end up merely using a 🙂 as l have no idea what to follow up with.

      1. Oh yes! I have the same dilemma – you don’t want to be rude but there is nothing left to say comment-wise in a comment exchange. That’s where the ole ‘Like’ button comes in handy – a way to acknowledge that a person was seen and heard. As for the generic comment – I just stay away from them.

  2. I think conversations can happen in the the comments in some cases. I tend to think of it all as communication, and enjoy the bits that are enjoyable and pay little attention to the bits that aren’t.

  3. “Do you think there is a difference between the terms ‘commenting and conversing’ or are they the same to you?”

    I don’t consider the vast majority of comment threads to be real conversation. As you say, we are remarking on the content, as we do in literary workshops. I am not that interested in having “real conversation” on public media anyway. I keep in mind that anything I write could be seen by anyone. I prefer in-person chat that goes unrecorded. Three years from now I don’t need some troll stumbling upon what I write today. This is why I get so annoyed with the data scrapers too, but hey I wrote it in public…

    “What encourages or motivates you to leave a comment on content in the first place and on the other side of the coin If you don’t leave a comment why not?”

    I leave a lot of likes without commenting because I get tired of writing bland compliments ~ though I do sometimes if I haven’t commented on a blog in a while. I will say thanks to compliments on my writing. These are not conversations in my mind. We are simply participating in the blogging community by encouraging more writing.

    To me conversation means something more personal.

    1. “To me conversation means something more personal. ” Yes l agree with this, for me conversation is more of a social moment even with wild gesticulating as is quite often the case with me 🙂

      This something l mentioned to Grace above “…….. because I get tired of writing bland compliments ” Where does the commenting stop before it becomes bland and generic? I find it at times a real social struggle to know how to close comments down that just keep going … do you know what l mean?

      1. I know what you mean, but imo bland compliments ARE appropriate on social media. I’m fine with getting and giving them, though as I said… it can get boring so I often just leave likes. I don’t want to discuss publicly in great detail what sad event inspired a particular poem, though people can email me if they’re really interested. Guess what? No one does!

        As far as closing ~ it’s easy. Just like the comment and don’t reply further. I do it all the time!

  4. To me, specially nowadays when personal interaction are so limited, commenting is a way of conversation, specially when one is have a series of comments.
    I comment on a post because;
    It moves me
    I answer a question asked
    I feel that I can contribute to the conversation
    To let the blogger know that I read their post and liked it.

  5. I think that if someone leaves a comment such as “well done” where the author may or may not offer a thank you. If that is the extent, it is comment. If the two get into a discussion even briefly, then it becomes conversation.

  6. You probably already know my thoughts.

    Comments can *become* conversations. Limited conversations, because without tone, or lots of explanations, or a deeper knowledge of the person, some meaning can be lost.
    But generally, comments are comments.

    I’m with the others regarding ending a thread… like button. I have no problem with letting the other person “have the last word”.

    I’ve been using the like button and NOT commenting more often. If I don’t have anything useful to add, why waste my time and their’s?

  7. Normally I would comment “Nice post” to your question because I fall into the “Wise Ass” category. But I fall into other categories like “Skimmer” depending on my interest, time, and laziness. I would probably skip a comment when I am this late in the thread and just “like” someone else’s comment that reflected my opinion. Although some threads turn into mini-conversations, I feel like the label “comment” best expresses what they are. I need inflections and/or body language to have a conversation and I have not yet mastered using emojis while blogging. Sometimes I leave a comment if I think it would brighten someone’s day to get one and it is relatively quick, easy, and free to do it. Sometimes I do not leave a comment because someone is yelling at me to come help get a lizard out of the house. Sometimes I leave a comment because I think everybody is just dying to hear what I say. Which is why I Blog in the first place. I can pretend that a huge audience is actually paying close attention to my words, an impossible feeling to replicate in real life.

  8. I can’t speak for everyone else, but for me…I read and like most posts and comment less. I am usually just too tired to think of a comment that would be interesting. I don’t just want to say “nice post” like some do. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

    But here is the thing, when I do comment, I am just being friendly and wanting to show how very interesting I found something I read. But occasionally a comment turns into a conversation. Since I started blogging one other blogger and I ended up having such interesting conversations we began emailing privately, and we still do – pretty much everyday.

    When I think about life, all the little comments you share with people – from the Postman to the bus driver, the barista who makes your coffee to the fundraiser collecting for Age Concern….there are lots of friendly comments we make in life. But every now and then those comments you share and the responses you receive can end up with a spark and suddenly you become hungry for each other’s opinion and enjoy conversations with each other.

    1. Hey Jenna, ah that is very true – the rare occasions that followers become dedicated readers who then become acquaintances to friends to great friends and email conversations can begin, yes l am all too aware of that 🙂

  9. I feel a comment can become a conversation if there is back and forth discussion. I don’t comment on every post I read, whether or not I enjoy it. If I enjoy the post, then I use the “like” feature, and if I don’t I move on. Some of my comments are short and others are longer, depending if I feel I have something constructive to say.

    Personally, I don’t leave negative comments on any social media, because it’s not worth my time and effort, and anything put in writing on social media is there forever.

    Make it a great day, Rory!🌞

    1. Good insight Eugenia and oh so very true regarding concrete negativity – it stays in cyberspace for the minimum of 16 years and longer if someone shares it out.

  10. as I told the lady at Pensitivity 101…A conversation is what happens when a comment gets a significant amount of reactions from others

  11. There is definitely a difference. I try and comment as much as I can and the two things that stops me from commenting is when I get to the point of brain fog (or what I call information overload) and go to comment but then forget what I’ve just read. The other thing is if I just liked what was written and have nothing else to add.

    1. Very valid points.

      One of the disadvantages to the removal of the LIKE button is of course for those readers who do read and have nothing further to add no longer have the ability to hit like.

      I went through a long series of fors and againsts with regards the removal of that button and deciding in the end to take it out, as l favour more in the way of genuine comments than l do in false likes.

      There are more false likes on every post than there are genuine likes, but when it comes to comments apart from spam should that be present on a post as a comment, these are easier to deal with.

      But l was struggling with a battle of authenticity from people and tend to prefer to not play the popularity game if that makes sense.

        1. I think we do know – l mean, l can say that of all my readers, 4% are pretty loyalish to the brand if you wish, and of my 2600 followers that is only really just over 100 readers. BUT, only really, 1% of all 2600 are what l would call truly genuine, and that is only between 20-30 people. Might be a few more, might be less, but it also comes down to the style of blog we create and mine is changing rapidly.

          When you break it down like that, its quite startling.

        2. It is, which makes me wonder why brands go for the amount of followers one has instead of engagement, when working with bloggers. Say if someone had like 20k followers but only a very small portion were genuine and engaged, whereas someone who has a smaller following but a lot more are genuine and engaged.

          I just don’t get the logic behind why brands would go for someone with hardly any engagement.

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