05 June 2011

The Gentle Art of Commenting

Somebody famous once said, I won't know what you want from me if you don't tell me. Oh wait. That was my husband.

Anywaaaay... I thought I'd write a post letting you know my thoughts on commenting - and what I want you to do about it.
If you hadn't realised yet, there's nothing a blogger loves better than to open up her inbox and see a lovely bunch of new comments.
Her heart leaps with anticipation... until she clicks them open and realises half of them are from spammers... or even better, Russian Spammers.

The problem is that I have "Anonymous" as a commenting option.Thankfully Blogger has figured out that these are bogus comments and they get sent straight to the Spam Lock Up...

But why don't you just get rid of "Anonymous", Simoney? I hear you ask.

Two reasons.
  1. Grandma can't remember how to access her google account and she likes to comment occasionally.
  2. I want to make it as easy as possible for people to comment on my blog - including non-bloggers.

If you want to make sure that your readers can comment, you might want to include the Name/URL option until Blogger sorts this problem out or you could well be missing out on lots of lovely comments.
I know it comes with the annoying "Anonymous" option but there is no way to hack around it. Trust me I've tried.

By the way, please don't suggest Disqus or Intense Debate commenting systems. I tried Disqus last year and my comments dried up overnight. Seriously. So I ditched it. And with  Intense Debate  I might lose all my old comments, so I will just have to be patient and hope that Blogger will ONE DAY stop twiddling with making their post editor prettier and give us the interactive commenting service we need and deserve. 

The First Step. Comment the easy way.
Why do I need to comment? Can't I just be a reader? I hear you ask.
Sure. But for me the best part of blogging is the interaction. The feedback. The connection.
I appreciate each and every single comment I get {except those blimmin spammers of course}.
Only a tiny percentage of my readers actually comment. I would love to change that, even a little.

Don't be shy.
Blog lurkers, I know you are out there.
Some of you email me. Which is awesome! I love hearing from you.
The next step is learning to comment.
It's not hard, honest.
I've left on the name/anonymous option just for you {and grandma} and to make it even easier for you, I also got rid of word verification.

But pleeease don't use the Anonymous button. Leave a name, even if its "Flossie". Here's how to do that.

The Next Step: Become a regular commenter and have interaction.

Do you already comment but have never had a reply from me?
I can tell you why that is. You haven't got your email address showing up in your Google profile. So when you comment, all I get is no-reply@google.com. I can't email you. Which at the moment is the only way us Blogger users can reply.

So please, bloggers, can we all go to our Google profile and select "Show email". If you want to keep your home email private, go set up a free hotmail or Gmail account. Then you can add that new address into your profile and I can start replying to your comments!

Non-bloggers who are my regular readers, you are my hidden treasures.

I can interact with you too if you set up a Google profile. Click on "Follow" and then follow the steps to create your google profile. Make sure you choose a password you won't forget or you'll find yourself like Grandma: commenting via "anonymous" again. Which is better than nothing. But still.

{Oh and remember to "show email" as well - so I can reply.}

You will find commenting to be really easy once you try it. All you have to do is just sign in to your google account when you sit down with your cuppa to do some blog-reading, and then you can blog-hop and comment to your hearts content, without having to sign in each time you want to comment.

Give it a try OK? I dare you. Let's interact!

Commenting Tips for Bloggers.
You girls are the "professional commenters".
You already know that if you want comments on your blog, you need to visit other blogs and leave comments... right? At least until you are a blogging superstar at which point you will have to employ people to read and reply to your comments...

But until then, "If you want a friend be a friend" etc etc

I have discovered many great blogs through great comments people have left me. By "great" I mean the kind that made my day. Meaningful. Heartfelt. Encouraging... and showing that they actually read my post???!!

I have limited blogging time, same as you.
When I get comments, I reply to the ones I can via email.
I would love to be able to go visit every person and comment back... but I just can't.
I have children to feed and dust bunnies to banish, just like you.

So guess who I visit?
The ones whose comments arouse my interest.
The ones who don't just say, "Stopping by from XYZ linky" or "I'm following come follow me back" or "Hi I have a great giveaway coming up for haemorrhoid cream..."

I recently featured a number of my new favourite blogs on my Loving Post. All of those girls I met because they left me great comments and I just had to go see who they were.
You know what I mean??

You girls who already comment here are all great at leaving fab comments! And they really do mean a lot.
Honestly, the other day I was having such a downer and some of the comments you left me really lifted my spirits. Encouraged me. Made me feel appreciated and valued.

Which is the point of commenting, isn't it? We can all do with more of that, right?
Its not just to stroke egos or pat down insecurities. It really means a lot to know that somebody is reading what you write and that they like it. Or they agree. Or disagree. Or they like your new header and fresher, cleaner layout... {thanks Sarah - she noticed}

What can I say? Comments rock.

I hope this rambling post has in some way clarified some of your Commenting Questions.
What? You weren't asking questions about commenting? Oh. Never mind.

To recap:
  1. Go add your email address to your google profile and THEN comment - I will reply to you!
  2. Go to your blog and select "Anyone (includes Anonymous)" in Settings under "Who can comment". Then leave me a stupendous comment and I will come visit you!
  3. If you're a regular reader and you haven't already, click "Follow" and then sign up for a Google profile; make sure you "show email" so I can to reply to you... then try leaving me a comment!
I think that's about it.
I hope to hear from you sooooon!

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cmorgenstern said...

I couldn't have said it any better. I shared this on my facebook wall and hope you don't mind. I have two blogs and a lot of people visit but don't comment which is really sad. They tell me sometimes when they meet me in person "nice blog you have" but they never comment. so thanks for this post.
Greetz from Germany

Alison said...

Oh THANK YOU for writing this! I was thinking of writing a post about commenting, but I don't need to anymore, you've covered it perfectly! I'm going to tweet this!

emma @ frog, goose and bear said...

I agree. A wonderful part of blogging is the community aspect of it. So glad that mentioned re the email thing. So often I have gone to reply to someone's question only to discover that I couldn't! Thanks for getting the word out there as lots if regular bloggers genuinely don't know some of these things.
P.s. I read your blog far more often than I comment. I'm sorry:(

Anonymous said...

I ♥ comments!!!!

love and light

Shell said...

Fabulous advice, my dear!

I too allow anonymous comments... but only b/c that allows the name/url option.

Something I've noticed on blogger is that those of us with pop up comments- either a window or a page- we can still comment with our google id. It's the embedded comments that don't work.

Meghan Maloney Photography said...

Great post! One of the things that frustrates me the most is not being able to reply to emails direct from comments, so I try to make an effort to reply to those who I can :-) Comments sure are great but they can be a little addictive too - hate the way I sometimes mentally rate my posts by how many comments I've had when it shouldn't matter whether I get none or ten!
You are as always so helpful with your 'how to' posts Simone xx

Widge said...

Have you tried clearing your cookies and cache? I was locked out for a few days but found out doing this made it all back to normal and I could comment everywhere.
Not ever keen on opening my anonymous. I know it's only a very small percent that do comment but I'm not comfortable having it open.

Widge said...

And I agree with Meghan! It's best not to look at comments or follower numbers as worth. The bigger the blog superstar action gets the less I actually read. Ive seen so many blogs become so unpersonal. Total turnoff

kezharry said...

Hey Simoney!
I have a confession to make... I am a blog lurker! and to be honest i am a virgin commenter...this is my first ever blog comment!
I've been loving your blog for ages (prob a year or more) and i love your honesty, your family stories, your photography and esp loved your "legacy" video! so i have taken the plung and commented! xoxox

Cat said...

I love blogging and I love the bloggers whom I've been so lucky to meet so far. Comments & followers are great, however, lurkers aren't always ;'( I have 'stalkers' *read family* who scare me by the amount of hits I get from them - I guess this is why I've left my kids and personal life out of my blog and left it with my crafts etc - if my 'stalkers' want to know what is happening in my life they can contact me *phone email skype* - weird concept I know -

Cat said...

ps: thank you for taking word verification off - it annoys the heck out of me and sometimes deters me from commenting having to type in those silly meaningless words

meg said...

I often comment but good post this, love ya.

S and family said...

I guess I only comment on about 10% of what I read...but I hear what you (and the above comments) are saying about the comments making the blogger's day. I will keep that in mind. Thanks! :)
I'm wondering, though, how many blogging blunders are made by people who just haven't figured out all the intricate details of blogging yet.

Broot said...

Fantastic post Simoney, can I just add that WordPress users will *always* show up as no-reply bloggers unless they create a google account. I wrote a post about that here.

I think you should submit this post to BlogHer! :)

Simoney said...

Hey lovely ladies!! Thanks for all the commenting action... I have been able to reply to MOST of you... wordpress bloggers - check out "Broot's" post about creating a google account so we can interact. PS Broot - how did you make a hyperlink in a blogger comment? THAT is clever!
And KEZHARRY - well done for making your first comment! Sorry i couldn't send you an EAMIL reply - cos the email isn't showing up yet... but f you want to email me I can talk you through that. I am PROUD of you! I knew you were out there :)

Broot said...

Easy as. Html code for href links. :) Got that particular piece of code memorised now!!

Carey Morris said...

Commenting is a much coveted part of blogging, but we can't let us rule our blog. I started my blog as a diary and a place to put all my pretty pictures and as another commenter said often blogs turn in to a different beast to ensure the most comments, better stats etc. Don't let us forget why we started in the first place. (written by a blogger who doesn't get many comments! LOL)

Barbs said...

Hi Simone. I'm just starting out in the bloggy world and I just love all your bloggy tips. I am working on making my blog better and I have been using your tips over the weekend. Thanks heaps.

Jennifer said...

Thanks for writing this! I couldn't agree with you more! And I thought it was just me having the commenting problem! (Will be back to comment more! ;-) )

Unknown said...

Why, looky there! I'm on your blog again! LOL :0)

I'm really tempted to drop Disqus all together, myself. I never imagined it would give people such problems. But I *LOVE* being able to reply to each individual commenter!!! I really wish Blogger would fix this! We should start a petition or something. Rally the troops and bang down their door until they give us a better commenting system!!!

PS: Can I just forward this blog to everyone I know? I have a TON of lurkers--I know this because they tell me the read the blog, yet they never comment!!!

Renee said...

Hello again (big wave!) Yep yours is one of the blogs I stalk (hmmm I saw my name twice in your screenshot up above and blushed - I do have a life too don't worry!) I've learnt lots and lots since my debut into blogging in March - but I think my biggest lessons have been from reading your blog and from the lovely, genuine comments you leave for me, I'd just like to say thanks. It's funny, the people who have taken the time to send words of praise, encouragement, question and introduction are definitely the ones whose blogs I find the most appealing. I guess you feel like you 'know' them so it's a whole lot more interesting to read about their lives and thoughts than a random impersonal somebody out there in blogland. I must say I'm struggling a bit with replying to people who don't have an email addy too - I have a stack of comments I need to reply to which aren't the easy 'hit the reply button' ones. Anyhow, great post to add to your bloggy tips section!

Anonymous said...

I love your blog & try to comment when I can but am often reading from an email feed on my iPhone so it is not as easy to comment on the spur of the moment. At least you know I'm out there! Keep up the good work :)

PS I blog on wordpress but most blogs I follow are on blogger...

Anonymous said...

Hey - I am really happy to find this. great job!

Jen said...

playing catch up tonight :)

I LOVE feedback too :)

Lyns said...

Very informative Ms Simoney xx

Anonymous said...

Love this post, and i also adore comments, don't get half enough mind.

I know you can sign in to my blog, because you left me the most beautiful comment i have ever received on my post "life, death and lies". You bought me to tears - in a good way - if a comment can do that, there's no better reason for people to give it a go.


Heidi said...

Great tips. Until you posted this I didn't realize my email was not showing in my profile, I haden't noticed the spam folder and I haden't noticed that the name/URL option was not on my blog. Thanks!

Unsolicitedious Rebugger said...

Aah makes sense now - it's blogger's fault that I can't always use my open ID! I usually comment via the name/URL because some blogs (including this one) either don't always have this option or it doesn't work! So I can't always comment...and I love to comment as some of you blogging Mums out there are just fantastic & I like to let people know how inspiration they've been. Thanks to your blog Simone I have discovered a few other very inspirational reads. Re heart jumping in anticipation over new comments only to find they are all spam - I have been getting that now too. Haven't had the "Hi I have a great giveaway coming up for haemorrhoid cream..." ones yet, just the "HI, I have been following your blog for a few days now & you're the most awesome of awesome bloggers" variety! Hmm, Wordpress does seem better but I like how Blogger seems more fun - all you Blogger bloggers out there have such pretty pages & I'm jealous! Anyway, keep up the great posts - I don't know how you do it or how you fit it in! :)

Brigitte said...

Another wonderfully informative post Simoney! You're a bit of a whizz on this stuff, a guru even!
I've been sparse on my blog reading and commenting of late due to baby's arrival and sleep deprivation which results in a very short attention span and heavy eyelids... Hoping things will start feeling back to normal again soon...!
Anyway, loving your work, as always xx B

Kristin @ What She Said said...

Great post, Simoney. Very helpful tips. I love feedback too - would love to interact with you more through comments and e-mails!

Dee said...

Another excellent post from Simoney!! I am going to link to this one soon I think...

Flossie said...

I am a lurker who has stumbled upon a few of the blogs from kiwi mummies. I just wondered if you can tell where a visit comes from? As in, URL/server stuff, to define your visitors? I have no idea how it all works.

Flossie again said...

Oh and I should add I am not asking that in a creepy way! I love readung blogs! I just dont like the idea of leaving a trail showing whose blogs I read! Call me strange.

Simoney said...

Dear Flossie, don't worry I have NO IDEA where you are lurking from! We bloggers can get a general overview of where in the world our hits come from but they don't lead us to individual URLs or people. We can see a map of the world and a breakdown of how many views from Dusseldorf and Cairo. But We can't tell if it was Hans or Johannes's computer; Mustafa or Ibrahim's. So you are SAFE to carry on lurking happily wihtout fear of discovery :)

PS Phew that its not in a wierd stalker-y way cos that would be kind of spooky :)

Flossie said...

LOL no no not stalkery at all. I am a kiwi mummy also. I just know a few of the bloggers on there, through my work and wouldnt want them to think I was being nosy reading their blogs. Not you however!

Mirjam said...

Hi, it's first time I am on your blog. It inspired me, and I made already some changes on my blog. I am learning...

Alyss said...

I just found you via the link up about unfriending on facebook (amen).

Love this post! I'm passionate about the subject of commenting as well. I've made a lot of friends by just commenting back and forth.

And the whole no-reply biz? I get so disappointed when I see it! I really want readers to know that I appreciate their comments via an email back. Ah, what are you gonna do?

Anonymous said...

Hi I found you from SITS - LOL - on the post about comments.

I love, love your blog's design and layout. Such a warm and happy and welcoming place.

Mila from http://hereundertherainbow.blogspot.com

thepsychobabble said...

~jumping up and down~ yesyesyes The harder someone makes it for me to comment? The less likely I am to do so!
I have a google account, but I much prefer to just use name/url. If neither of those options are open? I probably won't even bother.

Anabella said...

I would really love to post in every blog I visit, and make the post nicer enought, but my english is not to good, so I end up saying "cote" or "cool" and things like that... :s

David Ritchson said...

I do agree with all of you. Blogging is being social and able to share stuff to your fellow bloggers. I even have alot of picture hangers from my blogger friends which I met online over the years.

Tara Denny said...

Very nice, this should be required reading for bloggers and blog readers alike, before they're allowed to get started. LOL

I just found you through- oh, I can't remember now, I've been clicking all morning. Probably SITS.

Love your blog and I think I'll be coming back regularly. Thanks for the helpful tutorials, I've already edited my blog twice in the last half hour thanks to what you've posted.

Have a great day!

Anonymous said...

You don't know how happy you're making me. Thank you for all these tips! :)


Unknown said...

hi!I know this is an old post, but I thought this was the best pot to comment at!! I got your link while discussing social media buttons with a friend! I'm now going through all your blogging tips..thank you so much!

Unknown said...

oops...that should be best post, not pot!!!

Unknown said...

I stumbled across your blog today through Pinterest! You have some wonderful thought-out well written posts! I love this post. In addition I also find myself commenting less on websites or blogs that have the verification keys. It takes so much additional time and prevents me from being able to go to another website and comment on their posts as well. I've noticed my bookmark bar just fills up quicker when I have to just remember to go back to that website and comment at a later time because I was caught up in "making sure I was human" haha. I cannot wait to read your entire series today though! This is wonderful information I will pass on to new bloggers. Have a great day and I again I am so happy I found this post!
Kayla @ The Midwest Lifestyle

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